Worldwide Friends: Facing unpalateable facts…

Unpalateable fact No. 1: I am a total idiot sometimes.

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 7.28.04 am

The problem…

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…the solution

The facing for one side is assembled, and I’m about to begin applying it. I made a stupid, stupid, stupid mistake last night, and trimmed off excess quilt in the wrong place, which means I had to make and add extra hexies to the facing to hide the gap. I was tired, it was late and I cut before I thought. Note to self: never do anything terminal with scissors when you’re tired and not thinking straight. It looks OK, and I don’t have a problem with the bottom facing border being slightly deeper than the other sides on the back, which is just as well, or I’d be making a whole heap more hexies, which I surely don’t have time for.

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 7.28.51 amToday, as it’s raining (hurrah, brilliant news!), is an indoor day and I hope to make significant sewing strides without being lured outside by the siren song of the garden. I just have to make a delivery to the coffee shop, and then I can crack on.

My hands are getting pretty bad now. I wake every morning to find them stiff and aching, and it takes a while to get them mobile. Opening jars is becoming virtually impossible. I think they’ll hold out till WWF is finished, though, and after that, the next quilt on the production line is fully machine pieced and quilted until I have to hem down the binding.

Anyone out there have any quick fixes for loosening up arthritic fingers? I’m not talking drugs or supplements, but something more immediate: hot water’s good, but only a short term solution…

Motto for today: measure twice, cut once….

41 thoughts on “Worldwide Friends: Facing unpalateable facts…

  1. ordinarygood says:

    Aggghhh I know your pain. Not with stunning and amazing quilts like you produce but with curtains. No going back for that mistake but fortunately it was a small window and not a huge amount of money was spent. Like you it was “NOTE to self – do not cut when tired or harried”.
    With you on arthritic fingers – I have no long term or quick fix solutions, sorry, but I will watch and see what others might suggest.

    • katechiconi says:

      With curtains, I’d probably have made a ‘feature’ and inserted a contrasting band or something. Here, adding another hexie was the only way to go, but it looks fine. I spent a good 10 minutes kicking myself thoroughly!

      • ordinarygood says:

        A friend and I mulled over adding a “feature” in some way, shape or form but decided it would look hideous. We went and found a nicely priced alternative and measured time and again before picking up the scissors!!! Nice outcome in the end.
        Here’s to kicking up your heels in a merry and happy dance when the fabulous quilt is finished!!!!!

      • katechiconi says:

        Oh, I hear you! If the arthritis permitted, I’d be doing a cancan!

  2. You’re right — doing anything with sharp instruments is a bad idea when tired or distracted. FMQ or any quilting is bad to do when tired or distracted, as the cost (picking stitches for hours) exceeds the gain.

    I’m sorry about your hands. Rest will help when you get a chance.

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s not so much the mistake, which was easily fixed as how stupid I felt because I just didn’t stop and think a little longer. I just need to slow down and calm down; it will get done in time, but not if I charge at it like a maniac! 🙂

  3. claire93 says:

    I have a couple of pairs of Hand’Eze mittens that I wear when my thumb joints give me pain from too much crafting, Kate. Ideally I should wear them all for the time for crafting to prevent pain setting in, but I usually only pop them on once hands are painful.
    I was sceptical when I bought them, but they really do help relieve pain.

  4. Kate, I am ouching sympathetically for you – both for your pan and for the mistake.(which I’m sure every quilter has made at least once). I swear by cod liver oil capsules for all sorts of benefits, keeping the joints lubricated being the prime reason. But the effect is not instant – it takes about three weeks worth to start working. But f I run out, I stiffen up within a few days..

    • katechiconi says:

      I suppose it’s worth a try. I took glucosamine and fish oil supplements for over a year and could discern no difference, either before or after I stopped, so I saved myself the money… The problem is now very widespread, but my hands are giving me most trouble because of the intensive sewing activity. It’ll pass once I go back to the sewing machine!

  5. hmmmm not happy about your hands. I’d start with the hand-eze glove thing that claire93 mentioned. 😦

    • katechiconi says:

      I’ll see if I can get hold of them fairly easily, but my main concern is that a) they’ll reduce dexterity and b) they’ll be too hot for our climate.

  6. lucyannluna says:

    We have all cut off things we should have left & made extra work for our selves. It looks really fantastic.

    • katechiconi says:

      You’re right, but I can’t afford time-costing mistakes at this stage…. Thanks for the kind comment, all the support I’m getting really helps get me through this last stage.

  7. tialys says:

    Turmeric is supposed to be very good for arthritis. Probably best in tablet form unless you are able to eat vast amounts of curry. For immediate relief, have you got a masseur (or even a beautician) locally who could give you a hand massage – or would that be too painful?

    • katechiconi says:

      Just now, a massage would have me screaming… I’ve heard turmeric is useful but it has to be a special kind; more research needed, I think. I can grow it in the garden here, it’s in the ginger family and should do well…

  8. EllaDee says:

    Whenever I rush, am tired, hungry or all 3 is bound to bite me… I like how you salvaged it. Sometimes that’s where real skill lays. Disaster recovery!
    The pharmacist at the Nambucca Heads Guardian pharmacy makes a brilliant Arnica & Aspirin cream. The G.O. swears by it. We have a spare jar. I’m happy to send it to you to try 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      Now that sounds like something I can slap on at need for instant relief rather than needing to take something for months before it starts working! I’d be very grateful for your spare jar, and now I know where to go for my own supply next time I’m down! Let me know how much I owe you, and I’ll transfer the funds.

