Can we start over? I mean, well, not at the very beginning, but it’s become clear that I need a restart button.
Ahhh! Such a dramatic opener! Truthfully though, the beloved Cookbook Quilt Along has been on my heart the past couple of weeks, as I’ve struggled to get my posts up on time and am now behind a couple of blocks. And yes, I’m pregnant and fighting lots of nausea and fatigue, but deep in my heart I know that’s not what has me out of whack. There’s something deeper…something putting a damper on my flame and I couldn’t pinpoint it until now, when I finally forced myself to look at this situation square in the eye and figure out what in the world is up.
And you know what I realized? There’s something missing….something that I can’t live without, can’t blog without, can’t post without…
I’m a softie to the core, and if you’ve followed my blog in any previous years, you probably know that I share my heart quite a lot. Some of you love it. Some not so much. It is what it is. I’m just not your typical quilt blogger. I’ve never been great at tutorials or blog hops or giveaways, and I stink at things like project round ups or sharing on Pinterest….but I love to write, and I can bear my soul, and I had to remind myself this week that that’s why I started this blog in the first place. In some ways it’s a journal, and in other ways it’s a portal to community- a platform where I can share my story, whether it be my experience trying a new quilting technique, a lesson learned in parenting, or the intention behind a new goal. Maybe you’re here because you like my pretty pictures or the way I trim flying geese, or maybe you can relate to something on a deeper level, or appreciate stumbling on some raw vulnerability once in awhile amidst a blog feed of perfectly perky quilts, clean houses, and happy smiles.
And then I remembered the 2015 Sugar Block Club where we did the “Beyond the Block” series- each month a new personal challenge. I shared about wanting to reach out more to my neighbors, about how I really want to work on my gratitude, and kindness, and positive thinking. I shared about my husband getting laid off from his job and us losing our first house….about my first panic attack in the car as I drove away from that house for the last time, and the person who drove by my stopped-and-slightly-in-the-way car and flipped me off as I struggled to breath. I craved writing those posts because they changed me, they challenged me, and perhaps they challenged some of you.
This year, as I set out to host a new type of quilt along- The Cookbook Quilt Along – a weekly (instead of monthly) series that works through the blocks in my latest book, I thought I had all of the ingredients for a fun year of quilt blogging….pretty blocks, happy photos, a cute logo, fun projects, and interesting quilts….but not even a third of the way through the year, and I’d already lost my steam.
The fact is, it’s really tough for me to hop online every single week and show you a facade of quilty perfection, each with it’s perfectly perky graphics and endless array of fabric eye candy, when behind the screen, life’s anything but perfect and perky. This past month I’ve been grieving the loss of one of my closest loved ones (my grandmother), and also trying to wrap my head around what it’s going to be like to be a mother of five. So much raw emotion…so much soul searching…so much change…so much struggle but also growth…(I’m crying as I write this….and at most things these days!)…and with my one post each week (because that’s about all I can handle right now) being dedicated strictly to quilt blocks, and only quilt blocks, I was starting to feel a little bit like a circus performer, whipping out a bag of tricks each week when underneath the makeup is a person who’s just wanting to be real and connect. Does that make sense? I hope so.
So what does this existential blogging crisis mean? Am I giving it all up?? Thank goodness, no. The Cookbook Quilt Along is here to stay, but I am freeing it of some of my own self-imposed restrictions. Each week’s post will still highlight the block we’re making and share any tips/inspiration/ideas that I may have to offer, but I’m also going to allow myself to share other things….maybe something that’s on my heart, or maybe a non-quilt-block project I’m working on, etc. Just real life (plus quilt blocks). Things I want and need to write about in a less structured, less formal way.
Ahhhhhh. Thanks so much for listening. I am. I feel better. :) And now….now I’m going to go pop some popcorn, put on my comfy pjs pants, start sorting out our tax receipts, and forgive myself for making a mistake. Quilting will still happen…after taxes…and I’ll be showing you my blocks (we’re on Block 15- King’s Cross this week) once I finish stitching them up and can snap some pics.
For now, friends, stay real and carry on.