Riley Blake Fabric Challenge

I’ve taken a step back from quilting after the rush I went through to finish my last competition quilt. The joy of quilting was lost in the frenzy and not qualifying really sealed the need for a break. Weeelll, way back in the throws of quilting happiness I had signed up for the Riley Blake Fabric Challenge, but optimistically thought I wouldn’t be chosen for the free fabric draw.

How it works: They mail you fabric, you create something quilted with it, enter it and possibly win a prize. If you receive a free fabric cut you are agreeing to enter. Otherwise it jeopardizes the future of such competitions sponsored by fabric manufacturers.

As you might have guessed, a little padded package arrived in the mail with 3/4 yard of Sashing Stash by Riley Blake. Ugh. I had so little motivation. finally a month before the deadline, I started collecting some coordinating fabric only to receive word the deadline was extended two months over an unexpected mailing issue of some sort.  Did this motivate me to start? Not really. I had my fabric ordered, but without a solid idea for the design, I was largely unmotivated. Even the lady at the local quilt shop told me I better get moving.

inspiration undies

Then, folding the clothes, you know, like I do EVERYDAY!, I happened upon a moment of inspiration from these Victoria Secret undies. The design is meant to mimic cross stitching and after much searching online I couldn’t find the pattern, so I made my own, using these as a guide.

quilt pattern

The pattern. At least how it started. I did simplify some for the sake of size and time.

And I give you the Caught in a Cross Stitch quilt.

Cross stitch quilt

The provided fabric (sashing stash) is the black and white fabric.

Ahead of schedule I might add. The entry deadline is May 31st.

Moods of Motherhood

weehoo sat

Saturday they forced me into a Weehoo Ride. I came out in the garage to find them waiting…

napping house

Followed by the Napping House where EVERYONE was sleeping! (for TWO HOURS!!) A Mother’s Day weekend miracle.

I had a fantastic Mother’s Day this year. It’s probably the first one I’ve spent with my own mother and both sisters since I became a mother seven years ago. It was pretty significant. There was the mother’s day tea in John’s preschool class, complete with adorable gifts, a song and muffins. Brendon made me cards and wished me Mother’s Day bright and early with a hug and a kiss. I went on a five mile bike ride Sunday morning and came home to a bountiful brunch all made by my hubby (he’s a keeper!) complete with a box of cupcakes from Sublime! My brother in law and his girls came over for brunch and brought me flowers. He’s such a considerate man with a loving spirit. My in-laws did well raising their boys.

brunch

What’s that bread in the background you ask? Weellll, I’ve finally done it. Years of trial and error and we finally have artisan bread with the nice crunchy crust and airy holes. Thank you sis for helping in the process!!

the hubs

The man behind the brunch (he loves when I candidly snap his photo).

But there in the midst of it all, I was in such a dark place. It took hold earlier in the week and gripped me like something I had never experienced before. As much as I tried to shake it, this terrible mood, sadness and anger, crept back in every chance it could. I found myself lashing out at loved ones, being short with my clients and wishing I could hide under a rock and never be found. It was a desperate, dark and lonely place. I can’t say I have ever personally suffered from depression, but I have now seen a bit of what it must be like. A hole so deep and there is no way out.

Every season of life has its challenges for sure. Is this the fate of women in their early 40s, as they near the dreaded menopause era? Was it the bitter blessing in the selling of our North Carolina house? Our continued adjustment and unsettled feelings after leaving the military? An uncertain future of what lies ahead…I still don’t know what brought it on. If only I knew.

After brunch, hubby took the boys to his parent’s for a Mother’s Day visit. At which point, I melted into a puddle of tears for a solid 20 minutes. It turned out to be just what I needed as a catalyst for change. I wrote the majority of this blog, dove into work for 30 minutes and then followed that by a 30 minute run. I felt the gloomy clouds in my mind rolling away. My husband is an amazing man. He never asked me to be “happy” to “enjoy my day”. He just took it as it was and gave me space and free time.

We rounded out the day with a visit to my Dad and stepmom, complete with Brendon finally getting to hold some baby chicks and left with a bushel (or two) of eggs. Followed by an early dinner with the extended Walker clan and last but not least a photo of my mom and her girls. I think the last of these group shots was almost 15 years ago at our wedding.

Cardenas Sisters

A hen and her chicks

*A special thanks to my bestie Christie for her “fake it, till you make it” advice and for surviving me acting like a turd from time to time.*