What I have been doing since . . .

If you’ve noticed an absence in my posts, say since mid-summer, I really do have a valid excuse. I had hand surgery, much more complicated than expected and have been recovering. I had a cast on my arm for the first four weeks followed by a removable one for much longer than I wanted. Since 2008, I had been experiencing pain and was diagnosed with arthrits in my right hand (thumb), my sewing/cutting/writing/typing hand. I put up with the pain and the clicking and everything else, cortisone shots included until surgery seemed to be the best option, basically a joint replacement and reconstruction using a tendon. Enough said about that. Little did I know that the recovery would be so long. Six weeks after surgery I started physical therapy and am happy to say that I finally “graduated” last week! And today, I saw the doctor. Though not pain free or at 100% mobility, I am able to do about 80-85% of things I could not do when the cast was removed. This is progress!

my second cast, black to coordinate with the dress I wore to a wedding!

There has been pretty much NO sewing (or typing for that matter, thus no blog posts) at all in my life, since pre-surgery (May) but I am happy to report that I am now able to do some limited rotary cutting and hand sewing, also pressing with a travel iron. This couldn’t happen at a more opportune time, as the annual No Frills Quilt Retreat, at The Abbey in Lake Geneva happens to start on Friday (more on that later).

One of the my first post-surgical sewing projects was my daughter’s Halloween costume, “Ursula”, the sea witch from the Little Mermaid, re-cycled from a French maid costume she wore a few years ago. I thought I would be able to sew the tulle on by machine without a problem but ended up hand sewing it. This was my first hand sewing with the new joint, a good first as the needle went through the tulle and polyester easily. Next up, trying to get back to that wool applique. I’ll keep you posted.

Halloween 2012

During the sewing hiatus however, I did attend the Madison Quilt Show in September with my Breakfast Club buddies. We had a nice road trip that included stops at Patched Works in Elm Grove Wisconsin and Primitive Gatherings in Manasha. Any trip involving this group is always a fun time and the shop owners were happy to see us coming. Our 2013 BC project just happens to be Lisa Bongean’s (Primitive Gatherings) Home for the Holidays Block of the Month so we were all set to buy the coordinating fabrics and wool and WE DID. We all enjoyed the quilt show, more purchases and then back to Illinois. Now to start on all those projects!

Patched Works

Primitive Gatherings

One week later, I traveled to Minnesota with friends, Ginny and Deb, to Junk Bonanza (see last years post), one of our favorite junking adventures during the year. We couldn’t make this trip without stopping at a few quilt shops, Rosebud’s Cottage in White Bear Lake and Eagle Creek Quilt Shop in Shakopee. Eagle Creek is a converted old train depot, beautifully landscaped on the outside with old architecture and antiques inside complementing the quilts and fabric.

Eagle Creek Quilt Shop, Shakopee MN

A little more about the No Frills Quilt Retreat this weekend . . . there are 48 ladies attending, a record for this event. Here is a little preview of our weekend. As a UFO (UnFinished Objects) retreat, everyone brings many projects, some are “must finish” for the holidays while others might be projects that have been on the list to complete SOMEDAY. Sewing begins on Friday morning and continues non-stop. On Friday afternoon, many take a break to visit The Stitchery in Delavan where they  have welcomed us for many years to have a Wine and Cheese Event to accompany the shopping. The Stitchery always offers great kits, especially for the holidays. We will also welcome Therese from That Quilt Shop (who also is an attendee) who brings merchandise from her shop directly to the sewing room – how convenient! On Saturday, our friend Megan will bring bags from Thirty-One for more holiday shopping. Sewing usually continues to the wee hours and finally on Sunday morning, we have show-and-tell before everyone starts to pack up for home. So now, back to the retreat prep, pack the projects and get ready for a fun weekend!

Fall Retreat 2011

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