"The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest."

Thomas Moore

Monday, June 18, 2018

Gathering in some time...

I've been thinking about my fabrics, threads and sewing notions lately. More precisely, do I need to take them all with me when we move? 
(no, we haven't found a house yet but we're confident the right one is out there somewhere just waiting for us)

A fresh culling is something I do every six months or so because as the years go by I've come to realise my desire for more fabrics has diminished drastically so keeping only what I really like and intend to use is the yardstick for choosing what stays and what goes. 

So there I was on Friday night, browsing the fabric shelves of my lovely sewing room bookcase when I spied a remaining scrap of beautiful Lecien floral linen which I've loved for so long and avoided using because the thought of not having it anymore saddened my heart as it can never be replaced.

From memory I think it was a special linen run of Old New 30's from 2013.



Removing it from the shelf I decided to use the colours within as inspiration in choosing embroidery threads for a pastel version of the monogram I stitched on Blossom's birthday cardie, but I needed to be patient as we had another big weekend ahead of us.

However, hubby and I were feeling overly exhausted yesterday from our eighth weekend of house hunting and so deciding to set that pursuit aside after just two hours of viewings we chose to return home in order to unwind - which gave opportunity for me to stitch my project after all!

Tracing the monogram onto some lemon tonal fabric I gathered the previously chosen threads, a fresh needle and my sewing pillow while Mr E chose a movie for us to watch. With fresh cuppas made, thick slices of pineapple fruit cake piled onto a plate between us, we settled down for the afternoon and I stitched this...




It occurred to me that the pretty R monogram would be lovely made into a hexie shape so this morning I brought out my stash of hexie papers to find the right size, hoping the idea would work, and it did!

Bravely cutting borders from my lovely floral linen I sewed them above and below a piece of blue gingham. The idea to create a zippered pouch for displaying the monogram was becoming clearer...




At first I quilted diagonal lines across the front and back of the pouch...




...but when I lay down the stitched hexie monogram to position it before hand stitching in place I thought the overall effect looked a bit unbalanced so added more diagonal quilting from the opposite direction to make a cross hatch pattern instead. 

Much better!





To be honest, I think I was being lazy when I just did the single direction quilting...you know, want to get a project finished quickly!? Ha ha!
But I'm really glad I took the time to quilt the cross hatch because it's much nicer and I think the pouch will be lovely when it's finished.




Having barely any time lately to spend a few hours here and there at the sewing machine (for pleasure) has not been good for my mental health, or my creativity. Plus, with the Jeep off the road again and not having my own car to get out and about (hubby needs it for work right now) the only time I leave the house is to go look at houses on the weekend, so I guess there's a number of things that have been at work to stifle my creative time.

It's too easy to cram life with the have-to's, which for me at the moment are staying on top of the housework, two days a week out house hunting, menu planning/groceries, cooking and catching up with my business whilst also creating and stitching new designs. All of these are non-negotiable and when right in the thick of things it seems there's no spare moments just to play, have fun or relax.

But the moments really can be made if you see them as a priority.

Yesterday when we opted to come home early and spend the rest of the day relaxing, we reacquainted ourselves with 'time out', and as the afternoon hours passed and sunset fell upon the horizon our hearts were clearly lighter for it had been a good day, and now we were both physically and mentally refreshed.

I made Mr E's favourite meal for dinner, rissoles and mashed potatoes, and we had more fruit cake for dessert before putting up our feet and watching a second movie. Honest, I don't remember the last time we did that, but now we know how needful those hours or days of rest are because both of us slept better last night than we have in months.

It's the winter school holiday break soon and my beloved teacher husband will be home for two weeks, but we shall not be spending all that time juggling house hunting and my work...no, we shall spend some restful days doing nothing in particular, and maybe take a couple of day trips into the rainforest with packed lunches, a thermos of coffee and our cameras. 

Learning to balance work and rest in every season of life must be given a priority. Even an hour doing nothing but sipping a cool drink and watching the birds flit here and there in the trees with your favourite music playing in the background is worth planning for. Another lesson I'm learning.

Bless you heaps this week as you go forth, whether that be to follow a dream and strike a new path, to plan peaceful moments of refreshment, or to catch up with the washing and ironing. Whatever you do, stop every once in a while to consider the time you're giving out and whether you need to slow down a while and gather some in instead. 

Big hugs,


PS: I am including the monogram design with full alphabet in the July issue of The Stitchery Club (over here).

PPS: Blogger still haven't fixed their glitch with forwarding comments to my email...but all in good time. I am reading them here and will reply her as well if needed. xx

27 comments:

  1. I'm having trouble lately finding balance in my life. I need to take some time out time too. Thanks for the reminder.

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  2. I think we all have some special fabric that we just cherish. Last week i cut up some Bonnie and camille fabric for a quilt, I have had this beautiful fabric for a couple of years but not cut into it as I didn't want to spoil it and also run out of it. Now I will have a beautiful quilt that I can use and admire the fabric at the same time. x

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    1. In the big scheme of things we can enjoy those fabrics much more when they're made up into something special. x

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  3. I know busy ...... still working on the unpacking here and finding places to put everything - turns out I really should have culled a lot more stuff ......how many kitchen utensils can you use!!! House hunting is taxing, but you will find the right place in His time 😘

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  4. I know how you feel about your last snippet of precious fabric. I have a tiny piece of genuine 1930s fabric from my Grandma’s scrapbag. I’m just starting a new quilt and propose to use that tiny piece in it. It should give me the encouragement I often need to actually finish the project. I hope you can continue to snatch some time for you both to relax during this busy time.

