I know you must think I fell off of a cliff. I posted on Lee’s Freshly Pieced blog as a guest host, (click *here* to head back over to her site for some great looking quilts) then went dark and silent for lo, these many weeks. Below is a composite of what went on, minus the rolling-of-the-eyes pictures while reading student papers and grading grading grading.
Besides grading, we got a new sofa, I made vats of a potato dish for our church Christmas party, sewed giant canvas bags for my grandsons’ Christmas presents (we gave them small tool boxes and broken electronics from the local TV repair shop, so they could take them apart with their new tools), decorated the Christmas tree, celebrated Christmas with my son and his family, pulled out an old block swap project then put it away, started on Secret Project A, Secret Project B (it is Christmas, after all) and then would up my time making Butternut Crunch Toffee and Christmas Caramels.
I have been feeling much like the grandma in the snow.
And then last weekend’s horrible events happened, and like you, everything in my world pretty much came to a halt, and I watched the news, read about the lives of the slain children, and cried and cried. And one really bad day, both my daughter’s and my tender emotions collided in a colossal disagreement over nothing, and I realized that the resultant tears on both our parts was more indication that our days would be forever changed by our concern for twenty-eight families in Connecticut. I wanted to write about it, but mostly I just wanted to gather a quilt around the closest child, read them good books and ward off the outside world to protect them. How to move from this wonky, capsized world back to Christmas?
Start slowly, by doing the things that right the world after a terrific up-ending.
I wrote Christmas cards. Thinking about those closest to me enabled me to brave the mall and do some gift-buying. I spent time with good people, friends, church friends, family. Many many years ago, after I went through my Horribles one tear-filled Christmas (a divorce), the counselor said that trying to get back into a routine would help everyone. So I made some toffee. Then my annual Christmas Caramels, while listening to Christmas carols.
And realized that I’m no good at making Wonky Stars. I can get the star “blades” on crookedly, a necessary ingredient for wonkiness. But I keep messing up the placement of the star blades direction, like the one above.
So I would lay them out, and invariably have to unpick one. I decided to plow through it, for if I left this project midway, I might never be able to get back in.
The stars turned out appropriately wonky, maybe more wonky than they should have. But more importantly, the stars are done. And I hope to find some time in the sewing studio to sew the companion blocks to this quilt.
Next week, we’ll be spending some time with my family, with my husband’s family, looking at lights, singing Christmas hymns at church. We’ll also be listening to Uncle Earl play Lady of Spain on his accordion (a rare treat), celebrate the season with my Dad and Mom’s great cooking, and yes, like most families, we’ll tell jokes, admire the babies, trade stories of cancer, new furniture, failed toffee and failed marriages, changed jobs, successes in grad school, all of us sharing bits and pieces of our patchworked lives.
I wish you all the best of a patchworked Christmas!