Sunday Rolls On By (I Wonder Where!)

Fete, a handmade and hand quilted patchwork quilt by © Stephanie Boon, 2017. www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Tiny pennants, big stitches

Sunday Coffee

Sunday afternoon already. How did that happen? I’ve stitched a few hours away, hacked back my triffid-like tomato plants, cleared up my sewing space and packed Kim off to see his grandparents for a few days. I’ve fed the cat. I’ve daydreamed and thought about how I can fit some walking in this week. And I’ve thought and thought and thought about this blog! *Sigh*…

I just took my last sip of cappuccino and gave myself a metaphorical kick up the backside: stop thinking, just do it! So, this is where a few hours went:

Fete, a handmade and hand quilted patchwork quilt by © Stephanie Boon, 2017. www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Finishing up a section

I finished hand quilting the left hand side of this section of Fete this morning (not in the photo)  and I plan to quilt up what you can see here this evening while I watch The Handmaid’s Tale (anyone else as engrossed as me?).

By the time I’ve stitched this bit up I reckon I’ll have covered an unimpressive 1/7th of the surface…such a long way to go. It’ll be good to finish a whole section though; it usually motivates me to move onto the next. Roll on this evening, I’m giving my arm a rest for now.

Arm Ache

My arm aches. Actually, that’s an understatement. My arm has been causing me agonising pain at times, but it’s my shoulder that’s at the root of it. I can’t lift my arm out more than 90 degrees to my side or ahead of me, and I can’t raise my usually very flexible arm behind my back at all. Not without howling at any rate. My gp says it’s “frozen”. My physio says no long stretches of quilting. Or sitting at the lap top. Or drawing. *Sigh* (Again!)

I’ve been good, I’ve listened and diligently completed my daily shoulder exercises, and I’ve been rewarded with less pain and much more mobility in a relatively short time. I’ve read of other quilters suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome or tennis elbow, which has meant they’ve had to give up quilting for months on end. I’m not going to join the list.

It’s an odd ailment this ‘rotator cuff‘ injury. Quilting, typing, etc, doesn’t hurt at all so you don’t realise you could be making it worse. My physiotherapist told me that the very small movements in activities like quilting mean the shoulder muscles are kept in the same position for long periods of time, which leads to them ‘freezing’ and creating the excruciating pain that comes with the larger movements your shoulder needs get you through the day. Which affects everything else from getting dressed to carrying the groceries!  Personally, I reckon it’s all down to age, meh.

Age Will Not Stop Play

I decided sometime ago that advancing age wouldn’t stop me doing the things I love, like long distance walking. I really believe I have to do these things before something as inevitable as a crumbling skeleton or weakening muscles puts an untimely stop to one of life’s joys.

So, last Thursday I headed off to the north Cornwall coast for a couple of days hiking and a night’s wild camping on the cliffs. I thought I’d share a couple of pictures with you because it’s such a spectacular part of the country and fills me with inspiration every time I stretch my legs there.


Boscastle Harbour © Stephanie Boon, 2017 All rights reserved. www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Spectacular cliff walking at Boscastle


Millook, North Cornwall on the South West Coast Path. Interesting geological folds in the cliff face. © Stephanie Boon, 2017. All Rights Reserved. www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Beautiful zig zag geology exposed on the cliff face at Millook

Cliff Tracks


Slate track bordered with purple bell heather on the cliffs of north Cornwall. South West Coast Path August 2017 © Stephanie boon, 2017. www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Slate tracks bordered with colourful bell heather and gorse

Rocky Valley

Busy tracks around Rocky Valley near Tintagel. © Stephanie Boon, 2017 All Rights Reserve. www.dawchorusstudio.com

Tracks around Rocky Valley near Tintagel, smudged with the orange of monbretia.

I got home on Friday night and was already thinking about the next hike! Sometimes inspiration is everywhere, you can’t get enough of it and want to take it all in at once. But it’s not always like that, sometimes things just percolate for a while, bubbling to the surface every now and again, until a bubble finally bursts into a lightbulb moment.

Inspiration for my other sister’s quilt has been like that. I’ve been collecting nature themed fabrics for it, but I didn’t really have any idea how I’d use them. Until recently. It’s all that drawing in the woods. I noticed something and it’s stuck in my mind. It keeps going round and round and sooner or later I’m going to have to get out some scrap fabric and try out an idea.

But first… yes, first, I must push on with Fete.

Happy Slow Sunday Stitching everyone! I’m linking up with Kathy for the first time in an absolute age.

Signature: Stephie © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnchorusStudio.com


17 replies
    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      It’s pants isn’t it Suzanne! I hope yours cleared up comfortably. I don’t think it’ll be a long term issue for me, but it’s funny to think that you have to pace yourself for slow stitching!

