$11R, and catching up with myself

I’ve been off the radar a lot, haven’t I?

Plenty of excellent reasons for that, but first, here’s the latest on the $11 Rainbow quilt. I have the last, and largest, seam still to go, and then the top is fully assembled.

I’ve been poking through my scraps, and I will be doing a scrappy binding, but nowhere near as fiddly as the scrappy strip I’ve done for the sashing. For one thing, it’d make the binding very lumpy, and for another, it would take forever. I need at least 270 inches of binding, and that is a very great deal of sewing together tiny snippets. Instead, I’ll still go scrappy but with much larger pieces in random colours, interspersed with 6 inch sections of the blue batiks I used for sashing on the reverse. 6 inches of batik, 6 inches of random. That’ll go a lot quicker. I’ve also taken the decision not to put this quilt into the Mackay Show, for reasons which will become apparent in a moment.

So, the catching up bit. The Husband and I took on the job of organising our motorbike club’s Annual National Rally here in Mackay in August this year: 50-80 riders and their partners, for a three day weekend, organising accommodation, meals, the rally dinner, rides and route maps, catering and entertainment. The hope was that we’d get volunteer help from other members, and plenty of advice and assistance from higher up the club food chain. Neither of these has materialised. Add to this the fact that the Husband works shifts of tremendously long hours, and it doesn’t take a genius to work out who gets to do a lot of the organising.

I’ve also been summoned for jury service in the very week when the Mackay Show is on, and if I can’t go to the show I don’t see the point of submitting a quilt. It’s not as if I’m expecting to win anything with this quilt, so I’ll just finish it as time allows, and take some pressure off myself. What’s chiefly annoying me about jury service is that it’s the 4th time I’ve been summoned in as many years, while the Husband has served only once in his life 😦

And finally, more health fun. Half a year ago I had my coeliac disease diagnosis reversed after 10 years. Well fine, but what was causing the symptoms? Much testing-misery later, I’ve been told to see an Accredited Dietitian and adopt a low-FODMAP diet, as I may have an unusual form of IBS. Eating gluten-free as a coeliac was challenging enough, but this is a whole new ballgame. Thank heavens for the app developed by Monash University, who conducted the original research and have extensively tested the resulting IBS-resolving diet over the past 20 years. I’m slowly working my way through all the nasties that may be causing the problem. It’s dull, but at least I’m not feeling permanently unwell any more. And one day, I’m promised that I’ll be able to eat more normally and things will have settled down for good.

So that’s me all caught up, and hopefully explains why it’s been so quiet in Chiconia recently.  


60 thoughts on “$11R, and catching up with myself

  1. craftycreeky says:

    Love the quilt! Lack of volunteers to organise is an ongoing problem here too in most organisations, people want to have fun but aren’t prepared to put the effort in to help. I’ve never done jury service, yet my son was called up last year at the age of 22, he was not impressed, totally bored! I’d love to do it, just think of all the embroidery I could do when waiting around!

    • katechiconi says:

      Sadly, I think you might not be allowed to take it in with you. We had to leave all our stuff in a locker, phones, notebooks, knitting and all… Sometimes you get an interesting jury-mate to chat with, but mostly there’s a lot of boring hanging about.

  2. craftycreeky says:

    Forgot to say, hope the diet works well, it sounds hard going, but if it makes you feel so much better it will be worth it 🙂

  3. nanacathy2 says:

    The quilt is gorgeous, everytime I see it I think of stained glass windows.
    The problem with organising stuff is people are all to happy to enjoy something but not to do the work.
    I was so sorry to read of your health problems. I now IBS can flair up unexpectedly at anytime and I hope you find out the causes.
    I did a distant learning short course on mindfulness with Monash University, not relevant at all but it was nice to recognise the name!

  4. tialys says:

    It sounds as if you are chasing your tail in all directions at once.
    I’ve read up about the diet and it looks pretty harsh but I guess it makes it easier if you know you won’t have to stay on it forever.
    Inspired by you (as I often am), I have started to knock out the occasional scrappy block when I think about it. I’m sure the blocks will add up to quilt size pretty quickly and it will give me something to show on Scraphappy day.

    • katechiconi says:

      It feels that way a little, too… The diet could be a lot worse: for example, I’m allowed a little dark chocolate, a little Nutella, a glass of wine, a G&T (full sugar version!), as much meat, eggs and hard cheese as I like, and really, I’m just watching the starches, grains, pulses, vegies and fruit.
      Can’t wait to see your scrappyness so far!

