"On the plains of Oklahoma, with a windshield sunset in your eyes like a watercolor painted sky, you'd think heavens doors have opened."
Fly Over States

Friday, February 5, 2010

Itching to be Cured

I've been under the weather the past few days fighting a systemic invasion by poison ivy.  The area where there was a rash was relatively small - almost entirely on my forearms.  However, at this point, I have hives moving all over and today and yesterday it attacked my face and ears - my face looks like it has diaper rash and is swollen and tender.  My head is killing me.  So I am utterly miserable with not many ways to get any relief.  Yesterday, I tried dosing myself with an antihistimine, which knocked me out and turned my days and nights around.  Today, I am just trying to distract myself by not thinking about it and running errands (I got estimates and samples for the  new kitchen counter tops and bought a bluebird house).  I feel absolutely horrible and really, quite mean.

But enough whining.

I have been working on a challenge regarding a paper pieced round robin.   The rules of the challenge are that you can start with any paper pieced block you like.  No size or color requirement, just has to be paper pieced.  I'd seen these done, before, and decided that since they tend to end up being very busy, I'd start with a fairly straightforward block.  I had already made this one and had a lot of matching fabric in different colors I wanted to use on a single project:

For a paperpieced block, it is really simple and could easily have been done with traditional piecing. 

After getting the center block, we periodically get instructions for the next round (a round is just like adding a border).  Since we don't know what directions are coming for the next round, these sorts of things are always a little dicey to design.  But that is also part of the fun to try to make the next round blend with what you already have.

In this case, the next round called for paper pieced blocks in the corners.  This is what I came up with:
The next round just required that there be paper pieced diamonds on the sides.  Again, I went super simple:

At this point, I put away the challenge because we were packing.  I went back to it, this week, to add the third round.  The third round called for paperpieced blocks with "points."  This is what I did:
Here are some close-ups:
I am relatively happy with it.  The colors are not different enough to pop the way I'd like but there are still several rounds to go to try  to work on that. 

So the next round called for using only two colors.  I chose white and the blue color I have in the points on the last round, and the main border color on the first round.  I want to give a shout out to my all time favorite book for borders:
I can't tell you how much I love that book.
After leafing through it, this is the pattern I decided to go with:
I am in the process of working on it but it isn't done, yet.
So while I am in the mood for shouting out, let me tell you that I ordered fabric from Today's Quilting on the evening of February 2, 2010.  It arrived this morning.  It was a great price, great selection and clearly fast service.  They had fat quarter bundles that they got to choose at $1.25 a piece.  I figured, what the heck, you had to order a minimum of ten but I was itching and in great need of a distraction.  This is what they selected:
They did a GREAT job - I'd ordered some batiks and they must have recognized I was in a batiky mood.  The ones they selected go beautifully together.  And they did a terrific job of packing the whole thing.  To say I am impressed does not do them justice.  Here are some photos of what arrrived:
Because of the size of my order, I was allowed to choose a free fat quarter.  This is what I selected:
The fabric is topknotch - of course, you can't go wrong with Kaufmann but still...
My fabric dye and book on fabric dying also arrived but I caved on my insistence that I was not going to take another antihistimine and am starting to fall over.  I am going to go sleep, now.  Perhaps I will wake up and be miraculously cured.  If the &^%$#@ insurance company would just get their ^%$(*& together (it's the drugs talking) and send us our high deductable debit health card, I'd go to the *&^#$% doctor.  In the meantime, I shall just soldier on with a swollen face, ears and pounding head in addition to feeling like I am going to scratch off my outer layers.  Sadly, I can't even drink since I am full of antihistimines. 

Happy Quilting,

Penny, Evelyn and Pearl


Anonymous said...

((((((Penny))))))) I hope you recover soon.


Penny said...

Recover or die, one or the other, dangit.


Sarah or Semmy said...

Oh, Penny, I feel so sorry for you. I react the same way to PI. Hope you do recover quickly.
What were you doing to get Poison Ivy this time of year? Sarah

Anonymous said...

Beautiful batiks! Do you have a quilt planned for them?
Hope you feel lots better.

LindaWI said...

I love your block and new fabrics. I'm so sorry your feeling so bad, I had a bad case of poison ivy last summer, my first time, but never experienced the hives like you have. I hope your feel better soon.

Penny said...

I don't have a particular project in mind on the batiks. But they are just so pretty.

I hate hives and poison ivy. It is so hard to be an aging sex goddess when you are puffy and look like those "stars having a bad day" photos that the tabloids publish.

Mary said...

Penny I really like your round robin, I'm going to have to add that border book to my wish list. Get better!

ranette said...

Oh boy Penny...I really feel for you. It may be worth a trip to the doctor even with the insurance issues.

Your rr quilt is wonderful!

kate said...

Head to the doctor Penny. It sounds like you need some steroids. Love all that gorgeous fabric. I am hunkered down in the east coast blizzard today sewing

Penny said...

Already been through the steroids - finished them up two days ago (was on them 12 days). Today is even MORE miserable...

Paula said...

Hope you get to feeling better REALLY soon. The round robin's looking great.


JessicaSews said...


I went right to a list of home remedies and then wondered, what haven't you tried yet?!!

Hoping it clears up sooooon!

Penny said...

I haven't tried amputation but it is sounding better all the time.

JessicaSews said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JessicaSews said...

You still have your sense of humor!

I was looking at a list of home-remedies - had posted a link and then decided I'd rather not.
Rubbing banana peel or dishwashing liquid on to the rash were two of the things that I wondered would help. But, like you said...going about your day is good for you.

The quilting and fabrics are sure pretty!
Sew away in that new sewing room of yours, turn on some good music and heal!!

Stephanie D. said...

Screw the insurance. Put it on a credit card if need be, but get to the doctor!

Penny said...

Hahaha, thanks, Stephanie. I am in touch with a doctor and believe I am on the mend. With a high deductable medical savings account, you want to draw from that account to go towards the deductable. I was THIS close to just hitting myself with a hammer and ending it all but I honestly think I've turned the corner.

Miriam said...

I'm very glad you have finally turned the corner. Remind me, if I ever get to the USA, to stay well away from Poison Ivy. It sounds like very nasty stuff!!
Love the round robin quilt.

Shogun said...

Oh no it sounds just awful. I feel so bad for you!!

I love your block and the fabric you ordered.