Plugging along

Hello friends.

I feel like I should explain why I'm not quick about responding to comments, why sometimes I take a long time in between posts, why I can't keep up with your blogs as much as I'd like to and why I don't often find a lot to say about what I am sewing.

And the answer is this joyous little guy here:

ferris wheel joy

He LOVED the ferris wheel last weekend!

Henry was diagnosed with autism in March.  We started looking for answers back in January.  Since then, so much of my time has been spent researching treatment options, making appointments, fighting with insurance, getting him started in school, adapting to his desire to ride the school bus (he's not even 3!), reading and networking, getting him into therapies, driving and more driving to see the best providers and more that I can't put into words here.  Henry and his needs are in the front of my mind and on the tip of my tongue every single waking minute.

In fact, not sharing about it here has left me tongue-tied.  I stare at the blank blogger post screen or a blank email reply and I can't form a coherent thought.
But, I can still sew.
In fact, I need to sew.
But I can't find many words to talk about it.  I just do, and then I photograph and then I upload.

So please forgive me.  I'm late with bee blocks.  I'm slow with swaps.  I'm obsessed with projects that have no deadline.  And I'm just trying to plug along as we adapt to big changes in our family.

I'm grateful for the community that I have here.  I'm grateful for the chance to talk about something other than autism.  But leaving the words unsaid have been a roadblock.


All right.  That said, I need to share the tutorial sources for my blocks from my last post.


This is the Ribbon Star block.  You can find the tutorial at Fresh Lemons Quilts.  I did this block at half size and did the block math and piecing order myself, but Faith really inspired me.


This is the Buzzsaw block.  You can find the tutorial at Quilter's Cache.  That tutorial uses paper piecing, but I pieced the 45˚ strips, sewed them to the solid strips and then centered the angle on my ruler and trimmed the quadrants.  

And now on to my fresh batch of Farmer's Wife blocks.  I made the Cut Glass Dish block months ago, but I was not pleased with the result.
uh uh.

Thankfully another reader gave that block a home and now I've made this one. Much better (in my opinion).
 farmer's wife sampler, block 26

This Wedding Ring block strays from my pattern of not including cream fabrics in this quilt.  But, that elementary math fabric is way too cute to not include it.

farmer's wife sampler, block 101

And, lastly, my Storm Signal block has very little contrast, but I designed it that way.  The Suzuko Koseki fabric on the outside was previously in a different block plan but it just didn't have a chance to shine against the brighter fabric.  Again, this one is much better.

farmer's wife sampler, block 90

Thank you for giving me a place to chat a little about my blocks. The Farmer's Wife Quilt-along group on flickr has been really quiet lately, but my friend Jennifer is churning out some lovely work on her blocks lately. I want to give a shout out to her and her blog because she is really keeping me motivated lately.  As are the sweet comments from all of you.

Happy sewing to you.


Flo @ Butterfly Quilting said...

Your blocks are wonderful !!
And sorry to hear about your little guy. But this is a place you can share your thoughts and even vent a little now and again! Good luck and give him a little hug from blogland!

Anna said...

hey melinda! I'm glad (?) to know that you're putting henry first and diving into all the unknown that comes with autism. I know that feeling that you don't have much to write, I am at that point very often. Nothing wrong with it at all. And keep sewing because you love it and don't worry about blogging or replying to comments, they can wait.

Heather said...

You are such a good mommy, taking care of your son is of course priority, I can see why it would be hard to sit down and write about anything else. Your creative outlet is important, because it is your outlet. No apologies necessary :) I wish you all the best in finding the right course with your son, he’s a cutie!

laura said...

love your blocks and thanks for sharing. what a tough time. i'm glad sewing has given you a place to express what words sometimes fail to do.

stephmabry said...

Definitely make sure to keep making time for yourself. It seems so easy for parents to get lost in their child's diagnosis - I've seen my sister-in-law do so with my niece. There are so many resources available - almost overwhelmingly so - but the most important thing to keep in mind is definitely doing what works best for YOUR little one, regardless of what media or the internet or even doctors say is the "right thing." You have a great support network here in bloggyland - lean on us any time! :)

Your Farmer's Wife blocks are amazing, as usual. I can't wait to finally have the courage to get started on my own!!

Ginette said...

Your Farmer's Wife blocks are so gorgeous!! You have inspired me to get back to mine... Thank you!
I am so glad you are taking time for yourself and finding an outlet in your sewing/quilting. Like others have said, there is no need to apologize, your family comes first. I work with children who have autism and it isn't easy but I am sure your cute little guy appreciates everything you are doing for him.

Prof. S (the enchanted bobbin) said...

Oh Melinda, I am so touched by your post. We may only know each other from blogville, but I want you to know that I am thinking about you -- completely inspired by you, your dedication to your little guy and your amazing talent. And I understand what it is to lead something of a double (or triple or quadruple life), with online stitching and online friendships touching just one quadrant of our full reality, but yet so very valuable. I sewed my way through a pretty harrowing year (just ended). I get it. And I am so glad we are farming together!!

