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Sunday, May 1, 2016

A restful day...

Who knew that one could sleep so much?

The day started off great by having a two hour nap. Good grief - why two hours?   I don't know, but I lay on the couch with my ice pack and a flannel quilt and poof - I was gone.  Got up - did a bit of work, went to the quilt store and the grocery store with my chauffeur, back home and had another nap.   One thing about work - I miss going to visit the quilt stores.  There is no time and well quite frankly - no need to purchase more fabric!!!

I did manage to get a small quilt quilted before it was time for another nap.

Customer quilt - DONE

I have to say that just doing this small quilt, I could already feel a big difference in my leg.  Normally my right leg is tired when working on the long arm and I have to stretch it out.  Not one stretch was required!!!!   And the surgeon said I would have to wait three months to feel the full benefit of what he did.  Oh boy - I can't wait for those three months to be up so I can really feel awesome!!!!

Then back to the couch for another long nap.  This time, I think I got up for dinner and then back to the couchh to watch a movie and then to bed.    I did manage to sneak in 6,000 steps on the FitBit.  Not sure how - oh yes - I did take the dogs for a walk in the morning and before I went to bed to stretch out the knee.  If I don't walk, it seizes up and that is the last thing that needs to happen. I MUST use the knee - those are the surgeon's orders.

So for all of you who think that I wasn't going to take good care of myself, I slept most of the day away, was warm and snuggly.  The only thing - because of the timing of our outing, I didn't get a Tim's tea.  Drat!!!   I need to have a chat with the chauffeur!

I had a pretty good night - I'm not waking up, although my knee is still a bit stiff, but I wouldn't be surprised if most of that is due to the bandaging which comes off today at Noon.   See - I was told 48 hours and that will be 48 hours.  Just in case you think I'm pushing the healing process - I'm following orders.

The big question will be - can I drive the car tomorrow???   I'll have a better idea of that once the bandages come off today.  And then see how the knee bends.  It isn't painful, just stiff and I want to make sure that I have good movement before getting behind the wheel of the car.  See - I really am a sensible person!   And the surgeon said I could drive when I'm up to it and NOT on pain meds which I didn't take any - didn't need to.

Made the backing and loaded it this morning for the next quilt that I hope to have done today.  I have a lot of other stuff that needs to be done - none of it can be put off so it's going to be a busy busy week and I need to be well rested to make everything happen.  No danger there - I feel another nap coming on.

On that note - Have a great day!


Saturday, April 30, 2016

All is well today.....

Another day with hospital procedures.  Everything went smooth - I wore my slippers - they have a hard sole on them so no extra pair of shoes/slippers to worry about.  Got registered, where again, they asked me a million times to verify my name, address and all that.

I did trick the admittance girl because I had left my drug allergy alert bracelet on from the previous day.  She had to zip off to the printer to get the labels and when she came back to put on the bracelet, she said "did I put that on you already?"   I should have had fun with it and said YES.  

Then I went upstairs to the surgery clinic.  Met up with someone that I know.  She is a volunteer at the surgery clinic - I didn't know that!  We didn't really have time to chat - she was marshalling people in to get their gowns on.  And can you believe - when I went to find my housecoat, I realized that I don't have one!  I had two of them which I never wore any more so I had given them both away.  Didn't remember that detail and hadn't missed them until now! Marched off to M's room and there was a fluffy robe for me.  Had a hood and sparkles - I felt like a girlie boxing champ except it was white!  But it worked.

Then I had to wait until it was my turn.  And here's my beef yet again.  Everyone in those chairs (OK - 90% of the people in those chairs regardless of their age had their face buried in a screen.  Three family members with a teenage boy - all with their own phones and all buried in them. A mother and a young daughter (about 7), both of them buried in a screen. And then there is a ridiculous TV blaring the news and no one is listening. Can't wear scents, can't smoke (that's a good thing),  so what about banning unnecessary noise.  I'm there with my magazine and I can't focus for the damn DISTRACTING TV!!!!!

At last my name is called and in I go to another waiting area.  Well be darned if I didn't meet a customer of mine there.  I knew she worked there, but it never even crossed my mind that I would meet her!   We had a little chat and then more waiting. At last saw the anesthesiologist- fastest and easiest way to go - a general.  I think they want them in and out ASAP.  Spinal takes too long to recover.  Shoot - I wanted to hear/see what they say.  Then the surgical nurse comes by.  And they are always asking me the same questions - what drug allergies, what knee is being cut!     Got a big black X on my knee.

