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Sewing in Times of Uncertainty

How is everyone out there doing?? Is your sanity surviving the quarantine? Has it been the weirdest week (year!) or what? A few weeks ago I wrote about how grateful I am for my sewing hobby during times of stress as we’ve been navigating a serious health challenge with our son. Fortunately we’re making progress on his health diagnosis, but the gratitude continues as we’re all navigating quarantines and the results of a pandemic.

Sewing in times of stress and quarantine

A friend shared this quote from Grace Coolidge with me years ago, and suddenly it feels so relevant to many of us. So much of what we’re facing is unknown and uncertain – and that’s such a disconcerting feeling. 

(Update: I created a free printable version of this quote. Find the download link below.)

In some ways the chaos feels like par for the course this year as the past few months have been so off-kilter for our family with our son’s health issues. Fortunately we’re starting to get some answers there. Thank you SO MUCH to all for you kind words, prayers, and well wishes. He was diagnosed last week with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), a condition that affects circulation (blood flow). We’ve now got appointments with pediatric specialists in a few different departments. We’ve still got a road ahead, but it’s been calming to have a direction to head in.

And now we’re facing a new upheaval. Last week I was worried because I had a kid trying to manage school from home. Now I may have 4! Two of those are daughters in college. Both have just learned that their classes will be online only for the rest of the semester. One of them who was coming home this week for Spring break anyway, is now moving home for the next month. Not at all what we were all expecting for her Freshman year.

I have a suspicion everyone is feeling some form of similar upheaval right about now… 

sewing room during quarantine

So, once again, I’m grateful for sewing – for something that brings be stability and sanity when the world feels so off-kilter. As Grace said, “something that keeps me to the course”. 

Here’s the current state of my sewing room. The good news: I will not run out of projects or supplies or things to do during any quarantining! Lol.

I’m working on a baby quilt from Andy Knowlton’s book Fresh Fat Quarter Quilts. Ironically, this is the project I was starting when I cut off the end of my finger in November.

I’m making a baby quilt and I’m excited to get this to Sew Shabby Quilting this weekend. (In a responsible, germ-free, social-distancing manner.)

Speaking of my finger… my finger has grown back! Even the nail bed! It’s pretty amazing. It’s a little more flat on the outside of the tip that was missing, but I’m totally marveling at what the human body can do. (I’m still a little numb and tingly on the inside and I expect it will stay that way for a while, but even those sensations are continuing to change and progress. It’s amazing.)  Keep that vigilance with rotary cutter safety!

And maybe that’s a good reminder that time heals. It’s not fun to go through the stress and agony parts of life, but time does heal.

With all of this uncertainty, I know we’ll be fine. We’ve got food, toilet paper, the internet, fabric and thread. And people that I love. But my worries and heart and prayers do go out to those at risk, those who are alone or without a support network, those for whom this upheaval poses serious challenge, and those doctors, nurses and first responders we’ll require so much of. 

It’s a humbling time.

Stay safe out there my friends! Wash your hands. Use this time to put some good into the world. Maybe teach a child to sew. xo

This is where I’ll be if you need to find me! With forced time at home, I’ll have lots to share over the weeks ahead. Including a fun giveaway for National Quilting Month!

Update: I created free printable version of this quote. You can download and print for free here. Feel free to share. xo

Sewing During Stress printable

 

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35 Comments

  • Reply
    RaeLyn
    March 13, 2020 at 2:36 pm

    Thanks Amy. It is always good to regroup and remember what we are thankful for.

    • Reply
      LIISA PURKISS
      March 14, 2020 at 6:35 am

      I stay at home more now ,I try not to use the bus at peak times. I am doing a lot of knitting and sewing baby quilts ( donating them to local hospital).
      Fortunately not a lot of cases of coronavirus in my city of Tampere,but you have to be careful.

    • Reply
      Eugenie Macfarlane
      March 15, 2020 at 6:45 am

      My 4th day on locklown here inAlbany, NY. Good to connect. Birch will be on YouTube All is for the better good I know, but some days it feels hard or unreal. I have a quilt to work on and many UFOs, so all is well.

