With a bad cold knocking me around a bit over the last half of September, I knew I needed a 'slow sewing' project to keep my mind and fingers occupied, whilst also ensuring I rested.
So I printed up "Loaves & Fishes" by my talented buddy Allie Hartom (check her out here) and gathered some low volume fat quarters for the background, and small scraps of fabric for the applique...
I've loved Allie's pattern since the first moment I saw it, but put it on the back burner until I could decide on a colour scheme. When I eventually prepared the low volume background last Friday it was easy to pull scraps which both blended and contrasted for the applique.
It took about five days to complete as I still have a home and full time business to run, but taking those hours each days just to sit, watch a movie and hand sew, was wonderful...
As you know, I love hand quilting...
Loaves & Fishes measures 22" square when complete, and I think it makes a wonderful story quilt for children, don't you?
I'll be using this with my grandchildren to tell them the story of Jesus feeding 5000 with the humble loaves and fishes offering of a small boy, and how that offering overflowed to twelve baskets of leftovers...
You'll find Allie's pattern for Loaves & Fishes HERE.
Why not make it as a Christmas gift for a small family member?
On the downside of life, adrenaline-driven people like me often need a good whack in the head to make them S..L..O..W down or STOP, right?
I got two of those whacks this week.
You see, when I wasn't resting up and sewing Loaves & Fishes I was running around trying to stay on top of all my other responsibilities, as well as training and caring for our 13 week old puppy.
My sleep each night was erratic due to the head and chest cold, but I also had the interruptions of tag-teaming with Mr E to take Merri outside for toilet trips.
Some nights I slept five hours, some six. Over the course of two weeks I was sleep-deprived, still battling a cold, and becoming rather anxious about not keeping up with work and home duties.
And you know, puppies are high energy and exhausting.
From Monday this week I noticed that bumping into things and dropping stuff had become a regular hazard throughout my day so vowed to get caught up by Friday and take a few days off next week.
The bumping got serious on Tuesday night when I fell face first into the vanity basin in our bathroom. It felt like my eye popped out of it's socket, but fortunately it stayed put and I just had a hazy view for the next 24 hours.
Wednesday afternoon I did a lot of meal prep and cleaning so decided to shower before picking up Mr E from his work. I knew I was tired, and a cold shower usually refreshes me late in the afternoon, but my knee gave way and I lost my feet before crashing down on my back and whacking the base of my skull on the tap. Our shower is in the bathtub so I think that may have saved me from worse damage, but boy did it hurt.
My head is very tender this morning (Mr E has taken to emulating Florence Nightingale in his care of me) and with two painful incidents in two days I am honestly going to look over my 'life' schedule and give it a similar spring clean to the one I recently gave my home.
All through this year of gentle domesticity I've wanted to learn about slowing down, and then live by it, but it's become one of the most difficult changes to make in my nature.
My 56 year old mind hasn't yet appreciated that it doesn't have to race through life at warp speed the way it did when I was 16, 26, 36...or even 46.
I wish I'd slowed down back then because it would be an easier habit to attain now.
So these two knocks on the head need to be limited to 'just two knocks', which means I must seriously consider the consequences of this life where I run everywhere and don't stand still to admire the beauty of where I am and who I'm with for long enough.
Life is a series of lessons.
I can learn from them and bloom where I'm planted, or I can crash and burn.
I'd like to bloom.
What life lessons are you learning about yourself during this year of gentle domesticity?
I'd genuinely like to hear your story...