Yesterday I started a new quilt and I truly have not been so excited about quilt project in a long, long, long time. While I make lots of quilts and enjoy the process each time, this is next level excitement. It’ll be all log cabin blocks, each one finishing at 18″. The dark blue plus print and the white/blue geometric print will be consistent in all the blocks. The Liberty of London fabrics will vary, but each block will have one dark and one light. I pulled all the fabrics, started cutting and sewed up the first block.
I needed this.
I walk outside almost every day. It might be five miles (most days) or three miles (some days) or just around the block (for Sully), but I do it. If it is cold, if it is hot, if it cloudy or sunny or windy or rainy, I do it. It can be difficult to motivate when the weather is bad or chilly – it is so much easier in the sun and warm air – but I do it. I go mostly alone and I never listen to anything. It’s just me (and Sully) and the world outside. I relish that time, whether it is 15 minutes or 90 minutes. It’s meditative and restoring. I let my mind rest, my thoughts go and just be.
It’s full-on spring headed into summer here and my walks are starting earlier and earlier each week. On my walk Saturday, as I crossed the second busy street on my loop, I took in the roundabout with the statue, all the spring flowers, the historic homes and the sun shining low in the sky. It hit me then, this overwhelming sense of sadness that I am feeling for a moment or two every day. It comes out of nowhere and on Saturday, it was because I realized that this should be Derby week. It is always a festive and happy time in our city, but not this year. On Sunday, the moment came when Kate showed me the video the school sent of the teachers on zoom all dancing to the Friends theme song. Yesterday, it was when I realized I had forgotten to get garlic bread for Jane’s dinner choice at the market. Silly things that shouldn’t derail me, but they do.
These moments are just that: moments. I have to remind myself of this frequently. I am working hard not to dwell on the negative and it is difficult work for me. I have no reason to complain – we are healthy, we are together, we have what we need. I know this. Still, I have to look for the good, for the things I am grateful for, for the happy and carefree moments. They are there and I am trying so so hard to see them. To notice them when they are happening. To catalogue them. To hold them in my back pocket as reminders when the moments are not so good.
To that end, I am lacing up my sneakers and taking it outside. I’m going to let my mind rest while my body moves. The forecast had predicted rain, but it is 60 degrees with 0% chance at the moment. One more good moment to add to the others I am carrying with me.
Here’s the deal…I sewed over 200 masks in the last week. I don’t love this kind of sewing, but I am doing it. I will make about 200 more and then that’s it for me. No shame, no guilt. I didn’t take any photos for a few days. This is the only one I took today. I had a small breakdown yesterday because, well, everything. Before I went to bed last night, I made a list of everything I needed to accomplish today. I slept a sound nine hours, got up and kicked that list’s ass. I put on real clothes. I went to the grocery store without anxiety. I cooked a new recipe. I zoomed with my brothers and my sisters-in-law. I cut Sully’s hair above his eyes. It’s not horrible. I made a list of household chores and delegated them. I could keep going, but, really, my point is that I am grateful for the lows that make the slightly less lows better. For Fatty squeezing limes for me. For the drive-by wave and hello from Erin and Claire. For my girls’ willingness to help. For a good night of sleep. For life.
(originally posted on my Instagram.)
It’s Friday morning. I’ve done the weekly grocery run and it felt better than it did the last couple of weeks. I did have an older gentleman roll his eyes at me and tell me that I was moving too fast. I apologized. I just wanted to get out of there as quickly as I could manage while still maintaining social distance and keeping to my list. So, yes, I was moving fast.
This spring has been gorgeous. The bulbs and flowering trees are spectacular. Everywhere I look, it is green and I am so thankful for that visual reminder of hope and growth and for the sunshine that is warming me physically and spiritually.
I’ve cried twice this morning. Unrelated to the grocery store, but maybe not. These feelings come over me in waves and if the girls aren’t around, I let the tears roll.
Things that I am looking forward to this weekend include watching Making the Cut with Jane and Kate, more mask sewing and also taking a break from mask sewing, another loaf of sourdough bread about to go in the oven, a festive and nice Easter dinner, time to read in the sunshine, hanging out with Fatty, finishing Jane’s sweater, family movie night – I think we are going to watch Emma.
Have a lovely weekend, friends. May the good outweigh the bad.
Yesterday felt kind of normal. I am so grateful for that.
I spend the day in the studio, batch sewing. Our family business is considered essential and I am making 200 masks for our employees. I’m using the Made Everyday pattern with knit ties. I tried a few different ones and picked the one I thought would fit the most people and would be easiest to sew in bulk. I also didn’t have elastic and these will likely be worn for hours on end, so ties are essential. So far, so good. I cut and prepped 140 masks on Monday and Tuesday. Yesterday, I finished 70. I sewed them in batches of 10, each batch taking about an hour. Today I will continue – hoping to get another 50 or so finished with the rest completed by Monday.
This is not my favorite kind of sewing. Once I got into a grove, though, it felt really good. I was reminded of when I used to make camera straps. I’d batch sew those, completing one step on all of them before moving on to the next step. There is a certain rhythm to this kind of sewing and after my muscle memory kicked in, it was second nature. I haven’t really been able to sew much during this time of isolation so it was nice to find my groove in an unexpected way. It felt good to be able to use my skills and talent. It’s such a small thing that could possible have much larger benefits.
I was also incredibly tired at the end of the day and finally had a good night’s sleep. So there’s that.
(It should go without saying, but I will say it anyhow: These are not a replacement for PPE or masks needed in a medical situation. They will be used in public settings where they may help slow the transmission of COVID-19.)