Friday, March 13, 2009


Frustration is what I am feeling about my ear problem. I can't hear anything—OK, I can hear people if they shout directly into my face—not fun for them, not fun for me. I can talk on the phone quite well, with the sound turned way up. Otherwise, my world has been silent for the past week. Murky. Fuzzy.

It has been a hard week. On Wednesday I went to the Columbia Stitchery Guild meeting, celebrating the Guild's 40th anniversary. I would not have gone, except that I had to pick up quilts for the Green Line show. As it turned out only two people brought them to the meeting. I sat through a two hour meeting, including a video made 15 years ago about the guild. All around me people were responding with smiles and laughing. I heard nothing. Yesterday I went to the STASH meeting. Small group. Everyone tried to talk loud, but I didn't hear much. Last night I had another meeting, which I pretty much had to go to because I am president of the group. An ordeal. I went to my Dr. today. She added a course of prednisone to the antibiotics I am already taking and said if it was no better next week she'd send me to a ear/nose/throat Dr. As my son-in-law would say, I am feeling desperated.

So the good news (besides the fact that the new prescription cost less than $5—when does that happen?!) is that hearing is not essential to quilting. I have been working away on the tree quilt and adding the pattern I love, with quilting.

This has been really fun. I am only doing some minor pre-thinking and no marking, just quilting spontaneously and making up the designs as I go. Lots more to do in the tree itself, but you can see the leaf-ish pattern I am concocting for that. You can see the unquilted version here to get an idea of how much this is changing the piece. The quilting, except for the sky, is all done with a dark purple thread, which comes across quite neutral, but I think it is livelier than black would have been. The dark lines in the quilt, by the way, are also not black, but a charcoal gray color. I quilted the sky using white thread.


  1. I am really enjoying watching the progress on this. The quilting is just perfect for this piece! What a transformation.

    Hope your hearing is better soon.

  2. I really hope the prednisone makes a difference, and soon!

  3. Your quilting is MAKING this piece. It is so wonderful, especially in that you are not marking it. It has a great spontaneity to it :-)

    I hope your ear gets better soon.

  4. What a difference the quilting makes! It looks so good.
    I do hope the sounds of your life come back soon.

  5. The quilt looks fantastic! My sympathy for the hearing mess. As someone who has hearing in only one ear and tinnitus in both( like jet planes landing.)due to a stupid disease called mieners I know just how frustrating it all can be!!! Heres hoping it all goes back to normal pronto!

  6. Your quilting is gorgeous. That is the most expressive quilting I think I've ever seen.
    Hope you regain your hearing soon. I can imagine it must be frustrating.
    Enjoy the journey,

  7. Y'know... it has been said a few times that not heaing can be a blessing in disguise. Not sure if that applies here so all my best to regardless. But your quilting is coming across loud and clear: BRILLIANT! I love the texture and pattern you've created behind the images. I love that kind of attention to detail.
    Catch ya later!!!!!!!

  8. Anonymous7:14 PM

    Hi Terry,
    Sorry about your hearing problems, how frustrating that must be!

    But this quilt is amazing! Your quilting is so perfect and adds so much. Wow! I love it!


  9. Terry,
    Your quilting is wonderful and makes the piece!

  10. I hope you get better soon.
    Your quilt is beautiful.

  11. wow, I can't believe the difference between the before and after pics.
    Very textural quilting.
    Take Care and be aware that the steroids may cause you to feel even more 'desperated'.

  12. Anonymous5:02 AM

    sorry about the hearing suckness, but wow on the quilt. Looks SO good - and I imagine it's even cooler in the flesh.

  13. Anonymous5:55 AM

    Love the quilting on this piece - so inspirational.
    Wishing you speedy recovery and smooth stitching.


  14. Terry, I LOVE the quilting on this piece! And thanks for the explanation about the dark purple thread vs. using black.
    You're very brave about your hearing loss. I have something similar that sometimes drives me crazy, but you can learn to live with anything, especially if you are immersed in your work. Good luck!

  15. I love your quilts. They are simply elegant and beautiful.
    I don't usually comment, but I wanted to give you a little support.
    Coming from a girl who lost the hearing in one ear at 18 (I'm not yet 30), it is frustrating, but there are some positives. Does your husband snore? Just turn over on the pillow, and the room is quiet. It makes sewing on big, noisy machines quieter too.
    And most importantly, it's not essential to your art. Fabric doesn't talk (and if it does, you have WAY bigger problems than your hearing!) Good luck, and I hope it gets better for you!
    Meanwhile, keep up the beautiful trees! I love them!

  16. Terry, grand quilting -- what ping it brings to the art. And your choice of thread is brilliant. I've found that I seldom can use a black thread without it looking out of place. The dark purple is really smart.

    And take care of your ears as best you can -- let the docs work on them. Hearing is not just useful, but amazingly central (but of course, you know that better than I do right now). We'll be seeing you soon.


  17. Another masterpiece! S'wonderful.
    But I don't care for the fuzzy business - get well soon. Del

  18. Anonymous11:05 AM

    Your palette is beautiful. How frustrating about your hearing. I hope you are better today.

  19. Terry... this is FAB!!!!
    Love, love, love that quilting!!
    Good that one doesn't need to hear to quilt, but I am sorry to learn you have this problem, hope it is cleared up soon!