on quiet

The house was quiet this morning. So quiet, in fact, that the only sound I could hear was the humming of my sewing machine, and the soft brush of my fingers against the fabric as I finger pressed. Every now and then the dogs would sigh or snore, and after a while I turned on Pandora. Quietly.

I love quiet. Something about it makes me infinitely more able to concentrate, more creative, more grounded, and settled in my thoughts and dreams. Over the years, I’ve been in many places and situations where I was allowed the privilege of quiet–school, workplaces, and even my home before kids came. Now, quiet ebbs and flows. Sometimes I get more of it, and sometimes less–and it’s always obvious to me when I’ve had “less”–because that’s when I start feeling a little crazed, a little burned out, and a lot overwhelmed.

On the other hand, just a few hours can make a HUGE difference. For example, last week I was in that burned out place. You know the place I’m talking about, where everything is just a few degrees h  arder than you want it to be, where things that aren’t usually a big deal suddenly are, and in a big way. When you can’t muster up the energy to do anything but get by. Then, Monday morning happened. I had nearly 3 hours to myself, and a better breakfast in my system than I’m used to.

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter you know what happened: 11 pieced quilt backs, several works-in-progress finished, a quilt put on my longarm, and several other projects started. And not only did they get done, but I was happy and running to do it. The house got cleaned more thoroughly than usual, and menu for the week was made. I’d love to say that everything on my to do list and everything in my world just magically fixed, happened, was effortless–and though that’s not the case–things just felt lighter, easier. More surmountable.

I’m starting to realize the importance of realizing how I recharge, and harnessing my world to take advantage of those times. For Pete’s sake, I know how I get burned out–it makes sense to know how I regroup, too. I have a hunch that this same thing applies to most people, especially most young moms, who find themselves in the midst of a life that is all about extending yourself to accommodate, nurture and enrich everyone around you. It’s not even that I feel like I’ve forgotten to take care of myself as much as it is that by the time I remember, I have nothing left to give to the effort. It’s easy to imagine that I’m the only one who drops into bed at the end of the day and thinks “Maybe I’ll get a few minutes tomorrow to sew/eat/shower/dream/think/plan/organize/be happy tomorrow. I’m done today.” But I know I’m not the only one, and that’s why I’m writing this–as a gentle reminder.

Take a few minutes. Center yourself. Figure out when you can have a few hours to rejuvenate–whatever that means to you. Consider it a little spring cleaning for your soul.



PS Hugs and kisses to Miss Lily, who let me photograph her “clean pretty bedroom!” for my post. There’s just something calming about lamplight, don’t you think? I happen to believe I can’t feel “quiet” inside without some major cleanliness outside. But that’s a post for another day. Mwa!


Machine Quilting: Edge-to-Edge flowers and leaves

Back in November, I machine quilted this fun little baby quilt for Stephanie.

She’d pieced it a long time ago, and thought I could try out my new machine on it.

I had a lot of fun doing an edge-to-edge flower and leaf and swirl pattern, mimicing the little daisies in the background.

I should have realized it would look a little Christmas-y on the back with the red thread, but hey, red and green are complimentary, right?

Thanks for letting me play with it, Steph!

I am having WAY too much fun with my longarm.

In related news, I’m finishing up the last of the prototypes for my spring patterns, and then they’re off to the testers! Wooo!

Ribbon Wrangler: my project for the Moda Bake Shop Sliced Competition

I’ve wanted to make one of these for a while.

I’ve also wanted to repurpose an old warped rotary mat I’ve had sitting around. So when Moda announced their Sliced competition, I already knew what I wanted to make. Lucky for me, their criteria matched up quite nicely with this project. I cut up the old mat to use as stabilizer, so that this box stays sturdy and doesn’t slouch.

Yippee for a lovely new place to store all that ribbon!

The contest is judged, and doesn’t take votes, but I’m sure lots of nice comments on my project wouldn’t hurt. ;) You can check out my entry here, and all the entries here.



PS: If you see the crocheted project by akaLauni over there, that’s my mom. Show her some love too, will ya? Mwa!

Here comes the bride.

My (not so) little brother is getting married tomorrow, which of course means that my house is full of flowers.

His little chicky (aka fiancee) wanted to be surrounded with purple, yellow, and white on her big day.

So naturally, her wish is our command.

My house smells glorious, and I’m gearing up to make a billion boutonierres and bouquets.

Right after I go have some yummy food at the dinner in their honor.

This event will also explain why I’ve been a little distracted…I’ve been altering wedding and bridesmaids dresses all week.

But don’t worry, I still love you. And I still have a bunch of quilts and projects to show you, too.

Just as soon as I can breathe.



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