Welcome to tales of my stitching life, home, family and friends.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Purple for RSC

Purple is the chosen colour this month for all of those who like to stitch along with Angela in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I machine appliqued three little purple birds – just about all I could manage sitting at the sewing machine as my back was feeling  little sore by the time I had completed them.  It was much easier on my back to finish the birdies off, sitting in my Lazy Boy chair while I hand stitched their little stick thin legs on.  So here they are, with their little red friends.  I’d stitched the red ones last month but hadn't blogged about them.


Purple and red birds

Gemma has decided to try my loan walker out for size, and jumped up on the seat.  Yes, it fits her quite well, she decided.  Mind you, she is not to keen when it trundles towards her while she is stretched out on the carpet.


It’s just about my size, she thinks

We went down to the Health Centre today for our first Covid jab, joining a steady stream of over 65s.  No trouble at all, it was done very efficiently, and we hardly felt a thing.  Like all vaccinations, we had to sit and wait a while to make sure there were no side effects.  Our second dose will be in three weeks time.


Sunday, June 6, 2021

Give Thanks

I don't have any slow stitching to show at the moment so thought I’d share my Give Thanks cushion which I stitched a coupe of years ago.The words sum up what I've been feeling lately after my spinal surgery.


In Every Thing Give Thanks

I’m thankful that my spinal condition was diagnosed by MRI, the only way to find it, I was told.  If it hadn't been found I would have ended up in a wheelchair.

I’m thankful that here in New Zealand hospital care is free, and I’m thankful for all the wonderful medical care I received.

I’m thankful for all the phone calls, cards, messages, flowers, chocolates, visits,  and home baking I received, must admit I was rather overwhelmed by all the support coming my way.

I’m thankful to Robin and my family for being there with their love and support.

And I’m thankful to all the messages from you, blog readers from near and far, mostly strangers, although I have had the pleasure of meeting some of you over the years.  Bless you all.

Recovery will take a while, I’m told, but I’m sure I’ll get stronger and more mobile soon. 

Friday, June 4, 2021

Visitors and the Changi Quilt

Three friends came to visit the other day for afternoon tea, which gave me the chance to wear my recently completed blue jumper.  I was really spoilt as they had brought along a pretty pot plant and some home baking too.


There was a pretty little card with the pot plant.  “We chose that one because we know you like blue”, I was informed, “and it’s about quilting too”.  And so it was, it showed one of the hand embroidered blocks from the famous Changi quilts.  I’ve seen this quilt in London, I told them.  The Changi quilts were created by women interned by the Japanese in Changi Prison. The quilts were the idea of Mrs Ethel Mulvany. Supposedly made for the wounded in Changi hospitals, the quilts were actually meant to relieve boredom, to boost morale, and to pass information to other camps.


During our trip to England in 2008 we had the thrill of viewing this quilt held in the Red Cross Building in London.  Researching  before we left home, I discovered that a private viewing was available by appointment.  How wonderful it was to see this lovely work f art, done in such trying times, with the woman using whatever threads and fabrics they could find.  Each of the blocks were different, signed and often with a message too.

We had a lovely afternoon with our friends, plenty of chatter going on, and the sweet little gift card certainly brought back wonderful memories.

Monday, May 31, 2021

Pink Ribbon Topknot, and Moaning MInnies

Tales from Ward 7

During my stay in Ward 7 I had a visit from a young male physio who was just completing his training.  It was Pink Shirt Day, not that I really knew that.  Anti-Bullying Day is a day when people wear a pink shirt to symbolise a stand against bullying.  But the physio staff have their own uniforms and instead of a pink shirt this young man was sporting a topknot tied up with a pink ribbon.  He was at pains to tell me all about it, and said his female colleagues had made him do it!  Good on him, I thought, taking a stand on such an important issue.

Who can remember those skin tight white surgical stockings used to prevent blood clots in the legs after an operation?  Seems they are now a things of the past.  While I was bedridden my lower  legs were wrapped in a pair of these, made from a material similar to batting used in quilting, threaded with tubes, and plugged into the power.  These gently massaged the legs, with each pulse accompanied by a low moaning sound – hence I called them Moaning Minnies.  To be fair, I thought the movement up and down each leg quite comforting and the accompanying noise was not too obtrusive at all.  My pair of Moaning Minnies kept me company for many days.


Moaning Minny

It is wonderful to be back home now to continue with my recovering.  Friends have been so kind, with cards, phone calls and visits.  And we really appreciated Val and Bill who dropped off a Cottage Pie when they came for a quick visit, making for an easy  meal  that night.


Thank you Val

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Home again

To make things easier for hospital visiting Robin moved or caravan closer to Wellington to reduce the travel time.  The day arrived for my spinal operation and I was whisked away.  The six hour operation went well, the surgeon told us, and I am now sporting a 10 inch scar down my backbone..  Must say that the neurosurgical team were so professional and certainly inspired confidence. I was hooked up to all sorts of equipment,  and the nursing care was excellent.  Although it was difficult to lay prone on my tummy for some time each day.


