Friday, October 19, 2018

A Pain in the Neck

With the title of this blog post, you might think I’m talking about either the cats or some local teenager, but this is actually a literal pain in my neck. It’s getting better now, and I’ll talk about it later in the post, but first let’s move on to something more interesting....

I was able to baste and finish the Squared Away quilt, and it turned out nicely. Squared Away was the challenge quilt that Mari of Academic Quilter and Angela, the Rainbow Scrap Challenge hostess, set out for us this year. This finish happened BNI (before neck issue).

It finished at 56x56” and is my 19th quilt finish this year. That’s how many I did in all of 2017, so any finishes from here to the end of the year will go toward a personal best. You can see my quilts on my quilts page, link below the header. Anyway, this one will go into the donation pile after it gets laundered.

Squared Away is Goal #6 in my 4th Quarter Goals for the 2018 Finish Along. My list is HERE.  The 4th quarter finish linky party is HERE.

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And if you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you have probably seen this picture of Darla and Alfalfa.

Well, I had heard that Melissa Averinos, an accomplished quilter, did kitty portraits. Barbara over at Three Cats Ranch had a picture of Smitty (and later Sadie) done by Melissa. So, I posted the above picture on Instagram with the tag #melissapaintmycat and she did!

Isn’t it adorable??  When she paints the picture, you have the option to purchase it at a greatly discounted rate from her normal prices. Naturally, how could I resist?  The picture arrived this week and Bruce and I love it!  I’m going to get it framed and hang it in the kitties’ bedroom (formerly known as the guest bedroom, LOL).  Check out @melissaaverinos on Instagram, or @wierdcatsforever.

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Here is where my next quilting project stands (or hangs) for now. It’s the California Poppies quilt blocks that I won from the August Block Lotto.  The top is all pieced except for the outer border with cornerstones.

I won 40 blocks and added eight more for a total of 48. Then I did a traditional setting and added sashing and cornerstones.

I hope to get California Poppies finished this week, if my neck and arms cooperate and continue healing. I’ve been resting for a couple days and want to get back into sewing very gingerly, avoiding any repetitive movements (like pin-basting a quilt). Time to try out my quilt basting spray!

OK, so the neck..... Last Monday Bruce and I worked furiously in the garden to prepare for winter. While he pulled out all the vegetables plants (after we’d harvested the last of everything), I trimmed the grape vines and climbing roses in the backyard. Then he began mulching everything (he has a chipper) and I cleared the yards of remaining decorations and moved in all the patio furniture. Then I swept. His part took about five hours, mine only about 2 1/2.

But by the next day, my neck (I have TOS or Thoracic Outlet Syndrome) and shoulders were hurting and starting to swell. My right hand was numb on-and-off, which spread to my entire right arm. And the back of my neck was numb. Obviously, there was a pinched nerve there, too. I couldn’t get in to my doctor (out until Monday, when I have an appointment anyway), and his replacement was double booked. I got on a waiting list, but knew I’d have to figure it out myself.

So, it was several days of rest, lots of Advil and Tylenol (great together), and a heating pad.  Rinse and repeat. And it is getting better. I even managed some grocery shopping today (Friday as I write this) and some laundry.  But I tell you, the gods are having a field day with me this week. My shower wouldn’t drain this morning, so I bought some Liquid Plummer and took care of that. Then the clog must’ve moved down the line to the laundry room, because as the washer drained during the third and final load of laundry, the overflow pipe spewed water all over. I’ll let Bruce deal with that when he gets home......

Let’s end this post on a good note. One day this past week we went up to Bountiful to visit our friend Terri (the widow of Bruce’s lifelong best friend Mike, and one of the band members of their group The Muddy Gutter Boys, who performed together for over 50 years).  We went to lunch and gabbed and got caught up with the family happenings. Absolutely delightful, as always. Terri has been on a pumpkin-making binge, as well as crocheting little blankets for the local mortuary to use for infant angels. Way to go, Terri!  Here are the three pumpkins that she let Bruce and I pick out from her Pumpkins for Friends Stash. I posed them on the floor in the living room....  And of course, Darla was right there to see what was happening.

