Nora is Back…but not exactly in action…yet
Please pardon the prolonged pause in my updates. To say it has been a busy few months would be an understatement!
In September, I attended Quilt Expo in Madison, we traveled to Door County (have you been? you must!), remodeled our basement, enrolled Henry in school, celebrated both of my boys birthdays(ages 1 and 3), and celebrated my own birthday!
More importantly, on my birthday– I celebrated the arrival of my new nephew! Birthday buddies for life!
And my creative to-do list can only be put off for so long!
In my hiatus I have yet to do any sewing– with a machine that is!!!
I am starting to feel like a total fraud– proclaiming my desire to learn to quilt but never actually doing it.
BIG PURCHASE REQUIRES BIG COMMITMENT?
But that is about to change–thanks to an investment that made my husband’s head spin! (More on that soon!) I’ve made a promise of total and utter commitment to my sewing endeavors to justify the purchase! Fiduciary responsibility is a reasonable motivator? No?
HAND SEWING: RELAXING AND PORTABLE!
Like Faye, I have taken up hand sewing which has been such a lovely addition to my days. I look forward to picking it up at the end of a busy day with my boys. I can drink wine, relax on the couch, watch TV with my husband, and my brain empties of all the worries and tasks coming up. My brain runs on the anxious side, and embroidery has proven to be rather therapeutic. As a result, I have found that I am more process over project, at least for now.
So far, I have completed a couple of small embellished embroidery items and even an initial attempt at a free-hand appliqué cityscape.
Applique just means sewing fabric on fabric, right? If so, then yes, appliqué has also been on my list of recent creative endeavors.
And a close up:
and another close up:
This counts as appliqué, right?
Please tell me the above looks like the start of a line of (colorful) brownstones?
Also how cute is that needle minder. Find it and more “FUNctional” notions from Needlegoods here.
WEDDING PROJECT–For the Pies….
Oh! I can also claim that I’ve helped my sister with a fun little project for her upcoming wedding. No sewing involved but still! I worked my left brain.
BOYS, BOYS, BOYS!
The truth is, my boys keep me busy.
My little Henry started preschool two days a week and Farm School one day a week! (Side note: my mom aka “Meemaw” takes Henry to Farm School where he has learned to feed the different animals, collect and wash eggs, sow wheat seeds, grind wheat berries for flour, brush a horse, use a wheelbarrow, and so much more! It is a beautiful place with the most fun lessons like “How to climb a fence.” How cool is that! A place that teaches kids to get dirty! I love it, but more importantly Henry loves it).
KIDS AND QUILTING…
Ok enough about my kid (sorry! I can’t help myself) my question for all of you is-
Do you enjoy hand sewing?
Do you find it calming, almost therapeutic?
Do you think about projects all day–even when you’re busy?
Do you think I’ll ever have time to quilt?
47 responses to “Nora is Back…but not exactly in action…yet”
Hand sewing is mostly what I do—a lot of applique & epp. Also hand quilt almost all of my quilts. The farm school sounds like so much fun !! Love the embroidery.
My evening is exactly like yours, watching tv with my husband, stitching and a glass of wine. Perfect way to wind down at the end of the day.
I am always impressed with bloggers, the short lesson, must take awhile to create. So you don’t need to apologise. I love the concept of farm school. Lucky boy to share those hours with Mee maw. … could be a whole new theme coming soon!
Let me guess…your big purchase is a $25K Longarm that is making Hubby’s head spin? You can only hold out for so long! As for Henry, I would LOVE LOVE to go to farm school and I am 6 decades older. That sounds like so much fun. Yesterday I spent 5 hours harvesting 16 sweet potato plants. You have to escavate these things out of the ground where I live. They are long and twisty and turn in the dirt and if you are not careful they break easily. No quilting for me…it was hot and dirty work. Today, off to a Thomas Knauf message quilting class today through my guild!
I love hand sewing but have ‘overuse’ syndrome, so I stick to machine quilting now. Enjoy your boys now while they are small–you will have time to catch up later!
Love your “city-scape”!
I began to quilt when my boys were little. I worked second shift as a nurse, Mom put the boys to bed. When I got home he earphones went on and I would quit to relax after a long day. My boys are 45 and 47 now and I am still quilting!
Door County is amazing. A friend got married on Washington Island in fall – so gorgeous!
I like hand sewing – I even enjoy sewing down bindings. In fact. for the first fifteen plus years of my 38 years of quilting, I exclusively hand quilted – so relaxing.
