The Bookcase Quilt: hoping for miracles

It’s been the first time I’ve been able to get back to the sewing machine since my last post.

On Sunday I was struck down by one of the worst migraines I’ve had in many years. Acute light sensitivity, disturbance to my sense of smell, a vicious headache and periodic nausea. No sewing for me that day.

My niece arrived on Monday, and all thought of work was abandoned She had been in the country 3 days, and her luggage had not yet arrived. Large quantities of time and stress have been devoted to finding out what Air China have done with the suitcase containing all her most treasured possessions, carefully packed for the start of her year in Australia. It left London, and somewhere between there and here (with a stop in Beijing), it has gone walkies. Air China are profoundly unhelpful, and their customer service number ‘is no longer in service’. Her insurance company wants receipts for everything in the suitcase (I ask you, who keeps those for garments three years old, some of them?); only Qantas are being helpful, saying they think they have found it, but she won’t know till she goes back to Sydney on Saturday. We are crossing all fingers and toes.

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 4.43.55 pm

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 4.44.40 pmAfter a trip to hospital this morning to have a cardiac monitor fitted for 24 hours, today, at last, I got back into the sewing room.

I’ve cut the backing and batting for all the squares, and have pinned and quilted two of them. You can’t see it very well, in these small photos, but if you click on the image you’ll be able to see the spines puffing out between the lines of stitching in a most satisfactory way! The background has 2″ cross-hatching to stabilise it and contrast with the straight lines of the books. That’s invisible, which I’m quite happy about.

I’ve also sewn on one of my TTFC tags as a spine label on one of the books, and have put a plaque on the owl block which has her blog logo on it.

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 4.44.54 pm Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 4.44.20 pm

I still hope to get this finished before she flies out on Saturday morning. It’s going to need some seriously concentrated work on my part and a strong following wind, but she’s delighted to lie on a sun lounger in the garden with a book and a cup of tea or go for a ride on my bicycle rather than waiting to be entertained, so we’ll both be spending quality time doing what we enjoy. She’s totally un-crafty, so I can’t conscript her to help finish the quilt, but she’s excellent at making cups of tea!

It’s good to be back behind the machine…


51 thoughts on “The Bookcase Quilt: hoping for miracles

  1. manicmumdays says:

    Ugh! Migraines can be utterly debilitating hey? Hope you are feeling better now.
    Oh no! How horrible to lose her bags! Bad enough on a normal trip, but with her whole life in there – and no help! 😦 Hope Qantas gets it to her {I must remember not to fly Air China!}
    Quilt is looking fab!

    • katechiconi says:

      I’d tell anyone to avoid Air China, but she was trying to save as much money as possible… Go online and you read some really dreadful stories about them!
      The migraine was gone the next day, but I felt terrible the whole of that day. Just as well it passed or I’d have been still in bed when she got here, to add insult to injury.

  2. claire93 says:

    oh dear, I hope the lost luggage turns up

    • katechiconi says:

      It does sound hopeful; the girl on the phone described some of contents of the suitcase they’ve found, and they sound very familiar, so while she’s counting no chickens, she’s smiling again!

  3. EllaDee says:

    Migraines are shockers… combined with tracking lost luggage… doesn’t get a lot worse in day-to-day dross 😦 I hope the excitement for both of you the visit has mitigated it somewhat.
    I love houseguests who are self sufficient and make themselves congenially at home 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      They don’t happen often, but when they do it’s bad. We *are* having fun, and she’s very, very easy to have around, I wish she was able to stay a bit longer, but we’ll see her at Christmas.

  4. You have all my sympathy for the migraine, and also for the lost luggage, which I hope turns up safely. I love the effect of the in-the-ditch quilting. Are you machine quilting? I’m always scared to do that for fear of ruining the quilt with my wobbly lines!

    • katechiconi says:

      Yes, it’s machine quilting, and there ARE some minor wobbles, but I’m not beating myself up about it, since the niece doesn’t care, and I need to get it done quickly. There’s no way I could get it done in time, otherwise.

  5. Oh man, sorry to hear about the migraine and the trip to the hosp and the luggage… these things are sent to try us badly.
    Glad you’re back at the machine. Take care.

