Summer Sewing
And here's another

Eight to go


Yesterday was a parenting fail. I feel like acknowledging that because I don't want you to think it's all rainbows and sunshine here. I'm human, after all. And I know that we all have those days. Well, I know that I do. And if you don't, then please tell me your secret. I could use some help from time to time.

My biggest hope is that the girls don't remember every single moment I fail them. I certainly don't remember those times when my parents mucked it up. And along that line of thinking, maybe seeing me lose it with them from time to time will teach my kids that we all have our moments, good and bad. And as we make our way through these pre-teen and teen years, it'd be good for me to remember this lesson of empathy, too.

At the end of the day, I had this quilt square. I sewed it while they were at day camp. It's huge - 24" - and the first of nine. The pattern is Swoon by Camille Roskelley. All of the fabric is from my stash and the white is Kona Snow.

If all else fails? I hope my kids remember that I made them things. And that I did all of it, good and bad, the praising and the yelling, because I love them so much. Surely they will know that.



Oh you are soo not alone. I'm realizing lately that I learn every time from these moments though, because recognizing my bad behavior is the only way to grow as a parent and to realize what works and what doesn't and when to recognize that I need some space and go have a beer. My girls are 5 and 7 and I am totally dreading 11 and 13 on up, please share as you go :)

Have a great, coool day!

Mama Urchin

Oh Erin. I have those days too. Tristan is still mad at me from yesterday. I really struggle with being understanding versus my responsibility to help them become good, kind, responsible adults. I haven't mastered the balance yet.

Mama Urchin

Also, I love the quilt block!

lisa echsner

So boring if we were perfect every day!!!


They will remember the good, surely. Sometimes a little of the bad, but as they grow older that gets tempered with humor ("Remember the time we made Mom so mad it looked like her eyes would come out of her head? Good times, good times.") The saving grace with parenting, I think, is the opportunity to start over again every day. Go easy on yourself.


I don't have those days actually...but that's b/c I don't have kids!!!! :) When I think back and tell stories about things from my teen years, I wonder how my parents got through it without killing me. You do so much great stuff both for and with your girls. That's the stuff they're going to remember.


Tell them you messed up and that you love them. They will remember that you love them and that it's okay to admit when you are wrong.


"Don't be so hard on yourself" is what I am always told when I have those parenting moments that leave me in the fetal position. So, Erin, "Don't be so hard on yourself!" Let me know if that works for you b/c it sure doesn't for me. =) Our kids will survive and so will we. Hope today is better. xo

Beth Ellen

My kids are 18 (boy), 16 (girl), and 13 (girl). Sometimes I scream, but I also often apologize when I think I am wrong. I want them to know that we all make mistakes and it's okay, and that it is good to apologize when you are wrong. When I am right, I stick to my guns whether they like it or not.
Teens, and especially teen girls, can run hot and cold from one minute to the next.
It is hard to break out of the mold of the way we were parented (both the good and the bad). I recommend reading "My Mother, My Self".
Breathe, and remember that they are "trying to grow" (A line from the book "The Hotel New Hampshire" by John Irving. Sewing and cooking always help me relax!


They will remember the good and when they are parents they will better understand the not-so-pretty days. :-) Having girls and being a girl - makes parenting very interesting. Just know, you are not alone!

The quilt block is pretty!


oh erin. we all most definitely have those days. it's how you learn + move on from them that makes the difference. it makes you who you are. xoxo


i know exactly how you feel. and that they will most certainly know! xo

krista - Poppyprint

Been there. Many times. I'm pretty sure they still love me even if they think I am a whackjob. Tough days are hard to shake, thankfully now that mine are 12 and 14 they are also very few and far between. Hope today is better.

That is one beautiful, mammoth quilt block!


I don't think any mother can honestly say that every day she gets it right, or very many days, for that matter. But I do think that our children will remember the big picture. The loving moments, that mama was always there for them. XOXO

nicke cutler

i have had days just like that. you are not alone. hope it is a better day today.

