A mixed bag

It’s been a physical couple of days.

Wednesday: Stitches out and a pat on the back from the surgeon. The knee is healing well and in a couple of days it’ll be fine to swim. Thursday: My first tai chi class. In case anyone thinks it’s just slow motion wafting around your arms and legs to an imaginary sound track of traditional Chinese music, think again. Move slowly into a position. Hold it…hold it some more…slowly move out of it. Stand on one leg… for what seems like hours. Etc. Yes, it’s slow, but you can easily end up with wobbly legs and aching arms, as I did. But I loved it! I felt energised without being sweaty and purple in the face, and the effect lasted for ages. I’ll be going every week.
Friday: an hour of moderate torture with the physiotherapist, the first of 4. It brought home how much my left leg has wasted in the weeks of favouring it, keeping it immobile and having it strapped up in a brace. With luck I’ll build enough muscle to protect it from further damage.

In between these sessions, I’ve got half of the $11R blocks bordered with dark blue in my now deliciously cool sewing room. I’ll the rest done over the next few days. It looks really good, and will look even better with the colourful skinny scrappy joining strip between the dark blue borders. It’s also very nice having extra space now that I’ve been able to put away all the teal fabrics for the time being.

Best of all, I had a call today from Emily at Ovarian Cancer Australia to let me know that ST&D had arrived safely. She was so excited! The entire team thinks it’s a wonderful piece of work, and she’s definitely planning to bid on it herself. She also loves the mug rug, and says she’s planning to frame it!  I said I’d hoped she’d use it for her mug of tea, but she was afraid of making it dirty… They are having a professional photographer for the fundraising event, who’ll take photos of the quilt as part of the event record. If you worked on the quilt and would like a digital file of the final photo, let me know. She’ll also let us know who becomes its eventual owner, and how much it raises.

That was a really good phone call, and makes all the work everyone has done in putting the quilt together so rewarding.


47 thoughts on “A mixed bag

  1. May the beauty and harmony of your handwork influence your left leg to recover perfectly.

  2. kathyreeves says:

    All wonderful news Kate! I ♥️ the the scrappy connector between the navy, it reall makes the quilt unique, and I’m so happy to hear your knee is doing well and of course about the reception of our quilt!

  3. Emma says:

    How good is tai chi right? I’ve been doing some as part of my body balance routine and you definitely feel it the next day! Happy to hear that the stitches are out and that the quilt arrived in Melbourne safely. Looking forward to see more of your 11$Rainbow!

    • katechiconi says:

      I enjoyed it a lot, not least because it gave me a peaceful hour of concentrating on one simple activity rather than feeling I was being pulled in all directions. Very calming 🙂

  4. Kate, what great news! I’m so glad you’re healing well. I’m equally delighted to hear that the quilt arrived and that it’s receiving all the accolades it deserves. That’s brilliant. I can’t wait to see the professional pics of the piece on display. What fun!

    • katechiconi says:

      It seems there’s usually some excitement and anticipation when they know a quilt is on the way. Apparently there was a fair amount of squealing when the large parcel was placed on her desk…
      Today I’m paying the price of the physio session, but I’m also reaping the benefit.

      • Physio is always hard, but when I’m fully engaged (after an injury or a surgery) I get amazing results. I can only imagine the thrill of having that quilt land on someone’s desk. Those of you who regularly quilt have probably lost sight of the extraordinary and awe-inspiring joy that the rest of us see when we look at this kind of beautiful, skilled and creative work. It’s fabulous.

      • katechiconi says:

        Those of us who quilt regularly probably have our noses up against it too much to step back and take a longer view at it! I can’t help seeing quilts with an analytical eye, instead of pure enjoyment, but I do still appreciate the lovely work everyone has done.

  5. Lynda says:

    My aunt’s husband was a tai che instructor and even in his seventies he was very fit! Keep up the good work! Loving the contrast strip on your quilt. It is so pretty. And, because you asked, I would like a copy of the photograph, please.

    • katechiconi says:

      The event is on May 5, so I’ll have a photo and info some time after that.
      Many moons ago, when I was in my 20s, I did several years of Shaolin Kung Fu. I stopped in the end because I bruise easily and my bosses weren’t happy about me turning up to work with visible bruising from intense combat sessions! Some of the Tai Chi moves are familiar from those days, as are the breathing patterns and the focus/living in the moment.

  6. tialys says:

    Surgeon’s pet!
    So glad you’re recovering well – you followed all the rules so you deserve to reap the benefits.
    When I was doing yoga (I’ve swapped to Pilates now) we often mixed in some tai chi ish stuff where we would hold a move for what seemed like forever (I actually think it’s a particular kind of yoga we were doing but I can’t remember the name – there are so many).
    Love the way the scrappy quilt is developing – I might just start joining some of my own scraps together in a similar way – your finished blocks have inspired me.
    As for the ST&D quilt, I imagine they were excited as it is a unique and gorgeous item and, yes please, I’d love to see the professional photo when it’s available.

    • katechiconi says:

      I was afraid I’d find Tai Chi a bit, well, airy-fairy, but it’s just simple controlled movements and breathing, and I felt more lively and energetic afterwards, for several hours. Got to be good, right?
      I’d love to see your take on a scrappy quilt, some of your fabrics are really gorgeous!

