Wednesday, September 17, 2014

when life's too crazy for quilting

antique victorian "crazy quilt"
y'all, i've been frantically trying to live my actual real life the last few weeks, which has left zero time for quilting of any kind, other than a brief stop-in at rachel's angled class every few days to dream and sigh over what i would like to do when i have the time someday. like in about 15 years when i have no more children at home. the fact is, i signed up for 7 children and homeschooling all on my own crazy initiative. really, that requires a certain amount of gutsy insanity, and some focus and commitment as well. no matter how many cool quilting ideas i get or how many wips i have in progress, i have responsibilities that have much farther reaching. longer-lasting effects than my quilting does. so i've sewn a total of three straight lines in the last two weeks. 

just last night while my husband and i were pillow-talking about all the things i can't get done and what maybe needed to be cut out, i declared i hadn't even been doing the "fluff" or "me" stuff since we got home from our summer road trip and i still feel like i'm drinking my life from a firehose, unable to get even the massive list of essentials done. he congratulated me on that and encouraged me to think carefully about my priorities and schedule. and ironically, here i am blogging today.

i have nothing new to share, not even some more straight lines of quilting. but this afternoon i just needed to connect to the blogosphere in some way. i've been wanting to talk about how i finally managed to fabric fast for several months on end (no purchases since april! four straight months!) after my repeated failed attempts (bad february, iffy march and april), but i have no photos to show of something i didn't do. 

so i dug out the few quilting photos i took on our vacation. they aren't of my work, but rather of some cool vintage quilts i stumbled across in a museum on a spontaneous stop in a little backwoods town. seeing as how we visited several historic sites, including colonial williamsburg, washington, dc, and mount vernon, i was puzzled at the lack of quilts i came across. perhaps i just didn't get to the right exhibits. however, a few weeks into our trip we were driving from atlanta, ga to seaside, fl and found ourselves passing through the quaintest, most picturesque small town of eufaula, al. the main street was divided by a large, verdant median, and both sides of the avenue were lined with a completely charming mix of cottages and antebellum mansions. after driving the street a bit i declared we needed a break from the car so we got out and walked.

 please excuse our rough travel appearances as we'd been on the road several hours already and were more concerned with comfort than style or grooming. carseat hair is just about as bad as bedhead.

 this lovely home turned out to be museum, which we decided to tour on the spot. it was a treasure trove of period furniture, clothing, and artifacts, maintained by the sweetest souther docents you ever met. they welcomed my rumpled children with open arms and honeyed southern accents of the most genteel nature.

 bless my little ones, they were enraptured and photographed nearly every inch of the mansion. i handed over my phone and let them go at it. i want to raise photographers as well as quilters and bibliophiles.

 upstairs in a bedroom i found my only encounter with quilts, fabric, or quilting the entire trip. unfortunately, the lighting was very low to protect the antiques, which made for poor photographic conditions. nevertheless, we were allowed to roam through everything at will rather than just view from behind ropes or glass, which makes for such a different experience.

 i love star quilts and this one was no exception. i think the crosshatched box quilting is particularly charming.

 another star quilt, part of a trousseau, was also on display. it's soft, somewhat earthy muted tan and sage color palette was lovely.

the crazy quilt laid out on the bed was a sight to behold. so many fascinating little bits stitched together and embellished with intricate needlework of every sort. as i child, i always thought crazy quilts were just too crazy and chaotic, but looking at this one up close, i can understand the appeal.

that's all i have to share for now; memories from my summer vacation. i hope that another week or two will resolve the pace i'm functioning at right now. getting back into our home life and launching another homeschool year for 6 children has been no small feat. in fact, i feel so busy that i keep wondering if there is a newborn in the house since i find myself with little time to even brush my own teeth! (no newborn, but a potty training 2 yr old demands a large share of attention.) when the dust settles, we'll see if i can get some more lines quilted or a top perhaps finished for that tutorial i was working on. but not while my babies need me.


  1. Sigh. Me too. I'm pulling us all together after a 2 1/2 week RV trip and organizing school which is supposed to start on Monday. I homeschool 6 as well. Hope we get to stitch soon!

  2. Bless you. The work you are doing is so much more important than sewing, and I know you'll get everything straightened out soon so you can sew. I'm glad you "checked in" - that star quilt is just so gorgeous! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thanks for sharing those beautiful quilts! I have three boys and I can't imagine how you manage to get anything done with 7 kids! And I send mine off to school each day! Hopefully things will settle down soon and feel more in control.

  4. All I have is a cat, a husband, and a full time job, and still find little time for sewing. I'm honestly amazed of mom's with 3 children - with 7 I'm pretty sure you qualify for some kind of medal or award or a free babysitter. :D I hope you get time to brush your teeth soon, and maybe a little sewing time to boot. Or use that time for a nap - I'm sure its well deserved! That's the brilliant thing about fabric and ideas -- they don't rot or go bad. They will still be there when you get back to them.:D

  5. Kids do that, but God has a way of pushing us in the direction He needs us to go! nothing wrong with it, but it can be frustrating eh;) Your trip looks amazing! Thought of you yesterday when I saw someone was selling your favorite Heather Bailey print on IG.


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