Saturday, March 07, 2009

Problem solved

Thanks for all the input on the border a was almost a dead heat on to add the plaid or not. In the end the most pressing of design issues had the most influence - my DH (who is the intended recipient of the quilt) said it wasn't big enough. Not big enough...then another border it is! "Design" issue solved!
I spent some more time organizing the fabric storage closet. I consolidated my Halloween fabric from a basket, a plastic bag, and a shoebox into one storage box that fits under the bed in the guest bedroom. This frees up a bit of space for things I used more often. I've boxed up my Christmas fabric and my hand-dyed too (though they each took more than one box!) Now if I can just Goldie to relinquish control of the box I can get it put away...she if very jealous of all belongs to her!

Now some of you may be aware that last week was MS awareness week. (If not, well, now you know!) Last year I did a series of posts to celebrate (that doesn't feel like the right word but you know what I mean.) This year it coincided with tax preparation and financial review week...well, a girl can only take sooooo much fun at one time. (again fun and MS - two words that shouldn't be in the same sentance.) Taking matters into my own hands I decided to aboaut MS this week instead.

To make it more fun (again with that word!) I am having a two drawings and a contest of sorts with "fabulous" prizes. (To be announced next week...but will include jellyrolls (fabric kind of course), airplane binders and fat quarters!)

To enter the drawing is easy...for each comment (or email if you don't have a blog) you leave on my blog starting today and ending on Friday March 13th you will be entered into the drawing. Only one comment a day will count. I will draw one name on Wednesday and the other on Saturday.

The contest is a bit more fun (what is it with that word today...) Do you have any hints, techniques, products or ideas that make quilting easier for someone with disabilities...heck it can just make it easier for anyone! This doesn't have to be an "original" idea it just has to be one that hasn't already been posted as a comment already. And, yes, if you post an idea you are entered into both the idea "contest" and the drawing. My physical therapist will choose the winning, he isn't a quilter but his Mom is a seamstress back in the Ukraine. He routinely collects boxes of "gadgets" from the fabric stores here and sends them back. He has even translated a few articles from Threads for her!

fun...why not!


SubeeSews said...

A squeezeable ball made from minkee or fleece helps with muscle spasms in the hand. If you filled it with the right product it could be heated in the microwave.
Avoid light shining directly into your eyes. Even reflected sunlight from the house across the street or from the snow on the ground can drive me bonkers!

Sandra said...

I enjoy your blog and read it everyday. I sort my fabric by colors, that way it is faster if I need a particular color, quickly.

Tammy said...

I'm glad you went with the plaid, although I thought both ways looked great - it's a beautiful quilt. I doubt this is a new idea, but I have bad arthritis in my hands, thumbs in particular are the worst and very painful lately, so I've found that Gingher spring loaded scissors are helpful. I also got this round disk thing that is maybe 2 inches thick, PT folks use them to help patients with balance - i can send you a photo if you're interested. Anyhow I used it to sit on when i'm sewing, it relieves my lower back pain and before my hip replacement it really gave me the ability to sit a little longer at the machine. I didn't realize you had MS and while it's not fun - that word, your outlook is great and it's better to make life fun rather than see all the bad things that make it difficult.

mariel said...

The Theraputic Craft Gloves (Handeze) are great support for your wrists and help to stave off carpal tunnel syndrome. I enjoy your blog!

Ali Honey said...

That final border really sets the quilt off nicely.

Your fabric guard looks adorable, as well as useful!

Missy Ann said...

The quilt looks fab. I love the plaid.

Two tips:
You don't have to be perfect.

And when someone compliments your work say "thank you", don't start pointing out all your little mistakes and things you could've done better.

Brenda said...

I sat on 55 cm therapy ball beside the quilting frame when I was recovering from abdominal surgery. it's a great thing to sit on if you have back or neck trouble as well. Thanks for the chance to win!

Rose Marie said...

Those daylight lamps are great for people with eyesight problems. After my Mom had cataract surgery, she still had problems reading or doing needlework and the lamp made a huge difference in her life.

I like the addition of the plaid border on your r/w/b quilt and what a sweet kitty to guard your fabric.

Mimi said...

Well, my daughter's mother-in-law has MS and has had it for a long, long time.

She keeps house herself, and though she isn't a quilter, she's a painter. Her work is beautiful.

I notice that she spreads things out. She doesn't overextend herself at a task.

I would imagine this is one way she copes with her MS.

Someday, somehow, I pray a cure will be discovered.

Also, I love your quilt. Good to get an opinion from the man who will be receiving this treasure.

Marj said...

I think yor fabric guard is adorable. Your quilt is turning out beautiful.
My most helpful gadget is the Stiletto that I keep by my machine.

KimP said...

Thanks for doing this! My coping mechanicism for MS is to leave my current project out, with the appropriate thread in the sewing machine at all times. When you have limited energy, putting things away and taking them back out again is just exhausting. At least that is my excuse for my lack of tidiness!

And my other tip: keep a lot of sewing and quilting magazines and books around - when you don't feel well enough to sew, you can at least read about it and get great ideas!

KimP said...

I've nominated you for the "Sisterhood Award" - hope you are feeling well!

AnnieO said...

Love the plaid border, it really makes the quilt charming. I am also in the middle of making a quilt for my DH, but it is only a few months in the works, not years! LOL

My aunt has MS as does my sister-in-law's sister, so I am aware of how "fun" it isn't to live with the ups and downs of this cruel condition.

Here's my tip: A version of Stop, Drop, and Roll. Every so often, whether hand or machine quilting, STOP. DROP your arms to your sides since bending your arms is contracting the muscles all the time and they need to relax. ROLL your shoulders and neck around in a gentle stretch. Lastly, stretch your pectoral muscles by trying to touch your elbows together behind you (GENTLY!).

