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1 In Blog/ Lifestyle

When things don’t go as planned

Its almost the end of August. The past couple of months have flown by in a blur of stress and emotion and anxiety and frustration, and things are about to get real here, so bare with me. I have bailed on projects and shifted commitments. I have gone through the most stressful situation that I think I have ever had to go through in my life and am now just coming out the other end. 

To make a long story short I started having panic attacks that would be triggered by the smallest of things. Any time of the day, I would need to hide until I could compose myself. It had gotten to the point where I felt like a failure. No matter what I tried, nothing could get me out from under the cloud of feeling less than. Getting help was scary. The thought of being medicated was scary. Would I still be me? Anything was better than how I was feeling. Finally, after months of my inner turmoil I sought out professional help and talked to my doctor. She prescribed me anti-anxiety medication and instructed me to reduce as many of my stressors and stimulants as possible, including caffeine (WTF – give up my coffee!?), or else I’d be on sick leave.

So this is what I’m working on. I’ve accepted the fact that my panic attacks were caused by underlying stress and that the panic attacks themselves were not the issue. I’ve accepted that I wasn’t able to complete things on time, and vowed to get them done when I felt I was ready to. I’ve accepted the fact that I don’t have to do all the things, even though I want to. This is an ongoing process, and one that hopefully over time will become easier.

I am 100% willing to let go of something if its becoming “too much”, or starting to cause anxiety because my health and sanity aren’t worth the stress.

I am learning where to spend my fucks and totally okay with having zero fucks for something – see previous sentence.

I don’t like to fail – I’m sure not many of us do – but this process has taught me to not overbook myself, to only take on what is manageable at the time, and that its okay to say NO. Because I’d rather say no than disappoint someone.

And so now is the time where I rebuild myself, slowly. I still find my heart pounding and mind racing when I lie down at night, but I’m working on slowing down. Focusing my energy on projects that are important, and not ones that are spur of the moment. Taking each day at a time.


2 In Blog/ Lifestyle/ Quilting

A new year…

Sew Fine Thread Gloss

2018 has finally arrived. I’m happy that its finally here because I feel like the second half of 2017 was a rough 6 months. Too many illnesses, deaths, rough times, harsh realizations, etc. for it to be enjoyable. I know there will always be hard times to be had, but I’m happy that I feel like my invisible internal reset button has been hit, even if thinking this way helps me to focus on what’s to come. One of my realizations late last year was that, even though I absolutely LOVE the hustle and bustle of a good craft show, they might not always be worth the work, for me, in this stage of my life. That’s not to say that I won’t apply for the next big Ottawa Etsy show this fall, but I’m definitely scaling back on them. One of my goals for 2017 was to focus on more “me” projects, which I have! And funny enough, I’ve had more custom quilt requests than I can shake a stick at! By focusing on the “me” projects that I enjoy – most of which have been quilts – I’ve gotten more interest in people wanting me to make quilts for them. Funny how things end up happening that way. But in 2018 I will continue to work on projects that bring me joy.

So now I’ve got to find the balance, as I have a tendency to take on too much at once and get overwhelmed. I have only taken on a few freelance design projects recently, but have also turned down a lot. Saying no to a project is very hard for me – I have a habit of wanting to help people. But I’ve stuck to my guns and said no. Its really hard saying no.

Another “re-sew-lution”, which is a partial continuation from last year, is NOT buying any new fabric. Unless its for a commissioned quilt, or I need something small to finish a WIP, I do solemnly swear that I will not buy any fabric that does not have an immediate purpose. Its in writing now, so I’ve got to stick to it.

On the quilt pattern front, I’ve got two projects coming out in magazines early this year! Having a pattern published in a magazine was one of my goals for 2017 and, even though they weren’t out last year, the wheels were turning. I have an EPP mini quilt coming out in the next issue of Make Modern Magazine (sneak peek in the top photo!) and a FPP throw quilt and pillow set coming out at the end of January in issue 57 of Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine! I’m SUPER excited to be a “published” quilt pattern designer, and look forward to creating more fun patterns in the future. I’ve got an entire sketchbook filled with ideas. Now to just find the time to make them come to life!

Make Modern Magazine EPP pattern

A new project that I’m really excited about has taken form, and is close to its “official” launch. I’ve started making a beeswax based thread conditioner called Sew Fine Thread Gloss!

Sew Fine Thread Gloss - Natural

What happened to be rather serendipitous, I started talking to a few sewing/quilting friends here in Ottawa about the beeswax based thread conditioner that I’ve been making, and what they thought. Would the people in our local sewing and quilting community be interested? Do a lot of people use thread conditioner? I personally have used Thread Heaven, but wasn’t a huge fan, which was my main reason for making a beeswax based thread conditioner. After some thorough research, a basic business plan, a funny product name, and one recipe, I soft-launched here in Ottawa at Mad About Patchwork. The response I got was fantastic! Could this be something? Next thing I know, I hear that the owners of Thread Heaven had retired and closed the business. Wow, so there’s a hole in the market for thread gloss! Could this actually go somewhere? I’m determined to find out, and do things the proper way – I’m registering the business, getting all of my little business duckies in a row and diving head first into official entrepreneurship. Am I crazy? I’m still working a full-time job that I love! Will all of my business and marketing training actually pay off? I guess time will tell. In the meantime, I’m happy making something to help people make things, instead of just making things for people to buy. Does that make sense?! Yes. Yes it does. Wish me luck!