Quilts and Quilting

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Yep, I’m still here.  Except most of the time “here” involves curling up around a hot water bottle and moaning.  Not conducive to actually sitting in front of the computer.

I did manage to get to Toowoomba Quilters this week – our raffle quilt is finished (and I know at least one person currently in Finland who will have been cheering to hear that!) and the show is ever so close – not sure if I will have anything hanging other than my Dancing Beijing challenge quiltlet.

So – no sewing, no weight loss, nothing exciting happening here – I’m not even reading very much, because I find it easier to sleep than deal with the pain.  VERY BORING.  Mr Beloved is doing pretty much all the “keeping the house running” stuff.  He is wonderful.

He’s also well along the path to bringing teh interwebs right to my bedside for After The Op.  No small task, and involves a HUMUNGOUS reel of some mysterious wire called Cat 5 and much climbing ladders followed by crawling about under the house.

Normally we Do Not Allow either TV or computers in the bedroom but I think this is a fair enough exception.

I’ve just about run out of sitting up for now.  Hope to catch up on reading blogs and email later….

Although at least now I have my voice back…

Been getting quotes from the various parties involved for my surgery – so far it’s about $1000 out of pocket expenses; that doesn’t include pathology (obviously they can’t give a quote before they know what’s getting sent to them – hmmm.)

I’m just so bloody tired of this!  It’s really frustrating.


Anyway, onwards and downwards, eh?  I’ve managed to walk some this week; the dog is much happier for it and I’m enjoying it – even on a day like today when the temperature was only 12 and the wind was QUITE brisk!  Big parka and the mp3 player and we still had a good forty minutes.

I’d put on some weight last week (not much, but it’s the first time it’s gone UP – disheartening, really) so tomorrow the dietician will do another impedance measurement to work out what % is fat and what is muscle.

And now – I think I’ll go get a nice hot cuppa tea – brrrrrrrrr!

Cos right now, I feel like a steamroller has run over me.  The Cold from Hell (now with added asthma!) is still dominating my life. Ick.

Look for me as soon as I can remember how to breathe and think simultaneously,



I am down with The Dreaded Lurgey.  Mr Beloved even had to go to the LIBRARY For me today – so you know I’m really crook!

Arrrgh.  Bed, again. Still. Grrr.

Sorry for the not posting thing – I am spending more time horizontal (and wrapped around a hot water bottle) than vertical at present.

The good news is that I have an appointment with the specialist on the 15th July – and fingers crossed will be able to schedule surgery (TAHBSO – yep, the works) AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.    Yep, then I have to deal with menopause all of a sudden – but at least the ovulation and period pain WILL BE GONE FOREVER, muaaa haaa haaa!

My GP is wonderful and agrees that after an (unsuccessful – it made things WORSE) trial of The Pill this is the next course of action – having a specialist “look at things more closely.”

“They can look at them all they like ONCE THEY’RE IN A JAR”, I said.

Back to bed.

I am cold.  Toowoomba has been freezing cold and windy all day – which is part of the reason I stayed in bed for most of the day.  I’m only up now because even though Mr Beloved has just read the starting grid for tomorrow night’s Formula 1 grand prix, I want to watch the qualifying.

But I have a completely irrational desire to make THIS:

Shirt I want want want!

Vogue 8421.  I want the version on the right, with the impossibly huge sleeves.  Do I own this pattern? No.  Do I have fabric to make up into this pattern already in my stash? NO.  I am crazy in love with it anyway?



It’s Susannah’s fault – she’s wearing something like this in one pic in the new book, and I am smitten. Also with the vest thingummy she’s wearing over it -I could ROCK that whole look.  Especially now I’ve worked out what shape I am (Vase.  Yep, vase.  Huh! Now if I could just work out what bloody COLOURS to wear, I’d be set!)

The fact that the blouse takes 3.6 metres (of 115cm wide) fabric and most of that is in the sleeves WILL NOT STOP ME.

Being too bloody cold to do anything but dream about it might!

Remember how I’ve been in HEAPS of pain because of my hips?  Uh huh.

So what did I do on Tuesday night?

Well, because I AM A TOTAL NONG, I put the big cutting mat on the lounge room floor and cut out a dress.


Um, you know the feeling of trying to move a rusted piece of metal?

Yep.  My hips.  AAAARRRRGH!

Today has been about three things:   Ibuprofen + heat + extra codeine….

Haven’t done a meme in AAAAAAGGGES and since Gwen tagged me – here we go!

1) What was I doing 10 years ago:
Heck, most days I can’t remember what I was doing 10 minutes ago! Fibro fog and pain have sapped so much of my memory… or as Mr Beloved often says to me after I’ve asked the same question for the third time in half an hour – “Oh look, a castle!” There are GOLDFISH out there with better memories.
That said – 1998, hmm. Well, I was living with my second husband (except we hadn’t actually got around to marrying yet, although by then we’d been living together 5 years.) I was into quilting; a member of Canberra Quilters, and probably FREEZING MY BUTT OFF in the snowy Canberra winter! My mental health is certainly better now; although my physical health is probably much the same.

