Sunday, June 29, 2014

What Are You Working On?

I have been nursing a sore shoulder with radiating pain down my arm. It's really a constant tingling and basically a PIA. About 8 years ago I became an avid cyclist. It certainly helped to make me very healthy, but was accompanied by 2 broken shoulders. It happened within 3 months of each other, both as a result of accidents. The first one was a separated shoulder. When that felt a bit better, against my doctors orders, I got back on my bike and broke my collar bone. Both of them required surgery. Both of the surgeries required metal pins and then another surgery to remove the pins. I severely cut back on my riding, especially with groups. Group riding can help to protect you in numbers when you are riding on the road, but then there are all those other cyclists that you can collide with.
Recently I noticed that I had shoulder pain when I did a lot of upper body exercise, including sewing! It resulted in constant tingling radiating down my arm into my hands. It got so bad that I had to stop sewing and I finally went to see my doctor. He suspected arthritis or a herniated disk in my neck. But hey, it was my shoulder. He sent me for X-rays and to see a physical therapist.
I went to a physical therpaist that my friend recommended. (Why do we all know these things?) I have to say I think this woman was a genius. You know I didn't want to give into this arthritis diagnosis. That would mean I was getting old. After pushing and pulling and feeling my bones and muscles in my back, the PT diagnosed me with Scapular Instability. That made such sense to me. There is no tendon in that shoulder connecting the muscle to the bone. Could a DR ever had figured that out? So I am on my way to less tingling and more comfort. The most important thing is that I can sew again. Hooray!
Instead of being silent, I thought I would share what I have been working on. I have 2 projects that are currently on my design wall. The first is a silk piece. These are the blocks using fusible appliqué and made from dupioni silk.

I have added a talk about working with dupioni silk to my lecture repertoire. It's a new talk and I am scheduled to present it in October and then again in November. I cover how to tame silk so it can be treated like cotton and how it can be combined with other fibers such as cotton. I need a couple of more pieces to round out the presentation. The piece above will have a batik sashing and the centers of the flowers will be velvet.
And of course I am working on another Curvalicious piece. Ever since that tool arrived on my doorstep, I go from one idea to the next. It is so exciting to come up with more uses for it. This was inspired by my trip to the beaches of Delaware and my visit to the Ocean Waves Quilt Guild in Lewes, DE. I will give you a sneak peak, because it is only a top right now with no border. I call it "A Day At The Beachalicious".
It's funny how designs evolve. My first thought was to use the tool to make waves and create an underwater scene, which I still might do. I had some fish left over from the group quilt from my DILs baby shower. I put them jumping through the waves and that made me think of the beach. It needed a design element up top, so I added sailboats. But then the fish got lost and just looked incongruous. I removed them. I added some beach umbrellas to fill the upper section. The foreground needed a bit more and thus the sand pails. I need to add a border and then quilt it. I'll share when it's done. I may also write up a pattern for it if enough people are interested.
I had an idea that I could prepare the waves using Curvalicious with turned under edges. I was concerned that fusing all the waves on top of each other would result in a very stiff quilt. I cut the strips a little wider and since the curves are so gentle I was able to use freezer paper to prep my appliqué. Invisible machine appliqué was my method of choice using invisible thread and a blind hem stitch.
This is why I love quilting and love to design. It is a continual challenge to come up with new ideas and figure out the mechanics of how to accomplish them. I must say that my hubby would rather see me in my quilt studio than on the road on my bike!
What are you working on?
Follow on Bloglovin


  1. I think therapists are the best thing for our aches and pains, they know how to diagnose the problems and help us to fix it ourselves. I have a bad arm myself, use it too much and old injuries so need to go back to a therapist myself, and for my other problems, but trying my paddling and swimming for now. Love your new piece, that is beautiful with the silks and the beach piece is so fun.


  2. I love the silk flowers! I'm working on tasting the entire Ben and Jerry's Collection this summer...

  3. Cheryl, glad you are feeling better and able to sew. I've just seen a hair raising crash in the Tour de France and understand what you mean by the dangers of riding in a crowd.

    I love your delightfully fun Beachalicious project. I look forward to seeing it finished as well.
    best wishes,


Thanks for stopping by. I'd love to hear from you.