What have we here, Mom?

Hmmm.... this pumpkin stalk smells more like a cinnamon stick

Now, doesn’t my face impurrove the picture??


  1. OH my goodness! I am sorry about the water problems, as we have had so much flooding down here in TExas. How kind of your friend to make tiny afghans for those babies.

  2. Gosh, I'm so sorry about your neck pains! I sure hope you're feeling better each day. Your Squared Away looks fabulous! And I love the painting of the kitties so much! They are both photogenic and paintogenic :)

  3. I'm amazed at how many people have gotten their Squared Away blocks sewn together. My blocks are done, but I haven't decided on the setting. I may follow your example which looks much faster than the on-point setting and doesn't require making 2 more blocks.
    Sorry about the neck pain issue. I'm fighting either allergies or a head cold, I can't decide which (lots of indecision going on here) so my energy level is way down. I need to figure out what to take to retreat in two weeks, so I guess I should go poke around the quilt room and see what looks good.

  4. Oh my goodness Cathy! I hope you are feeling better SOON and that all the water woes go away and stay away!

    Love the quilt with the California Poppies quilt blocks. Great color!

  5. I am glad that you are on the mend!

    Your sampler is going to be one very sweet donation!

  6. Your Squared Away quilt is beautiful, Cathy! I love the clean look that the white sashing gives it. Now I'm rethinking my idea for a dark sashing! :) I love the California Poppies quilt, too - those are neat blocks and colors. Hope your neck issue is clearing up - take good care of yourself!

  7. Pain and progress all in one week. Sending you gentle hugs and hope for a speedy recovery. I can't get over the fact that you have already COMPLETED your Squared Away Sampler... perhaps that speedy finish was the cause of your flare-up!!

  8. I hope you're feeling better by the time you read this! I have been plagued with stiffness/soreness in my neck and shoulders all week, but yours sounds much more painful. Be good to yourself and let things heal!

    The Squared Away quilt looks great! Mari dreamed up some great-looking blocks.

    The Darla and Alfie painting is adorable!

  9. So sorry to hear about your neck--isn't it annoying (and painful) to have to stop in the midst of everything craft? I never seem to get back into the same groove--which may be a good thing?lol I hope you are on the mend--
    and here you are showing my favorite quilt ;))) that CA Poppies is just lovely...hugs for a better week Julierose

  10. Hope you get total relief soon! I don't think our bodies like doing much of anything for more than 1/2 hour as we get older so I rotate tasks throughout the day. I know neck and back pain all too well and short bursts of different activities have seemed to help me.

    Squared Away turned out wonderful. Can't believe you have it finished already. And also can't believe you put those Poppies together so fast. I still have several sets of old Block Lotto winnings around here.

  11. The Squared Away quilt was squared away nicely...and very nice of you to give it away! And the CA poppies are a nice pop of bright color. Hope your neck is feeling better because a pain in the neck is a real pain in the neck.

  12. Squared Away finished?! Wow; you must be the first! Congratulations ; it looks good!

  13. Hope your neck feels better soon! The cat picture is adorable!y

  14. I'm identifying with your neck/back pain. Just got back from being THE driver while hubby got surgery, trips to see him, and back to see the dr. Put in over 1840 miles! It does not take long driving for me to get a jumping nerve in my right shoulder blade area, then pain across the back, the hands to decide to have problems... I've never driven so much in 2 weeks time in my life! Hope YOU are finally getting some relief! Now that we are home mine will settle down. Love your quilts, and kitties!

  15. Your Squared Away quilt looks great! Sorry that I missed it last week. It turned out beautifully!

  16. So sorry you are hurting - that isn't fun I know. Hope you're feeling better by now (I'm late in my comments - again...or yet). And hope the water stoppages have carried on right out the door. Love the kitty portrait!!!


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