Sunday, February 20, 2011

Pink Eye and other perils of quilting!

    Wow! Who knew that quilting was a high risk activity? If it was my full-time job, I'd be eligible for hazard pay! I've had a cold for the past week, mostly a runny nose and a deep cough. Nothing to keep me from going to work or enjoying quilting. Friday afternoon at work my eye started watering a little. A couple hours after getting home, my left eye was bloody looking in the inside corner. Uh-oh, I thought, could I have pinkeye? By 6 PM, I called my husband to see if he was on his way home, because I needed him to put drops in my eye. I absolutely cannot tolerate anything in my eyes. That's why I don't wear contacts. Randy had pinkeye a week ago and still had the drops. No big deal, we thought, I'd just keep using his drops. I woke up at 4 AM Saturday and couldn't open my eye. I applied a hot compress to get rid of the crust in my eyelashes. When I opened my eye, I was horrified at what I saw. To say my eye was red is like saying lava is hot. My eye was actually bulging from my lids with no white area at all. I yelled for Randy and he took one look and started talking about a trip to the emergency room. After a few minutes of panic, we realized the emergency room wouldn't have an eye doctor on call and I needed an eye doctor big time. We decided to wait till morning and be at the eye clinic before it opened and hope the doctor would work me in his schedule.Our plan worked and Dr. Shoup worked me right in. He put yellow dye in my eyes and gave me a through battery of tests. After careful examination he said, "Wait a minute. I see something in your eye. Have you noticed a thread in your eye?" He proceeded to open my eyelids beyond what I thought was their limit and used an instrument to retrieve the foreign object. He said, "Yes, it was a thread! Do you work around fabric?" I said, "I'm a quilter!" He said, "Ah!" I have had little broken vessels in that eye off and on for several months, but I never thought I had something in my eye. He said it had done a lot of damage, multiple broken blood vessels and the white of my eye had a tear in the surface of it. He said the torn tissue had allowed bacteria to enter my eye, thus the pinkeye. In his words, I needed some "kick-butt" medicine to clear this up. Now 18 hours later my eye looks like a "normal" case of pinkeye and that is a very good thing. I had been afraid I was going to lose the eye from the looks of it. Now in all honesty, what the doctor called a thread, I would call a fiber. He's not a quilter and doesn't know the difference between fibers which are spun into thread and thread which is the finished product. All I know is, if a fiber can cause this kind of damage, I never ever want to have a thread in my eye! Up till now my quilting has only caused sore needle-pricked fingers, sore shoulders from bending over the quilt frame, stiff knees from crawling on the floor basting a quilt together, and tired eyes from hours spent quilting those tiny stitches on the quilt's surface. This was my first serious quilt-related injury. I will not let it stop me!Football and hockey players have nothing on quilters! We are tough competitors in our own way and we suffer injuries for our "sport"! We are quilters, by golly. We are not sissies! We give quilting our "all"! I will live (and see) to quilt another day.

   Now that my vision is not so blurry, I can blog at least, even if I can't see well enough to quilt. To catch up on the Civil War history, here are some facts from 150 years ago this month. On February 12th, Abraham Lincoln celebrated his 52nd birthday, the last one as an ordinary citizen. The next day, the electoral vote count makes his election official. Jefferson Davis was inaugurated as provisional president of the Confederate States of America on the 18th. A. Lincoln arrived in Washington, D.C. on the 23rd and a peace conference was held on the 27th proposing amendments to avert disunion of the Union. February 28, 1861, the Territory of Colorado was formed. The atmosphere in Washington, D.C. was tense. Lincoln's election and coming inauguration had seemingly torn the country apart and war between the two sides seemed imminent.

     This week's pictures are of 2 Pennsylvania couples. These could have been taken before the Civil War broke out or perhaps, prior to the men joining the Army.

                                      This couple look to be upper middle-class and in their 30's.

   This couple is much younger, probably in their teens. Could they be brother and sister? His proprietary hand on her shoulder makes me think this is an engagement picture. Lots of couples either became engaged or rushed to marry at the onset of the Civil War. Did this young man return from war to wed his sweetheart? We'll never know. No identifying information was written on either of these photographs.

Thanks for visiting. Keep Stitching!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Busy in a Blizzard

   Last Tuesday, February 1st, a blizzard hit the Mid West with a vengeance. Our area got 14" of snow on top of freezing rain and sleet, followed by 30-60 mph winds. We had 3 snow days as a result. I think I have to take some responsibility for this, because the Friday before I had made the statement to the students in the library that I was sure we were done with snow days. That's what I get for trying to predict the future. Ok Lord, I got the message. I'm NOT a prophet.
   I wasn't about to let all that free time go to waste. I sewed, cut, and quilted every waking minute of those 3 days. I usually can quilt the entire surface of the quilt on my frame and roll it in a week. Last week I rolled it 4 times! Yippee, I'm way ahead of schedule. I also sewed half of a quilt top together and pieced blocks for the mystery quilt we're doing at the Breakfast Club at Inspirations. I really don't want or expect anymore snow days, but if they happen I'm prepared with projects that need finishing.
   I was so enthused with quilting that I didn't blog over the weekend. Civil War facts for the first part of February are: Feb. 1- Texas seceded; Feb. 2, Lincoln wrote the first draft of his Inaugural speech; Feb. 4, the seceded states meet in Montgomery, Alabama to form a government; Feb. 7, the Choctaw Nation declares support for the seceding states, and Feb. 8, the Provisional Confederate Congress adopts a constitution.
   This week's pictures are of children during the Civil War.

 This little cutie is only labeled on the back as "child w/t hand on book. Very stylish dress, probably from well to do family. Photo was taken by Benjamin Shoemaker, a traveling photographer.

     This charming 8 year old is Miss Josephine Riddle of New Orleans. She's dressed for a special occasion and noticed the folded fan in her hand. Don't you love her pantaloons peeking from under her dress?

    These next pictures are of  the quilt I made for my niece, Melissa, called Poison Crazy. She didn't think the pictures I posted were as good as the ones she took with the quilt in her bedroom. I haven't posted them before now because it took me this long to figure out how to get them from her email to my computer in a file that I could find them and copy them here!!!. Computers keep me humble! Every time I think I know how to do something on them, they show me how little I really know. Anyway, here they are at last.


Thanks for stopping by! Keep stitching,