      • tialys says:

        interesting! I have flare ups now and again and I eat a lot of grains and seeds which I think mess with my digestion a bit. I usually have a bowl of oat based cereal for lunch to which I add a tablespoon of mixed seeds and some fruit – maybe i should switch to a boiled egg and toast.

      • katechiconi says:

        Dried and fresh fruit can both be a problem, as can some nuts. Seeds are mostly OK. If you’re going to try the boiled egg & soldiers approach, try it with sourdough bread instead, which is easier to digest.

  5. Emma says:

    That quilt is so pretty! ❤ I've actually heard about FODMAP for the first time this week when I accompanied hubby to a conference. I thought it was fascinating as I had never heard of it before. Hubby was called to do jury service too last year but that was when we were moving to Victoria so he got out of it. It sounds pretty boring, and I'm assuming you're not allowed to bring a book?

  6. KerryCan says:

    That quilt is marvelous! The fiddly sashing has really paid off. I’m going to look into the FODMAP app–I keep reading about the diet and wondering if it would help me . . . but it seems so draconian. Still, it would be lovely have a normal gut!

  7. kymlucas says:

    Love this quilt! And how typical that helpers didn’t materialize for your rally. And yet, they’ll all benefit from your efforts. Glad you’ll be getting to the bottom of your digestive issues, but what a hassle! And jury duty on top of it all is just the icing on the cake.
    Sorry you’ll miss the show because I would definitely vote your quilt a winner. It’s my favorite kind.

    • katechiconi says:

      Thank you! None of it’s really painful on its own, but added together they make a situation that is painfully time consuming and frustrating. I can’t wait for this month to be over!

      • kymlucas says:

        My mom would say “Don’t wish your life away, even the bad parts.” But I empathize. What a pain to have it all at once.

      • katechiconi says:

        She was right, and what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger! It would, however, have been nice to do without the jury service…

      • kymlucas says:

        Definitely. Especially since you’ve done it so recently.

      • Chris S in Canada says:

        Our moms were correct saying “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger” – except for bears. Bears just kill you (and to add insult to injury, sometimes they eat you)! Oh, and sharks, sharks just kill you.

        I heard about FODMAP perhaps mid-fall last year so I’m interested to hear how you manage. Sounds like it’s helping already, I sure hope that continues. I have been lucky that I haven’t had too many medical issues, I am so grateful for that!

        The quilt is gorgeous!

        Chris S in Canada

      • katechiconi says:

        Sharks’ll eat you too, given half a chance…
        FODMAP isn’t for everyone. You need to get a proper diagnosis first, or you could be missing a more serious issue. But in my case, the serious stuff has been excluded, so now it’s just a matter of finding out what the main triggers are.
        Glad you like the quilt. I’m loving it myself! 🙂

  8. So glad your “insides” are getting back in line. Sounds like heavy going for you lately, time-wise and food-wise, but you always manage to sound so positive. Thinking of you xxx

    • katechiconi says:

      The food issue is a pain in the rear, both literally and metaphorically, but the notion that I will not have to ricochet from loo to nearest loo forever is deeply refreshing! One day, I’ll have things under control… The rest is a passing train wreck and will be forgotten in 6 months.

      • Goodness, the toilet thing sounds dreadful. So glad it’s getting sorted! And here’s to forgetting unpleasant challenges…I’m staring the aftermath of one in the face right now (literally as well as metaphorically) but it won’t last forever. In the meantime, new neighbours just dropped off some lovely pinotage as a welcome gift – will focus on THAT 🙂

      • katechiconi says:

        That sounds extremely sensible!

  9. dayphoto says:

    I’m so glad you have a diagnosis and move forward. We fought Terry’s health issues for 60 years…then we finally got the right doctor and the right diagnoses and the right food program. Finally! I’m so glad you can start to heal and to do so with food is the true magic!

  10. gwenniesgardenworld says:

    Glad to hear your health has improved ! They must love you in court !! I never ever had to do so but I know people who did

  11. gwenniesgardenworld says:

    and said it was not easy !

  12. Emmely says:

    That’s a lot going on… I am certaimly not sorry we don’t have jury duty here… I once met an American who had jury duty in a super complicated gang related case that took 3 months! I really hope you’ll be let off a bit sooner.
    Does your new diagnosis now mean that you can eat gluten again? The diet sounds like a pain to stick to but if it makes you feel better that’s wonderful.

    • katechiconi says:

      In theory, the jury service will only last for 2 weeks. But if the last case I sit on drags on, it will last longer…
      I can eat small amounts of gluten, which is nice. The trouble is, the diet is not logical or intuitive. You really need to look things up. The good bit is, if you get it wrong, there’s no lasting damage, unlike coeliac disease.

