Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Summer Besides Quilting

Feels Like a Summer Quilt to Me

Summer is full-blown here in Ohio, and it's hard to believe how fast the year is flying. People are moving in every direction along with in and out of the house, and I feel like a flight director. A friend asked me about making plans for a September retreat, and when I glared at her incredulously she reminded me it was a few months away. No! I just started cleaning up the gardens! I need more summer, but how?

In my search for balance, one of my goals is to be more conscious of living in the moment. In other words, paying attention to today. The people around us, the world, ourselves. The Now. We simply can't do everything we plan for the future, but a few things done now with intent will help.

My studio work seems to be rolling along at a steady pace, and even keel is good for me. I have a long list of quilts to finish for myself and others, but ignoring the rest of my life makes me lopsided. Contrary to popular belief, I do not spend my entire day locked away quilting. I've made a few goals to keep this month, and they are working. These few things make me feel like I'm staying in touch with myself in spite of being crazy busy with quilting.

1. Plan a fall vegetable garden. My spring garden consisted of some late radishes, and we're still enjoying them. The store bought tomato plants are coming on, and some of my own seedlings are soon ready to plant. Yes, it was late. Yes, I did it anyhow. I forgave myself. Fall is far more relaxed, less extra work, and more predictable weather than our spring. I may even experiment with some covered tunnels to have fresh greens at Thanksgiving again.

2. Get out of here! Have you ever spent the whole weekend cleaning up the yard, mowing, pulling weeds, etc., went inside to eat and shower, and promptly fell asleep? And by the next weekend, it all needed done again? Yes, ma'am. Me, too. So this month I started a new routine. As soon as the noon meal is over and the Mister heads back to work, I take 15 minutes to sit outside. I try not to read or use my phone. I just look and listen. I'm starting to recognize some of the birds by their call, and one particular hummingbird zips in and out. 

Sometimes a whole year can go by without someone else seeing the beauty. If I'm taking the time to do the work, I need to take time to enjoy it.

3. Up my game. We've been cutting down on our t.v. if by no other means than falling asleep as soon as we sit down at night. That same time we devote to the boob tube could be spent learning something valuable--a foreign language, a new recipe, a new skill. All of the above? My Creativebug account is wonderful for inspiration in so many ways. (Check out my sidebar button if you've never visited their site. It is an affiliate link, but I have it because I both love it and use it.) YouTube is endless and free. I'm digging in, and discovering so much available online. At the same time, I'm thumbing through my library of books to see what I've missed. Who knows what I'll learn before summer is over?

4. Saying no. Or at least, "Not now." Over-extending ourselves is easy. Whether it's family asking you to make something, or a customer project that seems like it will take forever, we don't have to say yes. We have the right to guard our time. Time is valuable in many ways so consider and protect it. 

I was volunteering at the Connections Thrift Store in Kidron, Ohio for several months, but it was no longer something I could sustain. I decided I could do the same work from home, and deliver the layouts ready for them to sew once every few months. Now I can be more flexible about when I give my time, and if I have other pressing projects. The layout at the top is the last I'll do in the store for a while. It took some soul searching to make the decision, but I think it was a good one.

Moda Modern Building Blocks

I'll be sharing details soon of the Moda Modern coming off the frame. This was the last roll yesterday, and I expect it will be done today. Then the quilt needs turned 90 degrees, and put back on to finish some areas that couldn't be reached with the limited throat space. I've never had a quilt on the frame this long, and to be honest I'm getting weary. But soon, I tell myself! It will be soon!

Be well. 
Be balanced.

Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's go sew.


Angie in SoCal said...

Be well. Be balanced - a good mantra. Life is an adventure - ever changing.
Blessings, Julie.

PaulaB quilts said...

You sound like you are feeling better already for having made decisions. Sitting in the yard is the best thing I do, usuallly in the early evening when the birds are most active just before sunset. I have learned so much about them, not only their songs but their behavior. Sitting completely still brings the rest of the world to life. Gardens change every day, too. Of all the people in the two buildings here, I often have this all to myself. Enjoy YOUR TIME.

Stitchin At Home said...

Balancing life in general can be trying without adding all the extras that this time of year brings. Weeds and grass don't take holidays and indoor time is cut way back. Taking the time to enjoy the beauty and sounds of nature around you is a big plus in reaching that sometimes reclusive balance.

KaHolly said...

Ah, yes, balance is good! Sounds as though you are on the right track!