Katie said...

Beautiful farmer's wife blocks!

My daughter *might* have autism, we haven't done all the testing for it, but she does have another syndrome that causes autistic traits, but whether it's autism or not is debatable. Anyway, back when she was diagnosed, I found that just *knowing* was very helpful. You can sit back for a minute and say "ok, that's why, now it all makes sense". For me, getting a diagnosis for my daughter released a lot of stress. We finally had some idea of what to expect, what to do and where to look for answers!

Kleep said...

He is so sweet, and so lucky to have a family that will go to the moon for him. May he always be the sunshine in your day!
Also, I'm loving the farmer's wife blocks, that math fabric is so cute!!

Anonymous said...

I feel like I am repeating all the other posts - family is priority. We all understand - probably more than you know! :) xoxoxo {hugs}

I started quilting to relieve stress - now it is my go to place to unwind. Glad to hear that you have found this creative outlet too.

Remember to keep with what works with your family and that it may change over time. Stay adaptable! Listen to your heart!

Know you are not alone and we all are there for you! Even if we have never met! :)

Donna said...

Great blocks, but my favorite picture is the one of you and your son - what a cutie!

Tamie said...

Keep sharing when you can. You and your family are in my thoughts.

Nic said...

Your son is your priority, as he should be. You don't need to appologise for anything coming out of that. ((hugs))

Glad to see you're still sewing. I never realise how good knitting and sewing is at helping keep stress levels under control until I stop doing it. So I really understand your current need to sew.

And you've made some lovely blocks again :)

Debbie said...

Glad you shared from your heart . . . it's good you have your sewing and this blog as an outlet of sorts. Blessings as you adjust to your family's new reality, and as you care for your precious Henry.

marjory said...

Sweetie, you are so brave and inspirational! Love your blog and your exquisite work. Love the Henry photos, too. What a lovely world of support you find here!

Nancy McIntyre said...

You are an amazing woman. Brave, creative, loving, unique. I wish you, Henry and your hubby peace along your journey.

Lindsey said...

Henry is so cute, and brave! What is up with riding the school bus?? Awesome!
What a lucky boy he is to have such a brave, hard working, creative, advocating mama as you!

Hitch and Thread said...

Thank you for sharing part of your journey with us. I find quilting and handwork a great time to process things that are life changing.

felicity said...

Melinda, thanks for sharing. Know that you are held in thoughts all over the blogosphere as we all think of you warmly and with support. I do love what magic you're working with these Farmer's Wife blocks!

Alexandra said...

Hello, I know how you feel (obviously to a certain point) my son has the same diagnosis. However he wouldn't be the same as your son...because they are all different but with so many similarities. My boy is now 11 and he has changed and stayed the same, just like his older sisters have. So just like anybody he will be himself and we love him for that.
Knowing is half the battle, and it also helped my marriage.
My advise is to be your sons advocate. Just as before you had him you have your mothers instincts and you know him the best. Ask questions, but listen to your own heart before acting on what some "experts" will tell you to do or not to do. There is no cure thre is adjustment by those around him. My boy is most proud to know that people who think like him are the reason we have cars and computers.....and he is going to surprise those mean kids at school one day with what he can do!!!
You just keep sewing because your son is going to enjoy watching and helping. We all need an outlet. Besides words can be overated sometimes.
take care.

audreypawdrey said...

Melinda, your blocks are stunning as they always are! You should keep sewing and carving out time for yourself because it will make you happier and therefore, everyone around you will also benefit. I know you will do well with Henry, and he is lucky to have you as him mom. Thinking of you!

Charise said...

Melinda - I have been enjoying your Farmer's Wife blocks. Yes... Sew. It is so good to see all your lovelies and with all that is going on you should sew exactly what YOU WANT to sew : )
You are in my thoughts and Henry is lucky to have such a devoted mommy!

Archie The Wonder Dog said...

Henry's lucky to have a mam as lovely and loving as you on his side - take care xxx
P.S. Your FW blocks are fabulous!!

melissa said...

i love you melinda - i'm so proud of your for finding your voice and sharing your story with everyone. it makes me so happy to read all these comments full of love and support for you.
you are an amazing mother and i just wish i didn't have to wait until june to give you a giant hug!

ps - i am so completely loving that wedding ring block! damn woman! you are amazing!

Emily said...

I'll be saying some prayers for you Melinda. For answers, and strength, patience and guidance. You are strong!! xoxoxoxo

Emily said...

I'll be saying some prayers for you Melinda. For answers, and strength, patience and guidance. You are strong!! xoxoxoxo

jmb_craftypickle said...

I hear everything you are saying... I have been having the same problem the last year. It is hard, you talk so much about real life, but then want to have your blog escape, because life is so full. I like the pictures, I like seeing the work of your spirit. Keep sewing, keep advocating for your boy-- keep yourself sane and happy. Sending you prayers for the things you need. :)

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