  • Reply
    Christ'l Beyers
    March 13, 2020 at 6:39 pm

    We’re on a lockdown in Belgium. No bars, no restaurants, no churches, no school and on the weekends no shops till april 3! So we sit home and do some knitting or quilting. There is even an international group on fb: The Lockdown Quilters!

  • Reply
    Camille julian
    March 13, 2020 at 6:47 pm

    Thank you, for writing this. It has kind of, put me in a little better place.
    I just keep saying to myself “ I wish I could go back to three weeks ago, when things weren’t this crazy.

  • Reply
    Little Quiltsong
    March 13, 2020 at 7:03 pm

    So wonderful – and thankful, to see how well your finger has healed!! All the family home – stay safe. We’re in God’s Hands. I also think of all the first responders out there. Praying for all. Enjoy your sewing. I too have enough to keep me busy :)!

  • Reply
    Naomi
    March 13, 2020 at 7:36 pm

    Oh thank you, Amy!!! ❤❤❤ I NEEDED this so much today and this week. Having sick kids and elder relatives with everything going on is wearing on the spirit.

    Lucky for me, my stash is bursting so I’ll stay occupied. Thank you again for those words of calm. We all need it right now.

  • Reply
    Debbie Cook
    March 13, 2020 at 8:20 pm

    Well, I’m one of those with respiratory issues. They say, stay in. Don’t get out if you don’t have. So I sit in my kitchen making lap quilts for some elderly from church in lockdown nursing homes. One down 3 to go. I’m not bored. I have plenty of stash, so here I sit sewing the days away. Good prayers for your I’ll one.🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏💜

  • Reply
    Robby H.
    March 13, 2020 at 9:23 pm

    What a relief to have a diagnosis, even when it means there is more medical work to be done it is good to put a name to things. Here’s to insightful treatment and patience for the process. Great news about your finger, too! Wishing you and yours a healthy season very soon.

  • Reply
    Margaret Andrews
    March 14, 2020 at 12:05 am

    Thank you, Amy. This is wonderful, timely post. I loved the wise words of Grace Cooledge and just sent them to my quilt guild group and sent them with my words of love. I just thought, as you, when we are all facing so much uncertainty we all need each other. Thank you so much for all you do for the sewing community.
    I am glad that you have a diagnosis for your son, it gives you a place to start. Your finger looks great.

  • Reply
    Jude Jones
    March 14, 2020 at 12:11 am

    I also sent that quote to my quilt group! I love it! That you for your always timely posts! They are always so enjoyable. Your finger looks great so yay! I had a similar injury from a car accident and it did take some time for the nerves in my fingers to regenerate but they did and I have little to no numbness where I once had the tips of two fingers totally numb! Such good news about your son! Everything is up from here! Much love! ♥️

  • Reply
    Maria
    March 14, 2020 at 12:24 am

    Thank you for sharing the beautiful quote. We all need some quiet time and just to be safe at home with our families.
    I was diagnosed with the same syndrome months ago. It took awhile to figure it out but after seeing a heart specialist I got some answers and a diagnoses. My new meds are helping and I now understand and don’t panic when the the heart races. I have learned to get up slowly and take deep cleansing breaths whenever the BP goes up and then things go back to normal.
    I find sewing is a great relaxing tool for me. Your son will be fine and he will understand to listen to his body and find his own way to relax. I do wear compression socks now and then and that helps.
    Hope your family stays healthy and safe.

  • Reply
    Eileen Conley
    March 14, 2020 at 4:51 am

    What a wonderful and thoughtful piece to read this morning. Best wishes to the full healing and all of those who need it, body and spirit.

  • Reply
    Joyce Goldthwaite
    March 14, 2020 at 6:22 am

    Amy I just read that your sin may have a diagnosis. I have a good friend who has POTS. If you would like to connect with her, just drop me a note by email.

