Friday, March 16, 2018

from scratch, again

We took North Carolina license plates off our car this week and replaced them with Alabama plates. That felt like a plot twist.

This week was hard. The excitement of moving and all the newness fizzled some, and we were left with a somewhat flat, overflowing glass of reality. Being in a new town, not knowing a soul (though one of my very favorite friends is a town above me, just about a 35 minute drive away THANK THE LORD), and beginning again from scratch.

Well, not entirely from scratch. We have each other. And that is a lot. But also.....

Also why I think sending them off to school, each to their new classrooms, felt so unnerving and raw for me. They had to go off on their own, without a sibling beside them, without me behind them, and it felt scary. For some of them. Probably all of them, actually, some just hide it better. And for me.

For me.

As loud as they are and as crazy as they make me, I always feel better when we are all together. The whole lot of us. Even with the fighting and again the is for sure worth mentioning twice because we are already loud, but a big house without rugs or carpet and not very furnished and I feel like I am in a shout tunnel trying to find quiet so I can work and basically just yelling over them FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING WILL YOU PLEASE LOWER YOUR VOICES AND STOP RUNNING!!

Back to me not wanting to let them go. I really didn't want to let them go and considered keeping them home longer. But I knew the longer we waited the harder it would be, and those questions in my heart would not go away even if I allowed them to miss a couple extra days of school. Will they find friends? Will people be nice? Will they feel welcomed? Will they struggle? Will they know they are loved? Did we - DID I - make a bad decision moving here?

Y'all. Let me just say.....I love adventure and fresh starts and learning new places and new people and new ideas and new cultures. But I also feel very deeply and my feelings often fill every space of me, and I understand that my children aren't like me in the chase-after-adventure respect.  So I carry the weight of my children's "will they"s with me and it has been overwhelming.

Also. A terrible trait, one of several, of mine, is that I am a second-guesser of my own decisions. My husband reminded me today that I have done this with every. single. move. So it is not unique to our move to Alabama, but that doesn't comfort me much. Should we have stayed in North Carolina? Was this a good decision? Did I do the wrong thing?

But even with all the hushed second-guessing thoughts springing to mind at every turn, I am also a jump anyway-er.

I feel strongly that we should not NOT make a decision because we are scared or apprehensive. Life is short. There is a whole world filled with people and places and I feel like we were meant to not stay in one place. (If you are the opposite and feel roots are better to plant, I think that's amazing. Sometimes I wish I was like that, too. So please don't feel I am cutting down a different way of thinking.)  So I find myself very much on team 'jump anyway', despite the inner turmoil that often follows the jumping. And I am hoping that when my kids see me jumping that they inch a little closer, content to follow my lead, so they can jump too.

And I am hopeful that what we are jumping into is welcoming and warm water that envelops us. And not the opposite.

So. We made it to Friday. Two days of school. Today was better than yesterday, and I will take progress, no matter how small. It will take time, I know. Change is hard and it is a process that is not likely to be OKAY WE ARE ALL ADJUSTED AND SO HAPPY TO HAVE MOVED overnight.

Talking to a friend tonight, she said "So do you love it?". And I was kind of at a loss.

Do I love it here? Wellllllll. Honestly, no. Not yet. I love my house. I love the sunshine. I love that 49 degrees was freezing here and people were cursing winter for making them wear jackets. I love that I am down the road from my amazing friend. I love that we are ten minutes from the beach. I love that there is a Starbucks drive through 6 minutes from my house, and I love that every morning I have stepped outside I have been greeted by birds singing in a new season.

But I left behind friends, AMAZING friends, a big beautiful unspoiled view of the sky, familiarity - the feeling of home. Finding your people, your place, your spot that makes you feel at peace, that all takes time. And I am not prone to falling in love fast.

So here we are. Starting over, from not quite scratch, praying my kiddos find friends and goodness, wanting to slow the days before my husband deploys, and hoping that each day sinks us further into that "this is where we were meant to be" feeling.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Winter Sewing

Hey friends. It's been a minute. This fall and winter have been nuts. The short version-

- my husband retired from the Navy (mid November)
- my husband got a new job (mid November)
- we put a contract on a house in AL (end of November)
- we listed our home in NC (beginning of December)
- my husband left for training (early December)
- we rented our NC house out (end of January)
- we left NC (March 6)
- we closed on our AL house (March 9)
- my husband will leave for deployment (April)

So now here we are in Gulf Shores, settling in, unpacking, slowly making this place home. I haven't made much in the last few months because we have been busy with everything happening, but here is a catalog of my recent makes.

I have made a dozen different versions of this quilt and I love it for its simple design and how quickly it comes together. Also, I love letting the fabric be the star!

Also, this is one of my favorite ways to quilt! Organic lines, with some wonky infinity loop quilting interspersed!

This was a little mug rug for a swap I did!

The rest of what I made for that swap. She said she liked the color blue, and cats :)

And this big ol thing was for #fussycuttersclubswap using the idea from Gnome Angel's book Fussy Cutters Club.

This was for an other swap. I enjoy mixing hand stitches and machine quilting. 

Also for a swap. Notice an addiction?

This quilt was built using a Nest bundle. As soon as I saw the fabric I had to make a baby quilt with it. It is so adorable!!!

I love Art Gallery Fabrics for their silky softness.

This quilt was made for a dear lady that has been so wonderful in assisting my kiddo with reading challenges. I used the Peak Quilt pattern by Nicole of Modern Handcraft. It is such a simple pattern that comes together super quickly, especially if you use a jelly roll!

I quilted it to look like wind currents moving across the tops of the mountain peaks.

She loves the color green so I used just about half of my green stash-- which wasn't much to begin with. Last quilt picture in North Carolina! 

Saturday, October 28, 2017

A plus quilt to restore my mojo

Every once in a while I feel like in order to be *good* I must do something complex or new. I need to be uber creative in order to produce something that is *good*.

The irony is that thinking like that completely cripples me, creatively. I draw out designs or try to come up with a way to reinvent the wheel or put a very unique spin on something that, when the ideas don't come, I feel inadequate or unqualified to call myself a "quilter".

This happens more than I would like it to. And in those moments, there is nothing really happening and it kind of sucks the fun out of making for me. The most recent occurrence was a bundle I got from Janum fabrics  during one of the Tuesday night bundle specials Majd hosts weekly on instagram. This particular bundle made me super happy. One, because it was boy themed. (Are we allowed to say that still? I mean no offense.) There is no shortage of girly quilts or color palettes in my stash and the majority of the quilts I make tend to be geared more towards girls. So when something comes along that screams BOY!! it makes it a lot easier for me. Like this bundle I purchased. Second, there were reprints from Sarah Jane, which I happen to LOVE!

But I got hung up on wanting to create something "complicated" or "original". So it sat, atop my fabric shelf, staring me down. Finally, this week, I decided to get over myself and go with my original "non-complex" idea for the bundle-- a simple plus quilt.

And you know what? I am glad I did. When did I decide that simple is less than??? The reality is, the simpler designs are always the ones that make me most happy. So here it is. My simple plus quilt.

Sometimes I play a game where I make myself choose my a fabric in a quilt that I love the best. 

In this quilt, it was a tie. Between the little boy pirates, looking for treasure.......

...and those incredible whales above. 

I backed it in a gray minky fabric that makes it super luxuriously soft and cuddly. 

Those ships!!!

I need to remind myself often that the pattern doesn't need to be super elaborate to be beautiful. 

Happy Weekend, friends!

Linking up with the following:

Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts


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