Thursday, November 17, 2022

Pre-Surgical Prep


This fall seems to be full of sickness and health for me and my family.  I'm fine now but next Monday I'm having hand surgery...again.  This time it is for stenosing tenosynovitis--commonly known as trigger finger.  I never seem to do anything half-way and actually have trigger finger in 8 of my digits.  The good news is that I don't have any arthritis in those fingers which my doctor thinks is amazing (whoo-hoo and keep on quilting).  

I've had all the cortisone shots I'm allowed and the doctor had always told me that I would likely need surgery.  Doc T. told me from the start I wouldn't be able to garden but I could sew during recovery.  The hand he's working on next week is my less dominant one (left).  

How does one prepare for this kind of surgery?

Well if you are a quilter, you think about how you use your hands--even the less dominant one.  I'm confident I will be able to guide pieces of fabric through the machine afterwards  with one hand.  But the cutting of the fabric might be problematic.  Rotary cutting does make things easier but I use my left hand to keep the ruler stationary.  So a few weeks ago, I began "pre-surgical prep!"

I have 2.5 inch strips and 6.5 inch blocks all prepared to create more square in a square blocks for kids' quilts.  

Leftover smaller scraps were cut and filled the ol' flour canister!

These delicious little 2.5 inch squares are ready to be assembled into some kind of blocks (not really sure if it will be 12 or 16 patches yet).

When that was finished, I hit the Christmas fabrics (again).  First up all this snow inspired blue fabric.

These are leftover pieces from quilts of Christmas past and I wondered what to do with them.  I wanted something less cluttered  looking--not just for the ease of creating but because I gravitate towards visual simplicity right now (more to do with my crazy life than anything).  I found exactly what I wanted on the Riley Blake website.  
The pattern is called "Out of the Blue" and the post is credited to Julia Frazier.  I suspect she designed the quilt maybe?  Here's the tutorial.

What would be nice about this is it's winter themed quilt instead of a Christmas one.  I'd like to have Terri machine quilt snowflakes on it in a light blue.  I have enough fabric to make three larger lap quilts.

The darker fabric really sticks out and I wondered if I should mix all the blocks up and let the dark just add some interest or do one in just the dark navy fabric?  Your thoughts would be appreciated!

Of course, my husband thinks I'm crazy with all this cutting and organization.  But yesterday I talked to my friend and doctor, Chris.  He had the surgery the last week of September and told me, "you are doing the right thing with this prep.  The recovery is longer than one would expect."  He's still recovering.  So I'm happily going to keep on cutting fabric and planning quilts.

Tomorrow is likely our last Flower Friday of the season (we'll switch to Friendship Friday after Thanksgiving) so if you have anything to share please email me at!

Have a safe and happy day!


  1. I really like the "Out of the Blue" quilt. Your fabrics seem perfect for it. If the very dark one bothers you, perhaps use it for binding. It would make a nice frame. I'd rather be over prepared post surgery than under prepared. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  2. Good luck with the surgery and recovery. I can't decide about the dark. It might be good to have a bit of pop as the others are all so close in value.

  3. I LOVE those blues! The dark blue fabric will make the lighter blues pop but it's your choice. A dark blue binding would be a good idea too. You can never be over prepared when cutting fabric. Will you need surgery on your right hand later? Prayers for a swift recovery!

  4. I like the dark blue myself. I would try it out and see with a few blocks. Or maybe keep it for binding?

  5. I like the darker blue with the other blues. 8 fingers is a lot. Best of luck with your surgery and recovery. You are going to have all kinds of things stitched up by the time you are completely healed.

  6. I'm so sorry you have to have surgery. I hope it goes well and the healing is very fast. It looks like you're in good shape with the quilting preparation.

  7. Except for the part about you needing hand surgery, which is awful, I enjoyed reading about all your preparations. You are right to have things cut and ready to go. Perhaps you could think of one of those machines, Acuquilt I think, that does the cutting for you for in the future. It would save stress on your fingers I think, but they are expensive to get esp. to Canada. Anyway, lots of lovely fabrics to play with here, Michele. And the very best of luck with the surgery.