      • Nanette says:

        I was going to suggest arnica cream too, I use it all the time for all my sore spots, but especially when my fingers on the end of the metal plates in my arm ache and grumble and freeze. When you have a moment to sit, you could try either half a teaspoon of cayenne in a cup of warm apple cider vinegar or a teaspoon of epsom salts in warm water. Both have anti-inflammatory and alkaline properties which will help with the flare-up. I do either, then a gentle massage with arnica cream. Gentle stretches and flexing and wiggling are good too.

      • katechiconi says:

        Ella Dee’s aspirin and arnica cream is rather good stuff! I’m going to persist with it, and if I become as big a fan as she is, we’ll bring you some next time we’re homeward bound from Coffs. Looking forward to the day when I don’t have to pick up a needle for a while – not too far off now…

  9. rutigt says:

    Mistakes are for learning they say. I don´t know if it´s true, I often do the same mistake over and over again 🙂 Be nice to your hands, let them rest. The quilt is looking good for all I can see!

    • katechiconi says:

      Well, making the mistake right at the start does mean I won’t do it again on the other three sides. It has also warned me to slow down and pay attention, so it was a good learning experience overall!

  10. Been there, done that. My beloved double wedding ring quilt has a weird join on the back where I cut when tired and emotional. Glad the problem is fixable.

  11. Oh no 😦 but something glorious is emerging from an error.For your poor hands, gently heat (until warm, not hot) some almond oil or olive oil with a few drops of lavender oil and (you’ll need help with this!) dip your hands in it, wrap in cling film and cover your hands with towels to keep them warm as long as possibe. Unwrap yourself when it’s all cooled down and if you can bear it, rub the excess oil into your hands, if not wash gently off. Hope it helps!

  12. Kirsten says:

    Oh dear, poor hands. I’m afraid I don’t know of any quick fixes. My mum has started rubbing comfrey oil into her knees (which is supposed to be as good as taking ibuprofen) but I fear it is not an instant thing . . . hope someone comes up with something that helps.

  13. Grannymar says:

    Oh kate, I feel your pain, but as my father used to say: Every fault is a fashion. If lace, ribbon, crocheted, knitted or tatted items can be finished with a picot, why not patchwork? I actually think you are on to a winner here, it looks very creative!

    Do you have any sponge balls, think tennis sized. I use them to squeeze when my hands feel stiff.

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s not a bad patch on the problem, is it? (excuse the pun!) I think I’d find squeezing a ball rather painful, but I’m fairly sure that once this intensive period of hand sewing is over, they’ll be less sore.

  14. Conor Bofin says:

    Ouch! My thoughts are with you.

    • katechiconi says:

      I’ve been thinking goose grease as the base for some kind of herbal brew might be the go. Sadly the wonder product is in short supply around here.

  15. how about cream that warms you up where you applied it ? sportsmen use it and people who have arthritis, it’s for sale at the pharmacist

  16. anne54 says:

    Oh your poor hands! Mine are beginning to give me trouble, so I try to go easy on the crocheting, but it is so hard to not do something you love. I rub in emu oil, which takes quite a while to be absorbed. Something helps, maybe the oil or maybe the gentle massage. My fabulous masseuse says to make sure I massage the palms of my hands and at the wrists to gently ease out the tendons. Hugs xox
    BTW that photo on my post is all yours!

  17. katechiconi says:

    My joints are what are giving me trouble, rather than the muscles and tendons; I get clunky sensations first thing in the morning – it’s almost as if I need oiling, like a sewing machine! Holding them in a bowl of hot water does seem to loosen things up, but it doesn’t last, unfortunately.
    I don’t know when I’d do anything with the image, but I love it, and want to have it as a reserve project, so thank you for giving me the go ahead.

  18. Lynda says:

    Hot water IS good. LOL, Bob teased me about not using the dishwasher, but I set him straight! Hot dishwater makes my finger joints feel better, and twice-so in the cold winter months!

    If you have food allergies, then avoid them like the plague! I react to milk products and beet sugar. In addition to sinus congestion, too much of a good thing will go directly to my joints as well. I never wanted to believe this was true, but over the years I have realized it is so. :(((((

    • katechiconi says:

      Well, I’m sort of hoping there are no more food allergies in my life… I’m already coeliac, and lactose intolerant. If I have to restrict even more life will become a bit dull, especially as I’m an enthusiastic cook.

      • Lynda says:

        I hear you on both counts! Coeliac is no fun, nor is being lactose intolerant. I have multiple food allergies on top of that, and you are right, it can be dull. 😦

  19. pattisj says:

    I once read sage advice to never do anything requiring full-on attention after 9:00 p.m. I’ve proven the theory to be correct, and now refrain!

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s sound advice, but the trouble is, if we never did anything important while we were tired, hungry, irritable, in pain or distracted, nothing would ever get done!

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