Life and Hand Quilting

Hi Everyone, I am here still! Physical limitations have kept me from creating and writing for over a month now, but gradually I am getting better. After reading countless articles on MS, PTSD and other nervous system disorders, my husband and I have discovered that many nervous system conditions can be exasperated by lack of sunlight. Did you know that the Washington state has the highest MS rate in all the US? Me neither, until recently. When we learned about this though, it got us thinking about the importance of sunlight and outdoor exercise. So gradually I started my outdoor therapy. At first it was only sitting out back in a lawn chair for 15 minutes during the hottest part of the day (40 degrees), but now I am up to doing small hikes on the weekends. I am left exhausted afterward, but at least I am walking, talking and using my hands better. Most people don’t even know that I am ill, unless I speak. We are hopeful that with the coming warm weather, I will improve even more.

As part of my therapy, Mark and I have started a new blog called Fresh Air Therapy. This is a blog where we will write about our outdoor adventures. We made the blog public last weekend after we had a super fun trip to the Madison Buffalo Jump just south of Three Forks, Montana. We are hoping to document our travels each week, as well as some awesome trips that we have planned for the 2018 season. If you are interested in outdoor activities please feel free to join us on our blog.

Fresh Air Therapy

Now onto the “creating” part of this post…

I have decided that there is WAY too much hand quilting on the rose garden quilt. So I made the decision to cheat a bit and machine sew all the stitch in a ditch areas. Once this is done, I will go back and hand quilt in all the highly visible details. I have never done this before, but it seamed like a good option for me at this point in time.

Rose Garden on the Machine

I have finished piecing my Belle of the Ball quilt and it is now on my large quilting frame. I have one row complete and I did my first frame roll last week! I believe that this one is going to go a lot quicker than the rose garden quilt, because I am only doing stitch in a ditch around each piece. There will be no detail work because the fabrics are so bright that any detail stitching would be lost to the eye.

OnTheFrame: Belle of the Ball 1

OnTheFrame: Belle of the Ball 2

OnTheFrame: Belle of the Ball 3

So there you have it, I am not quite back 100% but I am at least functioning now. I feel like Bill Murry in the movie, “What about Bob”: Baby steps, baby steps, baby steps…

Happy Creating Everyone!!!

Before you go, I hope you take a few moments to take a look at the work of the other women who are taking part in this quilt along:
















10 thoughts on “Life and Hand Quilting

  1. Great to read your up and out and about – baby steps lead to bigger steps to giant steps, you go girl! Would love to follow along on the new outdoor blog. I am in Washington state and was aware of out MS statistic. It’s crazy and yes I know more than I would like of friends and acquaintances diagnosed with MS. The Rose Garden quilt has a lot of open space so I say ‘have machine, use it’ . Belle of the Ball is gorgeous, excited to see it finished. Sending some love and light as you moving forward in health

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  2. It’s great to hear from you again Bella! I do hope you gradually improve day by day. It is a reminder to us all just how important it is to be active. One thing I am looking forward to when I get back to Oz is the sun! I find it is a little depressing never seeing it. Even though I will no doubt melt in the heat and sun!
    Your quilts are looking lovely. I’m not a quilter, so I really can’t comment on your techniques, but I say if it works, good for you! Being creative is about find work arounds to the challenges we find. No one ever said things had to be done exactly as prescribed.

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  3. Bella! So glad to hear from you, and see your beautiful quilts again! Belle of the Ball turned out so well, gorgeous job designing! I think you are smart to do some machine work on The Rose Garden. If you hate it, you don’t have to go that way again, but it makes sense to me to save your hands for the very beautiful accents you design. 😍 I am so happy that you are feeling better these days, and I wish you lots of sunshine and fresh air in the days and weeks ahead. 😘

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  4. You sound good! I’m so glad you’ve found something that helps–and that it’s so good for you in every way. Being outdoors, moving, with your husband and your dog–of course that’ll make you feel totally alive! The quilts are looking great–I think your decision to machine quilt parts of the rose garden quilt is very sensible. It will let you enjoy the hand work so much more.

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  5. Your quilts are looking great, using your machine is definitely not cheating, I think it’s very sensible, it’s better to have a quilt finished with a mixture of quilting then having a UFO, especially if it means you enjoy the hand quilting more. I was diagnosed with MS about 12 years ago, luckily I’ve been in remission for about 10 years now but I still have to pace myself, if I overdo it I know about it the next day. My friend and I do a long distance walk each year, but we have to do several months training to build me up to the required distances again each time. Enjoy your walks 🙂

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  6. So good to hear from you Bella. I have Fibro and Menieres and the weather will get me along with any stress! March was a unwelcomed ‘stressor’ from Caremark! I cannot tolerate taking Vitamin D so I have a sun lamp that I do each morning. We get plenty of sunshine here in South Texas, but that 12 minutes using the sunlamp really does help my mood and helps me maintain a good level of Vitamin D. I do hope that you begin to feel even better this month! Hats off to you with the immune system problems you have they are not fun and yes, people cannot see how the inside of the body hurts! Take those baby steps and we look forward to your return 100%. Enjoy the outdoors!

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  7. I moved to eastern Washington after spending most of my life in Reno, Nevada (which gets over 300 days of sunshine a year) I totally understand. Keep taking those baby steps and I’ll cheer you on! What part of Washington are you in?

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    • I used Washington as an example of what I discovered during my months of research. I am actually in Montana, which is almost as bad as Washington for MS and other neurological disorders.


  8. So glad to hear your doing better! I so agree on getting out in the sun. I find that it is very important to get Our handicap daughter out,as often as I can weather permitting. That quilt is gorgeous!!

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