Friday, March 23, 2018

Quillows & A Change of Plans...

 Well hello! This Friday I find myself with a fresh cup of lemon/honey tea at hand, my faithful companion by my side, comforted by the hum of the fire burning as I emerge from having the flu over the past two days. (Well I technically still have it...just today I'm among-st the land of the living)  And yah! This strand did not have me running frantically to the bathroom every hour...more the chills, severe body aches, then fever, cough kind of flu....all which have finally calmed down but leave me isolated and with a huge change of Spring Break plans ahead.
But, seriously, when our life gets forced into a halt, how do you handle the change?  Honestly, I initially sound something like this: "Darn it! I don't have time for this!" I mean I realize that catching the most recent "bug" that is going around IS an occupational hazard in my line of work. Truth be told, it's been four years since I've caught it. So I guess it was inevitable. Never-the-less, not fun.
Image result for teacher  flu

Then, I start finding myself  going into one of my "life and learning" reflective modes with my new found time. Like right now. Here I sit realizing all my Spring Break plans of a 10K hike tomorrow, spending time off with my husband, visiting a local Vineyard on our way to see the grands, Grammy Camp....have all changed...cause I actually feel like this: (Though I really don't want them to go.)
Image result for funny change flu
 It's weird to suddenly find myself  "quarantined", completely exhausted, with no plans. Luckily the Easter Bunny has a "carrot" dangling, as next Friday I'm invited to go on a Easter trip with the my assignment:  REST! (Okay....but you all know me well enough to know, rest for me is a two mile walk. LOL!!!) But okay, okay I get it. REST. Hydrate. Luckily, my body knows what to do and my head has learned to listened.
Image result for rest
Now, back to answer my original question. I choose to make lemonade from the lemons when my life gets forced into a halt. I know from reading your blogs, many of you do too. I mean, I'm way disappointed. But in reflection I'm also grateful for the energy, activities and people that were to fill my Spring Break. These opportunities will come again.Until then, I need to choose a new happy. A Plan B. Like right now, I'm seriously channeling Matthew McConaughey as I'm beginning to think:
All Right, All Right, All Right...

Time for this gal to get sewing, quilting and stitching don't ya think!

 I just don't know how people survive without a hobby of some sort. A hobby is defined as something that is done regularly in one's leisure time for pleasure. I think you'd agree, that our hobbies keep us healthy. I know we all find life to be frustrating, disappointing and challenging at one time or another. But I encourage you to continue to choose happy even in those hardest moments.  So to answer my own question, that's exactly what I plan to do with my forced halt and sudden change of plans: I choose to ENJOY my hobby. I choose a new happiness as I play among-st my array of fabrics and projects because really:
Image result for choose happy

Ironically, I think sewing has always sustained me through life's ups and downs. Not one to sit idle, I'm reminded of the year I made everyone in our family a Quillow for Christmas.  My poor nephew's even had a few forgotten pins in his! (Ouch!!Sorry bud.) Our girls were toddlers and I was going through ChemotherapySewing took my mind off my troubles, helped me feel productive during a time I felt helpless.  I've been sewing since I was in Middle School and it has continued to sustain me when I have felt sick, lonely, sad and yes, happy. I'm grateful for our hobby and that I learned it young. It's truly my therapy, as I learned it is for many of you as well.
The girls, Christmas of 1993.

Out of curiosity, I just went upstairs and found I still have these Quillows in our blanket closet!
 They were made from a simple panel.
These measure 40" x 68".
A 15"x15" pocket was added to the back and I used a thick ribbon as a handle.
Trying to think what to do with these? They are still in good condition, but I have no grand girls to pass them on to. Any ideas? Foster Care kids? I just hate to see them not getting used.
I know there's tutorials all over the internet for these but as I get ready to participate in the H2H Charity Challenge  I'm totally inspired to make a quilt into a Quillow for my Happy Chemo donation. Well look at that! Once again, lemonade from lemons, as while writing this post, I've not only found a new happy but inspiration from that which was hidden away in the closet all along!
All Right, All Right, All Right, time to get sewing don't ya think. Well after a cozy nap. Stay tuned!
Remember to:
Image result for choose happy

I specialize in edge to edge  with over 100 designs to choose from.

