Forget Vera Bradley, make a Dinosaur Bag

My niece’s 4 year old son is a dinosaur expert!  He knows all their names and will readily correct you if you mistakenly call one by the wrong name.  He also has an extensive collection of dinosaurs and needed a bag to corral them in.  It was a hunt to find the fabric, but once it was located the bag was quick and simple to make.  It has a pocket inside for the “special” dinosaurs.

What to do with a bag of triangles

At our quilt  ministry group we received a donation of a bag full of 2 1/2″ by 2 1/2″ triangle blocks.  Not wanting to let them go to waste, I took the bag  home and started playing around with them.  Using a 9 patch design with a solid square in the middle created a star block.  These star blocks were then stitched together resulting in a secondary design of a pieced square block between each star.  The quilt really needed a border fabric to tie it all together and I ended up using a narrow cream fabric with a nice red print which emphasized all the red triangles.  It was fun to save the bag of scraps from the trash pile and end up with something useful- a  lap sized  quilt to be given to a person in need.

 

Moncarapacho

I have begun working on a paper pieced pattern called Moncarapacho designed by Willyne Hammerstein and published in her book Millefiori Quilts 3.  It’s a beautiful star design composed of diamond shaped pieces.  Each piece is cut from fabric and basted to the paper, then whip stitched together to form the stars.  I purchased the paper pieces from PaperPieces, a store in Paducah, KY that caters to quilters who love the technique, (see photo below).  I’m using reproduction fabrics and fussy cutting to center the designs inside the diamond shaped pieces.  It’s a very slow process, but addicting as you begin to see the quilt grow when you add each new star block.  It’s also one of those projects that’s easy to take with you while waiting for appointments.  The great thing about the paper pieces is that you get a perfect point on all sides.  This gives you great accuracy and allows the star blocks to easily fit together.  If you are going to all the trouble of stitching a complex design like this, it’s nice to see the blocks behave themselves and fit perfectly!  I have a long way to go on this quilt, but am thoroughly enjoying the process.

 

Patriotic Quilt- “American Pie”

I recently finished a hexagon  quilt pieced by hand using the freezer paper method of preparing the  fabrics, (see the picture below).  This quilt had about 950 little hexagons (3/4″ on each side) which were fussy cut to capture  the fabric motifs and create a kaleidoscope effect for the blocks.  Don’t ask me how long it took to piece it,  all I know is that it took a long time!  The quilt had two layers of batting, cotton on the bottom and wool on the top.  This combination gave a really nice puffiness to the quilt which emphasized the quilting designs.  It was entered in the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo quilt exhibit for 2018.

Spasmodic Dysphonia, Part 3

It’s been 4 weeks since the Botox injection and there has been a definite improvement in my voice quality.  It happened between the third and fourth week.  My voice is stronger, no spasms and has a smoother quality to it.  People have noticed.  I do not get asked to repeat myself . Background noise doesn’t have to keep me silent.  I am able to order food in a loud restaurant with no problem!  Speaking on the phone is much easier.   I still have hesitations about speaking, thinking that someone won’t understand me, or that the spasms will occur, but then I speak and it’s good, and I feel more confident about myself.  It’s hard to describe to someone who has never had issues with their voice how nice it is to just be able to speak and not worry about how it comes out.

Was this worth the time, energy, cost of treatment and waiting through the hoarseness and breathy voice for about 3 and a half weeks, yes, I definitely would say it was.  Will it improve even more over time, and will I have more volume (loudness)?  Only  time will tell.  How long will the improvement last?  That’s another question that will have to wait to be answered.

Spasmodic Dysphonia, Part 2

This week I had my 2 week checkup since the first Botox injection.  First the doctor questioned me about how my voice was doing.  I essentially have a very soft, breathy voice that sounds hoarse.  The spasms are gone, but there is no volume at all.  At a meeting of our HOA I could not even speak to the people sitting across the table from me.  Same deal at another meeting later in the week.  It’s really hard to talk on the phone and I need to take more breaths while trying to speak.

The doctor threaded a very small light and camera on a long thin tube through my nose and down into my throat.  Then he had me read some paragraphs while he watched the movement of my vocal cords.  This was really uncomfortable, but I managed to do it.  He assured me that the Botox was working , and that my voice would come back in one to two more weeks.  He thought perhaps the injection dosage may have been too high and that next time should be lowered.  He encouraged me to hang in there and assured me that it will get better soon.  Finding the correct dosage is an iterative process that is different for everyone, the dosage he gave me was the “medium” one.  So, I need to wait two more weeks and see what happens.  Hoping to make some progress soon…