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  5. Girl that is just lovely - I have scraps I hoard as well, I use snippets of them in different quilts. I'm glad you had the time together to spend just relaxing, house hunting is hard work!

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  6. I LOVE the monogram and the idea for the zippered pouch. I can't wait for July to come. Hoping we get instructions for the zippered pouch also. And I LOVE the cardigan monogram. So unique and so beautiful. Loving all of this!!! Happy house hunting. It will show up when you least expect it!!

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  7. Oh I love this little pattern so much! The colors you chose are so refreshing.

    Yesterday after church the first thing my sweet husband said as we walked in the door is that home is his favorite place to be. We love staying home more than anything. I started watching my grandson full time on weekdays in January & I did fuss a little about losing so much freedom....I can't take him with me anywhere so we must stay home. But after a good self-talk about my attitude & some encouragement from the Lord, I'm so happy to 'get to' do all the things that need to be done in this season. It is hard & I am tired much of the time but I'm looking for the good things in this crazy busy season & will appreciate the quiet much more when it's past.

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    1. Jenny, your attitude glorifies our God and indeed He has given you this season for a purpose, and His purposes when fulfilled always come with a blessing. xx

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  8. What a cute idea. Can't wait for that pattern to come out:) . Glad that you were able to find some time to sit and relax together. I know how hard it is to find that time.

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  9. I so enjoy your Blog and your bits of Godly wisdom. I am looking forward to retirement at the end of this year. Time for me to slow down and smell the flowers. You have been a great inspiration to me at times when I feel down and need a breath of fresh air. I have always loved your designs and your choices of fabrics. They are fresh, simple and lovely. Thank you so much for the time and effort it takes to send encouragement and love to those of us who need it. Love and hugs back!!! Wendy (PS. If you feel the need to dispense of any early Tilda fabrics when you move, I would be more than happy to pay for shipping and price of fabric.} :)

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    1. Ha ha, Wendy! I'm afraid those early Tilda prints, the small stash I still have, will follow me wherever I roam. Bless you lovely girl! x

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  10. You needed that down time. And need lots more. Are you all working with a rel estate agent that is showing you homes. We did that but then after buying our house and moving here. We realized there were so many other houses available for sale that we were never shown that were in our price market. Wish we had ridden around and looked on our own first. Love your new project.....Beautiful fabric and as always your stitchery is perfection. Hugs and love to you each day.

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    1. Tammy, we are not going through a single real estate, but an Australian site where all real estates list their homes. This is why we have so many to go through each weekend. xx

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  11. I thought you had decided to move to the farm?

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    1. That's not me...are you thinking of Annabel from The Bluebirds are Nesting blog? She's moving to a farm.

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  12. The monogram is just beautiful and your threads match so well!

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  13. It always brightens my day to visit you! I just retired and finding balance and structure has been sooooooooo difficult! I think tomorrow I'll get mister to go for a float on the river.... it's 82-degrees with 80% humidity here which is unbearably hot for us (Sounds like your winter weather!) so a river float will be just the ticket!!! Happy house hunting!!! ❤️ Matty

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    1. Matty, I hope you enjoyed time on the river!
      We had a cool day today (25C...which is about 77F). No complaints, it was so refreshing. Yay!

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  14. I'm SO glad you two took time out to enjoy living and being together. Your design is beautiful, of course! That is an especially pretty piece of fabric, but it will still live on in the pouch. If you keep the pouch, R could be a Reminder to Rest. =)

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    1. The R was for Reynolds, but what a good idea, Susan...rest indeed. x

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  15. Good to know you are taking time to relax with your hubby. Love your monogramed hexi project. Sometimes it is good to just let the creativity flow as you go. I have just revisted your tutorial on decorated tea towels as I have 2 hand towels I wish to add a fabric trim to. It is almost like having you here to help lol. Enjoy your casual days ahead.

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  16. That cross hatch quilting was perfect for the gingham & I love the hexagon monogram.

    Yes you really need your own time for doing your thing & music is good too. I remember at work we used to take our CDs in & we always felt much better after a bit of Abba, Beatles or Beach Boys. However when I feel the need for tranquility at home I like classical such as Brahms, Tchaikovsky or Elgar.
    Best of luck with your house hunt, it's out there somewhere waiting for you.

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  17. That cross hatch quilting was perfect for the gingham & I love the hexagon monogram.

    Yes you really need your own time for doing your thing & music is good too. I remember at work we used to take our CDs in & we always felt much better after a bit of Abba, Beatles or Beach Boys. However when I feel the need for tranquility at home I like classical such as Brahms, Tchaikovsky or Elgar.
    Best of luck with your house hunt, it's out there somewhere waiting for you.

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  18. Hello Jenny; It is so wonderful to read one of your posts once again. I, of course, understand with everything you have going on in life right now. But I do miss your daily blog posts. It was delightful to read how you and Mr. E found the rest and relaxation that you needed and felt so much better because of it. Your cross hatch quilting turned out beautifully and was a fabulous choice to go along with every aspect of this project. Like you, I have really been taking a look at my fabrics and with a possible move sometime in the future, I have started to hand fabrics to charities for them to use that I know I will not. It feels incredible in doing so. May the Lord continue to wrap you in his Love and guide you with his Words. Amen.

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  19. Hi Jenny. I love your hexagon and the cross hatching looks great. I'm sure that special house is not too far away. xxx

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    1. Thanks Christine. :-) I'm not as anxious as I was before...feel that at the right time our new home will present itself. xx

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I will try to reply via email unless you are a 'no reply blogger' which means you'll have to check for my reply in the comments. Of course, life is a rather hazardous activity, isn't it? So if I don't respond to your comment that's the reason why - life simply stepped in...
hugs
Jenny
x