Disruption in the Quilting Force

NursesAll the nice nurses lined up to greet me

Last week I walked into our local hospital and two days later, was wheeled out in one of my new nightgowns, a vase of flowers on my lap while the two volunteer interns pushing my wheelchair commented to each other about the weather, the construction at the hospital, and about another volunteer that was not a favorite.  It was the first time I’d been outside since the surgery to rearrange my clockworks and I was thinking about the sunlight, the slight breeze and whether or not my husband would back into the construction truck which had parked so strangely in his path.  It was surreal.  When I walked in, the possibility of the Big C was dangling over my head and I’m happy to say that the initial reports are that this diagnosis was carried away in the sunny breezes of that hot morning.

Aside from a brief mention of the process in this post, I’ve kept this pretty quiet as I lurched all summer from doctor’s appointment to scan to oncologist to OB-GYN’s office, not trusting the emotion, not knowing where the path would lead.

I had intended to keep it quiet still, as we here in QuiltLand tend to prefer our blog posts to be bursting with sunshine, little blue birds, some snippets of song, and fabric fabric fabric.  However, when I realized that the recovery was going to be loooong, I might need to explain my absence.

I’ve recovered enough to now sit at the computer for whole stretches of minutes, but do most of my reading in bed with my tablet.  I thought I’d share one or two interesting bits from QuiltLand that I thought you might enjoy.  Stephanie Ruyle’s latest blog post, where she shows her magnificent quilt, Ember, is a great description of using up scraps, making them into art (no photos of this one–go over to see it).

knotted cotton_detail

We also had our recent Four-in-Art Reveal and while I loved all of the offerings this time, Catherine’s choice of poem, Mrs. Midas, and her resultant art quilt are a magnificent pairing. Maybe it’s because I’m feeling a bit imprisoned by convalescence that I related to what Mrs. Midas was saying.  I also liked the speech on quilting, given by a sitting criminal court judge in Canada.  He writes amusingly about his wife’s passion of quilting; although long, it’s worth a read.

My minutes are up, so it’s time to go.  On the positive side, my husband says I’m more alert now than when I walked in last week, woozy from anesthesia and painkillers.  I am hoping for incremental progress every day, knowing that the average recovery for this type of surgery is 6-8 weeks.  On the negative side, I’ll cry (more) if I can’t get back to the quilting, but never fear!  I’ve been able to pick up the hand sewing, so at least the hexies are coming together bit by bit.  I hope that whatever summer fun you are doing, you’ll let me know–I can live vicariously though you all at this time.  I may not have the stamina to write back immediately, but I will certainly read everything, and appreciate whatever you share.

35 thoughts on “Disruption in the Quilting Force

  1. Hello dearest Elizabeth . . . you’ve been in my prayers all week. It’s nice to “hear” your voice again and to know the results are good. Be gentle with yourself and let the healing of body and soul take care of itself. Have wonderfully terrific dreams while on the meds and write a story now and then about your adventures in dreamland. Love you.

  2. I hope your full recovery goes to plan quickly, try not to over do it too soon. I know I regretted being too eager, it actually set me back in the end.

  3. Wishing you a speedy recovery! I recommend a hand sewing project if you can for when you’re in forced lounging about mode.

  4. Dear Elizabeth, I hope you can recover quickly. Be as good to yourself as you would be to someone dear to you. I know what the roller coaster of emotions and energy levels are like pre and post surgery.
    Your vicarious living for the day: I’m completing blocks for a class I took over at Quilters Cocoon, “Urban Candy” is the pattern. I’m using lots of bright color and pattern. It remains to be seen if all the blocks line up exactly when I sew the strips to get the sinuous curve but I’ll try not to get too OCD about it.

  5. Anne did express my wishes for you do better than I could. Don’t rush back to the sewing machine, try to enjoy the slower pace. Have you thought about getting a coloring book? I have found it surprisingly relaxing. It is meditative and mindful at the same time. It certainly takes my mind off the piles of grading I am ploughing through! Trying to stay warm is a challenge as we shiver through our coldest winter in over twenty years too! So be gentle with yourself and dream about some pretty quilts and fabric shopping in the future! Take care.

  6. Elizabeth (nice name! It’s my middlenane and tge name my Mother lived with), you have had one nasty summer so far. I am so sorry. Life does dole us out some…um…challenges, some we manage nicely, some much harder. Know that you are in our hearts and wish you a speedy recovery. Maybe a notebook to doodle some ideas would be in irder for those days you just don’t want to sew, EPP or anything else. Wishing you a speedy, uncomplicated recovery.

  7. It was so nice to see a post from you. I can tell you are feeling a bit better. Keep up the painfully slow pace and feel better soon. We all look forward to have you back to the Elizabeth we all know. 😉

  8. Thank you for your honesty and sharing your journey. You’re right, blog posts tend to be chirpy and fun, and don’t always reflect all the doubts people frequently have. I’m so glad your surgery confirmed there is nothing to worry about, but sad for you that the recovery will take so long. You just focus on returning to full strength. Your quilting will be waiting for you when you feel well enough. Best wishes. Wendy

  9. “May God bless you and keep you and may His face shine upon you and give you peace!” You probably don’t remember me but I sat across from you at quilt guild and we talked about your beautiful house quilt! Praying for your recovery, Much love, Joyce

  10. Welcome back to semi-reality. You have a long way to go, for sure, but there is good news from preliminary evaluations, which gives you some distant light at the end of the long tunnel. Your life is so full of beauty (your artistic gifts, among other things), and they will be calling to you in no time. I’m looking forward to what you will create in the coming year! In the meantime, get plenty of rest. Maybe, if you’re lucky, you’ll dream up a few quilt patterns during those long naps.

