Friday, January 4, 2013

2013, here we go!

Hope everyone had a great Christmas & New Year.  I didn't make my goal of having 3 quilts fact I have not made one to completion.  My machine started going crazy on me and my stitches were looking terrible.  Lots of thread shred, breakage, & bobbin issues.  I am debating on whether to see my buddy at the sewing machine shop or not.  

On Christmas Day I decided I was gonna give myself the gift of a clean sewing area.   This is a breakfast nook off my kitchen.  I can keep my eye on the backyard, the potty, & the stove all at the same time.  Unfortunately, that means this area is really visible.  When it looks whacked out, my whole house does.   I bagged up some fabric for a local friend, organized, and tried to make the most of what I had.   I cleaned my machine out down to the guts.   There were piles of lint under the feet.  I have learned the hard way that a machine that isn't level will not sew right, so I hope that, along with a nice oiling and cleaning, fixes it. If my next attempt at FMQ doesn't go smoothly, I'm takin' the ole girl in for a spa day.

This is what I was working on in the midst of my machine issues.  I have had to pick out quite a bit.  My goal is to quilt each star differently and stipple the colored areas.  I hope it's not vain to say, but I love this quilt.  It is a scrappy, happy quilt, that's for sure.  This will probably go on wall by my middle son's bed since he helped me make this.  It's about 36" square.

 I got the apple core die from accuquilt and this is just some larger scraps that I cut up with the die.  I couldn't help but try it out.  It sewed up like a dream!  I think I am going to get red, pink, turquoise, aqua, & black prints and do an apple core quilt featuring this fella...

 I have always wanted to applique a vintage pillow blank to a quilt and he is just so pretty to me.

Right now, though, I am not sewing anything for a few days.  As soon as my best friend got rid of her carpal tunnel issues, I might have picked up some of my own.  After cutting the stack of tumblers for the cowbell quilt (for my son who loves Mississippi State) I went to bed and woke up with the edges of my hands completely numb.  I've had some and numbness pain for two days now.  I know in the future if I cut a weird shape with a rotary cutter, I need to invest in a swivel self healing mat.  I've had a hard time doing even small tasks the last 2 days.  The last time I had this kind of pain, I realized was after cutting another odd angle quilt out by hand.  My mother had carpal tunnel, and I'm sure adding up sewing, computer time, and texting is a recipe for disaster.  If you have any home remedies, let me know.  I think if I try to be conscientious in the future I can avoid things getting too bad.


  1. I've been very lucky in that I've never had a problem with carpal tunnel, even though I was a software engineer before I retired and spent most all of my days at the keyboard. There are braces that you can get that will help out with it. Good luck with your hands Mary. change up what yu are doing & don't do the same thing over & over.

  2. Oh no! Carpal tunnel is no fun (and neither is a machine that won't sew well). When I was pregnant I had a little bit of carpal tunnel - I just wore the wrist braces to bed and that seemed to help.

  3. I love your star quilt! So charming! It looks as if you have made fabric out of scraps? I'd love to know what pattern you's really cute! I would love a sewing room near the living space in my home, but I am in the basement. It's a good space, but I know I'd get more done it it were right near the life of the house! My Dad went to MS St! The cowbell quilt will be cute!!

  4. love the star quilt, Mary. Sorry about the carpel tunnel... If the brace will not work, there are some exercises to do (pulling the thumb back) which open up the carpel area.. Surgery may be in is better as soon as it is done.. Kinda like childbirth.. Hope it gets better soon..

  5. You could try several things for future cutting. Raise your cutting table (I use bed risers). I also try to be able to 'walk around' the cutting table. That way I can reach, but, not move the fabrics. Most important, don't cut everything all at once anymore. Cut one color one day, then another color, maybe that afternoon, etc. There are also ergonomic rotary cutters that are well worth the $$. A sharp blade also helps. My hands ache holding the ruler in place. I purchased a handle for my ruler. Now my hand doesn't cramp, trying to make sure the ruler doesn't slip. For your current pain, try ice for 15-20 minutes, then heat (same amount of time). BenGay is also good. Try a 'squeeze ball' to strengthen your hand, and it can also help loosen it up (don't overdo it). Soak (including your hands) in a warm bath. Hope something helps. Oh yea, there are special gloves you can purchase, kinda like compression gloves, that help relieve the stress on your hands as you sew, etc. I have friends who use these frequently. I've had tendonitis for over 20 years in my wrist, so, I am very careful of how I hold my hands/wrists, and learned to 'stop' when something feels tired, BEFORE I do more damage.

  6. I had issues in past, and when they flare up I wear the hard brace (from doctor, not the pharmacy) for a few days and it takes the pain away. I can understand where cutting and using the Go Cutter can give you trouble with it. Hope you are feeling better soon...

  7. Cheryl had some excellent advice for your carpal tunnel symptoms. I have had symptoms for years and had a nerve conductivity test which showed I had CT in both wrists. A year ago I had my right wrist done and was supposed to have the left one done 6 weeks later. I wasn't too impressed with the results of my first operation and declined to have my left wrist operated on. The surgery isn't too difficult but it just doesn't work for everyone. I could add to Cheryl's advice with try some magnesium glycinate. I use Metagenics brand, there's good info near the bottom of this page . I also have a TENS unit which really helps with my wrists and shoulders
    Hope this helps - I enjoy reading your blog

  8. After canning and preserving season this year, my wrists ached something awful. I was thinking that I'd have to have surgery but I did some investigating online and found a set of 10 exercises that have completely turned the situation around. If you google carpal tunnel syndrome and do some exploring, you should be able to find them. I had to pay $40 (online and then was able to download exercises and videos to show how-to) but it was the best money I've every spent. I figured I'd spend that on vitamins or books or fabric and hardly blink - wasn't my health worth that? Good luck - there is hope and help for natural healing.

  9. I love the star quilt! That has to be the prettiest quilt I have ever seen :-) I hope your hand issues get better. My hands get sore from all the knitting I do. Not fun!


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