Sarah :: greenclogs

Hugs. And they don't remember - I know Lindsay doesn't. They know that you love them and that we all have ups and downs. Right now, I think you are at the most difficult mommy stage for girls. They are so tough from about 10 -15. At least that's my experience. Let me know if you want a book recommendation. I think it's saving my sanity this time around.

And that quilt square? Gorgeous.

Jodie K

Yup, I have them too and I teach jr. high as well as attempt to parent one! However, someone above said that every day is a fresh start and that is very true. All you can do is acknowledge the bad day and start fresh today. Hope it's better.


It's hard being a mom, I know this already with a 7 month old. But it' s also wonderful! ;) I am also making this quilt I just finished my 2nd square. Your fabrics are lovely!

Paty Z (mexico)

Erin don´t be so hard with yourself. Nobody taught us how to be a parent. I once heard that we are the generation that obeyed our parents and obey our children, give yourself a chance. We don´t have to do everything right, we make mistakes as our children do all the time. We all have good days as bad days and besides summer holidays are wonderful everyone wants to go outside ALL THE TIME but your work as a mom continues (cook, clean, wash, etc) and that can elevate the pressure in any household. Good luck, in the end they look so beautiful when are asleep. By the way I have 3 (18, 16 and 12).

Account Deleted

There have been days that I have literally called Peter to come home early and just reason with all of us. Everyone keeps joking(?) with me that 7th grade can be a very dramatic and hard social year. Holy &*(), worse than 6th??? Its really hard to imagine...

On a lighter note, I love your Swoon square so much, love the color choices, and especially the mix of big and small scale patterning (at least that's what its looking like from here). I can definitely picture a whole quilt of it, gorgeous.

Talk to you tomorrow? xo


I'm with you! There are some days when I feel like I just mess up one thing after the next where my kids are involved. Then there are moments when I feel really good about my mothering. I was once told that the fact that we care about our less than perfect mommy moments means we "are" good moms. My most important stragegy for combating the bad mommy moments is a nap -- for me! When I'm too tired, I can't take the deep breaths that give pause in the fiery moments of parenting. Sewing helps too. :-)


sometimes it's every other day here, but I'm still wiping messy faces and changing poopy diapers--at least that is behind you (ha ha, behind!) I read this post the other day:
and now I want my kids to get older super quick so we can read some pseudonymous bosch. Have you heard of him? His books sound awesome! Maybe a little distraction would be good for everyone.


You and I seem to be on the same crafting wavelength. I am currently working on the Alicia Paulson Alphabet Sampler, and I have just finished purchasing all of the fabrics for a Swoon quilt:)

I am with you on the parenting thing this week. I am looking forward to my school aged kids returning to school. My nine year old and my six year old have been constantly arguing with one another, waking their baby sister up from her naps and saying they are bored. I am blaming it on the oppressive heat and end of the summer boredom.


Oh I have been there. My almost three year old is quite challenging and it's hard to not yell. But it's good to admit the failure and try to be better next time!


ooh, thank you for this post and keeping it real. I am having one of those days, and right now I have my 6 year old watching tv while my 9 month old naps. I am on the computer for some mommy time, as my 9 month old has separation anxiety, so I can't step 2 feet away or he cries and my 6 year old is challenging me so much today. I have been yelled and I have been ready to pull my hair out. Thanks for keeping it real, and I can only hope tomorrow gets better. Thanks again!


nice block. :>)

Michelle Kendall

imagine...stay at home mom to three littles: 2, 3 and 5 years old, a husband who works at least 10 hours/day, and a nana {my mother} who lives down the block, but is fighting a losing battle to cancer. add a little ADHD into the chaos {mine and the 5 year old's} and rest assured that you are not alone. and what i mean by all of this is that this stress causes me to lose it way more than i think i could ever admit. and i fear every minute that my kids will run like hell when they can. but...i can honestly say that i am doing my best.

i'm sure you remember this song from when your girls were a few years younger:

"i'm not perfect, no i'm not. i'm not perfect, but i've got what i've got. i do my very best, i do my very best. i do my very best each day. but i'm not perfect and i hope you like me that way."


