Monkey Wrench

The blocks are done and ready to be assembled … with any luck over the next few days I’ll get the top done. It’s simple but I’m happy with how this one is turning out!

After finishing the blocks, I started hand stitching the binding on the Rainbow HeartStrings quilt. I’m being careful not to sit and stitch more than 30 minutes at a time without getting up and doing another activity … I’ve done 2 “ 30 minute sessions” so far and am a little more than halfway done so this will probably be finished tonight or tomorrow.

I won’t get any quilting done this week – it was kind of silly to think I’d be up to that yet but I’m very happy to be sewing and happy for the progress I have made.

Lunch

Keith got me out of the house today and took me to lunch by the lake. Definitely lifted my spirits just like being back to work.

Progress

I’m up to 24 Monkey Wrench blocks made … and with any luck should finish the rest tomorrow. Only half of the finished blocks are on the design wall because I’m making two blocks from each fat quarter and the others will be placed in the bottom half of the quilt.

This one is taking 18 fat quarters plus the background fabric and there will be a leftover quilt which I’ll piece when I’m done with the one above.

Assuming the plan doesn’t change …. the leftovers will become a split 9 patch quilt. I can’t believe I drafted this in 2018 and haven’t made one yet but like the rest of you, the list of quilts I want to make is a long, long list and I don’t seem to get around to all of them as quickly as I’d like.

Sewing and knitting

Today was a better day – I’m working at a slow and steady pace and changing my position frequently but there’s no medicine like being able to sew and knit.

I had planned to make all the pink Monkey Wrench blocks first so I wouldn’t mix up the pressing due to my brain fog but I felt a little more with it today so added in some brown blocks … just 14 of 35 blocks are made but I’m thrilled with the progress. I also made a binding and got it machine stitched on … I am being very careful not to over do things but moving around and having my mind and hands occupied is so much better for me than sitting or just lying in bed.

I wanted to get started on a hat too but had decided I’d wait a few days until my concentration was a little improved. It was a nice surprise when I pulled the hat tote to get ready and found one already started! Luckily, I had entered the details in my Ravelry account so I was able to find out what pattern I was knitting. I knit a little while on this one today too.

In my mind, my crochet and knitting was always supposed to be there for me when I didn’t feel well enough to sew or quilt … that’s one of the things that made this episode so scary for me … I couldn’t sit, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t lie in bed, or even walk off the pain … I basically spent 5 days on the floor before they finally admitted me to the hospital. I pray that I will never reach that point again.

Sewing along with Maine

The Maine sew-in started today and since I can’t be there in person, my goal is to sew along with them each day. My stamina is low and I’m shaky both physically and mentally but I did get downstairs today for a couple hours.

My project this week will be the pink and brown Monkey Wrench.

First, I pulled the fat quarters I’m going to use for this quilt. I had every intention of using a scrappy background for this one and had Keith pull several bins with neutral scraps and fat quarters last night for me.

I decided however that I needed to make this easier for me (brain fog!) and there was a background piece in the bin with the fat quarters so I’m going with that one.

I worked out my cutting and pressing plan and got started.

I’ll make 2 blocks from each fat quarter and need a total of 35 blocks that finish at 10 inches for this quilt.

Go Vikings

It’s breaking my heart not to be in Maine this evening but it felt so good to do something so normal this afternoon – watching football and even better watching the Vikings win. There was even some easy knitting on a scarf during the game!

It feels unbelievable that just a week ago we were in Minneapolis driving by the stadium.

Keith went downstairs with me this afternoon and helped move and dig through bins and I’ve got some easy things lined up to work on starting tomorrow. I can’t wait!

Hats

It almost hat making season for me and for those of you who knit or crochet hats I thought I’d share a link for the Veterans Cap Drive I received in my email today from Knots of Love.

I used a number of their free patterns last year for the ones I donated locally so hopefully I can get some made and sent this fall.

Home

I was discharged from the hospital yesterday and got home around 5pm. There are some concerns that need further testing and investigation and the need for surgery has not been completely ruled out yet but I’m cautiously optimistic that I’m on the path to returning to normal.

Much to Finn’s dismay I’m setting myself up in the arm chair rather than reclining love seat. I’m short and my feet don’t reach the floor in any of our chairs so the little stool helps me keep the proper body alignment.

Finn is not thrilled about not being able to sit with me but he can sit on his quilt and keep his eye on me and can come over for a cuddle in my lap now and then.

As much as I want to run right down and sew today I’m not going to. I didn’t really get any clear guidance about going back to “work” but my body is telling me I need to take it slow. We’ll see how I feel in a couple days.

I did an easy walk on the treadmill this morning and am so thankful we got it at the beginning of this year. It’s been a blessing since this episode started the beginning of July – walking is still one of the best things I can do to be active and the pain is less when I’m walking.

I’ve also got a referral to PT in progress. I’ve been doing a lot of Yoga stretches the last couple months trying to resolve my sciatica but after talking to the Physical Therapist in the hospital, I shouldn’t have been doing poses that twisted me based on the back issues causing my sciatic pain. I had already been doing some of the ones in this slide show (scroll down) and I’m being really careful about what I’m doing until I get started with PT but I did do an easy session this afternoon.

I have not been up to responding to each message but wanted to thank you all for your support and encouragement.

Monkey Wrench

You’ll be happy to know that I’m feeling well enough to entertain myself this morning in the hospital by looking at vintage quilts and planning a project for this month’s precut – Fat Quarters.

Here’s a vintage quilt I saw this morning on eBay. The Monkey Wrench block is a variation of a Churn Dash, the difference being a narrower middle row/ column.

Here’s the brown and pink version I’d like to make. As usual I design in two colors but will use different browns, pinks, and neutrals.

My quilt will have 10 inch finished blocks and finish at 50 x 70 which is a nice size for donation.