Monday, March 29, 2021

Less + Contentment = Better

Number six of twenty-one is finished!!
Doesn't a finish always make you eager to shout out -- "look what I did"!!
The breeze (okay, wind) was just as excited as I was -- couldn't stop flappin' it around for all the neighbors to see.  

The quilting isn't even close to my original idea of how to do it - just simple vertical straight lines.  In the end, I was inspired by the quilting on two previous quilts that come out every spring.
The upper three fourths of the quilt is covered with horizontal breezy quilting -- free motion curves billowing from edge to edge with the occasional little swirl.  I used my favorite yellow Aurifil  thread on the top and white FineLine in the bobbin.
The little hexie flowers were each jazzed up by extending their flower petals . . . . 
and then vines and leaves climbing up the fence posts reaching for the breeze!
A green binding finishes the quilt off perfectly and it will be hanging in my living room for the month of June, my birthday month.  The center of the quilt is a temperature quilt for the first year of  my life.
It was too small to be useful so in a happy series of coincidences, I added blocks which turned out to represent some of the passions of my long life -- big beautiful tree, birds, picket fences, and flowers with lots of insects buzzing around the background fabrics.
Continuing with the spontaneity of this quilt, I chose this cheerful piece of hoarded fabric that is too wonderful to cut apart for the backing -- not quite enough for the backing but borders fixed that.
Now I'm ready to tackle number seven!!  It's another top made 20 years ago using one of the colorways from my brief foray into the fabric designing business.  This will go to one of my grandchildren and the quilting plan is Baptist fan.  I made the backing over the weekend and layering could happen today!!
I've been knitting this new hat pattern, Semblance by Hunter Hammerson.  I was captivated by the stitch pattern when she released it a couple weeks ago so bought it right away.  My determination to use stash yarn forced me to step out a bit -- it's not the same weight as she used or a monochromatic colorway. If you've worked with her knitting patterns, you know she forces one to figure out the needle size yourself which means one has to check gauge before starting -- something I don't enjoy.  
I want to get right into a project -- are you like that?  
But after reading the introductory instructions and wrangling with the helpful sizing chart, I determined the correct needle size for my yarn and the correct number of stitches to cast on given my personal private gauge (PPG).  I did rip it back to the ribbing twice because I failed to read a couple details -- just skipped right over them -- but now I'm on track and loving the results.  Yesterday as I put it down, I realized my yarn has serendipitously knit out in diagonal bands of color!!

I have a big garden project -- removing English ivy and myrtle out of a 200 square foot bed -- 30 minutes at a time.  The other day while working out there for the 15th day in a row and determining there is about 3 more weeks of work to get to the end, I thought "this is atypical for me"  I usually lose interest midway in any project and I realized that one of the aspects of the pandemic isolation that I'm okay with is being able to do less.  
Why, you ask?
Well, I'm noticing that I'm more engaged with projects because of the "less".  Big tasks that take time are okay because the results will be good.  
It will likely take me through the end of the year to finish this big hand quilting project (it's one of the twenty-one).  
It will be so exciting to be able to replant this bed with native shrubs and plants and watch the biodiversity of my backyard wildlife expand.  
It will be so good to have an empty shelf where all those quilt tops have been stashed.
Having less to do means doing fewer things better and learning to enjoy the simplicity of less.
I have time to bake sourdough bread and I have time to start garden plants this year.
My genealogy work is more focused and accurate and less frenetic. 
I have time to binge watch gardening and pollinator webinars and learn more about a native environment.

It doesn't hurt that I'm completely vaccinated at this point, either!!
What a relief!!
I am eager to carry this contented state of mind forward and be happy doing less.
How about you?  
What have you learned about yourself and what will you carry forward? 




  1. We are so relieved to have had both shots, also--a lot less stressful...
    Beautiful projects, Mary--Loving those hexagons and the quilt blowing in the wind...
    I have found that I am really fighting the "ennui" from this past year...
    So very tired from the stress, I myself permission to
    Rest...hugs, Julierose

  2. I've had both shots but not totally relieved. Just don't know what those little buggers will do(those variants might surpise us) - time will tell. Is there a legend for you temperature quilt? Gorgeous!

  3. You turned the temperature quilt into HAPPY! Love it!

  4. It's gorgeous Mary! So thoughtful, creative and purposeful. Congratulations on a beautiful finish.