"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

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Oh What A Relief It Is

I've been veeeerrryy slowly starting to feel better although I am nowhere close to 100% - more like 70%.  Maybe.  I figure it will still be several weeks before I go a day without stopping to think about how bad I feel.  As they say, the skin is the largest organ in the body and when it is sick, you feel terrible.  But I am better and nearly every day is easier than the one before. 

I've been taking the girls with me on walks in the neighborhood but they are so rambunctious at the beginning of the walk that I haven't taken my camera.  Maybe later this week I will get some shots.  We are due 3 - 4 days of sunny, late winter, Oklahoma weather and I am excited about it.  It is about a mile and a half around the neighborhood and I figure 2-3 circuits a day would be good for man and beast.  I could drop a few pounds, for sure, and walking the sled dogs should tone up my arms in no time flat. 

I stopped by the Affair of the Heart (it is a large arts and crafts show) in Oklahoma City, last week, and strolled through about 10% of it (I was feeling too bad to stay longer).  I passed some quilts with gorgeous quilting on them.  They cost $69.00, marked down from $120.00.  Of course, upon close inspection, I could see that they were mass produced but to be honest, if I wasn't a quilter, I would not have noticed the difference.  And I had to look close.  I can understand why nonquilters don't "get" what goes into making a quilt and why they often suffer sticker shock when told by a quilter what it costs to create one.  I almost bought a purse that was covered with embroidery.  It was beautiful , well made and only $29.00.  I couldn't do a third that well for twice that amount.  The only reason I didn't get it was because there was a line and I felt too bad to wait. 

Quilting, for me, falls firmly in the therapy category.  Unless you are a recognized artist, you likely can't make a living creating them.  A wonderful quilter on the HGTV message board discussed how bad she felt when a breathtaking quilt she'd created sold for peanuts at a charity auction.  Even for a good cause, your average person won't pay what it costs to create a full sized, intricate quilt - much less throw in extra money because it is beautiful.  They can pick up a cheap knockoff down at the bargain store and no one who wasn't a quilter would know the difference.   Now, they might kill for Grandma's quilt but that is different than paying for one made by a stranger.  That bothers some quilters, but me? Not so much. I'm pretty practical about such things.

The first picture, above, is of Evelyn on my new leather recliner.  They knocked off several hundred dollars for a scratch that none of us could find.  Husband and I brought it home on Friday and Evelyn promptly decided it belonged to her.  She immediately added a scratch we COULD find, but it will rub out.  

It is not like she doesn't have her own furniture.  She has her green chair, brought all the way from Virginia, as well as her love seat in the bedroom that she sleeps on.
She likes furniture.

Pearl has been an absolute love since I've been feeling bad.  She is such a good pup:
I expressed my angst over the blue and white border of the paper pieced challenge quilt in the last post.  Recall how ghastly it looked:

It is not that I don't like that blue and white border - I love that design.  Just not on this quilt.  Twenty minutes with my seam ripper made all the difference in my blood pressure.  Here it is with the blue and white border removed:

{{{{heavy sigh of relief}}}}

The challenge instructions merely call for the fourth round to consist of only two colors.  Here is what I ended up doing (ignore the tulips on the design wall):
My eyes feel much more peaceful, looking at it.

Here is a closeup of the corner - it is very simple:
I decided this was as good a time as any to increase the length since I plan to make this a queen bed size.   I added twelve additional purple inches to the length and four more inches to the width (half on each of the sides).  I've started on round 5, which calls for using rectangular blocks. I plan to use the tulip blocks in this round but have grand plans for them and won't bother to explain at this point. It will be easier when I have pictures
I have quite a bit left to do on round 5 but here it is, to this point:
Closeups of the corners:
I am toying with the idea of a diagonal tulip in the corner but am not sure I have enough of the yellow fabric left.
So far, so good.

Today is Valentine's Day and we woke up to blowing snow.  It didn't last long, the snow disappeared and the wind, blessedly, dried out a lot of the damp.  By the end of the day, the girls weren't even coming back in with muddy feet.  Gotta love Oklahoma.   We exchanged cards and Husband gave me some chocolates which I promptly ate for breakfast.  We also went to dinner at a nice restaurant.  Right now, I am so full I just want to go to sleep.  We have been leaving the girls for short periods of time in the house and, so far, they haven't destroyed anything. 

Last week, I had my hand applique class.  I put all my supplies in the basket I got at the quilt show and they fit:
I love that basket.

It was fun and I learned a lot.  One thing I learned is that I will need a lot of practice to get any good at it!  I plan to set my hand at some of the applique blocks in my Sylvia's Bridal Sampler sew along but have been waiting for my arms to heal up enough that the fabric rubbing on my wrists doesn't make me miserable.

Hope you had a lovely Valentine's Day.

Happy Quilting,

Penny, Evelyn and Pearl


BilboWaggins said...

so glad you are starting to feel better, and the quilt top is looking great. Love what you did with those narrow blue/green & yellow borders taking the yellow into the corners.

katie z said...

Everytime I see your paper piecing, I sigh with envy. It's so beautiful, and I just can't seem to get my brain to work that way!

Linda said...

Love the new look on the quilt. It just "fits" so well now. Glad you're feeling a little better.
Lurking Linda

swooze said...

Hope you are completely well soon.

JessicaSews said...

Oh, I like the editing you did on the quilt top! The top looks fantastic!

You are feeling better! Good!!
When you did the hot water thing, I was remembering every rash my kids got...the Dr. said keep them cool or it'll get worse. Well, I can't say I blame you!
Yes, I was wondering about the poison ivy in the wintertime....how/what/where?!!
I'm just so glad that your system is calming down and you can get on with enjoying your day!

Love the Bird Cam! I just noticed a tiny bird's nest outside my window! I'd go out and take a picture, but the winds are a bit too much right now! The birds are singing! They must know better weather is coming!

Enjoy your Applique class!
~ Jes

Anonymous said...

Whew! I like the new border much better! Was your seam ripper feeling much more bonded with you after the marathon rip?

Sherry B