I Am A Work in Progress

I hardly know how to pick up a rotary cutter, let alone sew a seam, and find the new thing that I am capable of creating.

I am a work in progress this year.

I just had cancer surgery, a sure-fire way to whack me upside the head and force a look at the musty, over-stuffed closet of a life I’d been leading.  Too much shoved in, with the door slammed shut. A veritable chifforobe of clutter.

I had a birthday–Happy #58 to me, and also to Krista, my microbiologist blog-buddy (although I don’t know how old she is).

While trying to locate the surface of my ironing board today, I found detritus from two recent trips: Montreal in October and New York City in November.

I fell in love with Julia Ritson’s blog, a habit I could indulge while haunting my bed while in recovery, and especially this recent collage she made of a city (I asked for permission to post it here).  I think I could never make something this intriguing with hidden layers, ideas, textures.  I sometimes feel like I’ll never make anything else again. When I feel like this, it’s just empty inside.

My mother consoles me by saying it’s an after-effect of anesthesia (yet I’m ready to be back who I was).  I can feel the pull to colors, shapes, cutting, cloth, but resist.  It takes too much energy, and there was that syllabus I had to write.  Luckily my husband gave me Ringle and Kerr’s latest quilt book, so I consoled myself with their transparency brilliance.

I’m a crazy quilt, a wonky log cabin, a beginner’s Shoo-fly block with points cut off.

Talking exhausts me.

Writing feeds me, but I don’t spend enough time doing that because I’m talking.

A day of quiet restores me.  I hope this quirk doesn’t persist much longer because most everyone I love lives at the other end of the phone line, and talking is the only way we have to keep in touch.

I haven’t bought this year’s diary and my days are slipping away.  I didn’t realize it was Wednesday until I saw Cindy’s post about her fabulous quilt.  (Can I use her Work in Progress for Lee’s blog?  Didn’t think so.)

I’m in pretty good spirits today as I went to Target for a shower cap, Michael’s for medium treat bags, and Costco for dinner rolls.  They didn’t have the rolls done yet (“40 more minutes”) and I suddenly realized that I was crashing into a wall of tired, so pushed my empty cart back out into the parking lot, drove home and took a nap.  Even though I feel like a pathetic dishrag at times, I am making progress in recovery not only from the cancer blippiness but also from the bronchitis and double ear infections.  “Sick, sick no more” should be a slogan on my T-shirt.

I’m a riddle, a collection of wishes, a basket of fears, and a quilt without her borders.

Things I’m Working On (Quilt-wise):
(I would have photos, but the camera batteries died.  In all three cameras.)
Getting the borders on the autumn quilt
Deciding whether or not to take all the Christmas quilt squares off the wall, or to try to sew them up.
Figuring out how I want to spend my Fat Quarter gift card from my son
Lollypop Trees
Friendship Quilt

Getting the stitches out of ME–this Friday.  The margins are clear.  All is well.  Now to find the brain cells.

And that beginner’s block?  It was my mother’s, when she was a girl and it’s about 75 years old.  It’s one of my treasures.

Many thanks to Lee, who threw me this lifeline of a deadline today.  Check out her lovely bee block!

5 thoughts on “I Am A Work in Progress

  1. Oh, looks like a lot of us are getting a slow start this year! I’m so glad to hear that the margins are clear and everything is going to be well—I’m sure you’ll be back in the swing of things in no time! Thanks for linking up!

  2. Take it easy on yourself and a slow start is better than no start to the year. Good luck getting the stitches out. I’m sure you’re thankful for that milestone. You’ll be back up to par in no time.

  3. Aw. My first bloggy shoutout ever! I feel so looooved! Now listen here, you. Cheer up! I command you to. You’ll be quilting up a storm again in no time, and if not, owell. In one of my favorite posts of yours (the one that got me hooked in the first place) you mentioned that while housework always needs redoing, quilt blocks sit there patiently awaiting your next visit without self-destructing in The process. That’s sentiment is brilliant and I love it so much. Don’t feel guilty that the Christmas quilt isn’t done; I never even started one! I say put it away and start something new. It’ll be the perfect project to pull out next November, right?! That block of your mother’s certainly is a treasure. Is it on display somewhere?

    As for those other stitches, they can go ahead and get “undone” lol. I’m so glad you beat that foolishness. I say foolishness because that’s how my dad refers the the stroke he had last summer. It could have been ugly but he pulled out of it damn near unscathed, physically anyway. Emotionally, not so much. It’s hard facing your own mortality. I think he calls the stroke incident his “foolishness” because it implies he had some kind of control over it. BUT, we all know he didn’t. Neither did you with the cancer. But you kicked its ass and that’s that! And you look vibrant and beautiful in that bday pic. And you’re awesome. Ok, I’ll stop now. But seriously 😀

    Oh and I’m 26. I know, I know, so WISE for my age! Here’s hoping that sarcasm is as obvious to you as it feels to me, grin. Carry on!

  4. First – you’re looking good for 58! Second – After my recent, extended bouts of flu, followed by a cough and cold from hell – I’ve realized I’m terrified of getting really sick – cancer or anything else. It’s hard to come to terms with a body that doesn’t recover as quickly from viruses, or minor injuries. I need to do some serious internal work around this. Hang in there. Thanks for the post.

    • Happy Birthday Elizabeth! I am late, as I am catching up with reading this morning. I love that quilt block of your mother’s. I think if you keep it close you will always be inspired and when you are ready you will be quilting. Don’t rush this healing process, it is an important time for your body, every little cell has had a lot to deal with. I wish you quickest of recoveries.

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