Tuesday, January 31, 2012

busy, busy, busy . . .

I'll be right upfront about this ... it's going to be a long post with lots of pictures.  I've been so inspired and so (sew) BUSY!! 

But first things first, I wanted to share about my doctor's visit yesterday morning. Thank you for all your kinds wishes yesterday -- it went well.  After looking at the x-rays, the doc said that the bone growth was progressing nicely and the new growth was encompassing the donor bone.  I mentioned to him that I had some discomfort when walking on the heel.
He looked at the x-rays again and noted that the screws do jut a little ... and he brought up last visit's x-rays to see if they were in the same place.  They were, which is good; it means that the screws haven't moved from being walked on ... they just stick out a little far.  If the discomfort continues, he might go in later on (4-6 months) and remove them.  Nice!

He will see me back in two months.  During that time I'm to progress to boot-free, full weight bearing walking, starting with an hour a day (which I'm doing right now -- LOL!), and to let pain be my guide as to how much or little I do.  And to continue the ultra-sound treatments.  So, good appointment.  As an aside, when I asked him about his weekend, he told me it was a good one:  he'd been fly fishing in Utah on Sunday and snow boarding on Saturday, and jetting about on Friday.  Heh.  Glad I could help.  Hahaha!!

From there we went to one of my all-time favorite places for breakfast . . . 
Cracker Barrel!

Yesterday was busy, full of meetings and errands.  I did find an unlikely smile popping up . . .
Everything here thinks it's SPRING!  I'm afraid they're all in for a rude awakening. Perhaps not, but I don't think winter has given up the ghost yet!

Okay, on to quilty things.  First up, NewFO projects!  I started and finished the quilt for Ellie:
I started the HQH 25th Anniversary BOM:
I was going to do a mock-up of the tiled pinwheel block I'd first drawn and then put into EQ:
But when I printed it out, it looks so complicated, I need to go back and see if paper piecing it might be easier.  I did simplify it by making it just three colors instead of the original five ... that will cut down a little on the bits and pieces, at least for a mock-up block.

And I was *completely* inspired by a piece of art work done by the daughter (Heather) of one of my dear friends (Reda):
When I asked Heather if I could use her painting as a basis for a quilted wall hanging, she said no problem, she'd been inspired by something else!  Okay then!
Looking at our flatscreen, I decided I not only wanted it that size, but that it would be the perfect cover for the TV when it was not in use (which is more often than not) and it would give me a terrific place to hang it.
  
Then I printed out the Scripture (which I'll eventually use to trace onto my fabric to be embroidered) on blank paper and taped it together so I could sketch it out.  Mind you, my drawing abilities aren't top notch, but I think it gets the general idea across.

Then I spent some time trying to figure out how to translate this onto fabric.  Applique?  Fusing?  Oh wait ... what about faux applique?  That's something I've wanted to try, too!  So I got out a little piece of scrap fabric and my colored pencils and went to work . . .

Here's what it looked like after putting on the textile medium to set it.  I didn't have a brush and it would definitely need to be spread more delicately, but I think I like the look of this.  I would stitch the verses on my four back ground fabric quarters (the green, blue, pink and grey) and then stitch the quarter panels together, and then draw the tree and leaves.  I'll probably need to buy more colored pencils -- you have to press really hard to get the color!

I'm linking up HERE at Cat Patches for the NewFO's.  There's been some really gorgeous new and interesting work going on that worth checking out!

And then I'm happy to report that I *did* work on the Free Motion Quilting challenge.  Yay!!  After lots and lots and LOTS (and lots and lots) of drawing out the leaves on paper . . . 
I finally bit the proverbial bullet and put needle to fabric sandwich.  I think this was a tough design to start with, and it went against what I'd been previously taught in FMQ (that the space you are going to stitch in should always be in front of your needle), so I had some overcoming to do.
One thing I always struggle with is ... nope, I drop my feed dogs (in fact, I need to remember to pop them back up) ... I always, without fail, forget to lower the pressure foot!  It cracks me up and it always takes me a minute or two to figure out what's wrong!
I did find Leah Day's suggestion for using a self-threading needle to immediately bury your thread endings incredibly helpful, and I also was encouraged to see Frances Moore, in the tutorial video, stop and start ... in my mind I've always thought that FMQ equaled continuous, non-stop motion.  Duh -- it's so much easier when you can stop and reposition your fabric!
 I also found that the gloves really, really made a positive difference.  My level sewing space if very small, so I definitely need to have a good handle (haha--pun intended!) on my material as I work with it.
It's not great, but it's much better and I do feel a little more confident in my abilities.  I should really spend 15 minutes a day practicing FMQ ... practice makes perfect, after all!  For the FMQ challenge I'm linking up over HERE at SewCalGal's blog for the January entry.  Right now there are over 250 quilters who have participated!!

Okay, that should do it for me for today.  I'm headed out to do a little [silver] fabric shopping (and I want to get one of those self-threading needles) and then I'm going to spend some quality time with my darling Ellie (and her mommy) and then tonight it's off to a Stitcher's Group sewing circle!  A pretty darn good day laid out, if you ask me!

:)

27 left a comment . . .:

c. Joy said...

First off - I continue to pray for your complete healing. Second - WHAT A CLEVER IDEA! Yes, I'm going to work on a 'tv cover.' Face it, even when it's not on I notice everyone looks in its direction. This way I know everyone will take a look at whichever quilt/wallhanging/tv cover I've got on display. (right, now a vain bone in my body) Have a great week.

c. Joy said...

Opps! should have been "NOT a vain bone in my body" - oh well, at least it's spelled correctly.

Jean said...

