Friday, September 23, 2011

At Long Last

Finally, a blog post. First off, I taught a class on crumbs to the Martin County Quilt Guild. It was fun and a really good way for me to see how people take different approaches to making blocks. We put all the blocks together, so much fun to see how all the personalities can blend to make a really fun quilt. The green carpet gives it a groovy sashing:

I felt like a harpy because I kept trying to nudge folks into using fabrics with more contrast. I did contrast so poorly for so many years, that it's just really glaring to me now. I wasn't sure how much of that I should do in class and finally decided that was part of my job. To nudge though, I didn't actually smack anyone around or hide their fabrics...

I've received more fun ugly fabrics in the mail. These are from Patti. I love the bicycle fabric and think it's a hoot that she included an e-coli pattern. I gotta guess that's the bottom left print.

Up next is Michele. Woohoo! Elvis and florida fabric. but yes, those cherubs are pretty ghastly.

Marge included this fabulous Halloween fabric, which is making me happy. Hee hee hee, skeleton reapers and mummies.

Not only did Lynette send me wonderful fabric (some of which I actually LOVE and wish I had more of - not ugly at all) but she also made me a crumby heart and some O-O-V-E

From Kathy W. Love the rooster fabric and the cocktails! Wonderful selection, thank you.

Cheryl sent me some fabric too. I'm not sure but this hunting outdoorsy fabric may just be the ugliest fabric ever. Seriously awful.

The package from Cheryl actually arrived the day I finished sewing my lego quilt together. Woohoo on the top finish, but sad I didn't get to include any of this fabric in this quilt. Definitely another one though!

Thank you to everyone who mailed me fabric goodies. I love thinking of you as I work with them. Also thank you to those of you who've emailed me, to make sure I'm okay. So sweet of you.

I've actually been struggling the last few months. I don't want to go into all the details in this post, but I've been struggling with an inflammatory arthritis that I've had for years, it kicks my ass, and I still haven't gotten a doctor to diagnose. Fingers cross that is going to change shortly - I think there is now enough evidence for the diagnosis of Ankylosing Spondylitis, a form of inflammatory arthritis, which I've had for 19 years now.

It's one of those horrible diseases that's hard to pin down, has remissions and flare-ups. I've been in a flare for the last while. I got a new symptom of tension headaches/ migraines which act up after I've been sewing or cutting or ironing for a few hours (or even less). Needless to say, not good for a quilter. That's on top of all the back and neck pain I've had for years.

But one of the worst things is the fatigue. It's not just that my body doesn't want to be active, but neither does my brain. Makes thinking difficult, and writing. Which is why fewer blog posts and emails etc. All I want to do is sleep, watch tv, play on Pinterest. Lately at least I've been enjoying hand quilting again, so that's an improvement.

Fingers crossed I get my official diagnosis when I visit the rheumatologist next Friday. And if I don't get it from him, the search will be on for another doc. I'm soooo tired of this. I'll try to not whine too much, but wanted to let you know what was going on.

Okay, back to quilting news. Got Gwen Marston's new book 37 Sketches. here's a sample page
It is a beautiful jewel of a book. Very finely made. I hate to say that I don't love all the quilts in it, because I really wish that I did. There's a lot of influence from Jean Wells and it is fun to see how Gwen takes that on board and plays with adding some of Jean's techniques to her own arsenal. I just wish it were Gwennier. But wow, love seeing all of Gwen's sketches together in the report that The Little Red Hen wrote about this years BIQR reatreat. wonderful.

My appearance on The Quilt Show is coming up shortly - September 26th for subscribers. You can see a slideshow of pics from the episode here. Ya'all will be able to watch that episode free for a week (October 3-9), but you do have to sign up as a basic member.

So the link to watch the show for free, from October 3rd to the 9th is here

So anyway, that's what's going on with me. I try to not whine too much, but I'll let you know how the doctor's visit goes.



julieQ said...

I sincerely hope you feel better and ASAP!!! Love all your ugly fabrics!!

Mary Keasler said...

Yippee, just saw the slideshow and the video trailer. You look mavelous dawling. Can't wait to see the entire video. Many well deserved congratuations.

Michele Bilyeu said...

Gwen and Jean have taken a lot of classes from each other and/or shared techniques in their 3 times in Sisters, together. One of our Oregon quilters asked G. if she knew J. was copying her techniques and G. said yes and it was fine..most quilters end up borrowing one's anothers ideas. When I took a class from J. it was full of G. ideas. I don't think either one reads our blogs..I know G. doesn't, but I'm still looking over my shoulder as I type this in case J is ;)

Brenda said...