2.) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order):
1. More sleep?
2. Pick up and sort all the &$#$&@)& magazines on the lounge-room floor so I can
3. Vacuum and dust the lounge room so I can
4. get the jersey fabric I bought yesterday spread out to dry so I can
5. Lay out and cut the Butterick 5001 dress (possibly using a slight amount of creative piecing, since I bought the fabric for one size smaller than I ended up cutting the tissue for…)
On the other hand, I might just go back to bed and re-read back issues of Threads, because it’s a wet drizzly day here!

3) Snacks I enjoy:
Cheese! Although I had my first piece of cheese in NINE WEEKS the other night – really really enjoyed that 35 grams of cheese! (When I left home, the fridge at Mum and Dad’s filled up with cheese because I wasn’t there eating a kilo+ per week!)
Almonds. Or pecans. Love nuts – very high in fat, but apparently they’re the GOOD fats, so the dietician tells me.
Apples. But they have to be crisp – can’t stand a floury apple, acck phhhtht!
I can stay away from chocolate 3 and a half weeks out of every four. but that last half week JUST THROW IN THE LINDT 70% and NOBODY WILL GET HURT!
4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
Buy up all the house blocks around us, remove the houses and fences, and build hire an architect and a project manager to build a really well insulated house on passive solar principles with an independent water supply and sewerage system, with a sound proofed studio/techgeek room for Mr Beloved, and a big light filled sewing room with enough cupboards to put things away and room to WALK around proper height cutting tables…. sigh!
Travel a little bit – just a couple of quilt/musuem/faberic shopping trips would do. Maybe one month a year. And definitely see more of Mum and Dad, and my brother and his family, and my Canberra friends.
Buy a house or three for friends who could really use the financial break (and somehow persuade them to accept the gift as what is is!)
Don’t think I’d do much else different – oh yeah, except I’d hire a CLEANING LADY! (or cleaning bloke) to come in twice a week and dust/vacuum/do the bathrooms. Happy with my car that we got in August, so that wouldn’t be an issue. Mostly just live a quiet life, but have enough money to give to things that were worthwhile (funding some scholarships for textile artists who otherwise wouldn’t have access to materials/ study opportunities, perhaps.)
Oh, and I’d definitely get a little sister for Constance, from the same breeder, because she is a joy and a delight and the company would be good for her.

5) Places I have lived:
Toowoomba, Queensland.
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory.
Albury, border of Victoria and New South Wales
Wagga Wagga, New South Wales
Dubbo, News South Wales
Griffith, New South Wales.

6.) Jobs I have had:
Arrgh! Lots of different things – mostly I have lost jobs because of depression/mental illness, now I look back at them. Yuck, confronting!
Fruit and vegetable seller (several times), Executive Assistant (glorified Secretary!)/ Receptionist (also several times); retail sales (electrical, fine china, books – I can’t deal with the people contact these days.)

7.) 6 peeps I wanna know more about (in no particular order):

Anyone reading this – Tag, you’re it!

Off to Brisvegas with the girls – fabric shops!  WHEEEE!

Talk to you when we get back….

because I HURT, dammit!

Calling the pain management doc first thing tomorrow and BEGGING him to inject my right hip with whatever it damn well takes to make it STOP HURTING!  It could be napalm for all I care, just MAKE IT STOP!

Bed now.

Just watched Trinny and Susannah do their body shape show. I’m more confused than ever – what shape am I??

That’s my silhouette, traced from a photo of me in me undies. (no WAY would I post that!!) You might need to click to see it bigger. The line across my boobs is because that’s the widest part.

I’m on the list to get their book from the library but that’s months away yet – and I’m not buying another book where I’ll only use half a dozen pages! Maybe I’m this shape?? OR maybe this one (if I had more of a waist)

Opinions? What shape are YOU?


My knees are buggered after my very short session working with only SIX different exercises int eh gym. How pathetic! However, I have allowed to three entire squares of Lindt 80% chocolate in my calorie count today, and that has lifted my mood considerably.

And so to bed.

The Plume dress.

Interesting idea, but would it work on a curvy women – especially in a plus size? Course I wouldn’t pay 298 POUNDS for something that’s going to be knocked off in every high street shop anyway. (Unless perhaps it was silk jersey,in aubergine. Then I tend to lose any sense of reason.)

[Found on The Thoughtful Dresser, which is a very cool blog.]

(Mr Beloved does not like having his picture taken!)

The tears were worth it – this turned out to be an almost wearable prototype!  (I’ve said he’s allowed to wear it at home only, he can wear the next ones in public, LOL!)  You can see my review on Pattern Review here.