Now I had a lot of time to contemplate the world as I was sitting there - thankfully there was no TV in this second waiting room.

So I started to look at what the nurses were wearing on their feet.

A lot of them had a shoe that looked like this.

Product Details
Calzuro shoes

And if you want to know more information about them - check out this link.    Did you know that you can sterilize them in the autoclav, disinfect with bleach or machine wash.  Very practical if you are in surgery.  I wonder how comfy they are?  Maybe I need a pair of orange ones for trade shows.

Lots of people had running shoes which aren't that easy to clearn.   Anyway - in case you are wondering - here's an article I found on the best footwear for sugery.

I'm still waiting for my surgeon to appear when I hear clump, clump, clump coming down the hall.  Hmmmm - must be the janitor?   Nope - that would be MY SURGEON wearing a big tall pair of green rubber boots.   Wait a minute - I'm just have a knee scope.  How messy is this supposed to get????   I swear they looked like this.  They were tall and green!!!!

Green wellies

When at last, I was escorted into the operating room about 11:30 AM, I asked about the boots and he said he couldn't play ninja with them on. They made too much noise.

They asked me again - which knee which I didn't hear  - I was too busy looking around and they laughed when I was confused as they said, they hadn't even given me any drugs yet!

But I passed those two questions, they gave me an IV and then the drugs and next thing I knew, I was waking up on the other side.  It was 12:05.  I know - stupidly observant!   They had put a tube down my throat and it hurt, and I really wanted to go back to sleep.  But I saw Shirley and waved to her and then proceeded to chat to the nurse beside me for 20 minutes about quilting and cycling and they kicked me out to the surgical day-care. I was wide away by this time.

I must say that when I first woke, my knee was killing me.  Couldn't move it, it hurt and oh boy - this is not going to be good.   However 20 minutes later, I got out of the bed on my own and into the recliner chair where I had to wait a bit more.  Then I got dressed on my own and wheeled downstairs and into the car - it was 1:30!   How is that for efficiency?

Let's just say that I won't be driving my car today but I think that is mostly because of the stupid tensor bandage they have on my knee to help prevent swelling. It comes off tomorrow.  I didn't take pain killers - good grief - it's not that bad, but I did take some Advil to help with inflammation.   I'm good today, had a good night. I feel great as a matter of fact which is good because I was planning to work all weekend.

Now before you go off on a tangent - my goal is to work for one hour, put the leg up and ice for an hour and why not nap at the same time.  Then back to work.  I've got two days of that and hope by then to get in the car and drive to work on Monday.  And yes - part of the rehab - cycling!   I might try to go to the gym on Monday for a 5 minute bike ride on a safe stationery bike.  I'll see how things progress over the weekend.

Anyway - life is good.   The torn meniscus was reparied - it only tore on the outside which I guess is a good thing and there is arthritis in the knee as the surgeon predicted from my area of pain.  I did see him after the surguery, but not to chat about the specific results.  I'll see him later this week to get the scoop on that.

Well since I've now been up for a couple of hours, I'd better get that leg up.   And someone better get up to get me a Tim's!

Have a great day!!!!!


Friday, April 29, 2016

Quilt show season is upon us.....

I had the pleasure of having a pre-view of the Oakville Quilter's Guild Show yesterday.

Check out the link above - the show opens this morning (Friday) at 10 AM.

You see I was asked to pick their Best of Show quilt.  Originally I was supposed to do it this morning, but that didn't happen because of "the procedure".   I spent two hours wandering around the show - there are some very beautiful quilts, there are some very creative quilts. They are all sizes, shapes and colors.

It is one thing to appreciate all the quilts, but when given the task of finding the "Best in Show" - that is a very difficult task.  What does best in show mean anyway?  So I looked at the quilts and at first, I didn't read the cards that went with them.  Many members I don't  know, some I do. I didn't want that to influence my decision.

As I had a first look at the show, I wrote down about 10 quilts that really excited me.  And not because they were orange or that they matched my style!  No - I wanted to be completely objective.  I wanted to give that ribbon to a quilt that was deserving, not a quilt that I personally liked, although I hoped that it would be both.