  • Reply
    Adrienne
    March 14, 2020 at 7:26 am

    Amy, this is a very trying time for all of us. I’m sorry you have more challenges. Good luck with all of it. I’m wishing good luck to all human beings these days and, of course, to myself as well. I love the quote you sent us. I’m going to print it out. I love quilting. I very often get very lost in the process because it’s meditative for me, and very calming. I’m sometimes so lost in my quilty world that I can forget to eat … or, forget to feed my sweet kiitty-kat!! I apologize like crazy to her when I realize it. She always forgives me 🙂 We all need to take very good care of ourselves. It’s the single most important thing we can do right now. Keep writing to us. It helps all of us to have community support. It’s a way to help one another.

  • Reply
    Debbie M
    March 14, 2020 at 7:54 am

    So glad your finger has healed well, and that you have a diagnosis for your son. It’s a relief to know what you are dealing with, isn’t it? I too have plenty of fabric and projects to keep me busy in the coming weeks… months?! Even though I recently destashed quite a bit because of a move, there is still A LOT I can do! Our oldest daughter (married mom with 4 children) has POTS and so my heart goes out to you and your son. It is a challenging journey and it seems to be a little different with everyone. I’m certain you’ll find things that work for him and learn to deal with it. Be open to some alternative things, like supplements, things that build blood. May Heavenly Father bless you in this! Thanks for the quote and all you do to help us “keep calm, and sew on!”

  • Reply
    charlotte m.
    March 14, 2020 at 8:35 am

    Thank you for the positive message Amy. I need more of those right now.

  • Reply
    Terri Warrem
    March 14, 2020 at 8:55 am

    I needed to see that quote today, as I sit quarantined due to chemo treatments putting me at greater risk. Sometimes we read things online that shake our peace,as I did yesterday about someone in my circumstances. This quote helped put me back on track, focusing on what makes me happy…my sewing room and more projects than I’ll ever have time to do in just one quarantine period. Thank you.

  • Reply
    Gwynette in NW Arkansas
    March 14, 2020 at 9:16 am

    Amy, I’ve been reading your blog for awhile and I’m thankful you have a diagnosis for your son. That alone has to be a relief as opposed to not knowing. I think your soft gray Irish chain quilt is lovely and soothing. Thank you for all things quilty you share.

  • Reply
    Claudia W
    March 14, 2020 at 11:24 am

    Yours was a calming word in the midst of all this chaos. Thank you.
    I pretty much already self quarantine. I only go into town when absolutely necessary. I’m glad we already stock up on the necessities, but it is getting a little worrisome when my community deems it necessary to hoard EVERYTHING! We are going to need to restock those things we stocked up on a month or so ago, and there is a very small window of opportunity to get certain things as the stores get their orders in. I refuse to wait in line for TP, only to be told that they are all out of the two pallets they received that morning. It’s frustrating at best. I will just roll with it and pray that this all calms down soon!
    My heart goes out to those who are deep in the middle of it, those who have lost family members and those who are waiting results of their own tests. It can’t be easy for them, or the medical personnel who are staying in and taking care of those who are sick.
    I am so happy for you, that you now have a direction to go to help in your son’s healing. When your other children get home from where ever they are, hug them and hold them close. I have a grandson due at the end of May. It certainly is frightening to bring a brand new life into this mess.
    I’m going to keep calm and sew on, connect with my online quilting tribe, and continue to pray for the best possible outcome!

  • Reply
    Christine Sherman
    March 14, 2020 at 11:28 am

    I’m glad you’re finding answers but hate that he has POTS. I have that along with 2 other diagnoses that go hand in hand with POTS. Email me if I can help at all!

    • Reply
      Amy
      March 14, 2020 at 1:05 pm

      Thank you so much, Christine!

      • Reply
        Jacomina
        March 15, 2020 at 4:01 am

        My niece has POTS too, so if you can add me to the emails with any info on this diagnosis, I will also pass it on. It is all very new to us in our family. Thanks

  • Reply
    Grace
    March 14, 2020 at 11:36 am

    Thank you for sharing this. I’m preparing to have my four grandchildren for the next couple of weeks or longer if needed. These are strange times we are living in. I find sewing and crocheting very grounding and hope to teach my grandkids to find comfort and stability in these things too.
    Stay safe and well.

