I can't believe how long it's been since I blogged. I wonder if anyone is still out there reading this? I've debated so much on whether to keep up, especially since my parents got rid of their computer. Much of what I wrote was for them because I knew they followed it faithfully. And, in this day and age you wonder how much to put out there in the public domain. However, I'm going to get past that because looking back on my blog it's probably the closest thing to a journal I have. I may in the near future password protect it, so if any of my formerly faithful readers are still out there, let me know and I will make sure you have the password.
So – where to start? Probably the most significant thing to happen in the past year is that I had major surgery. In fact, that probably contributed to my lack of blogging. Sometime last summer, a nagging pain down my leg erupted into something far worse and over the period of a few months I became unable to stand or walk for more than a few minutes at a time without excruciating pain. A round of physical therapy only made things worse and after an MRI, I was diagnosed with a pars defect. Often found in athletes, especially gymnasts, it consisted of cracks in the vertebrae between S-1 and L-5. This resulted in crushing of the disk, hence the pain. I was never an athlete, so the surgeon surmised that the cracks happened during a growth spurt in my teen years. He said that when that happens, problems don't usually surface until the 50's or 60's. The only remedy is surgery and on December 16 of last year I had spinal fusion surgery and placement of an artificial disk. The surgery went like clockwork and was totally successful, however I had a bad reaction to the anesthesia and ended up in ICU for four days. Recovery was a bit of a slog, but I faithfully completed all my physical therapy and my surgeon was so pleased with my progress, he kicked me loose from care at the 6-month mark, a full 6 months early!
During the worst of the pain pre-surgery, the only thing that relieved the pain was sitting, so I got lots and lots of quilting done. This past year I've really been focusing on machine quilting. As much as I love hand quilting, I've come to the realization that I will never live long enough to hand quilt all the tops I've made. I was fortunate enough to be able to acquire a Baby Lock Tiara quilting machine and it has revolutionized my machine quilting! It has a 16 inch throat and a large table.
So far I've completed three quilts on it:
This was the first – a row quilt done with my Round Robin group. I decided when I got my machine that instead of doing lots of practice squares, I would just do a few and then dive into an actual quilt. And I promised myself that I would not spend a lot of time ripping out imperfections. Although far from perfect, I was quite pleased with the results.
This is my imaginatively named Blue and Brown quilt. I concentrated on doing free motion from a stenciled pattern in the centers of the blue blocks.
This was another quilt I did with my Round Robin group, but unlike the others where the group pieced blocks for me, I pieced all of the blocks on this one. This is based on Eleanor Burns' book "Victory Quilts" and are patterns popular during WWII. On previous quilts I did the stitch in the ditch on my Bernina, but on this quilt, I took the plunge and did free motion quilting on the Tiara. The curved cross hatching was done in pale yellow thread. I was quite pleased with this one!
Needless to say, a lot more has happened in the past year, including the granddaughters growing into pre-teens (how on earth did that ever happen??) And for my knitting friends, never fear – I'm still knitting. That also got me through my sedentary months. I promise to catch up on both of these in future posts. So – anyone still out there?