Monday, February 10, 2020

The Book That Might Have Been

Bed of Roses EPP Blocks by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt


First, let me say . . . thank you.

I wish I could put more into those two words. They don't even begin to convey how full my heart is after reading all the beautiful comments you left on my blog and Instagram account over the past week. I had no idea -- truly, none -- that I would receive so much love and encouragement from so many people. It was really helpful to listen to you talk about your own struggles with finding balance (Isn't it always such a relief to know that we're not alone?), and hearing how much my stories and patterns and books have touched your lives just meant the world to me. I wish I could take each one of you out for a nice long chat with coffee and cupcakes and all the hugs. You are such a blessing to me!

I took my last dose of antibiotics this morning, and it looks like my body is slowly returning to normal after getting pummeled so badly for the last two weeks. Scaling back on all my commitments will, I hope, keep it that way. I've been dealing with massive fatigue, partly due to the medicine, but my energy is starting to come back again. This means, of course, that my typical instincts are kicking in to go-go-go, and I have to keep reminding myself that that's not the way we do things around here anymore. I feel utterly ridiculous trying to explain to people that resting is hard for me, but it really is. The guilt, the restlessness, the crazy way my mind can't seem to get off the hamster wheel when I'm lying in bed at night -- it's hard to break those habits when I've been doing life this way for so many years. A friend of mine was telling me yesterday how excited he was for me to have this chance to slow down. And I said that I'm happy about it too, only I feel like I don't quite remember how to do it. It's like trying to get on a bicycle again when you haven't been riding for twenty years. You're pretty sure you remember how this works, but you feel pretty foolish when you first get started. For so long I've felt like a slacker if I'm not being productive every single second of the day. So learning that it's okay to, say, enjoy a movie with my kids without feeling compelled to keep my hands busy with another sewing sample while we watch it is kind of a big deal for me.

Bed of Roses EPP Blocks by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

I promised that I'd tell you more about the book that might have been, the one that I've been working on for most of the last year. It was going to be called Carnival of Patchwork, and I've been living with it for such a long time that it's still hard to believe that it isn't going to happen. But if you all don't mind, I'd love to share a good bit of the finished content here on my blog over the next few months. It won't be as pretty as it would have been in print, but it will be something fun for you and me to enjoy together. The book was going to be all about playing with patchwork. I wanted to give you tips for playing with patterns, fabric, and thread along with some organizational ideas for your sewing room. And then there were the projects. I probably have at least a third of them done and several in process like the EPP blocks you see in the photos above which are destined to become a pillow. I'll be sharing these with you here and there and maybe giving you the gift of a tutorial once in a while. I would love to see some of these patterns come to life, even if it isn't in the way I'd originally planned.

One of my favorite parts of the design process is pulling inspiration from Pinterest to explain the style and feel that I want for a book. Here and here are the boards I had put together for Carnival of Patchwork. I'm just crazy about these colors and design elements, and they make me so happy every time I scroll through them. When I was on there today, I actually found a whole slew of secret boards leftover from when I was mulling over potential themes for fabric collections several years back. I've now made them all public, so be sure to drop by my Pinterest page to see all the new stuff if that's something you enjoy.

Well, I've got a small stack of papers to grade on my desk, so I'd better get to it before we have our evening TV hour with the kids. Right now we're going through episodes of The Phil Silvers Show (also known as Sgt. Bilko), and it's so much fun to hear my girls giggling like crazy over an old black-and-white show like this one. I hope your week is off to a lovely start, friends!

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