Check out my Long-Arm Quilting page for details.
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  1. I really hope you have a speedy recovery! Four years!!!! That's amazing, I have had a respiratory virus seven or eight times since September! But the recent blood test results show low lymphocytes an indicator that my immune system is struggling, so I am pleased this flu season is nearly over. But I'm headed to Australia in May just in time for their flu season!

  2. I have only made one quillow before and that was my first ever quilt . This was where my journey began. It was hand pieced and quilted. The pieces were traced around cardboard templates and cut out with scissors. Where there is a will there is a way. Anything is possible.

  3. It is amazing what a forced quiet time will do for our thought process. I am so sorry that you got the flu. I am very thankful that I have managed to avoid it both at the High School and University that I work at despite one of my students telling me that all 5 of her roommates were sick with the flu. I hope you are feeling much better soon. I made a crocheted "quillow", (an afghan that folded into a pillow) many years ago and we have a fleece one somewhere too. Enjoy your stitching time.

  4. Sure hope you feel better soon!!

  5. Hi Val,lovely quillow my friend ,hope you are feeling better soon,not much fun being sick.
    Yes i know what you are saying about having a hobby,my SIL doesnt have any interests or hobbies and sits home all day doing nothing ,that would drive me crazy,lol,hope you have a lovely day Val xx

  6. Oh, I hope your flu only lasts a few days. Rest is the best thing and certainly your body does tell you to 'go slow'. I'm sure someone will take those quillows to be much loved once again.

  7. Glad you are over the worst of it. From those who've had the flu at work, I've heard this year's strain is particularly nasty. Like you, I just don't have time to get sick. But with age comes wisdom (at least that's one benefit of the process) and I've learned to let myself rest, usually with a good book I've been putting off because there's too much on my plate. Hope you are feeling better and have been able to make good use of your new inspiration.

  8. Life does throw us curves, and the lessons we learn from the hits and misses keeps us going. Feel better and fluids, then sew away those germs. Love your new direction for the quillows:)

  9. Get well soon. Your surviving cancer is awesome, you are truly a winner. How do people live with no hobby? Sewing has always been mine. 'Love the quillows.

  10. The flu this year has been horrendous! I only got it once when I was teaching, but it was a full week on the couch for me, I came down with it on January 1 and I'm still coughing up junk, but at least I no longer feel as though I went ten rounds with the heavy-weight champ! I hope you recover quickly and fully before your vacation is over. Keep making that lemonade!!

  11. Get well soon. When my quillow recipients got older the quillows went into their car. As pillow great to snooze in back seat and great to have the quilt if you break down and it is cold while you wait for help.takes up little room too.

  12. I hope you are feeling better soon!! I'm sure someone would be delighted to have the quillows, any child in need. Give Jackson a tummy rub, and take care of yourself.

  13. Hi Val,
    I hope that you are feeling better. I think that you should check with your daughters in case they would like to have the quillows for their children. Even though your first two are little grandguys, they would still enjoy the teddies! And who knows, one day there might be a little grandgirl!
    Pug Hugs to Jackson!

  14. I love your philosophizing in this post, Val! Yes, our hobby is like therapy. It's not just the creative outlet, though. I feel strongly that what really makes it heart- and mind-healing is that we are making beautiful, useful things *for other people to enjoy.* Our quilts are the physical embodiment of our love for those people, whether they are friend, family, or stranger. We are expressing love and hope, and that elevates us! Doesn't it always make us feel better to look outside ourselves and know we can make a difference? :)

    Feel better soon!

  15. I'm so sorry to hear that the flu is sabotaging your Spring Break! The teachers deserve a break even more than the kids do!! Hopefully you're done sprinting back and forth to the ladies' room and are at least getting some good sewing time done during your quarantine. I think you should be able to just move Spring break back a week or two and have yours once you're feeling like yourself again!


I have to admit, your comments make me smile! Thanks for sharing and for letting me know you stopped by. I Hope your day is awesome!


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