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