I hope you're feeling better soon! thanks for all the quilty updates -- I love love love the lego quilt, but there isn't one in my future any time soon. and I just did a purge of oldies and uglies, or I would have sent you some.

Twisted Quilts said...

I hope you find out something about your condition and something can be done to relieve your symptoms. I have a very close friend dealing with foot issues from a Merton's neuroma and so far she hasn't found any relief. It is frustrating for her as I am sure it is for you. We are dealing with house issues related to the damage from Irene. It looks like we are going to have to move out of the house for a week or so to get the work done quicker. Of course so many have work to be done that it is hard to get the people you need to do the work. Good luck with your rheumatologist.

Lisa Shafer said...

I thought maybe you'd been ill. Dang, woman, you've been dealing with unreasonable pain issues since our days as Eciders!
I send you a cyberhug.
I've had some weird migraines and numbness issues myself lately, so I understand how unfun all of it is.

I love how you paired the kachina doll fabric with the skeleton fabric. :)

I really need to search through some of my hideous supplies for you. Really.
It's just I'm so swamped with grading and writing stuff right now that I haven't had time to dig through old boxes.

Glad you're feeling well enough to post and to teach a class or two.

Em said...

Sending you love and a hug. Em

Kim said...

Could you hear me worrying about you?
I hope you feel better soon.

I actually have two friends with AS.....both male, not fun at all.

Looks like you have accomplished quite a bit even with feeling poorly.

big Hugs and Happy Sewing when you can

Kathy said...

There are many of us out here thinking of you often.


Kathleen C said...

Tonya, I understand your fatigue; I think only those who have similar diseases can grasp the level of fatigue and what it does physically, emotionally--to our bodies and our brains. I have lupus, fibromyalgia and migraines, but I am so fortunate that all three have greatly improved over the years since I was 35 (62 now).
When you have a firm diagnosis and the proper treatment can begin, you will see progress too I'm sure. I hope you can get as much rest as you need.
Take care.

Sujata Shah said...

Feel better Tonya! It sounds like you are having a terrible time these days.
I loved the slide show.. It is fantastic to see all the quilts in action with it's designer! Can't wait to see the show.. I have it on my calender.

Clare said...

I'm interested in your response to Michele's comment. I feel that the "style" is getting too commercialised by those wanting to make a fast buck out of current trends. In my blogging travels I see loads of so called liberated patterns, but none of them sing like the true liberated way.

You just take care of yourself. You know where I am if you need me.

Rubs to Pokey and Pipette sends purrs (she's about to become a grandma. One of the grey "boys" is a girl!).

Diane said...

Hope you're feeling better soon! I loved the Quilt Show preview, can't wait to see it in October.

Since laughter is the best medicine, I think I will have to send you some hilariously ugly strips for the next quilt. I've unearthed some real lulus.

And Pokey, Pokey, Pokey...oh, that face.

Katie said...

Go ahead and whine. It's one of the things your friends are here for! Tell the doctor he/she's got a lot of people to answer to. ;-) LOL

One of these days I want to see that Lego quilt in person. It's amazing! :-)

Deborah said...

I've been thinking about all week and if you hadn't posted today an email would have been coming your way. So sorry to hear of your troublems and will pray the doc sees the light. Whine away!
Love all your "ugly" fabric and the sweet, beautiful kitty that likes quilt books. :o)
Gentle hugs, Deborah

Nifty Quilts said...

Oh man! What a bummer to have more pain and less energy. I really hope you get the correct diagnosis and a treatment that works. Meanwhile, you surely do compensate well. You'd never know you had plenty to complain about. Best wishes and hugs.

Lynn said...

Sorry to hear you not feeling well, hopefully a good diagnosis and care will not be too far off.
Thanks for sharing all of the ugly fabric, it's really fun to look at them. I think it's good that you nudge, some people like myself need a bit of that to try new things.

woolywoman said...

One of the nice things about rheumatologists is that they don't mind puzzles, mysteries, or problems. As a group, they seem OK with having to work a bit for the diagnosis. At one point mine said something like: it doesn't really matter what it's called as long as I can make you feel better. I'm on a wonder drug for RA and it makes a world of difference.

Marit said...

