For many quilters and sewing hobbyists, these past few weeks have, perhaps, brought some unexpected projects to many of our sewing tables. Items that are 'weighty' to make because of their importance. Things that present a challenge because of conflicting information surfacing and shifting each day. Bumpy puckers and unfamiliar materials and shapes for those of us (like me) who, in contrast, find the flatness of quilts comforting.
Like so many of you, I'm making these items, too. However, you might be surprised that this messages ISN'T about that.
It's about the importance of 'Happy Sewing,' and, indeed, it's about HOPE. Stay with me on this, because it's a little difficult to describe . . .
Earlier this week I was working on some of the upcoming bird designs for The FLOCK. Each pattern starts out as a detailed illustration on the computer, and this is a tiny section of one of the upcoming bird block patterns.
I am currently working on the designs for JULY and AUGUST.
All of the sudden it dawned on me. . . .
. . . The designs I'm working on right now are going to be released on the other side of the pandemic. Or at least, by most estimates, on the other side of the worst of it.
They represent TODAY and all the bad news that surrounds us, AND, more importantly, they represent a different, more positive future in a few months. These are Happy Birds.
Dare I say, they are Birds of Hope?
My typical work day starts with an hour or two at the sewing machine. Lately, that time has been reserved for those puckers and lumpy things.
Afterwards, the computer takes over and it's office time until about 5 or 6.
I selfishly and consistently reserve the evening for 'happy sewing' or 'my' projects. The things that bring me the joy and satisfaction of creating.
I showed you the beginning of this stitchery project last week. Bright colors combining cross stitch and blackwork. . . and tropical birds. VERY detailed! And so ME!
This was supposed to be my Spring travel project, but with travel postponed, it's my hopeful project. Like the bird designs above, this won't be finished until the other side of the pandemic. But for now, it is my soul-savior.
As I looked around, I found other hopeful 'things.'
In January, I splurged on some new prescription sunglasses (and regular glasses, too) for the planned travel.
So, what do sunglasses have to do with any of this?
The sunglasses won't travel with me just yet, but they will travel, and so will I . . on the other side. (It's not very sunny around here, yet!)
Who has raided their freezer recently?
I found a little bit of summer in mine. The blueberries in this Blueberry Buckle from one of my all-time favorite cookbooks, Lee Bailey's Country Desserts, came from the local farmer's market last August.
Super YUM! Only one precious egg needed! Here's the recipe, but I highly recommend the whole book!
(I gave you an amazon link (not affiliated) above, but if you're actually thinking about buying the book, consider shopping at a local bookstore, they really need you right now!) It was published in 1988, so they might have to order it for you. On a lotta levels, it's worth waiting for.
I'll have to replace those Summer blueberries. When? On the other side of this craziness . . . Hope tastes SO GOOD!
Please understand, I'm not saying to stop making those unexpected, lumpy projects I mentioned at the start of this article. What I am suggesting is to leave a little part of your daily 'to do's' for pure 'happy sewing' to nourish your soul.
And keep a watchful eye for the other side of this thing. It's there, and it might even be within your reach - something you can touch - in your sewing basket right now!
(Wash your hands, first, and don't touch your face!)
Be kind to yourself. Be well.
Take care of your creative soul. Be kind to yourself. Be well.
PS. Oh, one more thing about those pin cushions. I have set a goal, at least for now, to finish one per week. This week I did one that had seed stitches all over two sections of the four-patch block.
To give the quilting fabric a little more body for embroidery, I like to add a small square (3-1/2" square) Face-It-Soft (woven fusible interfacing) to the back of the pin cushion top.
You can do that before you sew on the sides, but I usually don't have a stitching plan at that point and you don't really need it if you're just going to chain stitch along the seams. Just fuse it on after the sides are sewn and you're ready to stitch. It's dreamy to sew through and keeps the light-weight quilting fabric from puckering up.