Sunday, August 29, 2021

What I made in July and August


So I was terribly unhappy with my scrap fabric situation. Slowly over the years, I've thrown away some tiny scraps which aren't useable but there's so much left. In fact it keeps growing because I keep buying new fabric and using them. It's an endless cycle but I wanted to at least try to use a tiny portion of the scraps in small art quilts so I'll have something pretty to look at instead of heaps of scrap fabric. 

The first quilt I made is a no-brainer. Birds flying in the sky towards the sun. The formation of the birds were ripped off Singapore's national day fly past. Just imagine the birds as small planes flying towards a Singapore flag. The birds were kept simple - raw edge with running stitches. The sun was originally an applique but I wanted something shiny so I sewed sequins anchored by seed beads. And as always, I got tired after a few sequins but had to keep going because I disliked unpicking more.

I noticed that I tend to make quilts with birds flying in the sky when I'm not feeling great. Such as being in a pain cycle or just sick of living. Making birds quilt somehow make me feel better and less trapped. So that's kind of my therapy. 

Speaking of feeling trapped, here in Singapore we were finally allowed to eat out a few weeks ago. Not being able to eat out is very upsetting especially since we've had the freedom to eat out taken away a number of times already but what can you do? To be honest, we don't eat out that often, maybe once a week. It's just that having the option to eat out makes life so much better. Has the new covid-19 variants reached your country? We had a new wave of infections and our leaders got cold feet and brought back some restrictions. On paper, Singapore isn't going to pursue a zero covid-19 case strategy anymore. Instead, we're aiming to live with covid-19. Did I say on paper? That's the aim but when we will really move from pandemic to endemic is still up in the air. Regardless, one thing won't change. We, in Singapore will have to wear masks in public for a long, long time. 

Do you guys use an oximeter or know what an oximeter is? We were given one per household to monitor our blood oxygen level. If the blood oxygen level is between 90 to 94, you have to see a doctor. The device is not super accurate because I've gotten 94 before and when I test again I got 96 and then 98 when I used another finger.  

Here's the next quilt I made with lots of scrap fabric. The quilt started with the orange fabric. I've used this orange fabric frequently in my quilts. There was so much of it and slowly I managed to use up most of it. I had 5 pieces of the orange fabric cut into squares lying around forever. Finally I stitched 4 of the squares with some other remnants into a patchwork of sorts. I joined the patchwork to a piece of calico and after that I had no idea what to do with it. That was in 2019. The pieced fabric sat in my storeroom waiting for me to be inspired. I would look at it from time to time, audition some fabric but nothing came to mind until last month when I suddenly decided I would applique a vase of flowers. The applique is turned under and I used my usual loosey goosey method of applique - draw the shape on the right side of fabric, cut it with a small seam allowance and applique away. The backing is my mother's batik. I have tons left. <sob> 

I love how this quilt turned out. It makes me so happy to look at it. So bright and cheery.

I wanted to knit very badly but projects that take a long time aren't good for me at the moment. So I knitted 2 beaded cuffs. Joining both ends of the cuff together was the hardest part. I can never do it neatly.

In July, I got bitten by the beading bug and spent some time making pendants using a plastic bead, a stone and a crystal rivoli. This video explains how to bead around a rivoli quite well. For the Galaxy pendant (bottom pic), I followed this video. Why do I keep making these pendants when I've nowhere to wear them to. And of course when I heard Beads etc was closing down, I went and bought myself more beads even though they weren't discounted! 

I made another blouse just to test the fit. My daughter has narrower shoulders. I wanted to make a bodice (similar to what I made here) that fits both of us. That way we can share clothes!

Finally, some update on my frozen shoulder. It is healing slowly. I've continued with my therapy sessions and daily exercises. One setback is I hurt both my elbows. It's probably due to wear and tear and some of the exercises I had been doing. So for one week I stopped all housework and cooking. It coincided with hubs being down with gout and he couldn't walk for one whole week. He went through such excruciating pain it made me very sad. Because he couldn't walk, he couldn't go to the doctor to get strong painkillers. Instead he used over the counter painkillers which barely worked. The "good" thing that came out of the gout episode is hubs can finally relate to my pain and how one can feel so hopeless and helpless when stuck in the pain cycle. Still I hope he doesn't suffer like this again. One parent with pain issues is enough.

This month there was a small breakthrough in my recovery. I was finally able to reach behind my back all the way up to my waist. I still can't wear my bra but at least I can bring my hand behind. Also, I can now open both my arms wide at the sky. You can't imagine how happy that made me. <I'm almost normal> I'm now at the worst and hardest part of my frozen shoulder recovery - loosening my shoulder blade. Every time the physiotherapist tries to loosen it, it hurts like %$#@. If only I could tolerate the pain, I would be healed by now. Instead we have to do it slowly, bit by bit. I have to go to the swimming pool soon for some water therapy. I'm not allowed to swim because I will get injured. Instead the focus is on strengthening my arms. Gosh, I hope I don't get sun spots!

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