18

    In search of my ‘sewjo’ and other tales of summer

    Well, here we are – I just checked and we are officially past the halfway point of our summer vacation (school vacation). But more on that in a minute. (If you’re interested.) In the meantime, I started to prep more of the blue and red Orange Peel Applique quilt blocks (that aren’t orange) and had the thought, maybe I should count and see how many I’ve got. 

    I was surprised how big the stacks looked when I pulled them out, and even more surprised when I started counting them. Turns out I have over 300 blocks! Plenty of blocks to make a really good sized quilt! (I guess that’s what happens when you work on blocks for eight years. lol)

    Today I started playing with them on the design wall and I’m pretty excited about the direction this quilt is headed! In the words of my 15-year-old, “It’s going to be epic.”

    All of the ‘peels’ are hand appliqued, but I’m going to machine-piece the blocks together. But first, I think I need to cut out the excess fabric behind the ‘peels’ so that this quilt doesn’t weigh a hundred pounds. All 300+ of them. Or do I? (Professional opinions wanted.)

    This project has got me kind of excited again because my “sewjo” (aka sewing mojo) has been seriously MIA this summer. Here’s the long explanation, if you’re interested. (I totally understand if you’re not πŸ˜‰ and you’re allowed to just look at the pictures.)

    My relationship with summer is always complex. Finding the balance between fun/relaxation and structure with kids home all day has always been tricky. I’m at the stage now where my kids are older and a little more self-sufficient. Or at least you’d think. I still feel like I utter the phrase, “It’s time to turn off screens!” more than I’d like each day.

    Still, we’ve enjoyed a lot of the traditional summer activities: family vacations, some beautiful hikes in our nearby mountains, watching my kid’s tennis matches, family reunions, etc., so we haven’t been major slackers.

    Over the years I’ve learned that summer is most enjoyable when I let go of big projects, deadlines, and expectations and just roll with life as it comes.

    That was definitely my game plan for this summer… but, welp, when will I learn that things never go according to plan?! lol The day after we got home from our summer vacation, we discovered a leak under the kitchen sink. The latest update since having everything torn out  (cabinets, walls, and flooring) is that we have no update on when any of it could be replaced. (Insert wide-eyed + crying emojis here.) This was not the low-key summer I was planning.

    Here’s the current state of things: last week we finally got a temporary carpenter’s sink and extra countertop, so at least the kitchen is functional.

    The good news: in 2 months we’ll have a pretty, updated kitchen. πŸ™‚ The bad news: in 2 months we’ll have a pretty, updated kitchen. 

    We moved everything from our bottom kitchen cabinets into my sewing space (the former dining room next to the kitchen) after I packed up most of my sewing projects and piled them up in a basement storage room. I’m not going to lie, it felt pretty overwhelming. The whole unexpected nature of things totally sapped what little creativity and enthusiasm I had.

    I didn’t sew for weeks! Fortunately, some nice friends got me out of the house to sew one night after the most stressful week of tearing everything out. That was much needed. Since then I’ve come to accept that this is just the new normal for the summer (who needs a dishwasher anyway? #firstworldproblems).

    (Okay, never mind, I’m really missing my dishwasher.)

    For the most part we’re currently in limbo and I can’t do anything to change it. I’m doing better about just accepting it is what it is. I’ve realized that I function and feel a lot better when I decide to stop stressing out about what I have no control over. 

    In the meantime I’ve started working on a few projects again – especially since we’re in a holding pattern while we wait for various contractors to become available to fix the different parts of the kitchen/house. I’m not up for starting all of the massive fabric clean-out projects I had planned for the summer (especially now that most of it is in a giant pile in my basement) but I decided to instead, use the time to finish up some long-overdue UFO’s (UnFinished Objects) that have been waiting forever. (Which is extra good because that was my goal this year anyway, and I’ve been sadly slacking the past few months.)

    For example this vintage sheet patchwork quilt that has been patiently waiting 4 years for a pieced back so it could go to the quilter. I’m excited to say that I managed that feat this week!

    And now the Orange Peel quilt will fill that role too. It feels good to get a little of my sewjo flowing again. And it’s helped me feel better about all the stuff that’s currently out of my control.

    If you’re own Sewjo is sagging, Samantha Dorn of Aqua Paisley Studios has some great tips to help you get motivated again. They totally helped me!  

    One more bit of good news: my oldest has been serving as a volunteer missionary for our church. We haven’t seen her in 18-months and she gets home this week. I can’t remember the last time I felt this excited about anything. And it definitely puts perspective on all the other chaos. πŸ™‚