There they were
Mary Graceland: A quilt

Looking back and stepping gently in to the new year

Calendar

Well, hi there. Happy New Year.

I hung up my new calendar on Friday, just one day into the new year. We traveled home from Colorado on New Year's Day, arriving a little weary, but gratefully, at nine p.m. I have spent the last few days getting the house in order, doing copious loads of laundry, reacquainting myself with my kitchen (including a deep clean of the refrigerator) and settling in to the new year. Right now, the girls are upstairs getting ready for their second day back at school while Fatty is dressing for a day at work. I'm on my second cup of coffee and have a running metal list of all the things that need attending to today. I'm too lazy at the moment to put it on paper so chances are that I will forget something.

As is natural when the calendar page reads January, I have been thinking quite a bit about the last year and the year to come. I don't spend much time dwelling - no regrets here - but I do think about how I can change and adapt to be a better version of myself. Some years it is clear cut - I know exactly in which direction to head. Other years, it's a bit fuzzy. 2014 was one of those years - fuzzy all around - which has left me feeling like I am still in a bit of a cloud. It's hard to explain the feeling I had for most of the year. I felt like I was waiting (for what, I am not sure) and adjusting to small changes constantly. It was a year of reaction versus a year of action. While that may not sound too good, I am good with it. Again, no regrets.

I made a lot of things. And most of them did not make it to the blog. There were quilts and clothes undocumented. I did put most of them on instagram as I worked on them, but I also wish I would have taken the time to get out the big camera for photos and to sit and write about them in this space. This is something that I want to change in 2015 - more blogging! But, on a positive note, I am very happy that most of the clothes I did sew get worn often. That I consider a huge win.

Of course, I also did a lot of work that wasn't shared here or on IG that was for the book that I was working on for most of the year. Nine months of working on it and, in the end, my publisher and I decided not to publish it. Maybe that deserves a post of its own - I'm not sure. Regardless of my initial disappointment, I don't regret putting the work in and I don't regret the decision to let it go. I know it was the right decision for many reasons.

2014 was the year that I taught my first few quilting classes. Along with a friend, I also taught sewing to a group of 8th graders from Kate's school. It turns out that I enjoy teaching! It is so much fun. I really felt in my element when I could share my skilss with others and loved seeing things click for people. I hope there are more teaching opportunities in 2015.

In the spring, I went to Sew Down in Nashville. It was a great weekend away, with like minded quilters, in which I was able to connect with longtime friends, meet some new ones and learn from some amazing teachers. Likewise, in October, I traveled to the Catskills for a creative weekend with Heather Ross and Denyse Schmidt. Again, it was great to make real life connections with other creative people. I thoroughly enjoyed both of these experiences and cannot wait for more of them in 2015. QuiltCon!!!

Personally, I spent a lot of my time trying to manage my time and schedule. I did not expect that when Jane started high school, I would be the one who had a hard time adjusting. Two kids and two schools means splitting my time in a way I haven't had to before. It also means a whole lot more driving and awkward phone calls to parents I don't know every time there is a social event or sleepover. The extra driving did bring about the return of carpool and waiting room knitting so that was a win. But, still, I think one of my biggest challenges is finding the balance between letting the girls sink or swim. It's hard to watch them struggle even a tiny bit, but I know that they need to spread their wings at the same time. I guess that's parenthood, right?

I often choose a guiding word for the year, but so far I have come up empty handed. What I truly want for 2015 is to let go and just live my best, to surrender to love and light, to be present in all I do, to enjoy the moment instead of worrying or thinking about what is to come, to work on the things that bring me joy. Is there a word for that? If so, I'm at a loss as to what it would be. But, I do think that somewhere through the clouds, there is a path. I'm going to try to follow it, one foot in front of the other.

Comments

Ana

My words for the year are summed up in your last paragraph "Be Present and Simplify." Happy New Year and all the best!

Lecia

Well said, Erin. You inspire me. xo

Barbara OC

Happy and content are two words I would describe how you want to be. I want that for myself too.

Can you give me an idea of your book that unfortunately will not be?

Wishing you happiness and contentment this year and always. Consider this ((( ))) a hug.

Teri

Hi Erin, You inspire me so. I hope we can get together again to quilt. But I am reading on your list of books and have made 4 hats. So there you go. How is that for inspiration. Happy New Year! XOXO

JCasa

Happy New Year to you, Erin! What a lovely, thoughtful post - I connect with so much that you write despite us never having met in person (yet!), and this deeply personal entry is no exception. You have been one of my mainstays during the nearly 10 years I have been blogging and I have truly enjoyed this camaraderie of stitchery + motherhood with so many wonderful souls like you.

I glean from Instagram that you have been involved at your girls' school a great deal over the years and am so happy you have enjoyed teaching! DO continue, as I am sure you are a natural :) I am most certain your horizon is filled with countless creative endeavors that will continue to enlighten and inspire others including me. Wishing you the very best and looking forward to staying in touch! xoxo

bread and buttons

Great post, full of insight and wisdom. I'm so sorry about the book I was really looking forward to it. I love your last book and refer to it constantly for advice and inspiration. Perhaps you'd consider self-publishing it either as a book or digitally? I'd be your first customer:)
Wishing you love and joy for 2015,
Josie xoxo

Michelle

How about "There is a path?" make it a phrase, stop looking for the perfect synonym, and just go with it. I like it. I was coming up empty as well, but an going with New. Bummer about the book. Being ok with the decision? Kudos to you.

I hear you on the schedules and the sink or swim: I have a senior (sob, part of my guiding word), an 8th grader and a 4th grader. Deep breath/sigh. Love those girls.

Emma

Thank you for your enlightening article. Perfect for middle of the week reading.

leslie

i can't wait for more of your photos and posts this year.

i love the list of what you want 2015 to be. the entire last paragraph should be printed and hung by your computer. it's perfect.

xx

Cindy

I always enjoy your posts. Our kids are the same age and I feel the same. Pulled in different directions! Hard to keep focussed or on track. My words of the year is simplify and joy.

julia

happy new year erin! i hope this year brings you lots and lots of joy and continuing down the paths that support that. i love coming back here to read about your projects and your thoughts on life. i'm glad you're going to keep writing and sharing. xo

amisha

This is a beautiful post, Erin. I hope that I'll get to see you in person in 2015-- spending the weekend sewing with you was such a joy! I'm so happy that teaching has been so rewarding for you. I remember you talking about it in New York and it sounded like you were a natural.
I'm also excited that you'll be sharing more of your projects here in the new year! I always love hearing your reflections on the things you've made and your creative process.
Wishing you a new year filled with love and light!
xo

Jenny

with posts like these, im sure we would be best friends if geography were different! im sorry to hear about the book, but excited to see what comes next for you.

Katie

Thank you for this. Blessings to you as you put one foot in front of the other.

Bridget Perry

Hope you have a great year Erin! I hope you come through on more posts. :) You have always inspired my over the years and your blog is one that I always still come back to.

sulu-design

Happy new year, Erin. I'd love to read a post about the book you started and decided not to publish. I think that knowing when to stop something, to put it to rest even when you've put a lot into it, is a good lesson for a lot of us. It took me a long time to be comfortable with the fact that I stopped teaching after 10 years, but eventually realized what good changes it brought into my life. Anyhow, I'd love to hear your thoughts on that sort of thing in the context of your book. I'm looking forward to seeing more of you in this space this year.

Melissa Q.

Wow. Don't know how I missed this. No book, huh? I can only imagine what a grappling it was to come to that decision. As you said, you don't regret the work...it's sure to translate into something else (even more) amazing. That's so often how things work! Seems it has been an extraordinary year so far!

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