Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Stitching is Healing

2012 has not been an easy year. Briefly, I have been living with chronic rsi shoulder pain for 3 years now, and recently I fell into a bit of a black hole mentally, emotionally and spiritually with it.


I have now put some things in place to help me get into a healthier place (including walks on our gorgeous local beaches!), but one of the things that has really been helping in my healing is stitching! As long as I am careful my stitching doesn't hurt my shoulder (taking breaks, propping my arm on cushions, stretching, etc) and I am finding that the act of sitting quietly with needle and thread is incredibly therapeutic.

As well as that is stitching with friends. A few weeks back I was fortunate to spend a day with like-minded stitchery people at a Sue Spargo class.


Photo of Sue on the left, and our wonderful host Jenny from Amitie on the right.


Sue's embellishment work is incredible and inspirational.


Her eye for detail is amazing. I took along my pre-stitched flowers, all ready for their embellishment...


....and managed to get half a flower done! I spent way too much time talking and soaking up all the colour and beautiful stitches!! In the middle of this flower I've done a drizzle stitch...what fun!


Ahh well, I will now wait until Sue's book of stitches is released later in the year sometime to finish off this little project.

I have so much to be thankful for in my life and one of those things is my new stitching groups, one that I started in my home made up of local bloggers and some work colleagues. They are such an encouragement to me and I'm learning so much from all of them. Of course when we all get together there is always laughter, and laughter is good medicine right?!!

I will have a few little things to show very soon, just need to take a few photo's. A couple more of these blocks have been done (photo below), and I've been working on my Aussie Doll Quilt Swap which I'm quite excited about. Back very soon. xo

30 comments:

Lurline said...

Cathy, so lovely to hear from you, though I'm really saddened to hear life hasn't been kind to you. Though we all love your beautiful work, we love the girl behind it!
Hugs - Lurline.

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

I'm glad your stitching is helping you through some rouch days Cathy. Your embelished flower from Sue's class is beautiful,

Jenny M said...

Sorry to hear that you have ongoing health problems. Having my own issues with back problems, I totally understand the issues that come with dealing with long term pain & how this effects all aspects of one's life. But it sounds like you have put into place practices that will make a difference...it takes time to accept that you may not be able to do all that you could before your injury or you have to alter the way that things are done.
But as you say having friends to share a common interest and plenty of laughs along the way, do cetainly help brighten one's day.
I shall look out for Sue's new book of stitches. Your stitched flower lloks great & I love how you have used text fabric for your flower stems.
Let's hope we get some lovely sunshine, so you can enjoy the walks along your local beaches.

Shocking Hocking said...

....and we're learning from you - love the stitching group and so happy you made the commitment to start one - i'm the president of procrastinators anonymous so a little push from the right direction works for me :) love your stitchery

Donna~~ said...

I've been missing you, Cathy, and wondered how you were! So sorry to hear your shoulder is not behaving itself! (I had a period of shoulder trouble myself a few years back--very painful!) Glad you can stitch--that sounds like the perfect therapy!

Susan said...

Chronic pain can do a number on you, I know. I'm sorry that you're having to deal with it. So glad you're still able to stitch. I'm in love with all your creations. Very inspiring.

Patchwork and Play said...

I knew there was a reason I should have joined that doll quilt swap- your mini is beautiful! I hope you continue to fight your way out of that black hole of chronic pain! Enjoy the beach!

Marit said...

Just sending a quilty hug. Those beaches are so pretty. Enjoy time with stitching friends, that sounds lovely.
xo

Oops-Lah said...

I know how physical pain can pull you down into a black hole! I'm glad to hear that you are feeling better and that stitching is helping. I'm sure it's also the company of great friends and teachers as well as colour and beauty. Take good care of yourself. xx

Quilts on Bastings said...

Dear Cathy,
So sorry to hear you have been unwell both physically and emotionally - hang in there it sounds like you are doing all the right things. I too love what sewing and walking has to offer.
Cheers,
Karen

mieke said...

wishing you lots of courage, Cathy, and so glad that you still can stitch and live your passion, even at a slower pace!
I am all excited to learn that Sue Spargo is working on a book of stitches, got to have that one if it comes!!! :-)
x

Susie said...

hopefully the brighter days will help you in your healing. Nothing worse than managing chronic pain as its with you 24/7. Keep up your beautiful work - its so lovely it helps in your healing cause your work is inspirational to many others (including myself). All the best.