In case you are wondering - here are the questions I asked myself:

  1. How much of the quilt was done by the maker themself?  Did they do the quilting?  If you have someone long arm your quilt (and many times, the long armers are told "do what you want with the quilt") -  that shouldn't get a Best in Show ribbon.  Quilting is very important on a quilt and needs to be chosen carefully.
  2. Did the maker use a pattern or did they create something on their own?  Again - while there is nothing wrong with using a pattern, the more input the owner gave to the creation of a piece, the more meaning that ribbon will have to the maker. 
  3. Workmanship -
    1. is the quilting the same density over all
    2. does the quilt hang straight
    3. are the corners of the binding stitched down
    4. is the binding the same width on the front and the back
    5. is the quilting neat and appropriate
    6. quality of applique stitches (if apropriate)
    7. quality of points and intersections (if appropriate)

After using that criteria, which eliminated my favourite quilt, I was down to two quilts. Both were beautiful, but I had to choose.

At that point, I added a fourth question.  The fabric.  While the workmanship in one quilt was exquisite, one of the fabrics just wasn't up to snuff - it had a totally different "feel"  (not touch, but style) from the rest of the quilt and I chose the other one.

I was there for TWO hours!!!!!

So do you want to see the one I chose???   It shouldn't be an issue - the show opens this morning and people who were there last night saw me place the ribbon on the quilt and they were going to call the owner.

A Song of Fire and Ice

Machine quilting detail

Machine quilting detail

I think the quilt isi very worthy of Best in Show.  I would highly recommend that you go and check it out.  Yes - I know this one had a touch of orange, but that didn't even come into play with the decision, although the orange does give it a bit of pop.

Here's an assignement for you.  Go to the show - take your camera.  There are loads of great quilting and you'll get a lot of ideas.  I did - I took a lot of pictures.  There are great vendors, there is a fabulous member's boutique and there is a raffle quilt.  It's red and white so if you win - I want it to add to my red/white quilt collection.

The red/white raffle quilt

Enjoy the show.  It's well worth a visit.

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!


The procedure....

If you're not into medical stuff - you can skip this post.  Check out the second post of today with some info about quilt shows.

Today's the day!  My little procedure.  It's nothing more than a scope on my knee. But the hassles to get this done. Actually, I can't complain because everything has gone fast and smooth.  It's just the process. Now don't get me wrong - I like processes. They are important and are usually put in place to prevent screw-ups, make people more efficient and all that good stuff.

But you know from the hospital process that somewhere along the way that the wrong patient got the wrong meds or the wrong operation.  Here's is the process.  You go to Patient registration.  They read you all the information in your computer file. Yes - that is all correct.  Then they print out the information onto a bracelet. Is this information correct?  YES.  Then they print labels for the paperwork. Are these correct? YES.

Next upstairs to the pre-op clinic.  The check-in desk asks the same questions. Actually, she asked me if they had asked me down stairs if the information was correct.  By this time, I'm starting to have self doubts.  What if I missed something?  What if I said YES, when in fact, they forgot the "i" in my last name?   I think I did get asked to verify my birthday and then was asked to sit in the waiting area.  My appointment was at 12:30 and I sat down about 12:15 (after doing all the preliminary stuff).  I wasn't going to screw this up after comletely missing the appointment the day before. There were about a dozen other people waiting in the area and can you believe that I was called promptly on the dot of 12:30!!!!!   Another woman stood up when my name was called, but the nurse quickly reassured her that it wasn't her turn!   How that happened - I have no idea.  And did you know that the nurses are NOT allowed to call your complete name?  Nope - just first name.

Then the nurse proceeded to ask me the same questions.  Is this your signature - she asked me that for every signature in the paperwork.  She also asked me what meds/supplements I'm taking. NONE I responded to which she said, I was her new best patient!   I did note that my blood pressure was much higher than it normally is - 123 over 90. For me - that's out of the ball park by a long shot!   Even the doctor mentioned the last time about how low my blood pressure was.  Anyway - we went through all the stuff and then onto the blood work.  I HATE getting the bloodwork done.  I even told them that this was going to be worse than the procedure.  While it wasn't bad - it hurt and my arm hurt the rest of the day. Matter of fact, it still hurts and I'm NOT looking forward to having a stupid IV in my hand.  I HATE HATE HATE that with a passion.

As for anesthesia - I didn't have the pleasure of chatting with the anesthesiologist - that will be this morning. The procedure will take 20 minutes - at 11 AM, but I have to be there for 9 AM.  Anyway - they are recommending a general.  Seriously???  My Dad had his knee replaced with a spinal.  All that banging and hammering - my Dad loved it!   I had a scist taken off my hand years ago and only a local to my entire arm and it was fine.   Seriously - just freeze the damn knee and get this over with.  And here's the stupid part - if you have a general, you have to stay there for two hours after the procedure. If you have a spinal, you have to stay for three hours. They need to make sure you can pee.

