Monday, November 14, 2011

How to suppress (or at least distract) a cough...

"Take 12 bobbins and call me in the morning..."  I love filling bobbins on my new machine, and I filled a dozen in anticipation of doing some serious, mindless chain-piecing.  And look what I got done...another 83 scrappy green and neutral log cabin blocks to go with the 37 I finished a few months ago.  Now I have 120, and I can play with them and decide how I want to arrange them.

They will finish 9 inches and each log finishes at 0.75 inches wide.  I'm thinking a barn raising setting, but maybe I will change my mind when I start playing with them.

Even though I have been sick for almost a week, I have managed to get a little sewing done between the coughing and the moaning and groaning.  My husband was out of town, so the moaning and groaning has been mostly for my own benefit (and further research on the topic "do cats and/or teenagers show sympathy toward the pain and suffering of mankind" - hmmm...I'll let you know when I see some...).

I ended up in urgent care over the weekend for a chest x-ray and a breathing treatment.  These things always tend to turn ugly for me and now I am on antibiotics, etc.

It's a good project to work on while sick, especially since I choose to cut all my "logs" to the proper size rather than sew, trim, sew, trim, etc...then I just mindlessly feed pieces through the machine, while moaning and groaning.  Too bad I didn't cut ALL the logs before starting the piecing a few months ago.

I would be finished with this project if I had practiced patience and cut ALL the logs first, BEFORE starting the orgasmic chain-piecing sessions.  But no, I had a weak moment, and jumped in without thinking only to be hit by "piecus interruptus" when I had pieced through the last full set of log cabin logs.  Then the project "slept" until I had time to drag all the scraps out again (a couple of days ago) to cut the remaining strips needed.  Another nice thing about cutting them all out first?  I can use BumbleBeans' concept of "15 minutes of play" to get something done.  I realize that this takes all the spontaneity out of the process, but I have made this log cabin quilt before in another color, so the process becomes just that...a process.  So now I am playing catch-up.  It is amazing just how much chain-piecing you can do in only 15 minutes!  (It reminds me of the question, "how can you possibly eat a huge elephant?  one bite at a time.")
So, I have found that mindless piecing is a great way to suppress a cough because, 1) it keeps me quiet/keeps me from talking (the machine is hard to talk above when your voice is weak), 2) I make a game of it (" can cough after THIS piece," then of course, I don't give in and say the same thing a micro-second later), and 3) I am concentrating so hard on the perfect, consistent quarter inch's easy to ignore the urges to cough.

Now I have to make a decision about the setting...then there's a part of me that would love a little border of scrappy, red, crazy-pieced hearts, since it is a quilt for our bed.  It's already going to be 90 x 108 with just the 120 nine inch blocks, but I think the red scrap tub needs a little pruning...

My friend Mary J. recently shared her quilts at a local craft show.  Look how pretty her booth was 5 minutes before the show opened.  (Machine quilting by Rhonda Loy, Marilyn Lange, and Mary Jones).

I wish there had been time to take more close-ups, but the doors were opened and TONS of people appeared out of nowhere, ready to shop for the holidays.  I didn't want to discourage THAT!

While I was mindlessly chain-piecing, moaning, groaning, and trying not to cough, I was thinking about everything I was doing 3 months ago before the concert took over my life.  I am very excited about something I started designing.  I can't wait until I can share some of it with you.  Thanks to everyone who suggested books, software, etc. to help me "launch" a pattern designing adventure.  Then there are all the quilts, started or not, that I want to make.  I have been making a few more of my appliqued baskets...I need to round them up and see where I stand with that project. is good to have my mind in the cotton once again.

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)


  1. i'm sorry you feel crappy.

    i love your log cabin blocks. my favorite layout for LCes is a tie between 'barn raising' and 'streak of ligthning'. when i am brought one to quilt, i always quilt feathers in light side...

    thanks for sharing, can't wait to see it finished!

  2. Well, I sympathise - I have been in the same boat this weeks, on antbiotics, etc. Your remedy seems a brilliant one though, much better than my hand-applique. My cough doesn't respect that at all. That will be a wonderful quilt, with or without hearts.

  3. So very sorry you have been under the weather.

    Your log cabin blocks are great and I cut mine to length first too. Makes sense to me.

    Enjoyed the quilt show.

    Get well and drink your Echinacea :)

  4. Wow, you have been sick a while, hope the therapy and antibiotics help. I find mindless chainpiecing restfull too - but you have a much more finished end to yours than I have with mine.

  5. your log cabin blocks look beautiful..lovely pictures of quilt show

  6. can't wait to see what patterns you come up with. I would be honored to be one of your testers- cw

  7. So sorry you have been so sick! I hope the antibiotics kick in and you feel better soon.
    Love your log cabin blocks! Green is my favorite color! :)
    Your friend's work is wonderful! Did she have a successful show?

    Have a happy day!

  8. Those log cabin blocks are great! I made a king size log cabin over the course of two years...a couple blocks every now and then. It is now one of my husband's favorite quilts.

  9. Yay for antibiotics! Hope you are feeling your best very soon! I love your log cabin blocks....and how perfect they are! I think your method of cutting the logs first is the key....thanks! I'm going to do that next time! Maybe I won't have so many wonky blocks! lol

  10. Hi Theresa
    I am glad you have a cure for the 'cough'. I should try that one.

    Can you please ask Mary J what pattern she used for the C.H.R.I.S.T.M.A.S quilt with applique. It is beautiful and I would love to purchase the quilt or a pattern to make my own.

    Keep up the great creativity.

  11. Love the idea of filling bunches of bobbins. Why didn't I think of that??

  12. love your LC blocks. Wow - it will be a beautiful quilt, no matter how you set them
    your friends booth is beautiful!
    What a talent!

  13. My mind is in the cotton far too much - lol. I'm sorry you're not feeling well. You sure have made good use of your time - the log cabin blocks look marvelous. I love the heart idea - I look forward to seeing what you decide :0)

  14. I like the thought of red hearts for an outside border....especially if the quilt is for your bed.

  15. I've posted as anonymous as I don't have a blog, but my email is I love your blog, but have a question about your friend's patterns. What is the name of the quilt which spells out Christmas with the middle block S being the Star and the T is the Three wise men etc? Are these available for sale? Thanks if you have time to reply. Jan

  16. Wow that bobbin prescription sounds like good therapy to me! Hope that cough continues to improve. Your log cabins are looking good and it's an impressive tally - that's a lot to sew through -I'd still be at it - look forward to seeing what you do with them. Love all the quilt pictures.. your friend's booth is lovely.


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