Petey said...

Some gadgets that help me use my hands more without straining them are:
1. the Clover ballpoint awl
2. Martelli's ergonomic rotary cutter
3. spring loaded scissors
Also, just go ahead and put that new rotary blade in there and make it easy for yourself.
Happy sewing everyone!

Onnie said...

It is a pleasure to leave a comment for MS Awareness. A dear friend has just been diagnosed, and I now know more than I ever thought I would about MS. You have a great attitude.

I enjoy your blog. I really enjoyed reading about your life in the UK.


Jeanne said...

Love your RWB quilt! The plaid border looks great. You need to take breaks while sewing - both at the machine or by hand. If I sit too long, I tighten up and get stiff.

Patricia said...

I am passing on the "Kreative Blogger Award"! I love your blog and read it daily. The rule is to list 7 things you love and pass the award on the 7 other bloggers. Check out my blog and my

quiltmom said...

HI Sio,
The blue plaid is great on it - Your husband did help you decide ...
As for your lovely draw - here are a few ideas- some variations of suggestions made already..
I have a good friend with MS and she has learned to pace herself - when she feels good she does more and when she needs to rest she does that too.

I am not sure about gadgets but I am guessing that the grippers that you can get for quilt rulers might be quite useful- they act as a stabilizer for a ruler so that the the ruler doesn't shift.
I use an ergonomic rotary cutter and I find it helps when I am cutting lots of strips.
I also have a squeeze ball when I have been using the computer too much and it takes away some of the stress off my hands.
The last suggestion I have is to get up and move frequently- I have bad knees and when I sit too long I get pretty stiff -it helps my mobility when I get up and move around...

Have a great week and thank you for making people aware of MS. Every year our school raises money for MS from a school READATHON. We hope that the money raised will help my friends who live with this difficult illness.


Marissa said...

I just came across your blog today, I love the plaid border on the quilt.

belinda said...

I loved your quilt...either way
looked good to me....I love to hand quilt...if you put your quilt
into a 'sorta' large round hoop you can sit at the table...quilt
spread out onto the table and the
hoop supported by the edge of the
table...easy on your hands and arms
not having to support the whole hoop...just let the edge of the table hold up your hoop....

Clare said...

Can't really help you on the handy hint front as can't think of anything, apart from hand and muscle therapy.

Love the photo of the Fabric Guard :-)

Joyce said...

So many great ideas. I think a small travel or craft iron saves my arms when doing small piecing that requires a lot of pressing. I have the ironing board by the machine and don't have to get up to press.

Sew Create It - Jane said...

Like the plaid border...There's a top tip...have a blog in which you can post dilemmas..and before you know it your inbox will be full of suggestions :o)

*karendianne. said...

Yeah! We're aware. :) I save cutting for the "I feel good" today, days!

Lynn E said...

Your work is great. The plaid does that little extra something. My tips on having FUN with quilting
Ignore the quilt police.
quilts do not have to be square to be loved
HAVE FUN with Color!!!

Pieceful Afternoon said...

I love the plaid border - of course I was one of the ones that voted for it. :-)

Small tasks - at a slower rate - seem to be a good way to go for anyone "fighting" with their muscles.

Also a magnetic pin cushion is great for not letting needles and pins slip to the floor. If they do skip away - one of those long thing magnetic wands that mechanics use is great for retrieving them. You can get them at auto supply stores - or online too.

Magpie Sue said...

Nothing like having the decsion taken out of your hands for you! Now the question is, will adding just the plaid border make it bigger enough? ;- )

My "tip" is more precautionary. Because I suffer from chemical intolerance, another auto-immune disorder, I would encourage quilters to prewash their fabrics to remove the sizing that is applied in the factory. Never mind the benefit of pre-shrinking the fabric; it's is full of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. There are an awful lot of identifiable toxins in the laundry soaps on the market today too. Buy products that are as natural and kind to the environment as you can afford. (The best ones are not cheap, I know.)

Quilts And Pieces said...

I have a friend with MS who did not sew or quilt. Well she fell so in love with listening to me about quilting that she took it up. She had a problem with the cutting, so if she had a bigger project she wanted to do, I offered to wash and iron the fabric and cut it for her. She then had little pre-cut "kits" to work on when she was ready!

Sharon said...

A small rubber car mat under your sewing machine peddle will stop it 'travelling' out of reach while you're stitching.

Dionne said...

My day job is to make sure software, websites etc are all accessible for the full range of handicaps (deteriorating eyesite due to age, to mobility impaired, to full visual impairment etc) and I spend much of my time on the Microsoft campus. But I had never thought to apply any of those accessibility techniques to sewing! Thank you for posting this, It's really made me think. One of the things that is important is for your workstation to be ergonomically correct so your machine is at the right height, and your cutting table and ironing board as well.

Laurel said...

I love the red/white/blue quilt and like the plaid border.

My tip is to have a sewing machine that you use your knee to raise and lower the needle. Alot less wasted motion.

Codi said...

if you use a foot pedal for both feet, or prop up your other foot in the same way as the foot pedal, it helps keeps you sitting straight, which in turn keeps your back from hurting. I also highly reccomend an ergonomic chair. It makes such a difference

CCnUK said...

Wow Sio you really know how to get the people involved! Thanks for the post it's been interesting to see everybody's comments. Sorry I don't have anything of interest to add accept great to see the DH's quilt nearly done. heehee it turned out great! CC

May Britt said...

A little tip to make it more comfortable to work is a little working plate with a pillow under it. The pillow is filled with such small isopor balls (like the ones in sacco chairs) so that it lays well in your lap. THen you can sit in a comfortable chair with this workingtable on your lap.
(Hope you understand what I am telling, not easy for a norwegian looking for words how to describe this)