Well - I guess we'll see what happens when I get there and don't forget the housecoat and slippers. Seriously, why not just go dressed in a housecoat and slippers - it would make the entire process a whole lot easier.

Speaking of that, when I was out walking the dogs this morning in the forest, I ran into a woman that I used to work with many many years ago in sales.  She lives around the corner from me and we see each other from time to time.  She is usually running.  There I am looking elegant as ever in my pink sewing PJs and a bright orange jacket with rubber boots.  Pretty attractive sight I'm sure!!! What the heck - it's good for a laugh and seriously?  I couldn't care less.   Nancy is running in the marathon this weekend - her first.  I was supposed to be volunteering as I've done for a number of years, but I've got a good excuse to get out of it.  It's a lot of hard work and they need more men schlepping tables around.  They wait until the last minute to find volunteers and there are never enough.  Plus getting volunteers for anything is getting harder and harder these days. And the weather is supposed to be crappy.   Thank god for the medical system!

On that note - I - oh shoot - I can't even have breakfast and I'm thirsty and I'm hungry.  They might want to use that general - just to keep me quiet.  I'm taking a book because if they expect me to stay in bed for three hours after the spinal (if that's what I have) and have nothing to do - I'll die of boredom!!!

Make sure you check out my other post this morning about quilt shows!!!!

Have a great day!!!!!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

What can I say..............

Remember how I got on the highway when I was supposed to be going to the gym?  Well, it gets better.  I got home last night and around 8 PM, the phone rang. I didn't make it to the phone, but there were some VM, so I decided to check.  AH - that would be the hospital telling me that I'm late for my 8 AM appointment (they called at 9:30 AM) and then another call from the surgeon's office to tell me they have rescheduled that pre-op to 12:15 today.  If I don't go - no surgery.  DUH!!!   How could I forget something like this???  Well - I took the phone call for the appointment two weeks ago. Wrote it in my book, but did NOT write it in my calendar.  Since I didn't do that, I didn't internalize this.  For some reason, I was still waiting for them to call me.   I'm such an idiot.  So that messes up my day today. And why were they calling my home phone????   I MUST do call forward on that home phone. 

My plan was to get to work early and I left the house at 7:11 AM.  But it took over one hour to get to work - why???   There are no accidents - just stupid drivers.  And my one beef is the number of cars with ONE driver that take the HOV lanes.  This morning, there were two cars pulled over by the OPP.  They were very close to each other and it was surprising how many other single drivers decided to drive in that lane since the cops were already tied up!   People are just arrogant!   They need to police this with cameras and their VISA should be charged ON THE SPOT!   

OK - I'm done with my rant!

Getting stuck in traffic isn't the most exciting thing in the world, but you do get lots of thinking time. Like dreaming of what you would do if you won the lottery since the next jack-pot for one of them is $34 Million.  But I like my job and so - would I quit?  Hmm - that would be a tough question. 

Despite the fact that I put my FitBit on at 7:00 PM last night, I still managed to get 2,300 steps in before I hit the bed at 10 PM.  Whew - no wonder I'm tired these days!

I managed to get the customer quilt done - it was a huge T-shirt quilt.  But not just an ordinary T-shirt quilt.  No - there was a 3-D logo on it that I had to work around. 

3-D logo to work around on T-shirt quilt
So I made a series of squiggles on my pattern.............

Squiggles on my pattern
I know - that looks insane, but I was able to decipher that and then stitch it out (without looking at the quilt - just followed the pattern) and then it was done!

Stitched around the 3-D logo

Customer quilt - DONE
But not before I had a mild panic attack about the thread.  I grabbed a darker grey neutral for the thread.  I finished the first spool - had to hunt for the second and this is how much was left as I started the last row on the quilt.

Is there enough thread to finish?

Just  enough!

Phew - that big quilt came off and I have one more smallish customer quilt that needs to be done and then it's going to be heads down on stuff for Spring Quilt Market.  I have three of them sitting by the machine waiting for me to get started.  Let's just say that it's going to be a busy weekend.  So much for cycling, but it's supposed to rain this weekend?  Did I hear that or did my brain hear what it wanted to hear?

On that note - I'm now trying to cram an entire day's worth of work into two hours.

OH - and have a look at the new collections that are up on Northcott's web page - in particular this one for Canadian Sesquicentennial.   And also this page with the fabrics.   It is going to be loads of fun!!!!!

Have a great day!


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Quilting Designs

It's been a silly morning so far. I got up a few minutes early, decided to get myself to the gym for spin class on time and things were looking up. Until I took the entrance ramp onto the highway instead of keeping straight on the road.  Oh yeah!   Fortunately, the next exit isn't that far away and while I was late for class, it was only by five minutes.

