Labor Day Labors

This morning I finished hand-sewing the binding for the Wonky Houses wall hanging. This is a free pattern from Jennifer Reynolds of Jenny of Elefantz. The pattern is still available on Craftsy for free, but it may not be indefinitely. If you like this, click on that link now.

As I may have said on the blog before, Erik and Mae have been on the hunt for their first house. Originally I had in mind to give this to them as a housewarming gift when the right time came along. After finishing it, however, I had second thoughts. Personally, I like it very much. But I started wondering if they would like it. It occurred to me that the bright colors and whimsical nature might not be appealing to their personal tastes. Further, it ended up much larger than I thought it would (35 x 14 inches), meaning that to hang it, would take a rather large wall.

Since I couldn't feel comfortable about giving it to them, I decided to keep it as a table runner for my own table and to work on a smaller piece for them. They haven't even found a house yet, and so there is no rush on this.

I'm updating this post to say that I'm linking up to:

A Lovely Year of Finishes

Having made that decision, I decided to get going on the latest tomato harvest. I peeled and chopped these tomatoes and managed another 2 1/2 quarts of pasta sauce. That brings me to 9 1/2 quarts for the season (not to mention the 8 remaining pints of salsa). I think the tomatoes have stretched as far as I need them to for the season. Someone will be picking them while we are gone, and there will probably be more when we return from our trip. But if I don't can any more tomatoes this season, I'll be happy with what I've done.

While those were processing, I decided to make up the stitchery for my second choice for Erik and Mae. This embroidery pattern appeared in the September/October 2013 issue of Quiltmaker magazine.

This piece will end up at 14 x 10 inches, a better size, I think. I know that Mae likes blue, and so I'm going to do the whole thing as bluework with the fabrics you see below.

I'll do the stitchery on tea-dyed muslin to give it a more rustic appearance. Besides, it has a cat right in the middle, and that, of course, makes it a better choice all around. (If you're wondering, Erik and Mae have two cats: Chester and Lucy.) The original pattern says "Bless this House" in the banner above, but I like "Home sweet home" better, and so I changed that. I think I'll feel much better about this as a housewarming gift for them.

Once that was done, I continued on adding borders to the White Trees quilt. I think adding borders to a quilt top us one of the more tedious parts of quilting. I added the inner white one and the gray one today, but there are still two more to go...a one-inch red border and another white one...before it will be finished. After doing these two, I'd had quite enough. I'll work on this at another sitting. For now, I was bored with it and tired of sewing.

Fortunately, I had my little girl kitty in the sewing room with me, and she distracted me from the tedium of the borders.

Tonight we're meeting up with Erik and Mae for dinner. Matthew and Laura might be there as well, but they haven't committed. I had a yen to get the whole family together one more time before we leave on our trip.

Tomorrow I'm going to see the third doctor about my knee problem. Hopefully, this third guy will be the charm. If he even looks like he might say there's nothing that can be done about it, I swear I will break down and cry right on the spot. Please allow me to whine just a bit because it's hard to think about anything else right now. Here's what I've been thinking about this.

Clearly, many people live with pain every day of their lives. Myself, I have lived with this annoying knee discomfort literally for decades. It has become gradually worse. I've had one arthroscopy, six injections of Synvisc and cortisone (three of each), and hundreds of hours of physical therapy in an attempt to fix it. Nothing has given me complete or permanent relief. When I saw the doctor back in March, I was satisfied that it was as good as it could get until it got so much worse and unbearably painful about six weeks ago. Now I'm at a place where something simply has to change.

If I had injured it in a car accident or playing sports or something, I might be accepting of the idea that this is a new normal. But since I didn't...since there is nothing to point to and say, that's what caused it...I just have to believe that something is wrong that can be fixed. Am I off base somehow about that? And here's the other irritating thing about this whole situation: at least if I had injured it, I might be able to tell a funny or interesting story about it. But no. I have a frustratingly stubborn problem knee that seems to enjoy aggravating me for no apparent reason whatsoever.

Okay, not another word. But know this: the doctor is going to hear some version of the above tomorrow, and he'd better come up with a good plan, or I just might knock him to the ground and beat the living shit out of him. And then, I'll walk away passively, limping as I go.

What would you do?

20 comments from clever and witty friends:

SoozeM said...

Wow you have been busy!! I know exactly what you mean about borders, the only thing I find worse that sewing borders is sewing great big long rows of quilt blocks together!

Gee I am soooo glad I am not your new knee doctor, remind me not to get on your bad side :)

And lots of pats for Gracie, such a cutie!!

gpc said...

Both homey patterns are lovely! I hope tomorrow goes well. But I will enjoy my mental picture of your beating your new doctor to a pulp before limping innocently away. The good news is that then you will undoubtedly have MANY interesting stories to tell, lol.

Sher S. said...

