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Expectations of productivity
Submitted by domesticat on 1 July 2011 - 9:35am
This has been going on — for four stinking months:
If you're curious, it's De Quervain's tendonitis. If you put your left hand in the position shown in the photo, and pull your thumb in tight against your hand, then you've just made a silly gesture with your hand because someone on a blog told you to do so.
If you then extend your thumb out to form an 'L' shape, and you want to scream with pain when you do so, you have De Quervain's tendonitis. Congratulations. Now quit doing things that hurt yourself.
I've had it since Jeff was in HealthSouth. It manifested as an aching wrist, but it took months for it to isolate into specific motions. The cause? You guessed it — those first two months after Jeff's accident when I couldn't think, couldn't talk, couldn't do anything … so I sewed. Constantly. I had very little attention span and didn't have the social or mental energy to do much of anything after getting myself through the workday, so I'd sew for hours at a stretch.
The free-motion quilting was what did it. I guided the quilt sandwich with my left thumb, and that's the exact motion that hurt.
So … my production's been pretty much nil for three months, much to my exasperation. I'm aware that this tendon MUST rest and heal or I will face surgery, which I don't want and grumpily say I don't have time for in my life just now.
So … I took up hand-sewing. English Paper Piecing, to be exact. I learned how to sew half-inch hexagons. Turns out they make excellent take-along projects when you fly:
I'm taking the knowledge and applying it to another long-term project — Seven Brides For Seven Brothers. The pattern calls for 14 pieces of skinny pointed fabric shapes to meet at a single point, which is sort of the quilting equivalent of Jackie Chan telling you he's going to rip out your heart with a paper clip and then reconnect it only using a stapler and you won't feel a thing — and then he actually DOES IT and you think, "Damn, that was obnoxiously precise and also utterly unnecessary and yet awesome all at once!"
This is what it looks like from the front:
The crazy fabric bondage happens on the back. This is what it took to get those fabric pieces wrapped around the paper templates to get exact shapes:
Oh, right, you want SCALE. Sure, it's nothing if those pieces are 18" long. Hint. They aren't:
The widest point is maybe an inch wide, finished. Those skinny insane angles are 25.7°. Fourteen of them will meet at a point in a few places:
Personally, I'm content with my insanity. I still haven't decided if I'll be able to part with this quilt or not. We'll see.
Psychological aside: I'm starting to get serious, serious guilties about not completing my backlog in a 'timely manner.' I have obnoxiously high expectations, and not meeting them can crush me if I'm not careful. I know that they're gifts, I know that nobody expects them at particular times, but I have expectations of productivity and I forget that sometimes, after work, there's just not enough of you left to go around to do much more than feed the cat and shove dinner in your face.