I arrive in the locker room and well - this is so silly, it's pathetic.  But Claire was there and she usually takes the locker beneath me, but we never arrive at the same time.  So I took a different locker - no big deal, but I like routine!  It all worked out - no worries, but I laughed after I had "got lost" on the way to the gym.

Then I'm sitting on the bike, sweating my little heart out and realized that I don't have my FitBit on. Good grief - I remember that it was loose last night and I was so tired, I couldn't even snap it back on properly so it fell off in bed.  A quick text home and yep - there is the FitBit in bed!  How will I know how many steps I take today?  Yesterday was another monumental day for me - over 14,000 and YES - I was in the office all day.

Make good progress on the giant quilt on the long arm which is a good thing because some of the stuff for Spring Quilt Market arrived and well - it's going to be fun and games for the next three weeks to get everything done.  I'm not sure that I even want to look at the schedule - I'm just going to do what I can, hire out what we can't get done and that's just the way it's going to be.  There isn't going to be any panicking because that does nothing.

I know I've been remiss in getting photos on the blog - it takes a wee bit of time to edit them and well - time is a pretty precious commodity these days.

Here are a couple more pictures from QuiltCon.  I took these because of the quilting - notice how simple the quilting is.  We all need to get over the fact that everything needs to be super duper quilted.

Straight lines 
While the lines, in fact, are curvy, they are done one line at a time - that is simple to do. And everyone tells me they can't quilt a straight line?  Well, this quilt looks awesome with those NON-straight lines.

The quilting in this picture is a bit more involved, but again, no marking - the seam lines are the marks and it looks awesome.

More continuous lines of quilting
This next one is very heavily quilted - I would say if you are a beginner - this is NOT for you!  But I love the modern feel to the double wedding ring.

Modern double wedding ring
And this gorgeous quilt which I want to make (and it will happen sooner rather than later)  is quilted with STRAIGHT lines.

Lion by Violet Craft
By the way - I love everything that Violet Craft does.  Shoot - just remembered that I did not look for the elephant pattern when I was in Paducah.  Oh well - next show!

Lately, the traffic has been stupid.  Major slow downs and there is NO apparent reason.  It drives me nuts and it has taken me one hour each morning this week to get to work.  Can't wait until the next location of LifeTime Athletic opens up.  It is about 5 minutes away from work.  I can zip there early in the morning, NO traffic.  Do my workout and then get to work early.  Then hopefully I can zip home a bit early so that I can get something done at night!

On that note - I've got a crazy day and a TO DO list that doesn't seem to get shorter despite the fact that I actually get things accomplished in a day.

Have an awesome day!!!!!


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Too much stuff

Sorry, I didn't get to the blog yesterday. So much to catch up on at the office, there literally wasn't time to do any extraneous things like writing a blog.

My FitBit buzzed at 10,000 steps sometime right after work - oh yes - when I was on my way to the library.  Had to get home, walk the dogs and then load a quilt on the long arm. By the time I went to bed, my legs were aching. Wow - over 16,000 steps in one day.  Haven't done that in a long time and after standing for so many days, my legs were going - WHOA! STOP!

I also spent some time tidying up the studio.  It was a mess. I'll edit the pictures tonight so you can see exactly what I mean.  I needed to get some batting prepped for the quilt I loaded and literally the cutting table and the ironing board were FULL! And so was the floor.  It looks much better now, but I know why they say to get rid of stuff.  It takes a LOT of time to maintain  your stuff and if you have too much or not enough space to store it - it can take over your life.

And then let's not forget about the massive thunderstorm last night with major thunder and lightning. So bad that my girls were up and a bit distraught.  So then I was up and once the storm passed, my brain was going a hundred miles a minute and I couldn't get back to sleep.

What does one do when you can't get back to sleep?  You get up and work - that's what!  I'm working  on the Riley Blake (SHHHHHH!!!!) challenge for the Modern Quilt Guild.   Yes at 3 AM, I'm slicing and dicing fabric and having a blast.  By the way - I'm not a traitor - it's a good thing to work with competitor's fabric.  It makes you more knowledgeable.   Trust me - I check out the competition all the time.

It was fun to get back to our walks through the forest.  Spring is actually on the way despite the temperature.  There is GREEN stuff in the forest! And I see buds on the trilliums.

OK - that's it for today.  My TO DO list is long and I've got to get started.

Have an awesome day!!!!!