Happy Monday! I thought I would pop in quickly to share a few things going on in my world.
My husband took the kids to my Sister-in-law's house this weekend, thus freeing me up for a few hours. My mom was also visiting and helped me to tackle basting my KING SIZED City Sampler quilt. Yeah, I was majorly dreading this project, as it measures a whopping 104" x 104" but with the help of my mom, it really wasn't so bad. Actually it went really smoothly and her help was very much appreciated! I am estimating that over 500 safety pins went into this one, roughly every 6" or so. Whew, so glad to have that task over with and very excited to start quilting this one!
I received some super exciting news on Saturday, that I was chosen as the Second Place winner in the Mosaic Tiles Quilt Along hosted by Craft Buds! I couldn't be more thrilled and excited, I'm still so pumped up! I wanted to thank Craft Buds, all of the awesome judges and lastly all of the amazing sponsors of the quilt along. Hop over to Craft Buds and show all of the other participants some love, because there was some amazing entries in this contest, they all deserve praise.
Lastly, after doing some figuring and traveling confusion from my husband (don't ask.) Austin, Texas is only a 6 hour drive from my house, making QuiltCon totally doable! I actually plan to travel via Amtrak (kinda excited about that alone!) So yes, I'll be there, QuiltCon 2015! Hope to meet you there!
I am really behind in showing off the last few (ok the last 6 months) worth of bee blocks, so here I am today, trying to rectify that situation!
First up are the simplest blocks that I think I may have ever sewn! This block is the Belle Wave by Faith of Fresh Lemons and can be found HERE. These were for Michonne (Watch Meesh Run) and I believe she was making a wedding quilt for a friend. How sweet! The block finished as 11.5" x 13" and literally took 10 minutes to stitch up. Nice and easy.
September's blocks may have been the easiest, but October's blocks were definitely the hardest I have ever done! I'm not just saying that, these were the hardest blocks I have ever done! The Windmill pattern from the book "Modern Blocks, 99 Quilt Blocks from your Favorite Designers" was designed by Lynne Goldsworthy of Lily's Quilts fame. Stephanie (spontaneousthreads) sent us the background Heath print and we used scraps for the triangles. We made 8 quadrants, and she is going to sew them together randomly with all the other bee members blocks, making them totally unique. I worked on and off on these blocks for two weeks, and logged in well over 8 hours sewing these babies together. That was some serious paper piecing and I don't think I will ever make these blocks again. That being said, it was a great learning experience for sure, and isn't that what these bees are about?
November's blocks were for Leanne (She Can Quilt) and she requested these half square triangle based blocks, called "Ocean Waves." The fabrics were from the Blitzen line and Kona white. Leanne wrote us a wonderful tutorial for these blocks, which can be found HERE. I was pleased as punch with these blocks, as most of my triangles still have their points and mostly lined up well. I think this was my most successful half square triangle blocks to date. This will certainly be a lovely Christmas quilt.
Staying with the Christmas theme, January's blocks were for Toni (HoosierToni) who is getting a huge jump start on Christmas quilts for her children this year. Isn't that a great idea! She had us make Spiderweb Blocks from the tutorial found at House of A La Mode, tutorial HERE. I have made several of these blocks in the past (and I have a WIP Christmas quilt myself using this same pattern!) Needless to say, these were easy and quick. She sent the background plus all the scraps and asked for 5 quadrants. I then sewed the leftover scraps together, so the few she would have to make herself would go together even more quickly.
We are now arriving at my blocks (that I actually made for myself,) March is my month, and I have chosen Modern Maples as the blocks I will have everyone make. I am excited about this one! The tutorial can be found HERE and is by Amanda Woodward-Jennings of Hey PorkChop! I sent everyone a selection of low volume prints, plus strips of both Denyse Schmidt Chicopee and Anna Maria Horner Field Study lines of fabric. These blocks go together really quickly and measure 12.5" x 12.5." The top block is Lush Uptown by Erin Michael, and is the basis for this quilt. I love that line and wanted to base a quilt off of those colors, they seem very autumn to me. So I made that block and then picked the other two fabric lines based off the colors and prints. I hope to have this one done by the fall of the year, as I really want to use it, so I am using the low volume prints in the "solid" blocks and using them as leaders and enders in my current projects, which is really cool and getting two projects done at one time. All of my packets have been mailed out and I can't wait to see the blocks come together!