As expected the next few days were a bit rough, and then came a treat, my first time out of bed and sitting on the chair.  Who is that old lady clad in the rather fetching  hospital gown?


First time out of bed

After seven days in Wellington Hospital there was another adventure ahead – an ambulance ride up to Palmerston North Hospital.  I was taken down to the Transit Lounge – think of a small, rather busy railway station.  Wheelchairs and beds were wheeled in and out, and those who could walk were seated around, waiting to be collected by family and friends.  Patients who were moving on to another hospital facility, as I was, waited patiently for the ambulances to arrive.  It was a two hour drive in the ambulance, bounce, bounce, and I could keep up with the journey peeping through the glass paneled rear door.

On day three at Palmerston North Hospital  the physios, OT staff and doctors were happy for me to return home, with a walker to help out while I got my mobility back.    I’m told it will be a slow recovery as I had pressure on my spinal cord for the previous two years, so things have to get back to normal again. Gemma decided that since I had left her for a while, she would greet me on her terms!  On the first night back I tottered outside to get a glimpse at the blood moon, what a sight that was. 


To welcome me home

Robin has been wonderful while all this is going on, although he is suffering himself as he waits to be called up for his knee replacement operation.  Together we will puddle along,  and home is certainly  the best place to recover.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Sew Wot Tuesday and Surgery Date

Our two weekly Sew Wot get-together was a little different this time.  Helen was our hostess and she had arranged for us to meet at Fox’s Cottage, our gorgeous local quit shop.  She was concerned that two of us (back and knee problems) would have trouble climbing up the flight of internal stairs at her home, so arranged our morning at Fox’s Cottage instead.  Isn’t that wonderfully thoughtful of her.


Our local quilt shop

Sandra was minding her cute little grand-son Harry for the morning and he was so good, smiling at everyone, and taking an interest in everything with those big eyes of his.


Helen looking at at Harry with his Nana Sandra

And yes, there was a little Show and Tell, including these two “Patchwork of the Crosses” displayed in the shop.  Helen’s is on the left, and Mary’s on the right, don't they both look wonderful.  Helen enjoyed this hand piecing project so much she has started another Crosses to use up her bits, but we all know that doesn’t really work, does it.  We all know that fabric pieces tend to multiply in the night!


Patchwork of the Crosses by Helen and Mary

Another one using up her scraps was Heather, who had made this very striking Eye Spy style quilt top.  Each print is framed in black to make it pop, and I love the way the borders were pieced in a variety of brights.  This will be tucked away, waiting for a future great-grand baby.


Heather’s Eye Spy quilt top

I had taken along my two knitting projects, which I had blogged about recently.  I’m so pleased I have now used up all of the two different blue wools.


My recent knitting finishes

We had a lovely morning, sharing the tables with two ladies from the weekly knitting group.  So we shared our Morning Tea prepared by Helen with them, and the shop staff, plus two visiting reps as well.  There was some knitting going on, a little hand piecing, and “pass the baby” too.  Thanks Helen for organising a lovely morning.


Our yummy morning tea

I’ve now been given the date for my back surgery, so I’m looking forward to that with a little trepidation.  I’ll be admitted next Sunday afternoon, with my op scheduled as second on the list for Monday morning.  All going well, as long as there are no emergencies, as the Wellington neurosurgery unit takes patients and emergencies including stroke victims over quite a large area.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Knitting and Happy Mother’s Day

I’ve had a few knitting finishes over the last wee while.  I don’t know about you, but sewing up the garments often gets put on the back burner.  My mission was to use up the remaining blue wool left over from knitting myself a pretty blue jumper. The weather is cooling down so no doubt I’ll be wearing it soon.  There was enough yarn left to make a toddlers cardigan, and a scarf – the scarf will go in the donation box and I’ll keep the cardigan for a while in my baby box, just in case there is a need for family knitting.


Using up the last of the blue wool

Another recent finish was a pretty pair of socks for myself using a ball of the gorgeous Zauberball wool in shades of pink and lilac.  This yarn is fine 4 ply so they took me quite a while to knit, and I’m really pleased with the result.  I always maintained that because I’m so slow knitting socks,  I would only ever knit them for myself.  But grand daughter Megan saw a photo of them on Snap Chat and asked if I would knit her a pair for her birthday, or maybe Christmas.  So what could I do, I just had to say yes!


My new socks

Today is Mother’s Day here in New Zealand, as it is in other countries, although I believe that it is celebrated in a different month in UK.  So Happy Mother’s Day to all.  My flowers from last week’s early Mother’s Day get-together are lasting quite well – I’ve trimmed the stems back and removed any flowers which were looking sad.  It’s amazing how much water cut flowers consume.


My flowers are lasting well

Hope you have all had a lovely day, and been remembered.  My adult son (who lives in the South Island) doesn’t really show any interest is these sorts of celebrations, so I usually phone him to remind him what day it is.  Then he feels obliged to wish me Happy Mother’s Day!