Hello friends! Would you believe it’s been about a month since I’ve worked on any quilting? This is so unlike me. My sewing mojo has been seriously struggling for the past few weeks. I haven’t worked on anything quilting-related since I wrote about catching my breath almost a month ago. I typically sew almost daily whether it’s for fun, as a coping mechanism, and because it’s my ‘work’. And yet, for the past few weeks I’ve hardly touched my sewing machine, other than to make more masks for neighbors or for my girls to take back to college with them.
I keep this box of prewashed fabrics and soft elastic next to my machine so that I can easily sit down and whip up a few mask when needed. (This is the mask-making-tutorial that I use.)
While my sewing mojo has been missing, I have been in a mood to ‘get my sewing room in order’ including cleaning out and destashing fabric. As with most organization projects, that always leads to a bigger mess before you start to feel the benefits of the clean-out. (Thanks to all who bought up the stuff I listed last week. And apologies that I didn’t have more to share. I was amazed how fast it went.)
It took a few days to get it all shipped out and I felt a huge load lifted once it was out. I’ve since spent the last few days cleaning up the aftermath, as well as finally putting away the remnants and leftovers of all of my summer projects.
When so much in life feels so out of my control right now, it doesn’t help when my house/creative-space feel out of control as well. It’s been good therapy to set creating aside and take some time to clear my head and sewing table and to control some things that I can control. And I think that taking some time to clear-out and clean up has made me excited to sew again. Check out this popular post about Sewing Room organization if you’re looking for some ideas to motivate you to work on your own creative space.
Here’s where my sewing table is at right now. I’m finally cutting borders for the Union Jack quilt I pieced last spring. (That pattern is in the works and should be ready in a few weeks.)
I’ve also started a sweet and simple patchwork baby quilt for a friend. Scrappy patchwork is my happy place.
Looking back, I realize now, it’s also been a really busy month preparing my kids to go back to school. This year certainly looks and feels different that school did last fall for each one of my kids. I have two girls who moved back to college and two boys in high school – one going every day in person and one doing remote online learning – which means my school year looks pretty different than normal too. Shout out all of the other trying-to-figure-out-this-home-school-life Moms (and Dads!) out there. It’s not for the faint of heart. I’m just praying/keeping my fingers, toes, and anything else crossed that the ones who are in school can all stay in school as long as possible…
The last one moved back to college. My husband and I took her last weekend and had a fun time exploring a few remote spots along the way – including new to me Cedar Breaks National Monument. Beautiful scenery – and a little ethereal due to smokey skies from all of the western fires.
Speaking of fires 🙁 – if you’re looking for a way to help, Beth Bryant has shared her California Pixelated Patchwork quilt pattern as a free gift in exchange for a donation to the California Wildfire Relief Fund – or any group helping to fight the terrible fires here in the western US.
Gosh, it’s been crazy times, hasn’t it? This past week my hometown of Salt Lake City was struck by a crazy hurricane-force windstorm that uprooted 1,000’s of beautiful old trees in neighborhoods, campuses, and parks throughout the city. Including Sunnyside Avenue and Sugarhouse Park – both the inspiration for two of my fabric collections. I have been mourning the loss like it was a part of me that was destroyed.
All of this crazy uncertainty has been rough, hasn’t it?
Here’s a few things that have helped/made me smile this week:
Even though I haven’t worked on any quilts, I have made progress on my Stitchville cross-stitch project. The pattern is by Camille Roskelly – you can find it here. Cutest house needleminder from Flamingo Toes. I bought the 11″ x 11″ Snap Frame from the Fat Quarter Shop. I love how tight it holds the fabric and not having to reposition over and over.
I’ve also laid on the couch and watched the US Open Tennis tournament. Usually I never sit still while watching TV – I always ‘pride’ myself on being productive any time I’m watching TV. This time I’m proud of myself for just resting and enjoying. It’s also something my son likes and it feels good to just hang out with him.
Here’s a little more ‘feel-good’ inspiration for you. I’ve talked before about my cute Hmong neighbor Xiong Li who is in her 90’s. Since quarantine started back in March we haven’t been able to give each other squeezes, instead visiting and waving from her driveway while she sits on the porch. While I haven’t been able to give her hugs, I have been able to supply her with fabric, thanks in part to Riley Blake Designs donating their leftover flannel samples.
In the past 6 months she has made more than 100 (!) flannel baby blankets, burp clothes and bags. This is just some of them. These will all be donated to Lifting Hands International, the Navajo Nation, and local families/hospitals. I love that she loves to keep her hands busy at her sewing machine. She is a kindred spirit.
Ideas to lift your spirits:
If you’re looking for ways to lift your spirits helping others, here are some causes that are always in need of charitable donations.
If you’re in the mood to purge and have extra fabric on your hands here’s a list of places that can use fabric donations (see the comments on that post too.) If you’ve got flannel you want to send to my friend to make more baby blankets, email me directly for info: email@example.com
If you’re in the Utah area, September 18-19 is the Garden of Quilts event at Thanksgiving Point. While this will not be the same as last year’s event – no classes or trunk shows – you can still wander the stunning gardens and admire dozens of quilts. Thanksgiving Point is huge, making it easy to ‘social distance’ and it’s supposed to be beautiful weather. I’m looking so looking forward to this event and promise to take pictures and share with all of you who can’t be there in person.
If you’re feeling in a creative funk or looking for motivation, Samantha Dorn has some really simple, concrete tips to help you with your quilting mojo here.
This article was really helpful or those of us feeling like we’re in a funk or having a hard time finding our footing during these uncertain times. It helps us understand why we’re feeling the way we do and offers some good concrete tips and suggestions. Although I sometimes feels like I am, it’s good to know we aren’t actually going crazy.
Here’s a sweet story about how one person can make a difference. My friend Ben Behunin‘s neighborhood was one that was heavily hit by the storm in Salt Lake City. In cleaning up the damage they found a car that had been destroyed – with a Venmo name in it. He shared the picture with his Instagram following and you can read about the results here.
I also loved this stirring little video about Hope.
❤ to all of you, friends!