Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sewing and quitting smoking

I quit smoking on November 18, the Great American Smokeout. While preparing to quit, I decided to make a quilt by hand. I've made them by hand before; in fact, I've made a Grandmother's Flower Garden three times - once for my daughter when she was two and once for my nephew's daughter. This one was made of denim and strawberry fabrics, and the blocks were outlined in red zig-zag stitching to make it extra strong. I also made one doll sized in Halloween fabrics. I use it for a seasonal decoration.

Now, I'm doing another one. It's my quit smoking quilt. The hexagons are 1.5" (as are the ones in my nephew's daughter's quilt) and each one is a different fabric to give it a truly scrappy look. I collected a 4" square from every fabric I have that is suitable (cotton or cotton blend). I also printed out hexagon graph paper to use for the English Piecing method which I use when constructing anything with hexagons. Sunshine Creations blog has a great tutorial on English Piecing to which you will be led if you click on the link! Mine is not quite as tidy, but the method is essentially the same. It's a great way to make small pieces into a larger project.

The good news for me is that I'm not smoking. I've spent a lot of time cutting paper hexagons (NOT with my good scissors) and fabric squares, and trimming the fabric before basting it onto the paper. (Google will lead you to tons of tutorials about Grandmother's Flower Garden designs, probably the most popular of the hexagon quilts.) Hand quilts like these or Cathedral Window are a great way to do a little here and a little there and make it last for a while.

Smoking is a nasty habit. It will be nice to have a beautiful reminder of what one can do instead of smoking. I believe this quilt will be a keeper.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

TKR and not about sewing

I ran across a blog while I was researching rehab for total knee replacement, which I am slated for on December 14. Add that to the mayhem of quitting smoking, which I did on November 18 (The Great American Smokeout) and you have my life in a nutshell of late.

In the blog, there was the best animated gif I've ever seen; it defines me recently.

Oddly mesmerizing, I'd say.

As I prepare for the total knee replacement, not only have I quit smoking, I'm getting my house in order,  moving furniture to the "other" room and preparing for delivery of recliner furniture in my living room. I am thinking that I will be downstairs for a good part of the time, at least in the beginning.

The consensus on partial resolution of my research is that the operation is a piece of cake, the hospitalization is a breeze, but the rehab is a bitch. Good drugs at first weaned down to eh. And then they expect you to bend again! Lily have even said it hurts like hell, but if she can do it, so can I. Folks who have gone through it say it's worth it. That's what counts for me, that it's worth it.

And so we prepare. I will have a hand sewing project to do, I've ordered some paperback books, I have a television at the ready, and I can take my laptop outside if need be.

In the meantime, I tap my fingers.