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An Unconventional Third Quarter

It is time once again to take a look at what has been happening in the sewing room during the 3rd quarter of 2021. That time frame includes July, August, and September and those months proved to be the most unusual that I have ever experienced. During the month of July I did not even step one foot in the sewing room. I’d like to say that happened because we were off on a month-long European vacation but unfortunately that was not the case. The first sixteen days of the month were spent at UNMC following my cancer surgery and the rest of the month was mostly spent laying on the couch in our living room recovering.

One project on my list that I was able to work on in the hospital as well as when I got home was my English Paper-Piecing (EPP) quilt. I have now finished stitching all of the 2 1/2” squares - all 941 of them - to the 1” hexagon papers. The next step is to lay out all of those hexagons - or at least the printed ones - so that I can be sure to have a pleasing arrangement of colors. I can’t wait to see what it is going to look like.

At the beginning of August I was finally able to get back into the sewing room to do some work on my long arm. Because my strength was not what it used to be, I was only able to work for about an hour at a time before I needed to rest. While that was a bit frustrating I was so grateful to have quilt tops to work on. It gave me a great excuse to get off the couch! As a result I was able to finish six customer quilts and six Quilts of Valor.

I do not usually go into detail in my update blogs about the customer quilts that I work on but one warrants special mention. I was able to finish this project because it could be done sitting at my domestic machine. Since the beginning of August I have been on a sitting protocol where I can only sit for a certain amount of time three times a day with some time off in between. I started with 5 minutes sitting and four hours off three times a day for three days. By the middle of September I was sitting for four hours three times a day. That is a lot of sitting! So I was thankful that Roxanne Dorn brought me a quilt that was made by her husband’s grandmother and recently hand quilted by the ladies at Zion Lutheran Church in rural Pickrell. Roxanne wanted me to do the binding to finish this meaningful quilt. This was not an ordinary binding, however, since it had a pointed rather than a straight edge. Thank goodness for YouTube! I searched “finishing irregular quilt edges” and was directed to an easy to understand video by Marci Baker of Alicia’s Attic. After doing a bit of repair on the quilt I was able to finish the binding and retain the points. It turned out quite well!

One project that I finished was Melissa’s table runner. I was able to quilt it on the long arm and decided to just do a simple continuous curve pattern as I could do that while standing. I did change thread colors on every block so that the texture of the quilting showed rather than the thread. My mom then stitched the binding and I finished it by adding a label. Now, six months after we started this project, it was finally finished and Melissa has a nice covering for the table in their entryway.

The second project that I can check off as finished is the counted cross-stitch Christmas stocking that I made for Dustin. It was almost completely finished by the first part of June but I never add the name until after the wedding. Finishing the stocking reminded me how much I enjoy counted cross-stitch so after I finish the EPP project I’ll work on a Christmas ornament kit that I have stashed away.

While my physical limitations have been a bit frustrating for me this summer I can tell that I am making improvement every day. My quilting projects have been so good for my physical as well as my mental health. My sewing room is still one of my happy places!!

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