Monthly Archives: January 2013

Closing Doors, Opening Windows


I fully admit that I fell in love with quilting. It brought together my love for fabric, passion for design, and ability to sew. Moreover, it gave me the opportunity to learn new skills, to meet interesting women, and to travel to shows. Quilting quickly became a big part of my life.

I have been lucky enough to home school my children, so have not worked outside the home for 10 years. However, as the kids became older — and college tuition loomed — opening a longarm business seemed to be a great fit for our family. We renovated our home and made our living room into a lovely longarm studio. I purchased my longarm in July 2010 and had it delivered in October.

Six weeks later, I was in a serious car accident and herniated all the disks in my neck.

Since then, I have been walking a tightrope between working to build my business, and being held back because the actual work hurt my neck. I survived by heating and icing my neck, taking medication, and working with a medical team — including physical therapy, massage therapy, osteopath, and pain management. Whatever I tried, there was no way I could longarm without pain, despite how much I loved quilting for other people.

In December, I realized that I could no longer fight this battle. I had to find another way to earn a living. It truly broke my heart to close down my business. I have not done quilting of any kind for almost two months.

As you know from previous blog posts, I also had major abdominal surgery 3 weeks ago. In the weeks since, I’ve been considering some new opportunities. I am truly hoping that the words¬† — “When God Closes a Door, He Opens a Window” — are going to hold true in my life.

Great Expectations


As I mentioned last week, I had some major abdominal surgery on January 7th. While I am recovering well, it is never fast enough. Prior to surgery, I’d decided that I would only need a week to fully recover. Surprisingly, my body has had other plans.

This reminds me of when my friends would go on maternity leave. They figured they’d have six (or eight) weeks with nothing to do except take care of their new baby, so they planned to supplement their free time with learning another language, reorganizing the basement, and finally getting caught up on their reading. Those of us who already had kids would just smile, knowing that the mother would be exhausted and barely have time to shower. But we let them have their illusions.

That’s what I feel like now. I was looking at my post-surgical time as a nice little vacation, with time to get caught up on my book keeping and getting my taxes done. Not to mention doing some cool quilt projects and some business planning. Let’s just say that planning is wonderful, but — in hindsight — I was a little too ambitious. The reality is that I’ve spent a lot of time reading and watching TV. No quilting, no book keeping, no taxes.

To all my readers in the United States — have a happy Martin Luther King Day. And don’t forget to dream.

Surgery and Recovery


Happy New Year everyone!

I am back blogging after a few weeks off. While I had planned to have an ultra-productive few weeks and have lots of new projects to share with you, the reality is a little different. One week ago I had some major abdominal surgery. While this was scheduled and not life-threatening, it has certainly weighed on my mind the last few weeks. And, I discovered, it is really hard to feel creative when you are worried and scared. So I actually haven’t touched my sewing machine in more than a month, which is extremely unusual for somebody who got a little crazy after 24 hours without quilting.

The surgery went well and I am home recovering. Everything considered, I am feeling pretty good.

I do have one piece of advice — do not schedule surgery during a flu epidemic, when hospitals are at 130% capacity.¬† I spent 3 days in the hospital and it was tough seeing the nurses with so many patients and responsibilities. I have five more weeks with minimal lifting, so we’ll see what the near future holds.

I will probably blog sporadically until I’m back into the swing of things.

Stay healthy!