I’m hoping the purchase that made your husband’s head spin is red and white and has lots of accessories!
I do no hand sewing – I rarely thread a needle -but I want to change that. I think it would be wonderful to be able to take a small project anywhere. I did buy paper hexagons over a year ago so I could learn EPP. Does that count? BTW -farm school sounds great.
If you like embroidery you should try cross stitching. My favourite patterns are from bent creek, are easily done in front of the tv and are very relaxing! Embroidery shops are equal to quilt shops for me!
Nora, it’s so beautiful! …all of it, your embroidery, the brownstones, those sweet babies, farm school..it’s such a rich beautiful life. I’m with Lorraine, I want to go to farm school :).
My unasked for advice, as a fellow worrier (or thinker, as it’s referred to in my family) is, don’t do anything you don’t want to do, just enjoy the heck out of that stage of life.
Im going to take my own advice now and go root through my patterns and material, look for inspiration and then practice a FMQ motif from Lori’s book,..my pears looked like pheasants last time
Farm School? Cool. I agree that the boys are only young once, so put quilting on your list “under” them. Unless, that is, you decide to send them off to work…on a farm full time! Then you’ll have gobs of time to quilt! 😛
Hand work is nice to have around when I want to watch TV with my hubby. But I’d prefer to keep the machine rolling and make faster progress. Especially since arthritis is setting in my digits.
Enjoy those boys! Mine are 32 and 29 now, but three little grandsons are my distraction now. Can’t turn those distractions down. And don’t forget to teach them to sew on a button someday. One summer I taught my young sons to do so. I showed up at the church on Alex’s wedding day and found that one of the groomsmen had a button fall off. Instead of waiting on Mom to show up, Alex sewed it back on. (Proud momma moment!!!) 😀
Hi Nora, I think about my projects all the time. I work full time and I do wonder will I ever get to finish some of the projects I have going on as well, as the new ones I want to start. I do enjoy hand embroidery and I am still learning to make the different stitches. Your embroidery gives me inspiration to want to lean more. As far as quilting, I find I am getting better with the more I practice. Thank you for your inspiration!
Hmmm, I think I saw you leaving Quilt Expo on Saturday with one of my personal favorites! I won’t give your secret away, but you will have fun! Looking forward to reading more about your quilt adventure.
Alas, my arthritis has gotten so bad I can no longer hold a needle and thread. Your handwork is gorgeous, though. As far as having time goes, I an going to try constructing a quilted 3-D tardis. It’s worth a try.
I love to do hand work, especially crewel embroidery (seems to be a lost art), but I do find myself pushing and pushing to finish the project. Can’t seem to do a little at once and put it down, but it’s like a good book and I can’t put it down at all.
I learned that I LOVE hand sewing!! I find it addictive, and therapeutic. I’ve got a pattern that’s done in wool applique, but I’m doing needle turn with cottons just so I can do needle turn! I’d done cross stitch for years before I took up quilting. My boys were small too, very small — I was pregnant with MY Henry (he goes by “Hank” 🙂 when I started quilting in 1999. (I remember gushing to my MIL one day when he was about 7 mos old that he spent an ENTIRE HOUR in his walker and I could sew! If you enjoy this craft, you will find time for it. But back to hand sewing. Yes, I love, love LOVE hand work! Even binding a quilt. I put off learning needle turn applique, because I didn’t have time to work on what I already wanted to do, how would I ever fit in one more thing. But like so many others, I learned that I can take it with me, pick it up at any time, work in increments. And oh yeah, I really REALLY like handwork. And yes, I am always thinking about a quilt project when I’m at work (ahem, like now! 😉 or doing something else. This morning while getting ready for work, an idea for how to quilt a jack-o-lantern, a new quilt job I picked up last night, popped into my head. It’s like my brain is working in the background and has “free space” to think about quilt projects when I’m not (actively) thinking about quilt projects. Don’t stress yourself out too much about what you’re doing or not doing. It’ll all come together. And please don’t ever apologize for talking about your kids! They are our own pride and joy and I loved hearing this story! And oh my gosh!! How FUN is Farm School?!! Can I go? I would have loved his as a kid, especially the learning to brush a horse! (‘course all the farm kids just called this chores! 😉
I do like hand work. I am taking a Sue Spargo embellishment class in a couple of weeks. You will enjoy your big purchase. You should buy the most machine you can afford, you will be surprised by all the options that will make your quilting life easier. Enjoy!