I'm so glad you had a good report. A self-threading needle? Never heard of such. Wow... the things you learn from others.

I'm convinced that winter is just "late" this year. but I've been wrong before.

Sand and Sunshine said...

Goodness what a busy month. A tv cover, never thought of that...

Lee D said...

Your MQ looks great. You're right practice and gloves make all the difference. Glad your foot is healing nicely. Your tree wall hanging is going to be wonderful.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Glad your healing is progressing so nicely. A gel sole insert might help with the jutting screws. I use the single heel insert and it is super. Love the new tree piece you are working on - should be fun. And you have quite a handle on your FMQ.

Paula said...

So good to read that your foot is healing and I pray that you will get a full recovery. Those screws have me hurting! Ouch!
Clever idea for a tv cover. Can't wait to see it.
FMQ looks awesome. I only brought my featherweight along on this trip. Wish I would have brought my Janome so I could join in. You are doing a geat job.
Enjoy your day with Ellie.
Hugs

Cathy said...

I love the idea for the TV cover, and the fact that you are going to try it with the Faux applique. And your FMQ looks great. The hardest part is getting the stitch length the same, and you look like you've done that. Have a good day, sweet friend.

Mary said...

I thought I'd make window coverings for my Upstairs windows in the Bedrooms, but that would mean two matching quilts and I'm too A.D.D. to do that. I keep starting NEWFO's too. Your leaves look good!

Barbara said...

Your projects are beautiful and Ellie's quilt is precious. I'm so glad you joined in!

Rachel's Quilts said...

You are busy, busy, busy. Your FMQ looks great. I love the leaves and the tree of seasons. I've always wanted to make something similar.

Barbara F. said...

I love the way you broke down all the steps for your new project. I never realized you had to draw it before you could sew it. Enjoy every minute of your day, especially with Joc and Ellie, and I am so glad your foot is progressing very nicely. xo

Editfolt said...

I am glad that your foot is fine. Ellie is a wonderful quilt .. I like the tree. FMQ challenge: more exercise, Denise! :)

Dirt Road Quilter said...

Continued daily prayers for your healing and I'm excited that your appointment went so well! Heather's painting is absolutely amazing and I'm eagerly looking forward to each step as you work on this. The added scripture just makes it perfect! Wonder if I can sneak under the wire and get to that FMQ tutorial. Yours looks awfully good...well done!

Mrs. Settles said...

I just found you at Ruby for Women. What a lovely blog you have! I'll have to search earlier posts to see how you hurt your foot-I'm glad you are healing, but boy those screws LOOK painful! Yikes! :)
It's nice to "meet" you. If you want to follow back, I'd love it.
I have a new blog with almost no followers yet :/...www.lovinggodwithspiritmindandbody@blogspot.com

Many blessings,
Marcia

Mrs.Pickles said...

lovely work this month!

Pat said...

I had intended to do that free motion quilt challenge, but.....never did start it. I am doing another one, though....lessons...online but not a challenge. I can do this one at my own pace. I hope I can do even half as well as you are doing! Good news on the foot!!! YAY!!!

Lee said...

Certainly a newsy post! Nice to hear your foot and activity-ability is progressing. Daffodils, always a favorite of mine, we don't see them here as in the abundance as in my home state. I remember as a child sticking them into a glass of water with red or blue foodcolor to see them change color! Ellie's quilt is so sweet :) Love the colors in your HQH block! I took an FMQ class a couple years ago. I remember it was easier than I'd thought it would be, and yes to put the pressure foot to the lower position (not all the way down), a kind lady loaned me a single glove for that day which helped as I'd not thought to take my quilting extension table, and she had said something about xx amount of time for xx number of days...in a row... about practicing. I may have to find my notes when I get to that point. You are keeping yourself quite busy!

Sarah said...

sew many nice projects I don't know what to comment on. I never even started my FMQ sample...I better bump it to project #1 for the weekend! Can't wait to see your tree project progress.

Kathy T. said...

Your quilt for Ellie is just darling - wonderful hearts. Hope you continue to heal well.

Quilter Kathy said...

Excellent job! I LOVE my quilting gloves and feel like I can't quilt without them now!

Kris said...

Denise - Great post!! Glad to "see" your foot is improving and that would be nice to get those screws out in a few months!! I can hardly believe you already have Daffodils coming up!! That is so cool!! You have been a busy girl!! I think your TV cover is going to be wonderful and you will be able to do the quilting yourself!!! Do you leave (or should that be leaf) the paper on when you do the quilting?? Kinda like paper-piecing?? I really want to learn to machine quilt - it would save lots of money too!! Happy to see you had such a pleasant day!! Kris

Kate said...

Congrats on the doctor's visit. That has to make you feel good. Wow, you've done a bunch this month! All beautiful projects. I really like your approach to your "tree" project. Very nice. Looking forward to see how that one works out.

Agnes B Bullock said...

I am doing the FMQ challenge too and am ALWAYS forgetting to lower the presser foot! (Never heard of FMQ until late last year so I have all sorts of issues- LOL!) Have to get the needles Leah Day recommended- am still cutting the thread ends off. Biggest mistake- crossing over the pattern when I box myself in!

Kathy T. said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know that I was a "no reply" blogger - I had no idea. I think I've fixed it. I'm learning more about blogging every day thanks to kind quilters like you!

Connie said...

Careful walking too much on your foot, I'm glad to hear things are going well with it! Your leaves look great!!

Love Bears All Things said...

Catching up with you.......Oh, wait, the sun just came out, hooray!
I need to practice the FMQ also...I've not done any since the class I took on it...scary stuff...
Mama Bear