Thursday, June 20, 2019

Normal Service Resumed?

I've been doing so well with my shoulder/nerve issue that I decided to take a chance and see if sitting at the machine to do some easy sewing without causing things to flare up was a possibility. Just like friend Sherrie had unwittingly guilted me into a hike, friend Mary unwittingly was guilting me into getting back to my sewing with the project I watched unfold on her blog. And with the baby for whom this quilt is being made due to show up on my doorstep in less than 2 weeks, I have even more incentive to see if machine quilting is something I can get back to.

The last time you saw this quilt was over a year ago. In this mid-February 2018 post, I was layering things up and pin basting it in preparation for machine quilting. But I also had my usual exhibit deadlines and tax preparation deadlines looming, so folded it up and put it aside. Just as I was ready to dive in to the quilting at the end of July, the nerve issue sidelined me for longer than I ever believed possible. As I sat at the machine now, I felt I needed to reintroduce myself it had been so long and crossed my fingers that when I turned it on, it would be so happy to be in use again that it would not act up as machines sometimes can from disuse. I admit, there was fumbling around as I changed settings and attached the walking foot, but soon I was off and running. My first positioning of my arms did tweak the spot by my shoulder blade that has been stubborn about totally going away but I figured out how to change that so the next session was trouble free. All the stitch in the ditch (plus a few curved lines running top to bottom) is done and next I will see how free motion quilting feels. I want to add some bubbles and fish and the baby's name in some areas - how much I add depends on that shoulder. But this is pretty good news!

In the meantime, more interesting clouds have been in our skies. I walked out of a store to see three nearly identical large "s" shaped clouds side by side looking all in the world to me as if they were dancing. I didn't have my camera with me so rushed home and hoped they hadn't moved too far by the time I could get a shot. Well, they had moved but still maintained some of the curvy shape that I'm not sure I've seen before. I laugh at myself because I often see tree shapes that I interpret as dancing, and now clouds have joined them in my vivid imagination.

Speaking of imagination, do you remember the sidewalk cracks exercise from the Sketchbook Revival class I took last month? None of the sidewalks I walk on have the same interesting multitude of cracks as the teacher's example, but I'd recently noticed that the driveway across from mine was really in bad shape, just full of cracks. So as long as I had camera in hand and no one was home (or at least, parked in the driveway), I took several shots at different angles so I would have something new to work with. I did find it a fun exercise that played into the way I often look at the world around me, seeing things that are the product of long stares and a willingness to get a little silly. I suppose not unlike lying on your back on a summer's day, watching clouds drift by and seeing horses and dragons in their shapes. It's summer (officially starting tomorrow) so go exercise your imagination!


Chris said...

Good to see you quilting again. Just be careful and take lots of breaks. The clouds look like cirrus clouds.

The Inside Stori said...

So good to see you back in the swing of things again…….just remember to pace yourself….allowing your body to have a little rest time between sewing sessions. It’s nice to hear my blog provided some incentive!

Anonymous said...

Echoing what the others have said...take it slow & easy to be sure you don't over-do at the machine. Please tell me summer started today--it was in the mid-50's with plenty of wind here all day long! Jan in WY

The Idaho Beauty said...

Oh, don't you all worry - I am definitely taking it slow and easy and inserting DAYS between sessions! When actually at the machine and more likely to get in the zone and keep going too long, I've discovered that some podcasts I've saved and can't seem to find the time to listen to are the perfect length to make me stop when I should and take a break as I get up to queue up the next one. Even more important are the short stretching exercises that I then do while up, ones I learned from my PT. Slow and steady as they say!

Jan, I need similar reassurance about the arrival of summer. We had similar weather here plus rain. I couldn't believe I was bundling up in a sweater and coat when I went out. BRRRRRR!