October 27, 2010

....Taking a Break

I'm afraid the time got away from me this week and I didn't prepare a blog post for this week. But I've been busy - got a few things to tell you about. I'll do that next week. See you then.


October 20, 2010

Quilt 6: Design

Well.. as I've actually nearly finished quilt 6 - plus talked about it in my previous post, I guess I should introduce the design. (I'm sure you've realized by now that I am just not doing these projects in sequence...)

So here it is: the design for Quilt 6:

And here's the top after it was pieced together:

And here's the detail of the top:

This top went together in a FLASH. I think I spent about 5 hours total on it!

This one went with me to the hospital when I had my mastectomy and first step of reconstruction. I really had expected to be able to work on it - but, well, that didn't go as planned.

No matter. I've been working on it since. The quilting is done, the binding has been tacked on, the edges trimmed, and now I'm stitching the binding down - will probably finish it tonight!

October 13, 2010

Log Cabin Lesson

When I cut out my first log cabin project (Quilt Number 5), I found it really complicated. Cutting all those little pieces, each with varying lengths, and having to be careful not to cut the pieces too small, matching the colors carefully and so on.

But then it hit me: For the log cabin blocks I was doing, the width of the blocks was the same, only the length was different! Why bother to cut the different lengths? Why not just cut strips of the appropriate width, sew the bits and then trim?


So I started Quilt Number 6 by cutting out the first 2 blocks (both were 2x2) and stitched them together like this:

Then I opened them up and placed them (right side down) onto a strip and sewed them to the strip like this:

Then I cut the strip:

Then opened up the beginning of the block:

The orange square is the center of the block - so next I will pick up a strip of the color I want on the right side and sew along that edge.

Simple, easy, and FAST!

I didn't even bother to press the seams before going on to the next strip.

I'm delighted with the result. The blocks are perfectly uniform and even lay more flat after pressing than the ones in Quilt 5 do.

October 6, 2010

Breast Cancer: 2 - Quilting Hoop: 4

They caught my cancer early, really early. In opting to have a bilateral mastectomy, I not only was able to deal with that cancer but pretty much stomp on my risk of a repeat. My risk for recurrance is now something less than 5%. All this without chemo or radiation therapy. So my cancer is gone and, as my beloved cousin Beth (who went through this 3 years ago - but had to have chemo) points out: I get to keep my hair.

I'm healing well from my surgeries, but have been terrifically uncomfortable. At the time of my mastectomy, my plastic surgeon installed "expanders" under my pectoral muscles. The purpose of these devices is to gradually stretch my muscle and skin, making way for a full-sized permanent silicone gel implant later on. The expanders are, well, uncomfortable. At times VERY uncomfortable. But just the other day my surgeon put in more saline in them (causing me to inflate a bit) and now they don't bug me quite as much.

And I've gone from being a smallish "B" cup to a "very full C." Feeling pretty good, so I think it's time for therapy.

Not chemo therapy.
Not radiation therapy.
Not psychotherapy.

Retail Therapy!

I've been steadily working on my "recouperation projects" and am getting to the place where I need to set up something to work on when they are done. Yup. Time to get the design software out and then do some shopping.

I haven't been in my favorite quilting store since July. I know they've missed me....