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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Lost Days.

Lost days.

No - I'm not talking about sewing month or blogging - although those suffer too.  I'm talking about the days that just disappear into the haze of depression, anxiety, & their tag-alongs, disappointment, self-hate, inertia, & (the head minion) downward spiral.

Thursday night I was ok.  The week was feeling long but I made it to Katrina's for Project Runway.  Yeah - I ate about 1/2 a box of salted truffle cookies for dinner, but I also sorted some scraps and cut some fabric.

And Friday wasn't my best day, but I got the quilt top delivered to the long arm quilter.  I made it through the week, was functional at work, & hadn't collapsed or spattered too much crazy on my family & friends

But then Saturday.

I get how stupid it is.  Friday was fine.  Saturday wasn't.

So I wake up Saturday.  I have a great family, an adorable dog.  There are interesting things to be done, nothing pressing to stress about.  I'm fed and housed and loved and healthy and still.....

I just couldn't.

I couldn't get up for several hours.

Once up, I couldn't stay up - going back to bed for "just a little while".

The spiral had started.  I was trapped.

I forced myself to go into the sewing room.  I just looked at the fabric, the machine, all the inspiration and resources - and then turned off the light and went back to my room.

I wasn't really sleeping.  There is something kinda wholesome and healing about naps.  At least I'd be resting up for the week ahead - or something.

But I wasn't sleeping.  Not all the time.  I'd try to read.  And look at pinterest.  I took 47 pictures of the dog.  Spent a good chunk of time rearranging books on my Kindle.  Most the time I just lie there.  Holding my phone, but not doing anything with it.  Looking at the clock, but not seeing the time.

There were so many things I didn't do this weekend.  Some just impacted me.  Some spattered crazy on my family & friends.  That made me curl up even tighter with despair & frustration, but I couldn't do a thing.

Depression is like that, you know?  You can be on it and doing the right things and're under it.  I dunno why.  I don't think anyone knows why.

I have this list of things that, even if I don't WANT to do them, I've decided I'm WILLING to do them.  This is a behavioral approach to the whole thing.  Think of it like brushing your teeth - it's not like you WANT to, but you are WILLING to so that you stay healthy etc.

I love to sew but depression lies to me about that.  Tells me I'd rather watch youtube or take a nap.  So the plan is that, even if I don't think I WANT to be creative, I'm WILLING to go into the sewing room and do something.  Anything.  Sometimes I futz around for a few minutes.  Sometimes a project captures me & time flies.  Either way, I'm doing something to reorganize my brain - to work around the confusion of depression.

Most times, this really helps.

On the lost days?  I just can't.  The will & the want - both disappear.  The day ticks by.  People expect me & I fail them.  Moments of fun, pleasure, connection are lost.  Nothing useful or pleasant or productive or entertaining came from this precious day.  It's lost.

Today could have been lost too.  The "not doing" started early.  At noon, I was able to shower.  Even if I'm going back to bed, I reasoned, I could go back to bed smelling better.

It's a start.

I know this post is heavy and wordy and rambly.  There also isn't any way to wrap this up.  If taking a shower is my victory for the weekend, witty phrasing isn't on the table & there is no ending.  I just felt like this was one thing I could do.  Put words here.  For myself.  For other people who feel this.  For people who don't.  For the people I hurt or disappoint when I stop being myself.  (Just changed that last sentence to present tense because it's, no doubt, gonna happen again.)

How about a funny picture from facebook?

Note: I don't really get this urge.  To be
             able to leap to my own defense that
             way - even in my mind - I'd have to
             be a lot healthier than I actually am

Like I said.  It's a start.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Are we here to talk or are we here to sew???

Fortunately, I've done better at sewing than I have at blogging about it.

Thursday I cut a bunch of little squares making a negligible dent in my scrap pile.  Hey - at least it's a dent.  The designers on Project Runway could have used my scraps - their intimate wear was a mess.  The one that won? (2nd from the left) Seriously wtf?

Oh well.  It's just possible Katrina & I are not their intended market.

Friday I hit Fabric Depot & got the backing fabric (and some adorable elephant print minky that just HAS to become pillows!).  And more Mary's Best Press.  I love that stuff.

Saturday I had a head cold.  The best I could do was sort through and find more scraps for whatever this four patch project is going to turn into.  Then I took some Vicks and went back to bed.

Sunday I slept in and then, determined to make progress, I got ALL THE COLUMNS TOGETHER!!

Here's the first shot of the center(not ironed yet, clearly):

I think it's cool.  The Manchild likes it.  
Other folks have asked "what's it supposed to be" & "Did you make it offcenter on purpose?"  Harrumph.  


Monday I cut all the borders and got the first set sewn on.  There are 2 more sets to go - hope to get that done tonight.

On other fronts, the Quilting Guru embroidered a set of napkins and quilted a matching table runner for a wedding gift.  Impressive, no?  (Apparently so is the resulting mess in her sewing room)

Da Noob has reorganized the sewing area around the new table.  That's an endless task, but enough was done that a WIP was rediscovered!  A disappearing 4 patch project that is about 1/2 way finished.  That will be a fun project to tackle.  This coming week, all artistic effort is being tapped out on the job, so da noob gets a pass.  For now.

And what does Mr Jenkins think of all this sewing? 
 If only he could find a way to express himself.


