Friday, February 20, 2015


I'm a sucker for vintage linens and over the years I have bought a lot of them, thinking I would use them to make "something."  

One of them was a partially finished dresser scarf that had 3 motifs embroidered on it with space in each one for something else.  I decided to embroider some old phrases that I found in a book about vintage linens.  I did that a few years ago.

In the mean time, I've seen a few items done by other people and I got out some of the many doilies that I also purchased - mostly at garage sales.

Remember, this is an experiment and I didn't want it to take forever, so I layered it, slapped on some doilies and started free motion quilting on it with no markings at all.  I quilted hooked feathers around the center motif and on each end.  Then I filled in empty spaces with pebble stitching.  I stitched pebbles on the parts of the doilies that didn't have feathers and I really couldn't see where one pebble started and another ended, so I was almost quilting blind.

Lastly, I stippled inside each motif.  It came out kind of wonky, but was a good practice piece.  It gives me some ideas of how not to do it next time - if there is a next time.  I can't decide if I like it or not.  I know I could have done a better job on it, but as I said it was an experiment and I learned a few things from it.  I'm going to post this piece on QuiltShopGal's blog for Creative Goodness link party today.

Now for the bad news.  I have carpal tunnel syndrome and my doctor said I should quit sewing while I have therapy done.  Once I start therapy, I will see what the therapist says and will try to abide by those instructions.  Maybe I can use the time to get better organized, work on genealogy and read more.  I hope the therapy will work and I can continue sewing for many more years.  

Have any of you had this and what did you do about it?


  1. I like your experimental piece. Unique and you kept the vintage feel.
    I am so sorry to hear about the carpal tunnel. :( I know lots of people with CT and the "resolution"can be therapy, splints, and/or surgery. I hope you get good relief from the therapy.

  2. Oh no!! I hope the therapy works and you'll be back soon. Your piece looks pretty good from here.

  3. What fun to play with the vintage linens. I hope you will be able to do more in the future.
    My MIL just had CT surgery because she went too long before seeking treatment. Funny thing is she did the same thing on her other wrist about 2 decades ago.
    My niece (who plays cello endlessly) got great relief from therapy. She was worried she would have to quit playing, but that has not been the case.
    Hope you can get relief soon!

  4. Your piece is a dream to me. I love it. I have many dresser scarfs that I have hand embroidered and have kept them to do something special with someday. Your idea is exactly what I would like. But, I am not the machine quilter that you are. Thanks so much for the wonderful idea. I do hope and pray you will be okay and be able to do your crafting for many, many years to come. Take care and know that we are thinking of you.

  5. What a beautiful piece! I hope you will be able to create many more and inspire your readers (me included) to do something creative with all those doilies and vintage linens we seem to collect. My SIL has rheumatoid arthritis and carpal tunnel problems in her wrists. She wears the wrist splints and is even able to hand quilt, and uses her sewing machine all the time. She's a fabulous and very creative quilt designer. Just wish she had a blog. Good luck with your therapy, my friend!

  6. This one-of-a-kind project is so delightful! What a great use for those vintage linens! Physical therapy can work wonders - hope it helps you!

  7. I once gave myself a bad case of CT in both wrists by overdoing it on a knitting project. My Dr. and I opted for first trying to cure it with wrist splints, rather than surgery.

    I quit knitting for a whole year, and wore the wrist splints to bed for that time. The CT went away but when I started knitting again I did only a row or two at a time.

    Once in a while I have to go back to the wrist splints and that seems to take care of the problem.

    I wish you all the best with whatever treatment you choose.

  8. I too have a lot of embroidered and crocheted pieces from the past, and have thought someday I'd try something similar to what you've done. Yours looks great to me!
    Back in the mid 1970's, our horse kicked my right hand, and CT resulted because of the swelling. I certainly understand your pain! Surgery was necessary for mine, and since I'm one who develops scar tissue, a second surgery was necessary. I understand the surgery method has changed much for the better since then. I pray your therapy will take care of yours; do exactly as the doctor says! We all want to be able to see more of your beautiful work for years to come! ---"Love"

  9. That's a shame about the carpal tunnel. Hopefully therapy and time will let you get back to sewing. Your doily experiment worked. I have stacks of old linens packed away. Seems a shame really as they were made to be on show.

  10. your dresser scarf turned out great - the doilies add a vintage touch.
    sorry to hear about your CTS :(

  11. The dresser scarf turned out really well. It is a wonderful way to display the old doilies. Whether you love it or not, it was great practice, wonderfully creative and it is such an unusual piece. Enjoy it! Sorry to hear about the CT. My Mom had it and ended up having surgery to correct it. She did a lot of sewing and quilting. Hope the therapy takes care of it. Stick to the exercises and do as you are instructed so you heal quickly and can get back to your stitching! I know it will be hard to give it up for a while.

  12. Be sure to keep us posted on your PT. Will you be able to use the computer?
    What a fun piece you did- experiments are good and helps us grow as quilters.

  13. Your linen and doily project looks as if it turned out great from here! I love all that sort of thing. I've had CT surgery in both wrists; right hand first and left hand many years later. Both were very successful and totally eliminated the pain I had been experiencing. My doctors encouraged using my hands and fingers during recovery, but cautioned me not to lift or carry heavy things. Therefore, it really didn't slow me down very much as far as sewing was concerned. Of course, that was back in the day when I had a job and went to work every day, so I wasn't quilting all that much then. Hope you have good results with your treatment!!

  14. I had carpal tunnel surgery and it worked well.

  15. I love your experimental piece and think it would be a real loss for you and for everyone else if you had to stop sewing. Hopefully, your therapy will help and you will be able to continue with your beautiful work.

  16. The Arthritis Society of Canada made me a great thumb splint......easy to pop on and off. Perhaps you might find a similar society or charity.
    good luck

  17. This is a pretty project! :)

    I had carpal tunnel surgery on my right hand ages and ages ago. The left hand kicks up sometimes but it is usually stemming from my neck and sleeping wrong. I put a brace on when it does and hope it goes away after awhile. Thus far so good :)
    If it acts up from sewing ( usually from clutching fabric if I am doing applique too much ) I wear the brace and stop sewing for a few days.