I’ve been doing some good ‘re-setting’ over the past few weeks. The kids are back in school and I’ve got a little more time on my own during the days. I cleaned out my sewing space and it felt so good to have a renewed place to create. Since then I’ve made a mess in there again, working on some new projects, but it’s still much more under control than before. (Relatively speaking…)
I’m doing a little more sewing for fun. One of these new projects is an I-spy baby quilt for some friends. It’s been fun to pull out my collection of novelty prints and pick some favorites. I’m also trying something new and instead of pairing the novelty fabrics with the Essex linen like I’ve done in the past, I’m using the Riley Blake Swiss Dot in black on cream. I love using the Riley Blake Swiss dots – they make a great ‘background neutral’ with some texture. This one is off to the quilters this week.
Last winter I chose Essentials as my one word challenge and I’m happy to stay it’s stuck around. I read Greg McKeown’s book Essentialism and started evaluating my goals and my choices and eliminating the excess. It’s taken until now to really start feeling the effects of saying “no” to more things so that I have time to do the things that I want to do – including more time to exercise, keep my house under control, and spend time with people. It’s so liberating.
Here’s one of my recent escapades. I’ve been doing more hiking with my husband. We send the poor children off to school and head for the hills. This is in a canyon near our home. Good exercise + time with my BFF + enjoying the perfect weather in my favorite month of the year = win, win, win.
I’m also trying to purge. I’ve been going through my fabric pulling stuff for a de-stash sale. (Watch for that someday along with an I-spy charms sale. Hopefully by the end of the month.) At the same time my youngest decided he needed a big-kid quilt. I agreed. And since I need to bust some stash, this felt like the perfect way to do so. He picked the colors and I just kept adding. Planning something very simple – just big squares, but it’ll get the job done for both of us quickly. I already like it. Another win-win.
I’ve decided sewing should be a creative outlet and stress reliever – not an added stress. I love and feel SO lucky that my hobby/passion has become a part-time job for me, but I don’t want it to consume me or become something that I get sick of because it’s no longer fun. I still have goals and plans I’d like to see happen, and part of that is not letting things that don’t matter or distract me from those goals get in the way of things that matter most.
I’m also trying to be more present with the people who actually live with me. For example, one of my kids was diagnosed with ADHD last year. We’re still in the middle of trying to find the best solutions and strategies that work for him, but it’s taking a significant investment of time. My first reaction to the diagnosis was “Oh, that explains so much!” My second reaction was a head slap, “Duh! What took me so long to figure that out?!” I guess I’m also sharing in case anyone out there has any great recommendations for working with ADHD. Some days I feel like we’re making progress and other days I feel like we still have SO far to go. Bless his heart, it’s rough. But I have hope and I know we’ll get where we need to be. Another vital reason to clear my plate at little more.
Finally, in light of the date (September 11), those memories always bring me back to valuing the Essentials, especially those closest to me. It stinks that it sometimes takes tragedy and loss to remind us what really matters most. A good reason to ‘never forget.’
Okay, last thing: I am getting SO excited about Winter Quiltfest in a few months! Registration is open – including the full retreat OR A La Carte classes, meals, and trunk shows if you can’t come to the whole event. So if you want to just roll-in and take a Jen Kingwell class, now’s your chance! Here is the list of classes and other teachers (including yours truly). It’s a great line up!