I enjoy hand sewing (except hemming suit pants!!!!) especially hand applique..needle turn as well as wool embroidery. I always have something to take when we are going away!
LOVE your embroidery projects–so pretty! And yes, definitely looks like you’re building houses.
I love the idea of farm school–*I* wanna go!!!
Once you get your machine set up, and you can leave a project ready to go, you’ll be able to figure out how to do a little bit of quilting in the evenings. I find it works best to allow for an hour, after my kitchen clean-up chores. 🙂
I have done handwork since I was a child. I now count quilt binding as handwork and do it more in the evening. I also have a hexi project as my take-along handwork when I have to wait. You will eventually have time for quilting. Enjoy your boys. They will grow up in the blink of an eye! My three did!
Who knew there was such a thing as farm school?! I wanna go! (No comments about the decades difference in age!)
Try some EPP. Its hand sewing and making a quilt top all in one project. If unsure where to start, check out Violet Craft’s You Tubes or check out La Passalgia (La Pas for short) on Instagram, Facebook, Pintrest, or you tube
Yes l enjoy hand sewing, embroidery, cross-stitch and quilting. Find it very relaxing.
I also get to go to the farm everyday to look after the ladies ( horses). This is also very relaxing, especially when the work is all done and you get to ride or just find a quiet spot to watch them graze.
Remember the days that were busy with work, children and there passions. Enjoy,!
Spend a lot of time quilting and learning to free motion now, Thanks to your Mom l am getting quilts finished.🎆 Lol and having so much fun in the process.
Thank you so much !
I love hand work in the evening. You will find time to fit sewing into your busy schedule…a few minutes here and there adds up.
I do enjoy the peace hand sewing (embroidery and binding), but I most enjoy getting things done more quickly by machine. There are too many quilts on my to-do list!
Farm School sounds like pure bliss! Wish I could come too. I especially love cats and horses and just being around stables. Years ago, my sister owned horses and we used to ride together. All of that is long over now, but I cherish the memories and content myself with 3 adorable kitties and one great big loving dog who’s about the size of a small pony!
I’m one of the oddballs who really dislikes hand sewing except when making clothing. I like to hand-stitch zippers and hems because I was taught that way and I believe the end result looks better done by hand. Embroidery, cross-stitch and crewel work are just not for me – they take too long. If I’m making a small quilt I might finish the binding by hand but if a large one, I’ll definitely machine bind because I just don’t have the patience to do it by hand. I’ve also developed a bit of nasty arthritis in my left thumb joint and some days it’s quite unpleasant.
You’re embroidery is very lovely!!!!
Hi Nora, I always have a hand project for trips, evenings, appointments, etc. I also find it very relaxing. I also love to knit but do a lot more quilting than knitting. I love your projects!
I have 3 boys and when they were little taught them how to use my sewing machine. I still have a “knitting bag” that my oldest son made me when he was about 10. It means the world to me!
Beautiful embroidery work. I do very little hand piecing of fabric, but like to have an embroidery project (or 2 or more…!) going all the time. Your sweet boy on the farm is adorable. What a great time he must be having! Hope you get to the joy of machine sewing soon.
Nora, you do beautiful embroidery! You are right about hand work being relaxing, because it truly is. Nora, you should really check out wool applique. You would be so good at it, and then if you want, you can quilt the cotton borders, if appropriate. Enjoy those little boys because they do grow up so quickly! On a side note, my sister’s family also holds a farm school in early summer in central Wisconsin. It is known as AgriVenture.
Hi Nora, welcome back. I’m impressed you have time to even write! Two boys, a wedding, husband and most likely a myriad of other must do’s around the house!
Simply love Door county for its quaintness, beautiful scenery and the goats atop the building! I started out with hand embroidery projects and loved doing them til I found quilting, or did quilting find me😂? Think about my projects all the time and sometimes I even come up with a different or better idea for one or the other. That can be dangerous because it usually involves another trip to the quilt shop!
you will have time, but you’ll have to be prepared to take advantage of snippets of time. I took my first quilting class with 3 under 6. everything was hand done, and I gave up cause progress was so slow. 10 years later I decided rotary cutting and machine piecing was ok. (I saw my grandmother’s quilts from the 30s and 40s – machine pieced!) now I have an empty nest and quilt for hours almost every day. the important thing is not to miss a minute from those boys when they’re awake. you won’t believe how fast the next 15-20 years will fly by!
I find hand sewing very relaxing.