I don't have kids but I do know that my Mom had parenting fail days with us but as an adult I only have the vaguest memories of those times. I do vividly remember clothes she sewed for me, food she cooked that I loved, the way she took care of us and cared for the home & garden.

I do believe kids will learn as much from how a parent responds to a parenting "fail" as they would from a parenting "success". (again, no kids so take that with a grain of salt. I do have a degree in youth work though so maybe that counts for something)

All that (unsolicited advice) aside, I love the quilt block! I love the idea of a larger piece block. Partly because I think I'd have a better chance of finishing the quilt that way.


I have been having them daily Erin, so don't be hard on yourself. You are just entering the preteen and teen years and that's pretty much how it goes. I have had to remind myself to be patience and humor when they are getting to me. My oldest (14) runs on extra slow these days and it drives me nuts. Hang in there...and I hope today was better for you.


they without a doubt know you love them and will surely appreciate you are mil told me a story of her friend who locked the kids (2 girl, 8 and 10) out of the house because she was having a moment...the girls were not happy - at all - about this at the time and this moment literally haunted the mom for years. today? neither daughter even has any memory of this. it really is a wonder what they take away and what they keep ~ hugs to you.


Sorry yesterday was rough for you; I hope today was better. I've had plenty of rough days myself. Somehow Summer seems to have more of them...maybe because we are around each other more and our schedule is constantly changing unlike the school year? When those moments happen, I tell myself that as long as I'm not parenting as badly as Betty Draper, then I'm doing okay.

On the flip side, your block is beautiful. Can't wait to see the others. Your children will always remember all of the wonderful things you make and do for them.


That was our day today (sans the day camp and quilt block :) I mostly chalk it up to too much stress which is making me super grouchy and emotional. In the middle of preparing dinner tonight I was holding Henry on my lap as we both cried on the kitchen floor... oh hoping tomorrow is better : )

Love your block!


Oh, we all have those times. I too hope they will only remember the good and that they were loved so very much. Beautiful block, Erin. Deep breaths. You are a loving and good mom.


I would like to add that I think it's okay to lose it sometimes so that kids see that there are limits and that they can sometimes push you past those limits. Just to say, sometimes the kids need to see there are consequences to them driving us crazy. Does that make sense? (Mom to twin 7 year old boys, who tries not to lose it but does.) p.s. Your sewing is beautiful!


They'll know it once they are parents....but maybe not before. Then, they'll wonder how on earth you did any of it! Lovely square.


Thanks for posting this. I have bad moments, too. I look at my kids and I realize they are normal, sweet kids. I hope that is a sign that everyone else has bad moments and that a little bit of imperfect is normal.


Love this quilt and your fabric choice.


My daughter 9(almost 10) is actually already a teen in many ways!!!!
She runs on extra slow all the time & has since she turned 6!!!
It makes me so crazy. She is also in the cry over everything stage already and often uses it to get out of everything she does not wish to do which is anything we ask her to do!!! We are trying to teach her responsibility but she is not having it.
I have started to teach her to do her own hair & the first day she just kept crying.
When we went to the beach last week she cried & had a fit when due to massive amounts of seaweed we had to relocate to the other side of the beach. She totally freaked out because the other side would not work as well for her sand building!!!
She also lacks initiative & efficiency & sometimes I can barely stand it.
She is also constantly mother henning my 3 year old son which causes arguing!!!!
I love them both dearly but sOme days.....aaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!
All I know is I am doing the best I can & I am an awesome Mom who is human....
SO ARE YOU!!!!!!


Thank you for your humanity (and of course your ongoing crafty inspiration). It's so easy to idealize the authors of beautiful blogs like this, so I'm grateful for the reminder that we're all fallible, sprinkling the failures among the successes.

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