  13. magpiesue says:

    You do have some heavy plowing ahead of you. Glad it’s looking like you’ve got a solution for you gut issues; hope that continues to benefit you. Will you be sewing the binding down by hand? That still a lot of seam allowances to cope with at 6 inches of each. Don’t you have another quilt you were planning to enter in the Mackay show this year? What a drag that you’ll have to miss the show for jury duty. That’s adding insult to injury!

    • katechiconi says:

      Yes, I’ll be finishing the binding by hand, another very good reason to ensure there aren’t too many seams. But I do enjoy that part of the process (strange and perverse, I know!) it will not be too unpleasant. No other quilt is ready or available to submit. It’s OK, there’s always another quilt, and another year. So long as jury service doesn’t intervene again!

  14. claire93 says:

    your quilt is looking gorgeous!
    Sorry to hear about the new dietary limitations.
    I’m strictly GF (otherwise severe allergic reaction & epipen involved) but that sounds easy peasy when I read the list of all the foods you’re now having to cut out. Mind you, meat, egg & cheese is good! Just have to work out what you’re allowed with them!

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s the sneaky additions, as always: what’s in the sauces, what have they snuck into the GF bread…? And it’s not intuitive: why is cabbage OK but not cauliflower? And why rockmelon but not watermelon? Why broccoli florets but not the stalks?

  15. kathyreeves says:

    Yikes, that is a lot of stuff going on all at once! Wishing you the very best with the diet clean out and reset. I’m so glad that you are seeing a difference already, that makes it easier to stick with the program, even when it is as complicated as this! Boo hiss that you were called yet again for jury duty, and right on top of the quilt show. Here’s hoping you are in and out! The quilt is looking just spectacular, and I am already in love with your binding! Enjoy not having to rush with it. Sending hugs and good wishes!

  16. anne54 says:

    I love your quilt, and the binding, both black and scrappy, really brings it together. What a shame that you won’t be able to enter it into the Show because of that pesky jury duty (which I have never done ~ sorry). I have friends who follow the FODMAP diet. One of the worst things for them seems to be onions. It will be so good to get your diet sorted. xxx

    • katechiconi says:

      Onions, garlic, mushrooms, cauliflower, mangoes, apples, honey… I’m finding it really hard to cook without onion and garlic and mushrooms, and apples were always my go-to snack. The trick is going to be finding out what quantity of each trigger food is the threshold for setting off the problem.
      As of this afternoon, the quilt’s fully assembled. Now to piece together all the bits for the binding.

  17. rutigt says:

    It feels great when finally realize what hit you 🙂 I suffered from migraine for many years, but didn´t understand it was food related until my DH came up with the idea! I still have migraine now and then, but not as often as before. BTW……the idea with the scrap strings between the blocks is absolutely fabulous!!!! When I do the binding, there´s always left overs, I save them and have sometimes used them as a scrappy binding!

  18. This too shall pass… is probably not much consolation. But you will rock the Rally [note to self, consider carefully before volunteering]. And you’ve always made the best of the health/food issues thrown at you. Hopefully the jury duty sorts itself out. You have such a fan base of talented & knowledgable quilters et al, the approbation of the Show would be nice but you know…

    • katechiconi says:

      Note to all and sundry: do NOT volunteer unless there are plenty of others working on the same project, and they’re within a reasonable distance (ie, not 700km+ away!). I’m quite sanguine about missing the Show, I prefer the luxury of more time to get it right. As for the food: I’ve been watching what I eat for 10 years. This is more of the same, just more complicated :-/

  19. A friend came for lunch recently, exactly one day after he adopted the FODMAP diet. Every. Single. Thing. I had prepared, all healthy options, were things he couldn’t eat. I was so sorry he hadn’t mentioned it, I like a challenge. I pulled together springrolls wrapped in rice paper with a sesame dip, plus a Thai-inspired salad and he had enough to fill him up. He said that he’s heard the diet can heal things well enough that one can add items back.

    I hope the diet helps!

    • katechiconi says:

      If he was still on day 1, then he was in the Elimination phase, where you remove all the irritants and let things settle. After that, you reintroduce them one by one in small quantities to see if/how much you can tolerate of each. There are foods which I’m happy to avoid, and foods I’m aghast at losing: how can I cook without onion and garlic? No more mangoes? What do you mean, no mushrooms or cauliflower… and so on.

  20. Four days is not dropping off the radar. If you didn’t post for four months, we would worry. 🙂
    I hope the FODMAP thing identifies any irritating culprits and you can soon get back to eating like a normal person again. Food should be such a joy.

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