Paula Hensley Murphy said...

Cathy you are such a dear, I pray everything heals up quickly. Pain is no friend for sure. So nice to see your friends. I love your work, you are such an inspiration to me.

Nedra said...

I know that shoulder pain has been bothering you for years. You have so much talent to offer, it's been sad to know you haven't been able to express your creative self as much. Glad to know that stitching is something you can do while things heal. And having Sue Spargo around is great motivation! I took one of my first quilting classes from Sue when she lived in Utah.

Maree: said...

Sorry to hear you are still struggling with your shoulder...being in constant pain too I feel where you are coming from..
Glad that you had the chance to see Sue, Keep up with your groups they are the Best medicine.
Take care Hun
xx

O'Quilts said...

Sharing your pain is so healing for you and for others. One day at a time is all we can do. Without quilting I would have been a goner! I am so grateful for my local quilting friends and now new blogging ones. The beaches you show are amazing...as is your work.

Nanette Merrill said...

I can so relate to this post. I think we share so much with our hobbies, passions and emotions, and even under the surface with pain. Thanks for sharing this.

Nifty Quilts said...

You are so right. Stitching is healing, especially with friends. I'm so glad you've found what you need to help you continue on. You are so talented, and such an inspiration!

Apple Avenue Quilts said...

Amazing how working with a group can help. Your project is beautiful! I find hand stitching so relaxing and rewarding. It always helps me when I'm down.

Nanci said...

Oh, as I age, the pains keep coming too! I have chronic pain in the knee...it isn't funny at all. All the bloggers have said it so well today...keep your spirits up!

Cardygirl said...

Solace can always be found in stitching, may you feel brighter soon! Love the Sue Spargo workshop...lots of inspiration there. Thinking of you xx

imquilternity said...

Hi Cathy! I can totally agree with your blog post today. It's very difficult to deal with pain on a daily basis and especially pain that prevents one from doing the things they love. Friends and the laughter that goes along with friendship does help and encourages one to keep on "keeping on" - which it sounds like you've done. I hope you can continue to stitch as it IS very therapuetic, I think. You do such lovely work; it's always a pleasure and a thrill to see what you've done. I'll keep you in my thoughts and wish the very best for your shoulder situation.

Carla said...

I"ve missed your beautiful handiwork...sure hope that you are on the uphill side of the pain. I'm so sorry to hear that it has been such a difficult time.

Janine said...

Hi Cathy . I was at the same Sue Spargo group and met you and your friends on the day. My mad mate and I have been slowly working on our Birds. I think that I now have the confidence to go crazy with beads . Love a bit of glitz. I know myself that there are times when you just can't think about yourself with all that goes on in our lives. Thankfully ther is always a bit of quiet time to pick up my stitching. Even a few hours here and there makes you calm again. Take care . Janine

Cathy said...

Hello Janine, you have come through to me with no reply email, so I'm replying here, hope you see it!! Lovely to 'see' you again. It was such a fun day, and Sue is so inspirational!! Do send me a pic of your stitching if you would like to, I'd love to see what you have done. xo

fiberchick said...

Chronic pain is just the worst. I am so sorry you are feeling low! On a happier note, your "Spargoesque" (if that's a word?!) flowers are dreamy...

Cathy said...

I found your post very enlightening and also as a little reminder to myself. I am sorry to hear of your shoulder pain and that you had retreated into a black hole, although I totally understand. For very different reasons I was in that dark space at the beginning of the year and like you walking, stitching and blogging friendships have helped me regain my usually very positive outlook on life....go us!!!! Xx

pandchintz said...

So glad to hear you're on the recovery road - keep at it! And that you've found a Bliss of Quilters- such a blessing. X

Miriam said...

I'm sorry your shoulder has been causing you so much trouble, Cathy.
Just today I saw an anonymous quote..."In the rhythm of the needles,
there is music for the soul."
I totally agree that stitching is very therapeutic. I also find walking along the beach and listening to the waves very calming.

We are all very glad you started the stitching group! I look forward to each of our meetings!
Take care Cathy.

Sonja♥ said...

I'm also a Spargo fan!!!
I'm not yet finished with her Magnolia (too many WIP... and a baby arriving in January) but I have dozend of wool fabrics waiting to be sewn and embellished:)