  7. claire93 says:

    I do wish Emily would use the mug rug as a mug rug lol. I hate it when we make things for people and they say they’re too pretty to use.

  8. rutigt says:

    Try machine quilting a big quilt and your arms will be fully trained when you´re finished. Trust me, I´m working on 365 Challenge right now and though I divided it into three parts, it is still big and heavy 🙂 I´m so glad your knee is better! And yes, I´d like to have that photo from the fundraising!

  9. dayphoto says:

    OH! I don’t envy you the torture, but at the end…a new way of walking….without pain!

  10. There is so much in this post I want to talk about! First, if Thai chi is anything like yoga, it really works those muscles in way that is bitter sweet. Pain pain, ah… the joy! Love love it:). Second, that bright scrappy separation border is absolutely perfect! It will separate and unify at the same time. Third, I’m so excited for the ovarian cancer quilt! Yes, I would love a picture or two ❤️❤️

    • katechiconi says:

      I’ve done exactly one class so far, so I can’t be certain, but it’s the same sort of slow, low impact, mindful practice, I think. I love that scrappy joining strip too, but I need to make a lot more to make up the whole quilt. Plus I need to piece a load of backing fabric from all the big scraps I pulled, so there’s still plenty to do! I’ll get all the fronts done first.
      I’ll put you on the list for the photo 🙂

  11. Tai chi… I’m impressed. Actually, I’m impressed with your knee progress & dedication to healing, and stunning & generous quilting efforts… as always ♡

    • katechiconi says:

      I wanted a regular practice that wasn’t going to put too much strain on my joints or stuff up my knee again, and Tai Chi fit the bill. The surprise is how much I enjoyed it! I thought I’d be irritated by loads of ‘wisdom of the ancients’ stuff, but the instructor is a cheerful middle aged woman of roughly the same build as me in shorts and a t-shirt (as opposed to a blonde, slender yoga goddess in head to toe Lorna Jane), and there’s only a little chakra-chat.

  12. It’s been a busy day but I had to come back and tell you how much I’m loving these squares all framed in. They are just so happy! Giant hugs and hope to see the finish of it. It will be stunning.

    • katechiconi says:

      I agree: I like them better framed, and I think the skinny scrappy strips that will join the frames will be the final touch. Take it easy, don’t over-tire yourself. The plan is to have this finished by the end of May so I can enter it for our local show. Not too long to wait…

  13. Good girl. Am so enjoying seeing this quilt underway, the basic premise is of course the most appealing thing for me 🙂 Just loving how it all comes together visually.

    • katechiconi says:

      What I’m enjoying is the ability to change things round if I want to, because it’s all totally scrappy! I’ve decided to make the skinny scrappy joining strips a bit wider than I normally would, because they’re pretty and I want to see a bit more. Of course, that does mean I have to make more strips….. More scraps used up!

  14. KerryCan says:

    Good news on so many fronts! Yay!

  15. nanacathy2 says:

    Hoping that you continue to get better. You almost have me convinced about the Tai chi exercise. Lovely news about the quilt and the scrappy one looks amazing.

    • katechiconi says:

      Yesterday I was walking almost normally up and down stairs, so something is working! The scrappy quilt is coming along, I’ll have something new to show soon.

  16. gwenniesgardenworld says:

    Good luck with your leg lady ! I know what it’s like to get painful physio!

  17. gwenniesgardenworld says:

    I love the dark blue arround the colourful blocks !

  18. I’ve done tai chi before. It’s like meditation in movement. I loved it! might have to take it up again now 🙂

  19. anne54 says:

    What a joyous post, full of good news. Great news that the surgeon is pleased with his/her handiwork, and that you are enjoying the tai chi. It is something on my list of things to do, as I love stretchy activities like yoga and pilates. Your comment “as opposed to a blonde, slender yoga goddess in head to toe Lorna Jane” made me smile. And the quilt made it to Melbourne safely, and the OCA people were delighted. How could they not be? It is such a beauty. Keep up the good work on your leg. xxx

    Thanks too, for your suggestion for my AiR. ‘Air in motion’ ~ brilliant ~ and could be the theme I am looking for.

    • katechiconi says:

      I do feel I’ve had a lot to be thankful for recently! I’m glad you like the suggestion, I felt very bold offering it, but I’d love to see what you do with the theme…

  20. magpiesue says:

    I’m just getting caught up a bit. Hope you’re having a good time with your nephew. 🙂 I’d like a digital copy of the photo of ST&D. It turned out so well! $11R is looking good too. That’s going to be a fun quilt, whether you use it on your lap or on the wall.

  21. A group has started doing tai chi on Saturday mornings along my usual dog-walking route. It is something that I have always wanted to try.I’ll have to ask next time I pass.
    What great news from Emily!

    • katechiconi says:

      I did my third class this morning, and I’m seriously enjoying it. It’s slow and gradual, but you certainly do give things a workout. Mine’s a beginner’s class designed for older people and those with arthritis, so very low impact. Perfect!

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