  1. Ann
    Ann says:

    Good luck with your injury. I’ve pretty much given up handwork although I’m still machine quilting. You’re right. You should keep walking while you can.
    What beautiful photos of the quilt and the geology. Thanks!

    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      I often think of you when I see interesting geology Ann. I have a friend here who’s a geologist too and she tells me this part of the coast is famous for the rocks. Apparently the minerals themselves aren’t that out of the ordinary, but because the cliff faces are exposed and you can see all the folds and formations, apparently it’s “geologically very exciting”! It definitely catches the eye.

    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      I’ll take you on a walk one day Sophie! Do you ever find there are just so many things you enjoy you don’t know where to start? I have real problems deciding what to prioritise some days – I guess it’s a nice headache to have really! x

  2. Kay
    Kay says:

    Thanks for the warning! I keep thinking I must go swimming and walking instead of sitting and sewing. I spend all day on my feet at work but it’s not the same as taking big strides and loosening up. Your quilt is my favourite kind, lots of different fabrics, but they all go together. Cornwall looks as lovely as I remember too

    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      You’d never expect to be injured by sewing would you?! I used to love yoga for flexibility, but I can’t find the time to fit it in at the moment – and I wouldn’t be able to lift my arm over my head, let alone my legs, haha! Thanks for the lovely comment about the quilt. x

  3. Kaja
    Kaja says:

    Two posts in two weeks! Your quilting is looking great, so I hope you get your tiresome shoulder sorted. I try to be mindful of stuff like moving position in an attempt to avoid injuries, but it’s so easily done. At least your legs are still working fine though. 🙂

    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      Haha, my legs might move alright, but sometimes they really, really don’t want to! I’m impressed you’re mindful of changing position, I never gave it a thought because my shoulder never hurts while I’m quilting.

      The length of time an injury normally takes to heal is definitely increasing with age…*sigh* (as if I needed to be reminded how old I am!)

  4. Cindy
    Cindy says:

    Beautiful scenery. Would love to get there some day. I broke my shoulder in April and had been recovery nicely until the good arm started hurting me. Don’t even notice it during the day, but at night it’s excrutiating. I’m sick of doctors, but may have to have it checked out now. Love your free spirit and your quilt!

    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      Thanks Cindy! A broken shoulder sounds incredibly painful to me, I’m glad it healed, but how unlucky that your other arm started to hurt. I’d definitely get it checked out, I remember my gp once told me that carpal tunnel syndrome is worse at night, so perhaps it’s something like that. I hope it’s not serious and doesn’t impede the things you want to do. Get better soon!

  5. Maureen@MysticQuilter
    Maureen@MysticQuilter says:

    Hope that shoulder settles down quickly, makes life pretty difficult! You must have had a good hike, the photos of Boscastle are glorious!
    I’m looking forward to seeing where you’re going with the inspiration for your sister”s quilt.

  6. Susan B.
    Susan B. says:

    Stephie, sorry for the frozen shoulder. I had it too — must be taken seriously! But it can be gotten over. No stretching the limits and ignoring pain! I had shots of steroids directly into the affected areas, and it helped (in addition to PT). But now I have been doing well with moderation in everything–especially quilting, and especially FPP, which is particularly muscle tension inducing for me. Relaxed working on various things with different movement schemes seems to be good. I had a therapist who gave me a little silk bag with rice in it. He said to practice doing everything with the bag on my head, not allowing it to fall off. After a while I eliminated the bag (it was always falling off), but kept imaginating having it on my head. That kept me reassuming a healthy posture. This has helped me a lot!
    As to your Fete quilt, which I adore, as do many others: I was wondering whether you could make a pattern for it. I would buy it! I think this quilt is somehow iconic.
    I’m so glad you’ve discovered hiking and envy your wonderful environment! Keep up the pictures!

    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      Hi Susan, thanks so much for such a lovely comment, and so sorry for such a long time before I could reply (so many IT gremlins lately…). It sounds like you had a really good therapist. I have a lovely physio, who just happens to be a friend as our children were in primary school together! She’s been great and I’ve been having ultrasound treatment and keeping up with the daily exercises, which have made a fantastic difference. There’s a way to go before I have a full range of motion back, but it’s improved no end. I’ve been good keeping to short periods for quilting and drawing too! I deserve a medal, obviously, haha!

      As for a pattern…hmmm. I’d like to, but I basically made it up as I went along. I thought about making a simplified version that would be easier to replicate, but I just haven’t got the time at the moment as I’m doing so much training to become a walking/hiking group leader (and hopefully setup a small business around Easter next year). Patterns take a long time to write and organise, and of course I’d have to make another quilt to photograph the process, so yes, I’m considering it, but in all honesty it won’t be until next year. Until then, I hope you’ll enjoy this version coming to fruition – it’s taking a while at the moment! x


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

I'd just like to say...