QUILT INFO

The quilt in the header is made from a Cheri Payne pattern called "Tis' Spring".

Monday, December 21, 2009

REPORTING IN

Reporting in. I am doing well on my road to recovery. This knee replacement has certainly been an easier recovery thus far than the first one. I am glad that I was able to stall the right knee replacement off for the three years since the first. There has been advancement in the procedure which has made for much less pain. Also, by not waiting until I was limping, the muscles in the leg were much stronger than when I had the first one done. I think the gel injections helped stall off the need for surgery, so I am glad to have tolerated two rounds of those.

I am still under home care by a nurse and a physical therapist. Physical therapy is never fun but at least I am progressing well. I no longer have to use the walker as of today. And I can use either a cane or just walking normal (as normal as I can right now) as I did well today without a cane. Hurray!

I have not been able to do any stitching but have been thinking about quilt & stitchery projects. Does that count? I have a picture to share of a project I started in early December. It is a table runner project from a Joined at the Hip book called "The Potting Shed". The pattern is called "Flower Basket". This is how far I got on making the runner. I still have more squares to applique down. I chose to hand applique the squares instead of fusing. And there is another basket to add. Then there will be stems embroidered with buttons for flowers. Sort of like a little bouquet of flowers in the baskets.
Carol from Brown Quilts dropped off a package on my porch this past weekend which contained this wonderful "Joy" pillow. It is cute as can be! I have it sitting on the chair beside my bed because that is where I am having to spend so much time right now. That way I can enjoy it through the holiday season.
I received a card, fat quarters, and a "housewife" from Sandie at Crazy 'bout Quilts. The Civil War prints are so right for me. I just sent Sandie a thank you. It certainly did cheer me up receiving the surprise package. The needle case will make a very good addition to my collection of pin cushions and needle cases. Not that I have a gigantic collection. Just a few. I really appreciate what you did, Sandie!

I read three or four blog posts over the weekend but cannot spend much time sitting at the computer yet. I will have lots of reading to look forward to. I thank you for all the cheery messages left for me. I have not been able to reply to all the comments and I know you all understand why. I will soon be back in the loop and raring to go!



Have a wonderful holiday season and come back to visit me soon!

Karen

Sunday, December 13, 2009

HOME FROM THE HOSPITAL

I came home from the hospital on Friday and am doing well. This knee replacement surgery has certainly been easier than the first one. I have been told that the "feel good stuff" will be wearing off and the aching in the knee and leg will set in but that this is normal. I have lots of physical therapy to go through to get the bend in the knee but at least I can get around the house a bit with the use of the walker. I am unable to do anything but work on a crossword puzzle. No stitching because I should not sit in that position very long. And my time at the computer is to be very limited. So, I am just reporting in and will cut this short.

Thank you for all the well wishes. I won't be able to read your blog posts for a while but I will be there in spirit cheering you on over the holiday season.

Karen

Monday, December 7, 2009

THE BIG "S"

The Big "S" is tomorrow. I am having knee replacement surgery. I had my left knee done three years ago. At that time, I was desperate. The knee was so bad that I was on crutches the last couple weeks before surgery. This time I have decided to have the right knee done before it gets to that point. I hope that it makes recuperating go easier and faster. I was going to have the surgery in January but for insurance purposes, doing it this year is a better option. The surgeon is using some new pain relief procedures that he has been having good luck with. He said that he thinks I will be pleasantly surprised at the reduced pain this time and that I should recuperate faster. That remains to be seen. I was off work three months with the first knee. This time I am retired so I don't have work to think about going back to. I spent two weeks at a rehab center having physical therapy with the first surgery. More than likely I will be coming home this time.

I have run out of time to do any more preparations for Christmas. The shopping is done but no baking. I will miss the nut roll I make every year but I can make some later on. I have most of the Christmas quilts out on display. I bought a set of three of those skinny prim style looking trees and that will be about the extent of decorating.

I will not be able to quilt my new Christmas quilt or make any more gifts for friends. But there is always next year.

I am showing pictures of four quilts that are on display. If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you have seen them before.
The prim style manger scene was completed last year. The pattern name is "Nativity" and is from the Red Wagon book called "Christmas or Not".
There are two quilts on the ladder rack that I like to display at Christmas time though they could easily be out any time. The lower one uses a block called "Prairie Queen". The angels are fussy cut from a Brannock & Patek fabric. I made it several years ago. The top quilt is called "Lone Cabin" and you can see the full quilt & read about it here. The pattern is by Gerry Kimmel from a Red Wagon book.
The wide angel quilt with the partridges on a vine is also from a Red Wagon design. This one would be hard to hang on a wall but does well on the back of the sofa.