  6. rutigt says:

    Hope you´re feeling much better now! Migrain is no good, I know, trust me. I don´t think your niece mind waiting a few more days for her quilt. It´s a lovely quilt, worth waiting for 🙂

  7. Emmely says:

    Hope the luggage turns up soon, so annoying to have to spend so much time trying to get it back. Good luck with the quilting!

  8. tialys says:

    It’s always annoying when we’ve made careful plans and they are ruined by unforeseen circumstances. I occasionally get migraines which only consist of disturbed vision and a vague nausea but they are always quickly dispatched with an ibuprofen and closing my eyes for 5 minutes. However, I remember my mum getting migraines which were so bad she was convinced she must have a brain tumour or something. I’m sorry you’ve been suffering but enjoy your visitor while she’s there. Have you been having to lend her your knickers?

  9. Oh dear, I had migraines for many years – threatened to put me out of commission for days at a time (but who has time for that). Happy to say they have passed, hoping yours will too.
    Good luck with the luggage and quilt, it looks fabulous, and what a great time you’ll be having with your niece! Take care……..

    • katechiconi says:

      The nature of mine has changed since cancer and chemo, and at this stage I don’t hold out much hope they’ll pass, but you never know. Quilting and showing my niece some fun go hand in hand, hence the slow progress, but we’ll get there…

      • Keeping good thoughts for you, Kate. I’m sorry to hear how you’ve been suffering, and fingers crossed your health improves from now on. Your attitude is tremendous, and that has to help!

      • katechiconi says:

        Thank you, that’s so kind. I really can’t complain – I firmly believe I’ve beaten the disease, and while there has been some permanent damage from the chemo, the alternative would have been much worse! 🙂

  10. So sorry about the migraine. I had them for 30 years and no meds helped. They finally sent me for biofeedback. Haven’t had another since. The heart monitor sounds like a serious problem lurking. Just in case they don’t find anything this time. Keep an eye on it. I know about lost luggage. The last trip I took to Germany with my mother our luggage went missing for 5 days. We had to wash our clothes in the sink each night and hang them to dry after buying one change of clothes to get by. We were given a toothbrush and a hairbrush. I still have the hairbrush as a reminder. I’m wondering if you took photos of everything in your luggage if that would make a difference to the airlines. Somethings, though can’t be replaced. Keeping my fingers crossed.
    You know of course, I’m crazy about this quilt. Wish I could see it up close and personal. :)) It’s a wonderful quilt. I’m hoping to start sewing again too in a day or so. As soon as the sutures are out, I’ll get new glasses and maybe see what I’m working on again. If I waited for things to be done perfectly, I would get no sewing done at all I have lots of wobbly lines but that’s how I walk too. 🙂 Keep us posted on all fronts.

    • katechiconi says:

      The migraines have been part of my life forever. The heart business, however, is new and slightly alarming, so I’m focusing on that. We’re thinking positively about the suitcase, with everything crossed for a good outcome on Sunday. I’m hoping the quilt gets done before she goes because I want a photo of her with it!

  11. dayphoto says:

    Oh, my goodness! Our daughter had to wear a heart monitor for a spell. I sure hope you are doing okay. {{{HUGS}}}

    • katechiconi says:

      I hope so too: I have sinus tachycardia, I get palpitations and breathlessness from time to time, and my blood pressure has suddenly rocketed after being rock steady normal all my life. They just want to see what’s going on, and I have no arguments with that. Sadly, chemo can cause heart damage, among its many other charming side effects…

      • dayphoto says:

        Oh, goodness. It’s time you start getting some breaks! I pray your heart is okay

      • katechiconi says:

        Some heath breaks would be very nice! However, my doctor feels the issue is not serious, he’s just having me see a cardiologist to eliminate anything nasty, and there will be a diagnosis of indeterminate, non-critical tachycardia we don’t have to do anything about. Which will be nice, as I’ll start to rattle if I have to take any more pills!

      • dayphoto says:

        Fingers crossed for the best results!