Hopefully, next time I post pictures of bee blocks, it won't be 6 months from now. I am so glad to have this post done, as it has literally taken me all week to write...goodness gracious. I'm off to do some cleaning, picture taking and I have presents to wrap. Have a great weekend!
The Two in One Tote, two challenges, one tote! It all started last year when I joined the Modern Quilt Guild as an individual member. How exciting to be able to have that opportunity, I was and am thrilled. The first thing that I loved about being a member was that now I could participate in the fabric challenges that I had seen so many groups participating in. So here is the very first, The Riley Blake Challenge. The guild sent all those who signed up 6 fat eighths of Riley Blake fabric and we could make whatever we wanted, just so long as it was quilted. We could add any solids, or any Riley Blake fabrics.
Right from the start I new I wanted to make a beach bag. We need a new one desperately. The old one was skin chaffing and just all around terrible. Even though I knew I wanted to make a tote, I really had no idea on what to do with the fabric, or how far the fat eighths would really go on a large tote. So there the fabric sat for quite some time, and then the Guild extended the competition and therefore my fabric sat even longer. At the beginning of the year, while blog surfing I came across a blog post from Craft Buds announcing theMosaic Tiles Quilt Along. Oh, now there is an idea. So I ordered the book, Modern Bee by Lindsay Conner, and once it arrived, a plan was formed.
The Mosaic Tiles block is a 11.5" x 11.5" block, and I roughly figured that if I made four blocks, that would be right around the right size for my tote (or one side of it at least.) The Riley Blake Challenge included the dark gray solid, so I added in two coordinating shades of gray and set to making the blocks. I purposely arranged the layout, the grays in diagonal lines, and then the prints just random. Once I had the four blocks completed and sewn together, I attached the panel to fusible fleece and quilted with a medium gray 1/4" away from the seams with my walking foot.
I loved it, the only problem was that I didn't have enough fabric, solid or print to have a matching second side. So now what? I started with taking the prints that I had left and cutting out 18 - 4.5" x 4.5" squares, leaving only a 3" x 9" piece of fabric left. I randomly sewed these together, creating a small panel the same width as the front, but quite a bit shy of being tall enough. I pondered for a while and thought of my intended purpose of the bag, a beach bag and decided to try a modern applique beach wave. Any why not add in a little ombre too? I dug through my stash found 3 coordinating blues, and drew up a wave template. I didn't want to use raw edge applique, so I put two layers of the dark blue together, traced my template and sewed on the line in a short 1.5 stitch. I then cut with my pinking shears close to the seam, cut a few notches, then turned the fabric. After fidgeting with it a bit, I then Ironed the HECK out of it and created a smooth-ish wave that contained no raw edges on the exterior. I then machine stitched this wave on top of the patchwork panel about 1/8" away from the edge. Now that the hard part was done, I added the two blue solids and now I had a second finished panel. I also fused this side to fusible fleece and then was faced with how to quilt it.
I knew that I didn't want to repeat the straight line quilting, and wanted a totally different look for this side. I decided that the patchwork colorful part reminded me of the umbrellas and people on the beach, so I free motion quilted the circle "umbrellas" on the "beach." Then I knew I had to echo the waves onto the beach a bit and of course in the water. I used my walking foot to quilt the waves, which I guess? was the most accurate way to do it? Maybe if I was super skilled I could have free motion quilted it, but I don't that at this point my skills are quite that good. The only problem I ran into during this whole process was when I had to free motion quilt the circles. The first and second round went fine, but when I made the third and fourth loop of stitching the fabric really pulled in and distorted, creating a "bubble" of sorts in the center of the circle. I know that the problem was probably caused because I didn't have enough layers and was only quilting through cotton and fleece. I ironed the HECK out of that section, but in the end, it definitely has texture.
Now that my quilting was complete, I found a matching gray solid for the lining, and started to assemble the bag. I stitched the sides and bottom. Created a gusset, and was overall pleased with the size and shape. it really was just right. Just big enough to hold several beach towels, a few toys and such, but not too big. When it came time to sew the lining and the bag together, at the last moment I decided to add piping to the top edge, just to add a little extra touch. I am really glad that I did, it really separates the exterior from the interior. This bag is pretty floppy, does not stand on its own, but that is exactly what I wanted, because when it is time to travel and store it, I can just roll it up and tuck it out of the way!
