Conroe Show Ribbons and TKR update

One of my local guilds, Golden Needles in Conroe, TX  had their show a few weeks ago.   You may remember that their show was scheduled for last year but Hurricane Harvey had other plans.  Our quilts were judged but never hung as the convention center was being used as a shelter.   Sad that those awesome quilts were never on display!   We were able to re-book for this year but only had a year to make new quilts!   Members still pulled off a beautiful display of amazing quilts, the entire show and live auction was awesome.

Personally, My Fade To Purple got a 1st place ribbon and Gravity placed 2nd in the same Modern category - all sizes.   Yeah!   Gravity has finally shown in all 3 of my guilds that I am a member of that hosts their own show (modern is too small and no show) /  She finally gets to be hung back in front of my custom longarm machine.   I took it down last fall, it hung at Houston in the Texas Guilds Award winning quilts exhibit (they choose about 20 each year to hang).  I finished it in January of 2016 in time for Tri-County guild show but then it was a long wait for Woodlands and Conroe.  Both pieces ribboned in all 3 shows.  Amazing!

Client quilts, the BEST award was for Best Custom Handguided Quilting went to Kathryn Archer's quilt, El Carnival, her Lumina Star quilted by me.   I am so proud of her and of that ribbon.  Wow.  She took an Honorable Mention among that huge talent field of piecers and something like 28 quilts in that category so this was very special for her and for me.  This also makes me have 4 Best Machine quilting awards and unbelievably 4 Best of Show awards on client quilts.

Lou Ellen's Clamshell Surprise took a 3rd place in this huge category.   I was especially tickled because this piece was mostly quilted sitting down and in lots of pain so it was rewarding that maybe the pain did not show in the quilting!  I did not have any quilts of my own in this category.

Carol's Fire Island Hosta was award the Sweetheart ribbon.  This is a member award, who ever wins at the last show gets to pick their favorite from the next show.

One of my personal favorites that I quilted just before my surgery, Bernie's Tis the Season, double hoop machine embroidery.   Oh my gosh she got a 1st place ribbon!  Her 2nd 1st place for this quilt and her first blue ribbons ever.

And of course how I was led to join Conroe's guild back in 2012, the first time I went to one of their shows.   They had an exhibit, SUDS or Stand Up Divas.   A longarm group!   These are the past 2 year challenges, I am in the blue 2017 challenge but did not get to participate in the 2018.  Both  used a specific fabric, create a 18.5" bound block using only that color and white. but the focus is on the quilting.  Since the entries were small, we had the judge select her favorite of the 2 challenges.  Mary Jo's 2017 block received that honor.

And Best of Show was awarded to my good friend and fellow SUDS and WWIT member, Mary Jo McDonnell.  What a spectacular piece!

Knee news, not much has changed.  Pain still ranging from a 5-10 which affects my mobility.  Still doctors in my future.  Neurology finally next week that will determine if any nerve or muscular damage from the surgery/nerve block used in surgery.  Still in Physical Therapy but honestly I think it hurts me more than it helps.  Most days I don't get much done on PT days because I hurt too badly.  Monday's  PT had me throwing in the towel and getting a work in vist to my DR yesterday (I have had 3 episodes where pain was staying at a 10 since week 15).  I tried unconventional treatments and have seen the best improvement from Myofascial Release Therapy.   It is not on insurance, costs me $280 for 2 hours (plus another hour drive there and back).  I have had 3 treatments but I'm going to tough it out this week and not go back until I see neuro next week and see where that leads,  Symptoms still include pain around the knee, especially lower outside edge of knee, through the tibia to my ankle.   I still can't stand bedcovers to touch my toes on that leg, I don't stand or walk well.  I have never been well enough to go for a walk on the path around our lake or anything like that.  Walking and standing is an ordeal.   I am 26 weeks post op, or 6 months exactly to the date yesterday... which ironically found me wanting to go to the ER or somewhere for help... my dr did work me in.  My leg was a painful numb from mid thigh to my toes with shooting pains around the knee.   They just increased my pain meds until I see the neuro next week.

I have done 1 custom now in 6 months, and have had 1 on the frame for about a month that is only 1/3rd complete.   I am "full time" doing edge to edge long arm quilting but still do not know what the future holds for custom quilting.   It has been exhausting trying to keep up with PT, pain and E2E quilting with some occasional custom worked in.  I often work the weekends because I don't get much done on PT or MFR days.  I have decided that I can not continue doing this.  Your quilts are very important to me, but I will be taking the weekends off from this point forward.  I have had the past 2 weekends off and I find my stamina is better able to handle running those quilts late into the evening after my treatments which then lets me have free time on the weekends.  I even finished a quilt of mine and ran and e2e on it!   I do so appreciate each and everyone that has helped support me and my family through this ordeal by keeping those edge to edge quilts coming in!  Thank you all for trusting me with your creations!


Nancy said…
Your accomplishments are just wonderful, Valerie, and all the awards well deserved! Spectacular quilts! I'm so sorry that your post-surgery experience has been so very difficult. That kind of pain is relentless and so wearing. Do hope you can get some relief. The myofascial (pretty sure I spelled that wrong) treatment sounds promising. Hoping you get some answers soon.