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Doubled! Then nothing.

The column sections are each at least twice as wide as they were before.  So I think everything is in sets of 4 with one set of 3 (Because odd numbers).

I love Tim Gunn :)

Tonight is Project Runway at Katrina's, therefore no machine sewing.  I have several baggies of scraps that the manchild's girlfriend sorted out for me in pleasing color combinations.  I will cut those into bits for 4 patches & half square triangles.  Need more fuel for the starters & enders!

Friday will see the columns all assembled (and I'll take a picture of that) and Saturday I can put on borders!

Now to track down a long-armer who can quilt this sucker for me....


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Day Eight - holding steady!!

Another Day Of Sewing!
All the single columns are now in pairs.

All the pairs from this weekend are now sets of four.

And I've sewn a whole bunch of little four patches as my starters & enders.  Like, I actually need to cut more scraps up because I've burned through my stack of little pieces!  So that's cool.

The Manchild has ironing to do today to catch up.  Then I think I've got 2 more sessions of column joining.  It's hard to do too many at the end of a work day.  But having the whole center done before the weekend will be GREAT!

I didn't take any pictures, so here's a puppy:

Waiting to be discovered by a KISS cover band


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Labor hath occurred

Got a big boost this weekend!
There was organization on all fronts.  

  • Da Noob met the goal of assembling her sewing room.  She also may lose her title soon as more brand new quilters are joining our little sewing family.  

(To that point, a quick outing to Fabric Depot happened on Saturday morning.  The Quilt Guru met me there along with a darling in-law who is relearning how to sew.  For now, she is working on clothing for her darling offspring, but soon she will be learning to quilt.  Turns out her gramma is a long arm quilter.  Huh.  It was meant to be!)

  • The QG herself not only had the baby blanket ready to quilt (as I predicted) but this weekend she quilted it & bound it.  It's wash and ready for a label.  She also finished quilting ANOTHER project and has started the hand stitching on the binding!  Good work!

  • And at my house?  It was full on sewing frenzy.  This quilt is 35 columns wide and each column has 32 pieces in it.  On Friday morning, I had 1/2 the column pieces in baggies and ready to go, and the other 1/2 listed out but not yet cut/sorted.  Last night, I turned off the light on all 35 columns finished & pressed, and the first 18 sewn into pairs and pressed again.
       So I went from about 600 pieces up to 1120 pieces then down to 26 sub-units.  
       Not too shabby, eh?
About 1/2 the columns - ironed
(also one of the most visually confusing pictures ever)

Here are some pictures:
The Manchild pumping iron
(and yes - that is a regular iron.
It just looks like a travel model when he holds it)

All the strips - you can see the pattern starting to form
(although 1/2 of them are upside down so not exactly)
I'm pretty excited about all the progress in this first week of September.  Keep it up, everyone!  And if you wanna join us for the rest of National Sewing Month, just leave a comment!
Gratuitous Cuteness (He's laughing at me - I'm sure of it!)


Friday, September 4, 2015

Plugging along

Reporting in from the field: 

  • The third day of Sewing Month saw progress in my bargello project (what was I thinking with this thing?) and I should be able to actually sew things together tonight.  

  • The Quilt Guru hasn't checked in but I suspect that there will be a baby quilt ready to bind by this weekend.

  • Da Noob had some help setting up the new table (yay for minions!) - and spent about 5 hours sorting fabric.

Awesome, doncha think??

Wonder what the long weekend will bring!!!


Thursday, September 3, 2015

Too late now!

Dad would say "you bit off more than you can chew"  As is often the case, he would be mostly right.  As is also often the case, I won't listen, I won't learn, I won't mend my ways, & I'll probably "chew" my way through - but it might be tricky.

I'm not talking about September.

I'm still pretty excited about the challenge I've set myself to do something on a sewing project each day.

That part's ok.

It's this one project.  You know, the bargello quilt I'm making for the manchild's guild buddies who are getting married next month.

I've never actually done a bargello before (although ikat weaving uses some of the same ideas and I've done that).

And I could have chosen a simple undulating pattern.  One that uses the exact same strata in all the columns.
or this
something like this

But does that sound like my style?  Of COURSE not.  First time doing it, important deadline ahead, go big or go home, right?

I'm on about the 5th excel spreadsheet to map this out.  It's way beyond EQ7.

So September 2nd (last night), I made more strata, reviewed the spreadsheet.  Again.  Labelled things and got little bags ready to go.  Tonight I'll be at the lovely Katrina's for Project Runway night, so I had to have everything portable.  My goal for tonight is a little baggy for each column with all the bits inside - ready to sew.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Thus it begins...

Reports have come in:

September 1st:
The Quilt Guru marked up a quilt sandwich for free motion work,
Da Noob set a goal for the week of setting up her new sewing table,
And me?  I cut the grey pieces for the bargello quilt I'm working on (a crap ton of pieces)

Onto the next day.  Comment if you want to join in with your own goals for the month!


Tuesday, September 1, 2015


I'm gonna make this quick.

That's it.  September.  Gonna make this happen.

So everyday this month something sewing will HAPPEN. 

And (theoretically) every day I'll post about it.  

It's only 30 days but just THINK what I could get done!  Not to mention how much more cheerful I will be.

OK - let's do this.  Who's with me???