The plan all along was to have rope handles, I mean you can't have a beach bag without rope handles, right? So once the bag was all sewn, I installed 4 silver grommets that had a 1/2" hole opening. Now I just needed to go to the local hardware store for some rope. I ended up buying a 3/8" natural sisal. It slipped perfectly through the grommets, I tied knots on each end and it was just the right size. Now I complained earlier about my old beach bag chaffing our skin, so of course I couldn't have the rope raw against our bare shoulders. I looked at the scraps I had left, took the 3" x 9" pieces, cut it down to 2.5" x 9" and created lined tubes that slipped onto the rope, nice and slim little handle covers. My bag was now complete! It measures 20.5" wide, 18" tall and an 8" gusset, and a 12" handle drop. It is LARGE!
I really enjoyed the process, the finished tote and being able to participate in two challenges, simultaneously. Thank you Riley Blake for providing the fabric, and for the Modern Quilt Guild to host this challenge. Also, thank you toCraft Buds for hosting the Mosaic Tiles Quilt Along, because honestly, that side of the tote is my favorite, and in my opinion the most modern!
I almost forgot, but this is also my first finish in the first quarter of the 2014 Finish Along hosted by Katy at The Littlest Thistle!
I don't know about you, but I'm sick of this wintery ice slush weather we have been having. I'm ready for Spring! Since I can't change the weather, I can change your mood! Looking through old blog posts and my photographs, I realized I never showed off the finished Bloom Bloom Pow quilt top. So here she is! Almost exclusively Denyse Schmidt and matching solids, this top measures 57" x 67" and will be a great lap quilt.
Here is the wrinkly quilt top photo, in full sun. The only reason I include this picture is because the colors are the most true in this photo. So bright and sunny, I do love this quilt! Now I just have to figure out how to quilt her! Feel free to share any ideas you might have, I would greatly appreciate it!
A few months ago I received the most lovely gift in the mail. Do you recognize it? Last year it was part of the Zakka Along 2.0 - Patchwork Please sew along. It is the Sweet Trips Embroidery Pouch (week 18) and this one was made by my friend Debbie over at A Quilter's Table. Isn't it the sweetest!
Debbie made it for me as a "just because" and boy did she nail it! It is so perfect, adorable and oh so handy. You see right at the time I received this lovely gift, I had just started the Autumn Sampler by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery, and was using a gallon size Ziplock bag. So sad. So I threw that sad Ziplock bag away and immediately stuffed my new pouch full of all my cross stitch goodies!
You can see my pouch filled to the brim below. It had a space for everything and holds it all so well. You can see back in the day when I took these photos just how far along I was with that cross stitch project (not very far!)
On the left side it holds my floss, the actual cross stitch piece (folded) and my chart of colors and symbols.
On the right side it holds my needles, and the current thread I am using, plus my scissors tucked away in a pocket that keeps my boys from getting their precious hands on them! I have been using this embroidery pouch every single day, traveling in my purse, car and by hand for months now, it is the perfect size and perfect thoughtful gift for me!
Below is where I am currently on the sampler. My background fabric wasn't quite dark enough, so the white kinda disappeared. To solve this issue, I am adding in a gold thread with the white to make it pop, and hopefully stand out a bit. If you look hard at block number 13 you can see the gold on her hat. I have been steadily working on this one, enjoying every minute and enjoying my little gift even more. Thank you Debbie!
While we are on the topic of Debbie, I was thrilled to find out yesterday that she won 2nd place in the Tula Pink City Sampler Quilt Along, hosted by Sew Sweetness. Tula Pink herself picked the winners and I couldn't be more thrilled for Debbie, she completely deserved it and if you want to check out her awesome winning quilt, "Unlocked" then click HERE to see what a beauty this quilt really is!
Ironically, after publishing this post, I was browsing through my old blog posts and discovered that today, exactly four years ago is when I started blogging! Wow, time flies and it is so hard to believe that it has already been four years Thanks so much to all of you for joining me on my journey and for all the friendships that I have formed in these years through this little blog!