  12. Magpie Sue says:

    Yikes! When it rains, it pours. I hope things turn out well on all fronts. I’m glad you’ve recovered from your migraine. You know I know how incapacitating they can be. ;- ) The quilt is looking fabulous – of course!

    • katechiconi says:

      I know you of all people will have an appreciation. This was a particularly vicious one… I rejoiced to be feeling OK again and got back to the sewing machine as soon as I could!

  13. Jule says:

    Ouch! Wishing you all the best. 🙂 I bet your niece is leaving with a beautiful quilt. 😀

    • katechiconi says:

      Yes, it was a bit of a collision of several misfortunes! I’ve very happy with how the quilt is shaping up, and I think I’ll be doing QAYG again, because the quilting part is sooooo much easier this way!

  14. Conor Bofin says:

    Good to see you are recovering. I have never suffered migraine and am glad for that.

  15. lucyannluna says:

    Glad you seem to be on the mend now. The quilt is looking fabulous. Sorry to hear about your nieces luggage. Hope everything is ok with heart monitor.

  16. anne54 says:

    You know, as I was reading of the horrible things that have happened lately, I was thinking how fortunate that your niece will be able to leave your place with that beautiful quilt. Not only have you made it specially for her, but you have put in those reminders of her life. A treasure for her life here in Australia. Xoxox

    • katechiconi says:

      That’s exactly what I thought. I hope she’ll find a multitude of uses for it: something to snuggle under in the colder months, a yoga mat, a beach mat, a picnic blanket, a pillow…

  17. Lorij says:

    You’re in my prayers that the heart situation turns out to be a non issue.
    Losing luggage is horrible. I’ve had mine sent other places here in the states and it took nearly 2 weeks one to recover it, but they did find it and they brought it to my house. They were very nice. Glad you don’t have headache any more. Really hope you have a wonderful visit with your niece.

    • katechiconi says:

      So far the niece’s visit has been a blast, we’re really enjoying having her here and the end of it approaches all too quickly. We’ll find out about the luggage quite soon, thank goodness. And the heart thing, well, I’m ignoring that until I see the cardiologist on 30th September, and I’m working on the assumption that it will be nothing I need to do anything about.

  18. Carole says:

    Sorry to hear about the migraine. Sounds like a really nasty one, and I know what they’re like.
    Fingers crossed for the case being the right one 🙂

  19. pattisj says:

    This is really coming together nicely!

  20. Grannymar says:

    Love the way the quilt is progressing. I have great empathy for you with both the sinus tachycardia and the migraine, my mother suffered with both for almost forty years. I had to wear a heart monitor for twenty four hours, but the results were good to my great relief and I did not need to have surgery. My problems were caused by my BP meds.

  21. katechiconi says:

    I doubt heart surgery is in my future, thank goodness. I feel sure my GP would not be so calm about the whole business if it were otherwise. I’ve always had tachycardia and a very rapid pulse, and the blood pressure meds didn’t come till later, so I can’t blame them…

  22. Kirsten says:

    Oh no, one of my worst nightmares is losing my luggage. That’s why I cram as much as I can into my carry on bag. Although granted that is tricky when you are going somewhere for 12 months! I hope it turns up soon. From my experience of Chinese airlines, I am not surprised about their lack of helpfulness.
    Hope the ticker is okay.

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s a sorry tale. Not only does the Air China customer helpline number not work, but the email address she was given for them has just bounced back after retrying to send for three solid days. Out of curiosity I Googled ‘Air China lost luggage’. Oh.My.Word. Did I read some doozies!

      • Kirsten says:

        I hope it turns up eventually. Nothing worse than it being lost in oblivion for all eternity. If I was being really pessimistic I would say some cheeky Chinese baggage handler has had away with it and sold all her possessions on some market somewhere . . . 😦

      • katechiconi says:

        It was delivered safe and sound this morning, having reached Sydney via Mongolia!

  23. Cardiac monitors and migraines?! Yikes! I hope you are ok.
    Glad the suitcase found its way eventually.

    • katechiconi says:

      Migraine’s gone, cardiac monitor result are obviously not urgent as I have to wait till 30th September to get them, so I’m not too worried. And the arrival of the suitcase was cause for a well-deserved celebration for my niece!

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