For years I kept journals -- in composition, spiral bound, and French graph paper books. This blog is an attempt to get back to writing and documenting the world around me using photos, newspaper headlines, and other articles.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

On the mend

It's been a couple of tough weeks for me.  I left work on a Wednesday to go to the doctor and he sent me right to the emergency room for pain medication and an X-ray. I had another kidney stone.  This time, monster big at 11 x 17 millimeters.  Oof, no fun.  I was off and on pain medication until I could get a time with the lithotripsy machine the following Tuesday.

I knew from past experience that the recovery this time around wasn't going to be pleasant.  But I forgot exactly how painful a stent can be.  I had to take the rest of that week off.  I have a fairly high threshold for pain and yet this knocked me down.  I was sleeping in two hour increments and counting the hours until I could take pain reliever.  It was crazy.  I was in a fog and hated it. That Friday, I couldn't imagine waiting a whole other week with that tube in my body.  I was exhausted and hurting.

But I did turn the corner, returning to work last Monday.  I spent every lunch time out in my car with the seat down and getting as comfortable as I could.  I went days without the strong pain stuff.  My mood and comfort level improved.  I haven't been totally discomfort free in a few weeks, but at least I can function in the majority aspects of my life.  I'm on the other side now, just waiting for Wednesday when I can get the stent removed.

The days off felt like wasted days.  I couldn't focus enough to do much.  My sewing projects languished downstairs, unattended.  What a bummer.  Four days at home and no crafty progress.  This weekend I got out and about with Selim and that felt great.  We got him a haircut and enjoyed a few hours together, out of the house.  Today, before the grocery store, I managed to sew for a few hours.  Yay!

First up, Block #15 of the Splendid Sampler.  This one was foundation paper pieced.  I had never done that technique before.  I'm glad I didn't dive in the day it came out.  Instead, I learned from other people's tips and watched a fabulous tutorial.  I learned that cutting the different fabrics larger than what is required is worth it from a piece of mind standpoint.  So I added a 1/2 inch on both the width and length of each piece and never worried that I would end up with a section too small.  The extra scraps were worth that mental space.  I had bought a quarter inch ruler and that was so fun.  It has a ridge on it that you can snug up against the paper edge and cut an exact quarter inch.  It was really satisfying to see the block come together.  And I never had to use my seam ripper.  Amazing!

Light blue or teal?  I went the the teal.

The pattern called for eight 3 1/2 by 3 1/2 blocks.  I had decided on the fabric selection last night.  I woke up around 2:00 am thinking that I had made a wrong choice and that the blue next to the yellow middle X needed to be darker.  The light blue and yellow have the same value and would blend together too easily.  I think changing to teal was the right call.

Paper piecing detail with the teal.

The yellow center X fabric was a scrap piece from the first quilt I made for Selim, when we lived in Kittery.  I was optimistic at that time, thinking that we might have another child, and I made two twin size quilts, using the same pattern and mostly the same fabric.  The yellow dragon flies reminded me of all the nature walks and canoe paddles that we experienced together.  So it was sweet incorporating that fabric into this quilt.

Four sub-blocks before getting trimmed.

Good thing I looked at the pattern before I sewed the four blocks together.  Otherwise I would have sewed them in the wrong direction, dark blue towards the outside, rather than the center.

Sub blocks going the wrong direction.

I think the block is beautiful.  I loved learning this new way of piecing.

Sub blocks going in the right direction.

Finished block!

After returning from getting food, I made up block #18. Did I mention that our local market now carries the vegan Ben and Jerry's?  Woo-hoo!

No eggs!  Woot!

Anyway, the block didn't take very long.  However, I did space out and have to rip out one small seam.  I laughed at myself that I could do a way complicated block and not have to tear out any seams and yet the simple one got me off my game.

Block #18 finished.

After not having any progress for days, today was a good effort.

1 comment:

  1. I'm hoping that you're doing better now that you've had more time to heal. Your paper-piecing blocks are gorgeous -- I've paper-pieced in the past and recently revisited that skill. I love the precision I can achieve with it!

    BTW: You recently commented on my blog and I would love to respond to you directly, but you're a no-reply blogger. If you send along your email address to me at frombolttobeauty (at) gmail (dot) com, I'll get back to you!