As of January 1st, I had officially finished 70 of the 100 City Sampler blocks from the book, 100 Modern Quilt Blocks by Tula Pink. Knowing that I had worked on these blocks in spurts for at least six months, I knew I wanted to finish them all and get the quilt top done! Finishing blocks 70-100 took about 3 days total. I picked out all the fabrics, cut everything out and then chained stitched like crazy! Now I had all 100 blocks complete. Yeah!!!
All along I knew that I would be making the "City Planner" quilt layout that is included in the book, so I had to decide on the sashing solids. Why didn't I order these fabrics months ago? Who knows, that would have made so much more sense. So I got in touch with Hawthorne Threads, and the lovely Becky helped me with picking two gray fabrics that complimented each other and complimented the blocks, which were constructed out of the line Constellations by Lizzy House and a variety of blue solids. I ended up deciding on two solid (Silver and Charcoal) fabrics from Hawthorne Threads new line called Hawthorne Hues. They were perfect, and have such a beautiful hand to them, it really was a dream to work with these new solids. Oh and I bought these fabrics, so I'm totally not biased or anything, they really are nice. They ironed really well too. Just saying.
Now it was time for construction. The City Planner layout uses all 100 blocks and makes a king size quilt. Oh my, what have I gotten myself into? So I started cutting, and sewing, and laying out blocks, and sewing some more. Goodness gracious! I included the below shot to show what it looked like when I was laying the blocks out on my living room floor. I started with the layout that Tula used in the book, then had to move around blocks according to the same fabrics or solids being next to one another. By the end I moved a lot of them, but the original layout concept is still there.
Once I had finished all the rows, then it was time to add the sashing in between. I don't think I have ever sewn 104" seams before and needless to say it took way longer than I ever thought it would. It grew and grew and got big and heavy, oh my. Here it is, in all its finished glory!
I will start with saying that I have been working on this steady for two weeks now, and everything in the world has been trying to stop me from finishing it. Originally my husband was going to keep the kids one weekend so I could finish, then that fell through. Then we had the crazy snow storm here in the South, and in total the kids missed four days of school. Talk about a freak occurrence, and then of course I had to go and get sick, like fever, all the cold symptoms...yuck. Needless to say that DayQuil has been my best friend as of late and the only reason this quilt was actually finished in time tolink up with the Sew Along over at Sew Sweetness.
I also want to apologize for the poor quality of these photos, this quilt is really too big for me to wrestle by myself, and be it that I was working in a fevered stupor today, this was the best I could do. Laying it on the dry spot in the yard. Standing on my step stool, tip toeing, the photo below almost shows the whole thing, which measures 104" x 104." Though the colors look a bit dull in the photos, in real life it really is pretty, be it that the Constellations fabric line technically has no gray in it, the blocks really stand out from the background. All those shades of blue, both warm and cool, all in one harmonious mixture. There is a touch of yellow throughout, and bits of black and white and all those constellations and stars.
This quilt is for my husband, using his favorite colors and will be for our bed. At one point he was helping me adjust a row (he isn't aware this quilt is for him) and said, "I really like this one, did you know it is my favorite color combinations of blues and black." I chuckled inside, because yes, I did know that. Now the test will be to see if he reads my blog! HA!
At this moment, I do plan to quilt this one myself. I just ordered king size batting, and I bought 108" wide backing fabric (3 yards) so I wouldn't have to piece the back. I think I may try spray basting on this one, because the idea of pin basting it makes me want to cry. You can see my little "helper" below, who desperately wanted to be included in the photo shoot and didn't understand why I wouldn't lay down on it and let him take a photo of me, on the quilt. Nope, not today. Maybe when it is finished.
Thanks to all who sponsored the quilt along, and a super big thanks to Tula Pink, who wrote an awesome book that didn't have any mistakes (or at least none that I found,) which is pretty impressive for a book based on measurements and numbers! It was a fun 8 months, I loved seeing all the other entries and all of the blocks posted to Flickr. Though the quilt along is over, you can make the blocks at any point, trust me, they really are rewarding and fun! Well I think it is time for another dose of medicine (NyQuil this time,) so I will sign out for now!
