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I am a mother, a grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge was published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Thursday, July 4, 2019

Catch up with life pictures: sewing context

Recently someone told me that if I wanted to sell more books I needed a bigger social media presence. Due to life being life I thought this was sort of amazing.

For a start I am a person who sews and likes to share anything I can about sewing in a less stressful way, because that interests me and might be useful to you. A book to me is a vehicle for that.

And as far as social media goes, which I guess includes this blog,  I sometimes wonder how those who have a highly, highly active online life get the living part done.

All this is leading into a completely random collection of details about what's been going on around here.

First near the end of June my 91 year old mother fell at home and broke her leg below her hip in four places. My mom being my mom bounced back as much as you can bounce in these circumstances. She is now in a rehab hospital working on just that, which to her means being very engaged in everyone and everything and treating it like one more interesting experience. I am actually not kidding about that.

Here is my mother shortly after she was admitted, as evidence of what she is like ( she would love to know I posted this), but because she is herself all over social media, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Pinterest as well as texting everyone all the time, she will find out about it soon.

Next last weekend my middle granddaughter Heidi, who was staying with me for the weekend, had a sudden and severe attack of appendicitis, perforated actually which is not ideal. Luckliy I had the presence of mind to get her into the ER on time. Her parents and the other two kids were about two hours away (Heidi had stayed behind because she had a birthday party to go to) but her mom was able to make it back just in time for her surgery.

Heidi has been a very sick little girl but my daughter, Katrina, is a nurse and has been rooming in with her and giving her 24/7 expert care. Here is a picture of the two of them going for a short walk around the floor:

Katrina has her own medical issues of course but has been amazing. Right now it appears Heidi is recovering ahead of schedule because her mom has been on it and might be home in a few days. In the meantime this week I have been taking care of the other two kids, cooking (my vegetable lasagna got returned - no one likes mushrooms) and taking care of the cleaning of the Airbnb the kids run.

In the middle of all of this I kept up sewing. Sewing is always my island of recovery in really busy times.

Here are some sleep sacks I made for baby Anika in California (Pattern by Peek-a-Boo), two of them pieced to use some patterned knit scraps I really liked, one in two layers of gauze for the summer:

These were a lot of fun to make these.

Finally, speaking of social media, here is a picture of my youngest son Ben, who lives in Austin Texas and works in the wind industry. Today is his birthday. He and his girlfriend are in Berkeley with his brother and his family to celebrate. Here is the picture he posted of himself in his shirt. I used the Negroni shirt pattern by Colette:

Now I don't often post a lot of personal stuff, focus more on the sewing, but this seemed to me to be the point tonight. Sewing is part of real life and gets done for the real people in it, sometimes around the living, but always as a place to catch your breath and make something.

More organized posts soon, I miss this too.


Anonymous said...

Bouncing back from adversity seems to be a dominant gene in your family, doesn't it? Or maybe its the positive attitude. Or the sewing.

Thanks as aways for sharing your life - I'm finding the newsletters to be a very useful refresher in things I should be doing more correctly.


Helen Marshall said...

Best wishes to all those in your family who are dealing with health issues and to you and the rest who are coping with the fallout .

Kelly Ralston said...

I really love reading your blog, Barbara. It is always so real. Thanks for doing what you do. :)

SheilaM said...

Your mum is a true inspiration and I think we can see where you get your attitude from (and your family). Please say best wishes to her for a great recovery from Scotland and to do as the physiotherapist (physical therapist in Canada?) says... given that is my profession I would say that!

Love the sleep sacks, so practical and bright, I used to have some my mum made for my kids, but here they were fleece for the colder nights!

Planning to bind the newsletters with my cinch - once I have a batch thick enough, so making my own book on the cheap thanks to you.
Take care of yourself too please xx

Jacq C said...

Wishing all your loved ones speedy recoveries x

Maggie said...

Dear Barb, thank you for sharing this. Your Mum looks darling and I hope she gets great treatment for her leg. Likewise your dear granddaughter, who I'm sure will bounce back from that horrible event. And as for your son; he is a natural! I have followed your blog for quite a while now and enjoy it so much.

Catherine said...

Wishing for speedy recoveries for your mom and granddaughter. Love the little sleep sacks.

Inna said...

Hi Barbara,
Ever since I heard about you on Clothes Making Mavens podcast, I've been following your IG account, your blog, and I've read your book. But even though I've been a big fan, I've never commented. I don't often engage in comments/conversations on social media, it's just not me. But after reading your latest blog post I just had to say how much I admire what you do and also your family. You have an incredible bond and you all seem to be so full of life and so resilient. It's a real pleasure and inspiration to read your stories, both sewing - and family-related. Thank you! Wishing your mother and your grand-daughter a full and speedy recovery.

Lisa - SF Bay Area said...

Does your mom have a blog!?!?!? I don't have facebook anymore (don't ask!) but I love blogs, yours especially. I know I would love your mom's and I am sure she has lots to say to us older gals. I love the idea of rehab being a great adventure. I wonder if I could ever see housework that way? If she doesn't have a blog, could she please do a guest post on on your blog now and then?

Best wishes to her and your little patient too.

your devoted follower-
Lisa D, SF Bay Area

SuziB said...

Best wishes to your mom and Heidi for a speedy recovery and please take care of yourself through all of this! The baby clothes are incredibly cute... and so is your son!

Nursebennett said...

Inna said exactly what I felt and wanted to say, although she wrote it far better than I would have. You are an amazing mom/grandmother'

Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) said...

To have a "real" social media presence you do have to live on social media. Constantly posting, doing all of the latest things, etc. However, it's time consuming and I too wonder how they do anything else. Me, I wanna sew. I NEED to sew, so I'm spending my precious time sewing.

BTW, your Mom is awesome! And I'm glad she and your granddaughter are doing better!

Eileensews said...

Hope your mom and granddaughter are back to their regular selves soon.
Love your son’s shirt thank you!

Rebecca said...

Hi Barbara,
I love to read your posts!
I pray for a speedy recovery for your mom, daughter, and grand-daughter.
You are just one great gal!
Thank you for taking time to share-everything.

Joy Zemrock said...

I can't tell you how comforting this post is! Your sewing advice is always welcome, but the life events you share are so much more valuable. I struggle a lot to carve out time for sewing, and reading this validates making time for it.
I hope all is well with your recovering folks, and you are enjoying your summer!