  11. I don’t know you in person but I enjoy your blog so much and appreciate you sharing the not so sunny bluebird filled times. It’s such good news. Your good humor and some hand stitching, and lots of rest, are the ticket. Best wishes and thank you for the nice links to other quilty stuff!

  12. I wish you a speedy recovery so you can get back to quilty fun. Thanks for highlighting Stephanie Ruyle’s quilt. Wow! Her work is really interesting. As for vicarious living, I’ll share today’s misadventure. My husband slipped off to work, and my son mentioned that there was bird poop in my bedroom. What? Hum…It must have been dragged in from the balcony, which is ever-covered due to our stagnant black swamp/unplugged water feature in the backyard. What in the world was my son doing out there the day before? Oh yes, retrieving a wayward bottle rocket. (This is what happens when I go to modern quilt guild.) Well, Mom was not home to enforce the “Poopy shoes do not trod through the house,” rule. Upon further inspection, there was a pigeon still on the balcony that did not leave in spite of my door-banging scare tactics. The poor thing must have been somehow injured in the aeronautical experimentation, and couldn’t fly off the balcony. I couldn’t bear the poor thing starving to death, and was’t interested in fresh squab for dinner, so I called up my boss, who conveniently works for Hawks Aloft bird rescue. She gave me the number for the folks that deal with such rehabilitation matters, and instructions to catch, towel wrap, and box the bird. This was harder than I thought, since he/she resisted capture fairly well. After taking my son to summer school, my 2 year old daughter and I headed over to wildlife rescue and dropped off our wounded bird. I have banned my husband from backyard bottle rockets. He will have to fill some milk jugs with water and take his havoc to a park with more open space instead of endangering wildlife and climbing into and out of our neighbor’s backyard.

  13. I’m also sending you hugs, and wishes that you’re soon feeling much better. So glad your news was good. Another bit of vicarious living: I actually threw away a whole wastebasketful of fabric scraps this week. For a Depression baby, that was hard to do. They might have been good for SOMETHING. It felt good!

  14. Yikes, I sure hope that your recovery is fast and easy. I am so glad you are ok, but surgery is a pretty big deal to please take the time to get all better.

  15. Hi Elizabeth – So wonderful to receive a post from you and to hear you are in good spirits and recovering nicely. Have missed you and your lovely news updates but I knew there was a reason for everything. Just take care of yourself and get plenty of rest and before you know it you’ll be back. We’ll be waiting for you and know all good things take time. My thought will be with you always.

  16. Hoping you have a speedy recovery, but please do not be hard on yourself if it is not all as easy breezy as you would like. Recovery is a process with its own ups and downs. Along the line about taking it easy on yourself: if your concentration seems a bit limited from what you normally experience also have some faith and patience as it will return. Yes, I speak from experience, but I did not like it one doggoned bit. I probably made it a bit longer than normal due to pushing myself when I should not. Fix your favorite cup of tea, coffee, or glass of lemonade, put up your feet, and rest those beautiful eyes we depend upon so very much. You deserve to be pampered now and rest. Your normal self will be back before you realize it. Namaste.

  17. Even in pain, post-op and all, you find the way to bring US joy – what a difference your life makes to so many. Take it slowly and know how much you are cherished.

  18. Sending prayers your way for a speedy recovery. Sounds like perhaps the worst is over? Nothing is scarier than the C word. I was wondering what was going on, but figured you would share if you wanted. I owe you a super long email, perhaps while I’m here in Vegas with husband (and no kids)

  19. I’m so glad everything went well and that you are on the road to recovery! So appreciate the email from your husband that everything was okay. You’re in my thoughts and prayers!

  20. Oh Elizabeth. I never knew. Glad the C word is blowing in the wind. I hope you recover well. What a great way to spend your time –doing hexies!
    My appointments start the end of the month. Tests and more tests….

  21. Dear Elizabeth – I’m glad you told us. It’s good to pray for someone, even better to be able to be specific. As you were resting yesterday, I ventured making my first quilt label using a printer and freezer paper, by following YOUR tutorial step by step. And it came out perfectly on the first try! Thank you. Rest up. We’re all with you on this. Harlan

  22. Prayers being said, Elizabeth. So glad you have your hand sewing to keep you busy while you convalesce, and your DH to help. The Lord is your shepherd. There is nothing you shall want.

  23. Well, everyone already said what I was going to say… just wanted to let you know I’m glad the diagnosis wasn’t scary and hope that recovery is quick and not too painful. Thanks for keeping it real too 🙂 sending lots of positive vibes your way,
    Colleen – piecemakerquilts.wordpress.com

  24. Wishing you a full recovery, there are so many quilts to be made and ideas floating around, take this time and rest well, there after you will be full speed back on track. Keeping you in my prayers.

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