P.S. I titled this post "Labor of Love" because just like when you first have a baby, you think, why would I ever do that again? Then time passes, you forget about all that hard work and you have another. Thus, this is how I feel with this huge quilt. I am hoping in time I forget how hard it was to wrestle this beast and will make another large quilt! But for now, nope won't be making another king size quilt anytime soon!
I am happy to be joining along in the third year of the Finish Along, this year being hosted by Katy at The Littlest Thistle. This year I am setting smaller goals for myself and am going to work hard at getting them completed in a timely manner. Honestly I am tired of carrying things over and over again. Each quarter I will pick 2 quilts to finish (Ideally one that is already a top and one that is needing to be put together,) 2-3 smaller projects (things that can be completed in a day or two) and an optional extra project. The optional extra project is one that I don't care if I finish it during the quarter, but if I do get it done, then great for me, otherwise, I'm not stressing that one. I am also putting a lot of thought into the list and being very deliberate with my choices, because honestly I have over 20+ works in progress and I know that I can not get them all done in this one year. That being said, here is my list, and hopefully by the end of the quarter, all of these will be completed!
1. Small Project - First up are two medium sized open wide pouches (tutorial by Noodlehead,) you can see the patchwork exteriors above. Other than the exterior being pieced and having the rest of the supplies, these need to be put together.
2. Small Project - The Riley Blake Modern Quilt Guild Challenge, I have begun piecing, and know that this will become an over-sized beach bag. This one has a deadline of mid February, so I better get to it!
3. Small Project - Construct another Rebecca Bag, as per requested by my mother. I have the fabric cut out, the supplies have been bought (as of yesterday) and it is awaiting construction. Since I have made this pattern before, I imagine it will go together quickly.
1. Quilt (Large Project) - Finish my City Sampler quilt. I have all 100 blocks sewn. I have ordered my sashing fabrics and my backing fabric. As soon as my sashing fabrics arrive, I will buckle down and get this quilt top sewn up by the end of the month. Then in the following two months focus on getting it quilted. Shown above are an assorted 18 blocks that I photographed last year and never got around to blogging about.
2. Quilt (Large Project) - My Lattice Work quilt is basted and simply waiting to be quilted.
Optional Project - Finish up my Autumn Sampler. I have been steadily stitching on this one, pretty much every day for the last few months I can actually see the finish line, but don't know how long it will take to honestly finish it. If I do, great, if not, that is ok too, because I LOVE working on this.
A total of six project, three small, two large and one optional. I can do it! Interested in joining along? You still have time, click on the 2014 Finish Along picture below for all the details and more information!
My last quilt finish of 2013, just in time, four days before Christmas. I say just in time because I wrapped it up on the last day that my son was in school, so it was a total surprise. He never saw the fabric, the process or anything, the whole thing was done during school hours and then quickly hidden before he got home. This quilt started when I bought the panel designed by Jill McDonald from the Out of this World collection. I just loved it and knew my son would too, he has been fascinated with the planets and space this year.
Once I had the panel, I decided I liked the overall size, be it that I wanted this to be a wall hanging in his room. The length was great, but the height was a tad too skinny, so I added in the skinny Lizzy House Constellations black borders and then the yellow polka dot by Micheal Miller (dumb dot maybe?) Oh and before I forget I also had to add a skinny white border in between the panel and the black border because the panel was cut in a way that I needed to add some white in order for it to look even and correct. It was a struggle to match the white from my stash, but in the end, found a "close enough" and went with it. Thankfully you can't even see the seam and you certainly can't tell that it wasn't originally there..
The backing was totally from my stash. The ABC print on the left is from JoAnn fabrics a few years back. The middle yellow dot is the same print as the front and then the B&W tickets to the right are a Timeless Treasures print. I used a high loft polyester batting for this one. I wanted that plush and soft feel to it. I am also super proud to say that I lined up the backing perfectly straight in reference to the lines on the front panel. All of my quilting that is on the back is perfectly straight, especially since a lot of lines ended up on that narrow strip. I was super nerdy excited about that, my backs always end up a tad wonky, but not this one, it was perfect!