I was looking back at posts from last December and it reminds me of a couple more quilts that I should put out. Think I will do that in a few minutes.

I don't know when I will be able to post again. When I had the first knee surgery, I could not sit without pain for a few weeks. My leg was like one gigantic pulled muscle. Sitting made the pain worse. I am so hoping that doesn't happen this time. If I can sit long enough to compose a post, I will be back next week. If not, you know I will do it when I can.

Have a wonderful holiday season!

Karen

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

STENCILED TABLE RUNNER

I am working on a new project. I have wanted to make a floor cloth for a long time. In fact, I have purchased white cotton duck canvas three different times with the intent to make a floor cloth. The first two purchases were given away after sitting in a closet for ages. The third time, I have made the effort to purchase all the needed supplies and feel I have the confidence to give it a try. I purchased the duck cloth from JoAnn Fabrics online but it should be available in the stores. I figured I was saving money by ordering online as I would surely find other things to purchase in the store and the bill would add up. The acrylic craft paints came from the local craft store. I could not find the specific antiquing medium called for or the clear Bri-Wax at the craft store. I could probably have used other stain but being a first timer on this, I wanted to stick with what was called for. I ordered both items online in separate purchases and am awaiting their delivery. Also, my husband will be going to Lowe's for carpet tape as I did not notice that it was a needed.


I know the first photo is boring. I enlisted my husband's help in preparing the canvas. You have to coat both sides of the fabric with gesso. One side gets two coats and that is the top where you do the rest of the painting. The instructions were to apply the gesso with a large foam brush but he used one of the small paint rollers that is meant for cabinet doors and that worked well. It took almost all of a 16 ounce container of the gesso to do the three coats. Next I combined a color called midnight which was a deep, deep navy with a soft black and he again used the roller to apply to the top only. The coats dry in about half an hour each. He spread the fabric on a piece of heavy cardboard box to do the painting.

The next step was to chalk a line 2 inches in and that marks the part that will get turned under with the carpet tape. And it lets you know not to stencil beyond the lines or part of the design will be underneath.
The instructions were to make stencils from mylar. I used freezer paper instead and it worked fine. At first, I was ironing the waxy side of the freezer paper to the painted canvas. It held somewhat but not like ironing on cotton fabric that is not coated with paint. And the iron was picking up background paint where it touched directly on. Now that did not hurt my iron or the background. I will be lightly sanding the canvas to remove some paint to give it a worn look anyhow. I discovered that my pieces were small enough that I could just hold them down in place in the area I was working on. It saved me money because the directions called for seven mylar sheets. The freezer paper is inexpensive in comparison.

One thing I learned is not to use inexpensive stenciling brushes. I had one good brush and just purchased a package of three less expensive ones. The brush bristles are too soft and go wild very quickly. Also the bristles start coming off as you work. I ended up using the one good one for all the work rinsing it out and drying with a paper towel when changing colors.
The last photo shows all of the design on the cloth. I should not have put the stem over the front of the pot as the leaf color shows differently. If I were to repeat this, I would leave it off. On this one, it is there for keeps. Now I have to wait for the staining medium and Bri-Wax to arrive before I go further. I will post more photos after I accomplish the next steps.

The cloth will be used as a table runner. The pattern is from "Home Sweet Home" by Barb Adams & Alma Allen (Blackbird Designs). The pattern is called "Autumn Brunch" and uses templates from a quilt pattern in the book called "Sunflower Charms". Alma did the stenciling on the one shown in the quilt book. It is shown on an old country table in a garden. The runner sits atop on what looks like a linen piece with fancy crochet edging. I will probably use mine on the dining room table. The size should end up about 20" x 42". I forgot to mention that I washed and dried the fabric before any of the paint was applied.

I am anxious to finish the project and see what it looks like. I have enough canvas that I could make another but would have to purchase more gesso and the background paints. I have plenty of the other pains left.

I am working on a small stitchery project. I am not far enough along to show it yet and will do that next time.

I hope you are enjoying the holiday season and that you are getting your shopping done. We had record high temperatures here today but it clouded over. My husband said it looked like a winter day but was 85 degrees out. It certainly is not what many of you would consider weather to be Christmas shopping in. The only time I miss snow is a couple of days at Christmas time. One thing I don't miss is having to wear boots and a heavy coat while I am out Christmas shopping. A cold front is moving in tonight.

Stop back again for another visit.

Karen