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Peaceful Piecing

It has been a very long time since my last blog post, and, before last week, it had been a very long time since I had sat down at my sewing machine to do some piecing. As we all know, life has a tendency to throw everything it has at us all at once, and I am clearly not immune to that. As life got more hectic and stressful, I put my quilting aside and- besides some longarm quilting for customers, didn't go near my sewing room.

Our weekly stitch night was cancelled here and there to make room for family commitments and tired nights, and soon it stopped all together :(

The monthly Block of the Month class at my LQS became harder and harder for me to make, so instead of making time in my schedule for it, I sopped going and started just picking up the kit from the store to make at a later date when I "had more time."

As we all got busy and stopped quilting, not only was I feeling the stress of all of the adult things I had to do that were taking up my free time, but I also really started to miss the quilting time I had always carved out for myself on Sunday mornings and during the week with my quilty friends.

Last week, Connecticut hosted its Quilt Shop Hop, (a wonderful event that happens every two years). This was the event that had started it all for me, and the other two times my cousin, aunt, and I had attended, we'd had a great time, gotten some beautiful fabric and patterns, and made some lovely projects over the years in between the hops. The Quilt Shop Hop is a marathon day of shopping and girl time that I look forward to every two years, but this year I just wasn't sure I was going to be able to attend. I had family commitments, house renovations to take care of, and I was just plain tired.

But- my cousin and I decided that, even though we wouldn't be able to make it an all-day event like we had in the past, we could spend a few hours and travel to a few of our favorite quilt stores. This was probably the best thing that could have happened for me. I didn't go crazy buying things, although I was certainly tempted, but I did buy a few kits, some beautiful Salem Witch Quilt Guild fabric from Maywood Studios that I have been drooling over forever, and some lovely fabric for a quilt for my mom's living room. What was more important, though, w\ere the therapeutic properties that spending some time talking quilts and fabric with my cousin. The four hours that we spent together not only allowed me to unwind from the crazy, but it also helped to fuel my creative juices again.

After we got home and I dropped my cousin and her bags of quilty goodness off at her house, I went back to doing some errands and getting them crossed off of my "To-Do List". However, they didn't seem as bad as they had before, because I had made some time for myself and taken some of the pressure off.

That evening, after a productive afternoon of crossing things off of my list, I dusted off my trusty Babylock Melody, broke out my ruler, cutting mat, and rotary cutter, and got to work on the quilt for my mother's living room. It felt so good to be crafty again, and I realized that- even if I only had an hour before I was so tired I wanted to go to bed- just an hour was all I needed to feel like I was back in a routine of having some "piece-and quiet" time for myself.

I think sometimes we let our hobbies go because we don't feel like we can take the time out of our hectic schedules to spend time on ourselves. Yet, taking an hour out of a crazy day to calm the mind, busy the hands, and make something beautiful can help give us the energy we need to get through all of the other things we have to tackle.

I am happy to have the creative juices flowing again, and look forward to sharing more with you all on the blog. In fact, I am thinking about starting some tutorials or online hangouts and would love to hear about what you'd like to see. Leave a comment and let us know what would motivate you to carve out some time for yourself in the week or what would help you to get those creative juices flowing.

Happy sewing!

- Shaylene

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