My way home.

Life was getting scary, so I wanted my dad. On Monday night, I grabbed an overnight bag and drove my car an hour down the interstate to my backwards little hometown as if it were an oasis of safety.

Here's how this thing works. I'm an (almost) 35-year-old woman who still wants her daddy when she gets scared. He's still my hero, the tall, warm man with a full beard and open arms who'll wrap me up in a bear hug and make it all okay.

When I was 13, I found out that my dad was a mere mortal, and I was so pissed off, so disillusioned, and so angry at him and with my step-mom. I felt like they'd colluded to keep me in the dark, keep me thinking he was a giant, a god. It was unconscionable, and I wanted someone to blame.

When I was in my mid-twenties, I realized it really didn't matter. He was still larger than life to me, even if he did falter and bleed and make mistakes at times. He was all the better for being real.

Now I'm incredibly thankful to still have my dad in my life, and my wonderful step-mom. They have both been so forgiving, so kind, so always present.

There's a children's picture book I love, one that I discovered when Eliot was a baby: Maryann Cusimano's You Are My I Love You. It begins:

I am your parent; you are my child.
I am your quiet place; you are my wild.

(You can find the fulltext of the poem here, and a very cool photography project based on the book here.)

I love this book so much; it captures for me my feelings as a parent to Eliot, but also my feelings as a daughter to my parents.

And I'm very lucky in that my parents ARE my quiet place. They ARE my way home, my nightlight, and my lullaby. They've always been all of these things for me, even when (most when) I didn't deserve it at all.

I have two sets of parents who care about me, 'cause I'm lucky and spoiled like that.

AND, Pam and Dad have a mop bucket full of barbecue sauce in their laundry room.

I don't know. If anyone ever wonders how I came upon my penchant for the absurd...you might start here.
I'm just sayin'.




I started this blog in 2007, when my son Eliot was just a couple of months old, and I think one of my New Year's resolutions every year since then has been to post more often. Ha! I'm not even making that a resolution this year, but it is sort of an intention of mine. My official New Year's resolutions are much more vague: to accept the gift of uncertainty, to let go, and to show up. I'm not going to go into all of that and just exactly what it means right now because right now I want to talk about sewing. :)

At some point in 2012 I joined an online sewing/quilting community called Threadbias, and in January 2013, I started sewing with a Threadbias group called the NewBee Quilters. I think I've written about that here before, but basically everyone who wants to join gets assigned to a group of 12 called a "hive" and each month one person in that group is the Queen or King Bee, and everyone makes a particular 12.5 x 12.5 inch quilt block for the King or Queen and mails it to him or her. So at the end of 2013, I'd sewn 12 different types of quilt blocks--a great way for a new quilter to learn and practice--and I'd received 11 blocks of my choice from my hivemates in the month of June when I was Queen.

I wanted to go back and look at them altogether, so I made a lovely mosaic using Big Huge Labs:

At the beginning of the year, I didn't have much fabric at all; I was working mostly from scraps and bits I'd either foraged from my mom's stash or picked up at the thrift shops. By April, I'd started ordering fabric online because I couldn't resist all the gorgeous eye candy I kept seeing on Etsy and Fabricworm and Fat Quarter Shop, and the bajillions of craft blog posts that come through my reader.

I think my favorite of the past year was September's wonky house block. It's been a struggle for me all year to measure, cut, and seam precisely so that each block measures exactly 12.5 inches square when I'm finished. I'm not a math person, and even though I'm a perfectionist, I'm not good with precision. My personality very much lends itself to improv and wonkiness rather than perfect straight lines. Eliot says his favorites are August and November because the August square (churn dash) looks like a ninja star and the November square (converging corners) looks like a diamond sword from Minecraft. So there you have it. :)

12 months, 12 quilt blocks.

2014 = Ready for Round 2!