Sunday, April 13, 2014


We have survived the dreadful winter and finally are seeing some signs of spring:  robins, a touch of green in the dead lawns, a tiny crocus sprout poking through dead leaves.  And Mr. Chipmunk, up from hibernation, eating bird seed by the front door.  Mr. Oliver is riveted, tail thrashing, body tense, for hours.  He sleeps in the evening, exhausted.
I haven't posted about quilting for awhile as I was coping with a very sick husband, and then while caring for him had an injury to my right hand which kept me out of commission for awhile.  All is well now, and this all happened during the polar vortex in February, the snows, and the daily treks to the ER or the hospital or the outpatient center kept me more than busy. 
My hand emergency was a very bad burn that happened while placing a beef roast in a big pan with hot oil in the bottom.  It stuck on the pan's side as I was lowering it in, the oil was too hot as I had set the heat too high when distracted, and the meat bounced into the oil with my hand down in the pan.  The hot oil splashed up and covered my thumb and the first two fingers. 
I rinsed my hand in cold water, and we immediately went to the ER for treatment.  The burns were second degree, fortunately not worse.  I was so thankful for the excellent care and the pain meds! 
Two days later with my huge bandaged hand I went to the regional burn center for specialized treatment.  It looked very bad when the bandage came off, but they used a new method of covering the burn with a foam material saturated with silver.  No ointment or antibiotics,  just this wrapped onto my hand for one week. 
I became very creative in doing things with my left hand, along with the last two fingers on my right hand, all without getting the hand wet.  After a week they removed this material and the bandages and it was miraculously back to looking like my hand, only very red where the oil had burned it.  No pain, just a little itchy feeling as the skin peeled and replaced itself.  We celebrated with a meal out on the way home, yay.  Even the burn center people were amazed at how well it all worked.
My hand is fine now, it gets quite red and glowing sometimes, but it is ok.  I was very fortunate to live near very good medical care. 
Spring is arriving, birds are singing in the morning, and I've been doing some sorting and winnowing and cleaning, Oliver loves to help me.  He was so worried when my hand was bad, slept next to me with his paw on my shoulder, and purred.  Soon we will go into the forbidden sewing room and crank up the machines and see if they still work. 
I've enjoyed your emails and news on Facebook, and one email in particular I'll share with you soon, all about a technique I never heard of called "ghost quilting." 
A friend told me about a new product that erases blue lines from the washout blue liners without water.  I'll dig up that link and post it too, although you all probably are aware of this already, ha. 
The quilt show at Paducah is just around the corner, best of luck to all who have quilts there, and hope everyone has a great week there.  I won't be going this year, but will be checking online to see what's happening.  I'll miss it!
Wishing you all successful quilting and a happy Spring!


Louise said...

Dear Diane
Poor you - what a terrible accident - I wish you back to full quilting health as soon as possible - thank goodness you have Oliver to watch over you! I hope your husband is doing well too.
Louise x

Jenny K. Lyon said...

Diane-so glad to hear you are both on the mend! Good thing Oliver was there to help too. I look forward to hearing about those new techniques-you always inspire and inform me-thank you!

Rose said...

Diane: Glad to hear you are all doing well now after all the tribulations. I haven't heard of the new method for the washout blue markers so look forward to hearing about it.
Can't wait to see what you do when you get back to the sewing machines. It's great to have you back...

Diane Gaudynski said...

Thanks everyone, we are doing fine. Today we are off to the Vet for Oliver's rabies shot; two weeks ago he had his regular vaccines and we divide them up. He has no idea. Spring really isn't here yet, cold and windy, snow this week, and I am going to the back room and digging out the winter jackets for our jaunt today.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry about your accident and your husband's illness. I hope the spring with all its glorious colors and new life bring joy to both of you. You remain my favorite quilting instructor.

charlotte said...

Diane, I know your injury was devastating. i recently had injured hands and couldn't sew and it was pure agony. please remember when you start back sewing that you won't be able to sew for long periods of time. you'll need to rest frequently and also, see about having your hands and arms massaged regularly. in your books you emphasize to take care of your machine for best stitches and you also have to take care of YOURSELF for best work. i've bought both of your books and read them repeatedly. i've practiced, practiced and practiced and i have to say you're right. it works! i have a "little" issue. i purchased a fabric panel and it is tightly woven - not like regular quilting cotton, more like home dec fabric - and i'm having trouble with getting the right stitches. no matter what i do they are tiny and uneven. any idea? i'm thinking about using a leather needle and i'm trying to remove the sizing - but i've already added the borders, etc., etc. and am using cold water so the border fabric (bright red) won't bleed onto the panel. Again, take time to take care of your hands. i'd love to take one of your classes but not until you're fully recovered. Good Luck. You've been a real inspiration to those of us who want to free motion quilt but just don't know where to start. Thanks. Charlotte

Diane Gaudynski said...

Thanks anonymous! And Charlotte, I am doing what I can but the cumulative effect of injuries, burns, over-use of my hands over the years quilting and traveling had definitely taken its toll. I will start out slowly and just see how it goes. Things are a bit better here but getting older and retirement are much harder than one would think!

Charlotte, it's VERY difficult to get good tension, and even stitches on that kind of fabric. Believe me, I've had it happen too. The stitch length issue comes from the fabric being so difficult to grasp and move smoothly. It would be ok in a longarm or frame mounted machine, but in a home machine it's very tricky to smoothly move stiff heavy fabrics and get even stitches. Be sure and use a Supreme Slider, you might want to use gloves like Machingers to help control this fabric. A larger needle would help too, a topstitch perhaps, or Embroidery, #80.

When I was quilting with Sparkle metallic/silk YLI thread I ended up using a #80 ball point needle and something like that might work too.

Try what you have, ask at a sewing center with knowledgeable people. Sometimes it is the needle that makes all the difference.

Good luck with your project!

Anonymous said...

THANKS Diane. I'm having a lot of fun just practicing but in your book you pointed out that you have to actually work on a real project so that's where i'm headed. Retirement -- the double edged sword. i'm facing it too and sometimes it looks like the land of oz and sometimes it's just too scary to look at! take care of your hands, maybe you can just "work" a little less. I really appreciate your quick suggestions. Take care. Charlotte

Anonymous said...

Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished
to say that I have truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts.
After all I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope
you write again very soon!

Feel free to visit my web-site; ruptured ovarian cyst pain