I knew all along that I wanted to quilt this one by hand with pearl cotton and large stitches, which I did around every motif, actually twice around every motif, you can see that below. What I did not expect to do was to end up tying this quilt also, a technique that I have never tried before. After I was finished with the hand quilting, I felt that it needed a tad bit more, but couldn't decide on what to quilt and in the end I ended up tying in the center of each motif. If you look really hard below on the Mercury block you can see a little yellow knot on the planet. I tried to blend in all the ties, especially on the motifs. I didn't want that to stand out. I also tied around every 5" on the yellow polka dot border. That was so easy and quick, I may have to do that more often, especially on quilts that won't be handled a ton.
The finished quilt measures 36" x 42." I used a solid matching Kona red for the binding, which was totally machine stitched on (so quick!) I also added five loops to the back top, to be able to hang this one on the wall. Opening his present Christmas morning, my son seemed to love it and quickly explained to me all of the planets. It was so nice to have it finished in time, a total surprise and seeing him open a handmade gift on Christmas.
This was my second (and final finished) project listed on my fourth quarter finish-a-long list. I am happy to say that I met this goal and can link up over at She Can Quilt. Thank you so much Leanne for hosting a great year of the Finish-A-Long!
Officially finished, here she is, Emerald Cut. What started as part of the 2013 Pantone Quilt Challenge hosted by a.squared.w, almost nine months later is a finished quilt. Originally I had no intention of entering the challenge, and then one day while daydreaming an idea hit that I just had to pursue. An emerald quilt block made out of emerald fabrics. I quickly ordered a bunch of emerald prints and a few solids, most of which were Art Gallery prints, with a touch of Lizzy House and Joel Dewberry. Then I began to draft the pattern, made some templates, whipped up a test block and the rest is history. Actually the test block turned out perfect and is in the quilt (the one with the horizontal placement.)
Once I had six blocks, I decided for a simple modern layout and sticking with the "Jewel" theme chose a nice Jewel tone shot cotton for the background (which I think is called Prune.) I used three prints to make the backing, the top and middle prints are Anna Maria Horner, and the bottom an Art Gallery Print. Once I had my top and back, and some 100% cotton batting, I was ready to baste. I pin basted this quilt and there she sat for quite a while.
I wasn't sure what color thread to use or what quilting pattern I wanted to try. After growing tired of "thinking about it" I went to the store and picked a lovely emerald colored thread that I felt would stand out on the shot cotton background, but blend into the blocks themselves. Then I had to decide on quilting. I can't remember how I came up with this idea, but i knew I wanted to somehow incorporate "sparkles" into the quilting. I wanted those emeralds to twinkle and shine! Be it that I wanted my quilt to have a modern feel, I chose a very organic straight line quilting that stopped and "sparkled" every now and then with no real pattern. The lines are roughly 5/8" to 3/4" apart and the sparkles or stars are just randomly placed. I aimed to have more sparkles on the actual jewels themselves with a few random ones extending just beyond the jewels onto the background fabric.
You can see from the photo above and below that I was very organic with these lines, they wiggled all over the place! The quilting process was fun and easy, no big problems and was relatively quick too. I want to say that I quilted this one in roughly two days here and there, starting and stopping a ton. Which is a nice feature of this type of quilting. You can stop after each line if you want too.
I'm not going to lie, this quilt wasn't even close to square (or rectangle!) Once I was done quilting, i laid her on the floor and she was seriously wonky. I spent a good amount of time trimming the edges and making her as square as possible, and by the eye, it looks square, so I guess that is what matters most. Who cares that the top edge measures 1/2" longer than the bottom edge!
Emerald Cut is bound in Art Gallery Oval Elements in Eggplant. Honestly the binding is my favorite part of this quilt, I just love that I used a print for the binding, but it blends in so well you hardly notice. I love it! Though I have been favoring machine stitching the binding, I finished this one by hand. I felt this quilt was more a piece of art and since it will be a wall hanging, I wanted it bound nice and properly. Finished, Emerald Cut measures 34" x 50." A special thanks to my mom who helped me with the photographs this weekend! She wins the whitest sneakers award for sure!
The Emerald Cut quilt was the first project listed on my fourth quarter finish-a-long list. I am happy to say that I met this goal and can link up over at She Can Quilt. Thank you so much Leanne for hosting a great year of the Finish-A-Long!
