Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Another slow week and lessons learned...

 My heart has improved since I blogged last week (thank you for your very kind prayers) but the migraines just keep building so this season of enforced slowing and rest has been extended. You know, during these quieter times there's so much opportunity to observe life, to cherish the loved ones God has gifted me and to encourage each of them, to appreciate more fully what is right in front of me and to genuinely discover that slowing offers far more than I'd once imagined. 

Slow hand sewing has brought much satisfaction this month so after completing a couple of hand quilted projects last week I decided to bring out my tin of more than two hundred one inch hexies which I basted during numerous road trips with hubby throughout 2018-19 and choose some to make a new table runner.

There was no actual size or completed plan in my mind so I simply kept sewing random hexies together until I thought the five rows were long enough. All the fabrics used for my hexies were scraps that measured around 3" square and though at first I imagined some flow of colours would eventuate what actually happened was that I just put my hand into the tin of basted hexies and pulled them out one at a time.

I have another box of fabrics cut and ready to baste to take with me on future road trips and considered making a few from them so that I had a nice balance of colours, but again, that idea fell by the wayside and I kept going with what I already had.

My husband and Blossom both thought I was crazy as this (to them) looked very time consuming and tedious, but I found it wonderfully calming and easy to pick up and put down without losing track of where I was or needing to write notes the way I do when designing and stitching a new embroidery pattern.

The only time I got just the very teensiest bit bored was when unpicking all the basting and removing the papers inside. But really, that was more to do with my back aching as I needed to do this on the cutting table to keep everything nice and flat.

Choosing a background fabric to sew the rows of completed hexies onto required a few auditions ranging from solids, to tonals, to spots and finally this lovely blue check which I've had for a number of years. 

It took another couple of days (off and on) to hand quilt the joined hexies onto the soft blue background and wadding, and now I'm at the stage of planning how to finish the runner.

I shall hand quilt into the blue check around the hexie section, but not sure about adding a border or leaving it just the way it is with more of the blue for binding. For now it looks lovely hanging over the old leather armchair so I might make a return to a rug I'm crocheting before it gets too hot.

I'm still doing a meal prep on Sundays but this past weekend it wasn't as extensive due to a need to rest, though I still made a roasted vegetable rice salad for lunches during the week, scones for us and our neighbours, fresh strawberry and apple jam which was shared with Blossom and our neighbours, plus rock cakes for a treat. 

Strawberries are just $1.50 a punnet right now where we are in the tropics because this is the end of our winter strawberry season, so I hope to get out again tomorrow and buy more to make more jars of jam to tide us over in coming months. 

You'll find my simple jam recipe below. Just double or triple it for larger amounts.

These late winter mornings have been glorious. Mild, yet cool enough to offer a sense of comfort and calm. 

I woke in the early hours of this morning with another nasty migraine kicking in and even after medication it wouldn't subside so around 5am I went and sat outside on our old blue couch and watched the stars in the cool of the pre-dawn. A little while later my beloved husband came out to sit with me, his arm around my shoulders keeping me warm. Then Sophie-cat climbed into his lap and there we three were, eyes lifted to heaven in quiet stillness, not saying a word, just looking at the stars. 

Regardless of the pain, this is a memory I shall treasure. One of those special moments you don't plan but which come along and burrow a soft place in your heart for always. God gifted. 

It's only five days until I email all Faith In Hand Stitchery Club members their new patterns for September.

If you'd like to join there's still time so just pop over HERE.

I haven't shown you the new set of patterns yet, have I? Honestly, I forget almost every month and this past month has been very hit or miss with blog posts.

It has been a great blessing knowing I've designed and stitched a couple of months ahead for Faith In Hand because I have genuinely needed this break, this time of slowing and sewing-just-for-me. And even though it was prompted by health challenges I am very grateful...these past weeks have given me time to study my Bible more intently with hubby and Blossom, time to nap if I need it, moments to observe and stand in awe of what my hard working husband has achieved in the house and garden during these past 23 months since we moved into our own home, time to pray more, time to consider 'what next?' and be open to whatever path God directs me along, time to walk these rooms and make decisions about what's necessary and what can go, and time to sing. To Him.

I hope you are doing okay?

Worldwide we are all at different stages in this pandemic and in life; we are all facing unique struggles and joys, challenges and celebrations, sickness and health, love and loss. But no matter what's on your plate right now let me encourage you to slow down and heighten your awareness of what you have, who you have, and what truly matters. Give yourself that gift, for indeed I see it as a gift which only we can offer ourselves, by stepping away from distractions and a 'hurry up' mindset. Listen to the birds, music which lifts your heart, and listen to the words spoken by those in your home - really listen. 