I LOVE the Farm School! I’ve never heard of anything like that before. It sounds like so much fun!
Wish we had the option of farm school where we live. My granddaughter would love it!
Happy stitching, whatever way you choose to pursue it. Look forward to learning about your investment/surprise.
Loved reading what I suppose to be Nora’s Post. Two children aged 1 and 3. What beautiful days! God bless you all! Love, Laura Rees
I really don’t care for hand stitching. In fact, I do whatever I can to avoid it. A few years ago I tried EPP but didn’t even get enough of them made to make the purse that I had as a goal. I did enjoy counted cross stitch when my kids were little. I have pleasant memories of bouncing the bouncy seat with my foot while stitching. Your embroidery is lovely.
We had our first trip to Door County this summer as a family vacation. It won’t be our last! What a beautiful, relaxing, fun place to go. We especially enjoyed a pizza place that had adult size peddle cars. What fun that was!
The farm school really sounds fun. I might have to check that out for my 2 grandies. Hopefully I can find one that’s not too long of a drive.
I applaud the farm school. It’s always great when kids can find joy away from a tv screen or other device.
As for Door County, I live in Wisconsin so I try to get there at least a couple times a year. It’s particularly gorgeous right now with all the colorful leaves.
As for sewing, I step away periodically too because there are so many other things that need to be done, but when I step back in, I find that I’m glued to the machine to the point that it’s hard to pull me away. Balance is good.
Too bad every three year old can’t go to farm school. Henry looks very focused on his tasks. A good lesson for us all.
I have one hand sewing project and one machine sewing project on the go, so I can decide which one I feel like doing. My machine lives upstairs in my sewing room so a not to be too noisy when hubby is watching the TV, whereas I can do the hand sewing anywhere. Generally I hand sew of an evening during the week and machine sew at the weekend, unless I have a deadline. The hand sewing initially started as I used to take my teenage son around the country Ten pin bowling – gets a bit boring just sitting there all day with nothing to do, so then I got to talk to people who asked what I doing. Unfortunately he is now off at Uni so no longer doing the rounds.
I love to have a handwork project going! I have recently completed all the blocks for my first EPP quilt. All the blocks are joined and await border treatment. I also love needleturn applique and have recently been relearning embroidery stitches. I love your two projects!
I think farm school is the most amazing thing I’ve heard of in forever, I guess. What a great learning experience for your little one. I do some handwork, but mostly just finishing my quilts. I like to finish the binding by hand. Good luck on your quilt project.
I wish more kids had access to farm school. What a great idea. Henry is a lucky boy.
OH! I love all of the comments here. All of you make me happy to know you.
Nora, each day we savor every moment, even the moments doing stuff we do not want to do…. but when we can just relax and create something like these incredibly beautiful embroidered designs in hoops, well, this is big time happy.
Life is good, with family it is THE BEST
I love that your son is able to go to Farm School! That sounds wonderful!
I have a hard time relaxing when I’m hand sewing…The only thing I hand sew is the label on the back of the quilt! I tend to poke myself more than I’d like and sitting still is hard for me. As for thinking of projects…I even think of projects in my sleep! I figured out how to finish a recent project while I was sleeping! It might explain why I wake up tired! hahaha I also keep a sketch pad by the bed, in my purse and several through out the house, to jot down ideas. I’m originally an artist and have always done that so it seemed to just carry over to my new endeavor, quilting.
I think making the financial commitment will help you get quilting. When I bought my Tiara about a year ago I made it a point to work on quilting as much as possible. It just takes finding a time for you to quilt, but with little ones around, you don’t want to miss any of those moments! They grow up way too fast!
I enjoy hand embroidery, and am taking classes in Embellished Embroidery!
Ok, Nora! You know we’re dying to know what’s making your husband’s head spin! Since I have 3 embroidery machines (the oldest is for sewing & piecing, another is backup embroidery – trade wasn’t worth it & Viking Designer Diamond is 95% embroidery only), along w/ a new Babylock Evolution serger (that was a head-spinner!), so I know a bit about expensive machines. I don’t have the space for a long-arm or that would be in the picture, but I do have 2 floor frames for when it’s my turn to host the hand-quilting group. I also understand how busy life gets with kids — & boys are so energetic (I had 2)! I love the Farm School concept! I’m looking forward to your next post.
I learned to quilt when my boys were a bit older than your boys are. You just have to ‘find’ some time here and there. I’ve never heard of a farm school before. How cool! I’d love to go to that school.