15 December, 2020

Seeing The Light

My last post was a November "wrap-up" post and today we are mid-way through the month of December; that's a good indication of the busy-ness of this season that's upon us. I'm sure it's the same at your house. I'm ordinarily very organized regimented(!) about my approach to decorating the house and preparing for Christmas. Typically, I assign a task a day in the beginning of December and then shoe-horn in all of the other extras such as baking, wrapping and card-sending. I encountered a huge stumbling block to this approach right off the bat this year. The pre-lit tree that goes up in the foyer (usually on the first Sunday in Advent), our Chrismon tree, decided to be miserly with its illumination this year, only choosing to allow a portion of the bottom third of the tree to shine. After an inordinate amount of time trying to trouble-shoot the problem Mr. Goodneedle got out his wire cutters and turned that tree into a no-longer-pre-lit version of its former self. We went out and bought strands of lights. 
Our Chrismon tree, shining brightly again in all of its glory. This task took much longer than its allotted time and was almost a week beyond my original schedule. It was right about then that I realized that this self-imposed schedule of mine was driving me crazy; (and not only me but, I'm sure Mr. G. too, although he never said anything) it was at this particular moment that I saw the light (and I'm not talking about those minis strung on the tree)! What was the rush this year? For the first time in as long as I can remember there will be no holiday hosting this year. A calm descended over me when I realized that I could carry on at a slower pace and truly enjoy these days leading up to Christmas 2020, I don't know that I've ever enjoyed the process more! 
In the days since my "awakening" I've slowly placed the nativity in the dining room and put the garland on the mantle. I've become reacquainted with our nutcrackers and other collected decorative objects that only come out once a year. I've addressed and mailed all of our Christmas cards and parcels. The gifts are wrapped. Just this past Sunday our family room tree went up. It has ornaments representing our lives together since we were married: (and even some from my childhood) our children, our grandchildren, places we've lived and friends and family who are no longer with us. It was cherished time on Sunday placing each treasure on the tree. 
This is the first ornament we hung as a married couple, back when our tree was small and the ornaments were sparse. 💓
And, this year, I've had time to sew- a Christmas (for display next year) quilt! I have enjoyed every moment spent on this one. These are the blocks of the day that Moda introduced in October, the Stitch Pink initiative; I chose to stitch mine up in Christmas fabrics, Moda's "Naughty or Nice"  fabric collection.
I was in love with the little elves...
...and tucked them in wherever I could!  I chose to make this wall quilt square and only used the patterns for the first twenty five blocks, but I have them all downloaded and in a notebook. I've decided to do the same with their current Winter Frost sew-along. Today's snowman block is simply adorable!
While I was stitching and joining the blocks another tumbler quilt was growing under my needle, leader-ender style. I've got a head start on donation quilts for next year already. How many projects can you work on at one time? I suppose, if I'm being honest, I'd have to say that I'm working on three right now- consecutively. 

Somehow, this cute and fun little scrappy is clamoring for attention too! Isn't it a-MAZE-ing? I've decided that I'm going to make a huge stack of these blocks and let the grandchildren assemble them on the design wall; won't they like that? Anything that makes a dent in the overflowing scrap bins makes me happy~ and sew on and sew on.  Lots more has been going on around Chez Goodneedle too, including some really fun adventures. I can't remember a time when I've actually sat and spent time sewing in December before this year, the leisurely pace comforts and sustains me. Baking is on today's agenda. Stay tuned; rest assured that all is well and that there's a wonderful peace attached to opening one's eyes and seeing the light!
It's just taken me forever to realize that!

Life is Good!


Unknown said...

What a great idea to let your grandkids play with your quilts squares on your design wall!!

I let my grandsons decorate the tree.
They are 7 and 8 and accidents could happen, but I let them decorate with only a bit of help and they are very careful.
They exclaim over each ornament and I tell them the history. And, their parents get a quiet holiday afternoon.
It has turned into a little tradition and is very enjoyable for all of us!

cityquilter grace said...

i can wholly agree with the sentiment in this post...my single parent years were overfilled with chaos and time crunches...this year it has been wonderful to relax and really internalize and celebrate the reason for the season...

Rebecca said...

I also did the Moda "Pink" stitch along. Instead of pink or Christmas fabric I went with a stack of fabric I have been dying and hording ( i mean collecting and curating) for several years. I set the quilt in black and then split the large quilt into 2 lap quilts because it was sooooo bright it was almost chaotic.

Janet O. said...

I have had a similar season. Taking things at a little slower pace--no real reason to rush anything with no parties to host or even attend. It has been a welcome respite from the constant scurry of past Christmases.
Loved seeing your trees. And I have had a similar experience in the past to the one you describe Mr. G. having with the wire cutters. I don't think they ever intend for you to remove the light strands from a pre-lit tree. :)

straythreads said...

Beautiful trees I had the same problem with our prelit tree. Now I string lights on every year. All those projects you are working on at the moment no wonder you get sew much done. I’m a one at a time sewing project until I get stumped then I’ll start on something else. Thanks for commenting on my blog the water color was done on a painting app I wish I could take credit. My grandmother went to Sweden inthe 1950’s and bought a dala horse for each of the grand kids I kinda remember her saying they were 50 cents each. I think they are over 100$ now. I didn’t buy any when I was there 10 years ago.
Merry Christmas enjoy the less busyness I’m questioning how much to bake.

Quiltdivajulie said...

We have several table top trees that are multiple years old (pre lit AND lights wound on by us). Since they stay decorated, when one set burns out or fails to light, I wind on another set in between the ornaments. At some point once there are 3 sets on a tree, I do undecorate it, strip off all the lights, wind on one complete set that is new, and redecorate. SUCH a process when one little bulb goes out! GOOD FOR YOU for slowing down and taking time to enjoy this time. (and we have one of those Hallmark ornaments dated 1977 when we spent our first Christmas in our first house)

Tanya said...

Wow! You're trees are gorgeous! And that quilt you've been working on is an eye-stopper! A slower, simpler Christmas goes right along with the Bible story so enjoy!

Nancy Near Philadelphia said...

Your Mazed blocks are looking good!