Love those crumb class blocks! Stressing contrast is a good thing, I would LOVE to be in one of your classes. You are an inspiring teacher.
Sorry about your struggles, wish for progress with your doctors...

antique quilter said...

great blocks , oh I hope you get the answers and help you need to deal with this disease...
will need to get that book from Gwen thanks for letting us know its available now

cauchy09 said...

gosh, sorry to hear about your troubles. i hope you find some relief soon.

em's scrapbag said...

All the blocks from the class are wonderful! The book looks great! I hope you find answers and relief soon. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I am sure you are a great teacher Tonya ! I agree with you for values, they are often more important than colors themselves.
As for your troubles, I feel so sorry for you, these deceases that hurt and pump your energy are hateful. I wish you the best diagnosis possible.
Hugs from France

AnnieO said...

Great crumb fun there! I haven't made any crumb blocks but have admired them all over blogland. The ugly fabrics are pretty astounding all lined up. Who knew so many existed?

Hope the unpleasant combo of health problems plaguing you at the moment ease up more. I work for a pain management doc and we see lots of folks like you, who fight pain and fatigue and brain fog. Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

I hope you get to the bottom of whatever is ailing you soon.

The worst feeling in the world is not knowing!

lots of love to you during your hunt. our bodies are such mysterious locales.

daveandlo said...

I hope the rheumatologist has some relief for you. I'll be thinking about you. . .everytime I see an ugly fabric. Lois

Meredith said...

I am counting the days until The Quilt show episode. I suscribe. As for the illness-first I am amazed you were ok writing it all on the blog. Second i understand I just wrote my last blog post and took down all of my blog posts. Very sad.

third I do hope you get an answer and are able to get releif. Prayers, hugs, etc. Positive energy. You know the deal ;)

Rosalyn Manesse said...

hope that you feel better soon. having arthritis probs myself. My left pinky finger out of commission. sending you some Love

Anonymous said...

Hope you can get your diagnosis sorted out. It's awful waiting. Thanks for sharing Gwen Marston's book. Love your blog.

Sharon said...

I loved seeing all the blocks from your class! I would have loved to be there. Yes, contrast is sooo important - you SHOULD stress it. I look at my old work and think it would be better with more contrast.

Can't wait to see the show! I saw the preview and now I'm anxiously awaiting Monday!

Love all those ugly fabrics! Who would've guessed that so many are out there? Wait, I should know that! I used to work in a fabric store and the flat-folds were (and still are) some of the ugliest things. But you're making them shine in the Lego quilt.

Leeann said...

Just watched you on the Quilt Show, was really good & your quilts looked great on the set.

Barb said...

Hope you are feeling better! What a bummer -
I love the uglies, how can someone call my elvis fabric ugly, I'm parceling it out you need more? I'd be happy to send you some
I so want to try crumbing - soon after the show in November when my quilting life will be own again.
I'm exciting to see gwen In april - and get this new book.

kmcdnh said...

Hey Tonya:

I feel your pain -- and your fatigue! I have AS too, and it can be such a stinker, especially too-tired-to-think part. I think you are amazingly productive -- designing, quilting, writing, appearing on quilt shows -- !! Good luck and fingers crossed that you get some relief.


Anonymous said...

Thank-you for sharing your struggle. I have respect for you not just as a quilter but as a human being, it is so encouraging to me. I don't feel so alone in my reality which is like yours, similar issues and I am just going to keep trying and grab a little of your mojo and mix it with some of that love you have put so beautifully into fabric and with a dash of faith and a bigger helping of hope that we will get through this day and keep on keeping on. god bless you Tonya. grace:) grace(at)amnet(dot)net(dot)au. I am going to get into this paper piecing and make some "love" blocks too!

Cheryl Arkison said...

Ugh, what a horrible thing to have to suffer with. My heart goes out to you. I'm glad you husband is home right now to lend a hand, a shoulder, and share a great conversation with. Do take care.

Isn't that the ugliest? Maybe it deserves special prominence on the back? Or a quick trip to the garbage!

Quilter Kathy said...

Glad to hear my package arrived safe and sound.
Hope you are feeling M U C H better now and able to quilt pain free. Such a worry to not have a diagnosis.

Catherine said...

I'm so sorry to hear about the AS. I'm waiting on a diagnosis of that myself....after hobbling around for 8 months now. However, on the bright side I've picked up quilting again. :-) I can't curl, cross-country ski, or do too much more than walk the dog for a half hour or so, but the quilting allows me to sew for a bit, get up to press or cut some more.....

I hope we both get fantastic diagnosis soon and I'm so happy I found your lovely blog.