Lay in bed an extra five minutes and give thanks to God for having another new day before you; give thanks for having a bed and a home and a place in this world. 

Pray for your loved ones. Pray for your leaders. Pray for God's direction in your life to be clear and evident.

Be kind to yourself. Remember that when our world seems upside down and we're being pulled in too many directions our attitude can be a little harsh and may rub those close to us the wrong way. By being kind to self I mean choosing to let go of anything unnecessary and making time to truly 'be' with those you care about. Even the closest and most loving of relationships need to be refreshed every so often and that requires quality time and open ears, eyes that truly look, and hands that show love. goodness, that surely is enough for today. It's time for me to go rest a bit and try to keep this dulling migraine from returning. Plus I have dinner to plan and a husband to welcome home because today is his early return - a most joyous gift. 

God bless you dear ones,

loving hugs

PS: I have added a few more pattern to my shop if you'd like something new to stitch...slowly of course.


Joanne said...

Hi Jenny,
Quieter times...Thank you for such a beautiful inspiring blog post to the start of this very Autumnal day.
Working on something such as a hexi project sure can help focus and relax at the same time.
Coffee and filled oatmeal this morning :)
It's September next week !
Hugs and take care,

Kay said...

I really like the hexagon table runner. Hexagons are my firs told in stitching and I usually have some on the go for something. When I do hexagons I do not baste through the papers I only go corner to corer and stitch through the fabric at the corners, they then pop out with no effort. Hope your migraines ease soon, I occasionally get them and this has been a bad week so am feeling it along with you. x

Irene McConnell said...

Hi Jenny

The strawberry jam looks delicious. Unfortunately I am allergic to strawberries, five years ago for some reason I now have a lot of chemical reaction to food. I will just imagine I have taken a bite out of each one lol.

Beverly. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nanna Chel said...

Jenny, I haven't been keeping up with blog posts so didn't realise you have been unwell. I do hope the migraines lift soon and give you some reprieve. I love your table runner. You are so very creative. Big hugs!

Tammy said...

Good morning to you although I know it isn't morning there now....I am praying and hoping that those migraines will disappear Dear. I love your hexi runner you have been creating....Rest well my friend....Love you

diana said...

Always am excited to see a post from you. Do hope you will continue to heal and strengthen. You might enjoy doing the hexis where you embroider your special memories on the pieces. Take care and let’s all keep praying for our world.

gail said...

Hello Jenny, I’ve been watching for you and praying that you would be starting to feel better.
Your advise to slow down and take care of ourselves is so good. It’s been a rough year and it’s hard to settle, however settle we must.
Take care dear Jenny,
blessings Gail.

Sally K said...

Thank you Jenny for the lovely blog post today. All of this unrest in the world keeps turning me back to what is the most important - loving God and loving those around me. I am sorry for your migraine headaches and I pray that the Lord of all healing will touch you with His physician's touch!

Sally K

Lin said...

Lovely post again Jenny - do take good care of yourself. When you start basting your next set of hexagons try just catching the fabric on the reverse at the corners. Then you can just pop the papers out and leave the basting in place. Nice and quick. I love hexie projects and your runner looks very pretty. xx

Pink Rose said...

Hi Jenny sorry that you still aren't feeling well,did you try the cream of tartar under the tongue? Your hexies look so pretty on the soft blue background,you do such beautiful work my friend. Thankyou for sharing your jam recipe with us ,lol,I now feel like making some scones,hope you feel better soon ,take care and stay safe my friend xx

Deborah Jennings said...

Jenny, I so look forward to your posts. They are always uplifting and so positive and loving. I’m so sorry to hear you’re still having migraines. I know they can be horrible. I had them for years, but when menopause hit, they quit. I still have one occasionally. I’m praying that they stop and soon.

I love the Hexie table runner. I need to make one, now. Got to find a pattern for them in the right size. Take care and may God bless you with good health.

kallii said...

Oh Jenny feel better as another who lives with migraines daily it's not easy when they flare up. So glad you're taking care of you.

Kalli I

Debby in KS said...

Your table runner is just beautiful! I have a boxful of diamond fabric shapes that my Grandma left me in her hope chest. I might be inspired to pull them out! Are the papers there as stabilizer? Freezer paper? I think that's why the diamonds have intimidated me. Small.

I pray that you'll feel better soon. I had migraines very briefly in college and they were so miserable. I can certainly see how they'd force you into a state of rest. Take your time and relax.

FlourishingPalms said...

