Thursday, April 29, 2010

I'm baaaaaack...................

Hello all, I've been gone longer than usual. I have a "frozen" shoulder. That's what they call it, and it's exactly what it sounds like. I have lost a huge amount of mobility in my left arm. No easy fix, either, my first time in physical therapy, but, you know what? When you wake up one morning and can't shampoo, or blow dry your hair, and the next morning you have trouble pulling up your's time to do something. So I will probably moan, and groan, and bore anyone who will listen (or read) silly, but I WILL do the exercises. I will, I will, I will.

A moment to recommend a wonderful book for anyone who enjoys epic adventure tales. Into The Wilderness, by Sara Donati, is the first in a series of novels, taking place in the 1790's American frontier. It is full of wonderful characters, both Native American, and all the people who came from Europe to "settle" America. Reminded me just a bit of The Last of the Mohicans. I have ordered the second book, and can't wait for it to arrive.

Kathy has started a sew along for a very cute Christmas quilt designed by Melinda Bula. The book is Candy Cane Lane, and she is showing tutorials on various steps of the process. I have joined the party, and would invite any of you who would like to participate, to check it out. There is a separate blog for it, and if you sign up you will be able to post your progress, chat with the others involved, and be eligible for prizes that Kathy is offering.  I have decided to do my version on black and white polka dotted background. That is a new idea for me, and I look forward to seeing what challenges it will present me. Mine probably won't end up like the pattern, but I'll try to do at least some of the blocks as shown. You might also like to go here and see an adorable free Santa pattern. I think he is definitely showing up in my Candy Cane Lane quilt.

I've been working on block #7 of the Les Fleurs top for the last ten days. It is almost ready for it's picture to be taken, but not quite. I must finish the blue bird first. So for pictures, I am going to show my last finished quilt. I haven't seen Texas Hay Rake since last October, when it was shown at the International Quilt Festival in Houston. It (not me) was invited to tour with the show to Los Angeles, and Chicago, and also to Golden, to QNM for photographing. I hope it is behaving itself, and will eventually return home no worse for wear. It is the first quilt that I designed all the quilting for myself, deliberately working to maximize the negative space for a more complex design. It is hand appliqued, hand quilted, and is based on an antique quilt presently owned by the Quilt Study Museum  in Lincoln, Nebraska. The original was made by an unknown quilter, and I just loved the movement in the design. It was a challenge, and very rewarding to make, and I was thrilled to win a third place in my catagory of Merit Hand Quilting.

Firstly, for you city girls, here is a picture of the farm machinery that caused me to name the quilt Texas Hay Rake:

Here is the finished quilt, followed by a close up of the quilting:

I had no knowledge of what the "best" way to mark my design onto the cheddar background, and for those who might be curious, this was how I ended up doing the scrolls. I used freezer paper, ironed it on the top, and marked around the paper. It worked quite well, and I ended up very pleased with the resulting pattern. The grid is 1/2 inch in the background, and inside the scrollwork, it is 1/4".

I hope I haven't put anyone to sleep, but I've gone on way longer than I expected to. I have missed talking to you, you see. My shoulder is aching from this mornings manipulations, and I'm burning daylight, so bye for now, and happy stitching.  Hope to talk with you soon.


  1. Beautiful quilt - Wow, who could beat that?!
    Keep up the faith with quilting with pain; don't let it stop you! You're a heck of a quilter!

  2. Hope your shoulder will be okay soon! I know what exercises can do, last year I fought my back trouble successfully. Best wishes!

  3. Wow Michele, that's one super stunning quilt, and congrats on it doing a tour.

  4. Is there no end to your beautiful creations? And a famous quilt on tour! Wow! Hope your shoulder feels better soon.

  5. Wow Michele, that is an impressive quilt. Congrats girl, what an honor for you.

    I was going to start my Cherry tree quilt and remembered that when my computer crashed and burned, so did my saves. My son said he may be able to help find them, the blocks, since he removed the mother board. NO, I have no idea what he's talking about. I just like to throw it around to sound like I do!

    I hope your shoulder feels better soon, take care, Elaine

  6. Certainly didnt put me to sleep Michelle...Interested how you put your designs on. Is the white the pattern round the circles...I guess so. The quilting looks great. Hope your shoulder feel better soon

  7. That is one beautiful quilt! Really like the colors, the design and the quilting too, basically everything. Maybe, and I mean maybe, one day I'll attempt something like that.

  8. Your quilt is stunning and what an honour for it to be travelling around in a quilt exhibition. Good on Ya!

    Sorry to hear about your shoulder. I have heard a few people suffering from this lately, I hope its not a repetative strain type thing from sewing and blogging?? Keep up the excercises, I know with my back, the exercises caused more pain in the beginning but in the end it was the only thing that fixed it.

  9. sorry about your shoulder Michelle - and thanks for the link to Santa. He's been snagged and I left her a comment that i'd come via you

  10. So happy to have found you via Mayleen! I'm sorry about your shoulder. My husband had to have rotator cuff surgery a few years ago and I can tell you the physical therapy was KEY. He had to get in a boat to go to town,then drive 45 min. ea.way, every day for two weeks, then it tapered... but he did it and it is 100% now! SO, hang in there. Your quilt is beautiful! I have begun collecting cheddars here and there, with dreams of a quilt some day. However, this is STUNNING! I am new to blogging since Feb. and I have to say I don't know how to do what Mayleen explained to you so well in deatil, (even after her wonderful directions!) so will have to work on this. :)

  11. wow! It really does look like a Texas hay rake!

    You are amazing!


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