  • Reply
    carlabataran0974
    March 14, 2020 at 3:07 pm

    Thanks Amy. I’m a Registered Nurse and so appreciate your positive, uplifting and well balanced post. From my long career in the health industry, I have observed that society is blessed to have people such as this among us. I Know that you have and will keep on blessing others around you. I have tried to teach our four children that whatever a person does affects others around them…..both directly and indirectly. One may never know how even just a smile or a gentle touch can literally impact a person and never even know it.

    Times like this are precious because people like you shine even brighter. May God continue to bless you and your family, hold you and protect you, strengthen you increasing your goodness every day.

  • Reply
    yvonne jennings
    March 14, 2020 at 4:39 pm

    Hi, so glad to hear your son and your finger are on the mend, my husband and myself are staying at home (Gloucestershire England) we both are over 70 and have health issues so think it best if we wait it out for however long that may be, I have so many UFOs to finish and it will give me a chance to catch up. Please stay well and safe all of you, take care X

  • Reply
    Gwyn
    March 14, 2020 at 6:24 pm

    We too just returned from retrieving our sophomore from her campus. Like you, spring break turned into online for the remainder of the semester. The students were pretty upset about the way it all happened so quickly and not terribly organized. The students had to be out Tuesday at the latest, buy they closed the cafeteria on Friday after lunch! She’s glad to be home with mom’s food and a break before they get the online sorted out. My husband’s college is going to online for 3 weeks and waiting to see whether or not to go back. Preschool is open for me for one more week; then a week of spring break. Our 17 yr. old son is on a two week break for spring break. The cat is very happy to have us all home! I have spring break sewing planned between spring cleaning. 🙂 Your finger looks great! Congratulations on the best healing thus far and a diagnosis for your son. Happy sewing. The baby quilt looks great, calming blue.

  • Reply
    raniss
    March 14, 2020 at 6:45 pm

    Thank you Amy! I’m off work (with partial pay at least which is more than some) for at least a couple of weeks and my son’s school goes online middle of the week, Luckily my husband works for himself and our daughter is taking a gap year before college so no school to leave mid year. I’m already planning my projects in my head. Stay healthy and well!

  • Reply
    Jacomina
    March 15, 2020 at 3:58 am

    my niece has POTS too, so I am going to follow to see what your son’s doctors recommend

  • Reply
    Jan Weicksel
    March 15, 2020 at 4:35 am

    Thanks Amy for the printable of the sewing quote. It will go in my sewing room! Also, very glad you are getting some news about your son. Going the right direction isi always a good way to go! I can also feel for you with your kids moving back early from college… working at home… all of it. We have four children, all grown with families now, but life with kids makes you learn to be flexible… no matter the number of them vs. you! Embrace the time with them!!

  • Reply
    Judith Harvey
    March 16, 2020 at 9:02 am

    Thank you so much for the beautiful quote. I just printed it off.

  • Reply
    Wendy
    March 16, 2020 at 9:28 am

    We’re in the middle of purchasing a home. It’s been 16 months since our home burned down, along with 13,000 other homes in the CampFire in N. CA. I’m scared to be buying a home right now, but in the past 16 months we have lived with friends, lived in a 5th wheel and now living in Austin with our son. Wonderful to have loved ones, but going to be great to have our own home again.

    • Reply
      Amy
      March 17, 2020 at 2:33 pm

      Oh my goodness – that is a long time to be without your own home. I have good friends from Paradise – they are no longer living there, but a big chunk of their hearts still does and they were so devastated by that destruction. I’m so sorry it directly affected you! I hope your home purchase will work out well! xo

  • Reply
    Carroll
    March 16, 2020 at 10:35 am

    Thank you for the PDF of the quote. I too printed it out and will display it in my sewing room. I enjoy your blog and read it every day.

  • Reply
    Brenda
    March 16, 2020 at 5:07 pm

    I’m glad your finger is getting better! And I pray you are able to navigate his care with wisdom. Last year was a bear for our family and I was hoping for a “no drama” year. Now I think it would be a great time to look at the “UFO” project list and finish them up! How many can we get done? Stay safe everyone!

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