Just when I start to feel sorry for myself, thinking I'll never be able to go out again, I hear about someone like you who's dealing with chronic pain - in the form of migraines (or hurricane Laura!) - and I feel guilty. Once again, it's time to be grateful for what I have, and not wish for things that cannot be. We're celebrating 48 years of marriage today, and though we both wish we could go somewhere to celebrate where people aren't around, we're staying at home (Again. Still.) Just the two of us, as it's been for six months now. So to answer your question: Yes, I'm doing okay.

Bobbie said...

Jenny, you help to calm me and I so love that about you!

Maureen said...

Once again you have blessed and encouraged me. Bless you. I,too,have a hexie tin that I take with when we travel. My husband can't understand how it could be relaxing either! Praying for you.

gill. h said...

Thank you so much for your encouraging words Jenny, praying for you and your migraines and that you'll soon be feeling more on top of things. Rest as you need it and let God's hands wrap you in His care.

Angie in SoCal said...

It is always so calming to read what you have written to us. Blessings and good health to you, Jenny.

Jenny of Elefantz said...

They are pre purchased thin cardboard 1" hexagon shapes which you need to make the single hexies. They are removed once the hexies are sewn together along the sides.

Jenny of Elefantz said...

I've had them since childhood and was told they'd ease after menopause but quite the opposite happened. They are far worse now than ever.

Susie said...

Ah I hope you feel better soon Jenny. Migraines are truly horrible. I feel very nauesous with mine also although I'm fortunate the medication kicks in eventually. I agree with slow stitching, it's very calming and partly why I think I've got back into cross stitch heavily. I do it every night although those hexies are very enticing. I have a hexie quilt I'm in the middle of. I started with ePP but have to revert to hand piecing as they kept coming apart. I tried three difference threads and two needles. I do wonder if the paper was too sharp..... who knows.

Elizabeth said...

Just recently came across this book ( in my search to try to help my husband. When the doctors give you CIPRO and so many people end up crippled from it like my husband, the docs have no idea what to do...thus offer nothing. We finally have HOPE!! That in part is from magnesium oil. You can make it yourself. I read that it is supposed to help migraines too. There is a recipe for how to make it at home here: . They say that there is no way to get what you need via mouth or veins...but apparently the skin absorbs it better and uses it better. There were many problems it says it helps. We have no where else to go. We have no reason not to try it. My husband has gotten so weak I am not sure how long we can manage on our own now. So I am hoping and praying that this will give him back at least some of his strength. My heart goes out to you in your struggle too. I encourage you to do your own research. Sending hugs and prayers, Elizabeth

Jacqui S. said...

do you drink enough water? water can sometimes bring healing for migraines. i am not suggesting you copy me, but i once had the
most terrible migraines and stopped taking my tablets after reading the very pills i took had become the cause of them.
i haven't had another migraine since and, praise God, that was over ten years ago.

Allie said...

You are ever in my prayers, dear one. As always, your post has calmed and inspired me - I don't think you'll know this side of heaven how many people you've helped. Thank you, dearest Jenny, for always pointing to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. Your patterns are gorgeous, making my hands itch to stitch!

Jenny of Elefantz said...

I drink so much water that I could burst (we live in the tropics, you can't avoid lots of water as we need it to stay hydrated). Water is not related to my migraines. I;m so glad you discovered it was a cure for your own!

Jenny of Elefantz said...

Have used magnesium cream for a while. It has never helped migraines but rubbed on to the feet it helps me go to sleep when I'm overtired.

Nossa Arte em Família said...

Olá Jenny! Conheci o seu trabalho no Pinterest e me apaixonei por tudo o que você faz, desde os trabalhos manuais até as palavras sempre que sempre nos traduz gentileza e amor pelas coisas de Deus. Buscando inspiração para um presente para uma amiga encontrei um tutorial seu e amei demais o resultado do meu trabalho. Obrigada por me inspirar! Parabéns pelo lindo trabalho! Que Deus continue abençoando sua vida.

Susan said...

Many is the hour I have found comfort and peace in doing hexagons just like that. I've done a lot of sizes, but my favorite are the 3/4" sides. I use the papers over and over and over. The last couple of years, I started using a glue stick instead of basting, but the only one that doesn't stick TOO much and cause it to be misshapen is the Bohin glue pen - that I've found anyway. That one is just like post it note stickiness. So much faster to get to the sewing-together part, and the taking out is easier and less messy, too. Your jam and scones look delicious, as always. I'm so sorry you are having migraines so awful, but on the other hand, without the migraine, you wouldn't have had that beautiful moment with your husband and cat and the heavens. Sometimes what doesn't seem like a blessing turns out to be, right? =)