The Funk, do you ever get it? Not the James Brown kind of good Funk, but the Funk mood, that depressive state that pretty much makes it impossible to really accomplish anything. Do you ever get that? Well I do, and I had it bad last year. Yep, pretty much the whole year. I'm not going to say I was full blown depressed, I just had a Funk I couldn't shake and as soon as I was rid of it, it came back full force. I can honestly say that social media makes this Funk way worse, the constant, "Am I good enough?" "Am I accomplishing enough?" "What do I want from life?" Followed by the thoughts of, "Why do I feel this way, I am very blessed, have a great husband, great kids, all that I need and more. What is wrong with me?" Ughhh....just keeping it real folks.
So why am I bringing up the Funk? New Years, the reflection and goals that go along with it. Yuck. The week after Christmas I was all good, happy thoughts and positivity. Then New Years Eve happened. Oh good grief, now I have to think about how I didn't meet my goals, didn't accomplish 2% of what I wanted to, overall failure. Is this the truth? Not really. I made a ton of stuff last year, I raised my two children, I kept up a house. But why the feeling of failure. I hate it, I don't want to feel that way, but I just can't help it. Then my husband asked my what my goals or dreams were for the New Year. Stressful that question is. Do I really want to set myself up for failure again? I started listing all the things I wanted to accomplish this year, and the list was INSANE. Like 10 years worth of projects and goals. Why do I do this to myself. I'm not Super Woman and I don't want to be.
Here is an example. Last year at this time, I blogged about my goals for the year, the long list of works in progress and how this was going to be the year of getting them all done. You can see the mosaic below. 15 quilts. 15 quilts in one year, most of them just blocks, by that math I would have to finish a quilt every 24 days. That is IMPOSSIBLE for me. Why did I set that goal? Optimism is one thing, but this is something else.
What was the reality? The four quilts below and technically the one in the bottom left is just basted, not yet quilted. The one on the bottom right is finished, but I have yet to photograph it. So in all honesty I only "finished" 2 of the 15.
So what went awry? What happened? I know that I sewed a lot, made a ton of things, but why only four finishes from that original list? Distractions, boredom, impatience, maybe a touch of ADD? Yes, that is it, it has to be, oh and the Funk. Proof? Look at the mosaic below. These nine quilts were started in 2013. I finished four of them, but only blogged about two of those. The other five are still waiting to be finished. So yes, I accomplished a lot in 2013, and let us not even mention the tons and tons of little projects that were started and finished too. Great, I accomplished a lot, but the problem is that now I have 17 unfinished quilts. More than the start of last year, uh oh I'm drowning. Let me do the math, 365 days, 17 quilts, now I have 21 days for each one. It is simply not possible, for me at least. So what now?
Here is the dilemma I have been pondering for the past three days, while I stew in the Funk and wallow in it. When you step back from "the problem" it is easy to see that it really isn't a problem at all, but I still couldn't shake the Funk. I spent the majority of today laying around in my pajamas and being lazy. Well that certainly wasn't helping the situation at all. So instead of being a total loaf, I decided to try and catch up on some of my Sunday newspapers that were laying around collecting dust. While reading I came across the Dear Abby (Jeanne Phillips) article that was published on New Year's Day. She wanted to share her most requested list of New Year's resolutions that were adapted by her mother (Pauline Phillips) from the original credo of Al-Anon. Wow it struck such a powerful cord with me and the Funk was lifted. If you don't mind I'll post a bit of it here, because it was much longer:
Just for today: I will live through this day only. I will not brood about yesterday or obsess about tomorrow. I will not set far-reaching goals or try to overcome all of my problems at once. I know that I can do something for 24 hours that would overwhelm me if I had to keep it up for a lifetime.
Just for today: I will be happy. I will not dwell on thoughts that depress me. If my mind fills with clouds, I will chase them away and fill it with sunshine.
Just for today: I will accept what is. I will face reality. i will correct those things that I can correct and accept those I cannot.
Just for today: I will gather the courage to do what is right and take the responsibility for my own actions.
It was just what I needed today, a little message from God (and Dear Abby) to set me right on my path again. Does this mean that I won't set any goals this year? No, just realistic ones. I hope you join me on my journey and for those of you who don't have a perfect list of finished projects and accomplishments, I hope this helps you to realize that it doesn't have to be perfect, life is messy and you only have to live one day at a time.
Happy New Year!
A feisty mom designing, sewing and blogging her way through everyday life!