Yesterday, my son, Hugh, and I drove around locally running errands. While we were out, tootling down Little Patuxent Parkway (pronounced little puh-tucks-unt around here; Siri always makes me laugh because she says little puh-toook-sent) ... we saw a red-tailed hawk like this one carrying a huge striped (garter?) snake into the trees - no doubt where it has a nest and babies. NOT an everyday sight! :) I love living somewhere that wildlife at least has _some_ chance at making a living, if it can tolerate people.
I've been doing things all along but I see that I have not posted for twelve days. Sigh. Pretty sure I won't remember all the 'high' lights of that gap, but I'll try to record the most important ones.
Most pertinent to my current state of being was my appointment this past Monday with the pulmonologist. I saw Dr. Holden of Johns Hopkins (Columbia office) - I was quite impressed with him. He is clearly knowledgeable and very, very thorough. I had tests in the breathing lab just before my time seeing him but they didn't go very far. Basically, I failed the first step and they didn't need to go any further. :(
In a nutshell (and trying not to give you t.m.i.), I am down to 50% lung functioning. My blood oxygen levels fall quickly with exercise (we walked gently up and down the halls of his office area for a couple of minutes). I am short of breath to the point where I qualify for mobil supplemental oxygen. :( He gave me a very strong inhaler to use for two weeks, just in case there is any residual healing that needs doing in my lungs - but they seem to be healthy. Purely a case of not enough space in my lung cavity for full expansion. :( I think my instinct to get bariatric surgery is spot on - hopefully that will ease or clear up this problem.
I have to go back in a month. I hope I have the patience to keep dealing with this issue - I am NOT a patient person with physical limitations (despite all the practice I get) and this one is making me grumpy. No quilt shows, careful shopping .... my primary care doctor is applying to the Motor Vehicles people for a handicapped parking tag. Sigh.
I have been sewing every day at least. Not many photos to show, yet. When I was at the modern retreat earlier this month, I followed a frisky pink-and-turquoise squirrel down a hole and started in on an improvisational plus-motif piece. I have just finished sewing up 20 fat quarter sized panels for that project. Now I have to decide exactly how to set them together into a top (difficult because I don't have a work wall).
Luckily, my Sew&Tell circle meets this Sunday. I will take my bits along to the meeting and play with arranging them and, with luck, get them trimmed up to fit together (or at least decide on a trimming size for them:). I envision a four by five 'block' layout to make a double bed sized quilt. I will put it on the guest bed on my sewing room. Maybe by the time I finish the quilt I'll have a repaired bed to put it on. :)
This past Saturday was the monthly Columbia Area Modern Bee sew-in at JoAnn's in Snowden Center. Five of us came (including Rose, Lynn, Pat, Me, and Cindy) ... and I spent a couple of hours there cutting up my scrap pile into 2.5" and 1.5" strips/squares. Those are my arbitrarily chosen sizes for scrap usage. :)
Today I sat at my machine and sewed for a couple of hours to make four 14" (or so) blocks in a vaguely Courthouse Steps design.
I sorted out my scraps into three piles - warm colors, cool colors and neutral colors. I _thought_ I might make what I think of as summer paper lantern designs with my blocks. Kinda like this:
As you can see, that idea went astray somewhere. :) I don't think my eyes can differentiate between 'warm' and 'cool' well enough to form patterns. Or else the values of those color temperatures that I had to work with confused the issue. :P
I will persevere with making blocks until I have enough for a child sized charity quilt. I decided some time ago to use my scraps for charity quilts and that seems to be going well. :) Sewing up these scraps gives me a chance to do some 'mindless' fabric-under-the-needle productivity (and to get that building pile of scraps out from under my sewing table:).
Also on Monday (in the evening), I went to the weekly meeting of Faithful Circle's night group. There were two pieces at show and tell that I took photos of and I'm sharing them here mostly so I can keep track of them for myself. :)
I was completely gob-smacked by this Blue Footed Booby:
This quilt was made by Kinsey and I love absolutely everything about it! :) She took a class from Susan Carlson at a quilting symposium recently and made this piece. Do click on the image to enlarge it and examine her fabric selections - stunning! This is the rare piece I see that I think to myself, "I wish I had made that!." ;)
I once had an employee at my shop named Arlene Chase who was always using the blue-footed booby as the epitome of 'strange animal' ... in a way that never failed to make me laugh. Whenever I see or hear of one, I think fondly of Arlene (somewhat melancholic as she passed away several years ago).
Another show and tell piece that I liked was this one by Nancy Evans:
I mostly want to remember the design idea with this photo as I like it. I do not usually enjoy 'strippy' quilt layouts (don't know why:) but this one appeals to me. I can envision this being made with large scale prints of many kinds - Ghastly, Fassett, etc. :)
If you are also a knitter, as I am, you might have seen this article in the NY Times about a physicist who uses knitting to explore her science. Go and read the article - it was informative and inspirational. Here is one of her constructions (for enticement to read:):
Tomorrow is the weekly meeting of Faithful Circle's day group. I am looking forward to going - seeing other like-minded souls is good for me!