After a good nights sleep:

Mr Beloved explained why the screw for the overlocker needle wouldn’t go back in: As ex IT support sysadmin, he insists that there is a “Frustration Field” generated around equipment that has somehow misbehaved or otherwise not met the expectations of the user.

The fields are quite powerful, and have a half life of anywhere up to 12 hours. Any attempt to rectify the fault before then will be nullified by the force of the Frustration Field .

Thanks for your help, though, I am greatly appreciative that there is someone more experienced with this beastie that is so generous!

That’s why I could NOT get the darn thing back in last night – but this morning when the FF had dissipated, it took Mr Beloved under a minute.

Same thing happened with converting the machine to coverstitch and back – although I did also take the precaution of giving it new needles.

(They took FOUR SHOPS to find – arrggggh! I must find a source to order them online.)

Now I’m off to watch “grumpy doctor” (House.  Even when he’s being a total jerk, Hugh Laurie is still gorgeous!) More later.

WAAAAAH! Just when I thought my overlocker and I were going to be friends:

Lat night I got the coverstitch set up and stitching beautifully. Tonight? ARRRRRRRRRRGH!!!! NOTHING would work! Needles coming unthreaded, tensions that would not reset – I unthreaded and rethreaded the whole shebang. Read through all the instructions ticking them off as I went. Adjusted each tension a lot of times. Tried the ultimate computer nerd trick: “Have you tried turning it off and turning it on again?” all the way down to the power point.

THEN – one of the little grub screws that holds the needles in place CAME ALL THE WAY OUT and I can’t get in back in again and I’m terrified I might have stripped the start of the thread in the hole it goes into. At least I have the teeny weeny thang, but – ARRGGGH!

Poor Mr Beloved has just spent the past half hour rubbing my back as I sobbed, full on SOBBED – with only being able to *sob* get*sob* a *sob* single *sob* word*sob* out* sob*each*sob* breath *sob*!!

I’ve packed the machine up ready to see if Dale the (wonderful) Sewing Machine man can see me as an EMERGENCY tomorrow…. meantime, I think I’d better go to bed, don’t you?

OMG, I did it!  I worked out how to make the overlocker do a really nice coverstitch!  WOOOOOT!

Right now am sooo tired – and have lost a VITAL piece of paper for a job I needed to do…ummmm… yesterday-ish?


(Well, I was excited!)

With the windchill this morning, that’s what the weatherman told us it was.  MINUS BLOODY FOUR!!!  I coulda stayed in Canberra for weather like that!

No cutting out fabric tonight, I am too cold.  Our house was not built for such temperatures – I’m off to hide under the blankets!

Inspired by Marji of Fiber Arts Afloat I have been starting to go through my pattern stash, to see what I have in the way of warm outer layers that might be worth sewing up (hopefully without a gazillion tricky alterations). And I discovered that I really like to buy coat and jacket patterns (I haven’t even looked at ones that come as part of suits here…).

In reality I have actually made and worn exactly ONE of these patterns.


Most of these have only ever been out of the pattern envelope for a read, not even had the tissue unfolded, let alone cut:

Now, even bearing in mind that this represents *mumblety* years of pattern acquisition, that’s a lot of coats and jackets.  Obviously I feel I NEED something warm, but just haven’t got around to MAKING it yet! Some of them I wonder WHAT I was thinking. Me, in a classic Chanel style? Ummmmm……

The one that I’ve made and worn so often that the hem and cuffs have abraded and the lining is about to disintegrate is the Burda 4385 here, in the longer style. Not in white, obviously – I don’t really do white, not even for shirts, let alone COATS!  Mine was a red loose woven wool thing.  I don’t think I even have it any more.

The one I’d most like to try next is the V8399 Marcy Tilton jacket – but the only review on PR says there are dreadful problems with the draft and the instructions – I find this odd, because normally Marcy’s patterns are really good. But as it “broadens shoulders” and I’m pretty sure my shoulders are somewhat broad anyway, it might not be a wise choice. (even if that WOULD make my waist look smaller…)

Anyone have a favourite out of those posted here?  Anything you think look especially “Caity-esque”?  I’d love some input!

I’m off to get Mr Beloved to help with the next step: Retrieving fabric tubs from the back of the shed so I can see if there’s a fabric I love that I can use for whichever pattern.

Not much happening here.  Went to the GP today, to discuss ultrasound results and further treatment.  Still trying to track down why my Ferritin (stored iron) levels are continuing to fall – ulcer, girly problems, bowel, WHERE?!?!  Did solve one issue and will hopefully be having surgery later in the year/early next year (need to lose some more weight first, mainly.)

Boring, huh?

Honestly, between that and a couple of other little tasks, the day just disappeared.  Unless you want to hear about the ongoing grossness that is Mis KitTerns abcesses?

No, didn’t think so.

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