This might burst your bubble, but when my knee problems started I saw a doctor about it. His main comment was: "Your FAT! and you need to lose a lot of weight before your knee will feel better". To be honest, he is no longer practicing medicine...THANK GOD! Yes, I did need to lose a few pounds but that wasn't the cause of my knee pain. It was caused by a torn minuscus from getting out of the car. Go with an open mind and see if he can be more precise about your knee problem and pain. He doesn't know you or your history so he just might be the right man for the job. I'm glad to see Gracie keeping you company while sewing. She is such a peaceful lady. Enjoy your evening, give your knee a rest. You can ice it or apply heat to help with the pain. Good Luck tomorrow. Prayers for a good doctor.

WoolenSails said...

I think that is the worst, I hear that all the time and get so tired of it and not feeling better. My husband gets hurt, they fix it and he is fine, I would like to be able to do that too, lol.

Love the new stitchery, that is a beautiful piece.


Anonymous said...

WEll, last time a doctor told me I needed a new knee because I have pretty bad (inherited) arthritis (what he said was, you may be chronologically 60 years old but your skeleton thinks it is 90) ... he also told me the replacement knee would last longer if I weighed less (he did NOT tell me I was fat - apparently he has heard that too many times himself and is sensitive:) ... I decided to lose weight. 60 pounds lighter, my knee hurts even more now - can't outrun arthritis, sadly. At least the new knee _will_ last longer!

:) Linda

Quilting Babcia said...

Hmm.. maybe you'd better not mention that I recommended this clinic to you! Seriously, we'll all have our fingers crossed and wishing you a successful appointment tomorrow. May Number 3 be the charm!

Colleen said...

Im sorry for your knee issues. I have issues too though mine come from my chemo treatments and dont let me run. though im a fast walker. Ive had 2 friends with knee and joint pain who found out it was their bodies reaction to gluten. Their diet change worked miracles on their pain. Good luck with the new dr.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

When I did the Wonky Houses, I set them 2 x 2 as I didn't want a long skinny piece. But I love the new one - and a kitty with blue fabrics, purfect. I laughed - I have been know to have a mean left hook. Nurses, PAs, and Drs - doesn't matter. Blamed on the pain meds, fever, or anethstetics - really they just pissed me off.

Brown Family said...

I like the new design! I know Gracie was a lot of help!

Dana Gaffney said...

I really like the new design you picked for Eric and Mae, not that I didn't like the old one :)
Keep an open mind with the new doctor, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he's the one. Sure, people live with chronic pain, but you're not going to be one of them.

Celtic Thistle said...

Hope that doctor has some protection around, or better yet comes up with the answer to your problems :)

Love the Wonky Houses, I have downloaded the patterns thanks to your link.

Lynne said...

I hope your visit with this new doctor goes well -- for his sake! ;-)

Both house embroideries are very cute.

Teresa in Music City said...

My hubby has had knee problems for quite a few years now. He had surgery to repair the meniscus 2 years ago, but his pain is back and he's avoiding going back to the doc for fear of more surgery. I feel for you because I see what he goes through and it is not pleasant, it is not even bearable. And dealing with the medical profession today is a royal pain in the you-know-where!!! I hope this doc works for you and helps you find a solution. Good docs are out there, but you really have to look hard and kiss a few frogs before you find the right one :*) Love your new stitchery - and in BLUES too!!!

Deb@asimplelifequilts said...

I would keep trying new doctors until you find THE ONE. I am forever grateful to the surgeon who put the bones below my knee carefully back together after my accident. I feel your pain and frustration!

kc said...

Your 'maters, like your quilts & your kitties, are just beautiful! Wishing you all the luck with Lucky Number 3. Fingers crossed for ya! (sometimes knocking the LS outta someone is just what the dr ordered....just sayin.)

Marla said...

Just found your blog recently and love it! About your knee.....you said you have a torn meniscus as well as degenerative arthritis. I don't understand why the meniscus can't be repaired? That would help a lot I would think. Unless it is so thin from the degeneration of the bone that there is not enough there to repair. I am a work comp nurse so see this all the time. Unfortunately you may be better off getting a knee replacement (TKR) earlier than later. It does sound like you have used up all other options. Wish you lots of luck!

Diane Wild said...

I love the house warming stitchery. What a beautiful gift. And my answer about "What would you do?" in regard to your doctor?...Beat the crap out of him anyway, just in case.

quiltzyx said...

Oh my, I just read Diane Wild's comment & am cracking up: "Beat the crap out of him anyway, just in case."!!!! ROFL

I love the new stitchery you've picked for Eric & Mae - it's going to look wonderful in blue.

quiltzyx said...

I am laughing so hard at what Diane Wild commented: "Beat the crap out of him anyway, just in case." !!! Love that!

The new stitchery you've picked for Eric & Mae is wonderful - and it will be awesome in blue!

Kate said...

Love your Wonky Houses, it's so bright and fun. Your White Tree top is coming along beautifully.

I'm still catching up on your blog, but I'm hoping to read that the third doctor was the charm!