The Good, The Bad, and the Change

Lately the tone of my blog has changed. Where I used to focus on my quilting, now I focus as much on myself, my fears, my parenting as I do on my interests.

Now, that's been both good and bad. I have loved the reinforcement and encouragement that I have gotten from my readers.

But, it's gotten a bit much.

For one thing, like my real life, it's gotten a bit "Sydney heavy". It was never meant to be a parenting blog. And, that's caused it's own share of issues. I read a blog post yesterday about a blogger that will not post pictures of her children for fear they'll be used for something bad. My first thought on that was that we can't live in fear of the bad people out there. We have to stand up for what we want as well, or the bad people win. But, after I thought about that, I thought about how freeing it would be to focus on my favorite pastime, quilting, and expand that to sewing in general. But, keep Sydney as a background bit player; a member of the chorus line, if you will, which is her actual position relative to my quilting, if not relative to my real life.

Likewise, I don't want my blog to be about venting about how hard work is and how stressed I am about it. My blog needs to be a place to get away from those things, not to further my internal dialogue about them. Good greif! I spend enough time thinking about that junk without thinking how to put it in words that don't make me sound like a big whiney baby.

My blog is called "That Man Quilts?" And, I originally set out to talk about "that man", me, and about quilts so I could promote the inclusion of men into the art. And, now that I'm sewing some clothes, I want to expand it to how "that man" makes some clothes. And, I have to indulge my other favorite hobby, gardening.

I'll also talk about the stuff that keeps me from doing those things; like painting the kitchen, or setting up the sun room as a great place to sit and sew or helping Sydney with her math. But, my blog is not my diary and I don't want it to focus on those distractions.

Dear Diary, Sydney was mean to me this morning...again. I'm afraid of the dentist. I'm tired of the stress of my job.

While those things are happening to me, they aren't what I want to talk to the world at large about.

I'd rather tell you about Sydney sewing on my Grandmother's Singer 15-91, which means that 4 generations have sewn on that machine; my Grandmother, my Mother, myself, and my Daughter. Now, isn't that a nice story? I could also talk about how I took the tension from that machine completely apart and put it back together so that now, it sews like a charm, with no puckering. Or, I could tell you about the bobbin case for my Singer 301 that I had taken apart and put the two screws back into the wrong holes. And, how I fought tension problems for two months before I realized what I had done. You know I love talking about my Linus quilts and how I'm progressing at making a quilt a month to donate. And, I'm a big ole' braggart when I want to show off my "fancy quilting" skills, or a pattern I've come up with. And, I like to show off my knitting and my crochet, when I can make time for them.

In short, I want my blog to be about what interests me, not about my real life. There is altogether too much reality in the world to suit me and I don't need to contribute to it. Oh, I'll still pepper the blog with posts about my childhood memories, and I'll still share a recipe once in a while. But, I want to talk about the things that interest me, not the things that are happening to me.

So, if you want updates on the kid, you'll still get them, but hopefully in a more positive light. Because every day is a challenge, but overall, we are doing a fine job. And, telling about what happens every day doesn't show that accurately. You have to see her long term accomplishments to see how well she's doing. The rest is part of being 13 and short of a parenting textbook, probably doesn't deserve to be recorded. Everybody went through about the same thing at 13 and pretty much, it sucked for us all. Now it's her turn and she's not going to want to read about my perspective on it when she's 49 and realizes what it was like. Because if this child was my genetic offspring, she could not be more like me and I'm not sure I would want to read about the hell I put my Mom through 36 years ago.

On that note, let me leave you with some eye candy.

This bedsized quilt was made for me by my great grandmother. We lived near a double knit mill when I was a child and you could get huge bags of scraps for practically nothing. This is how she used them. She made quilts for people all over and she used this pattern many times. It strikes me as a variation of a string quilt, where all the strings are really wide so that there aren't many in a block. She pieced on an old black electric machine that took up most of her living room, but I can't remember if it was a Singer. And, she could still piece when she was too old to see details and too old to hand quilt what she had pieced. She sent this to the ladies at the church and they hand quilted it for her. And, because I had shown an interest in her quilting, she gave it to me.

This is a holiday drunkard's path quilt that is in a box, waiting for me to get back to it. So far, it's all hand pieced and I'd planned to hand quilt and bind it. I went from no finger work last year to too much finger work this year, so I'm giving myself permission to finish it on the machine if I want. I think I got bored with the finger work on this project after I had hand pieced all those drunkard's path blocks. Love this fabric collection, but can't remember the name. I did find a piece big enough to use as borders and backs on half price sale a couple months ago and snatched it up.

And, this is my version of a storm at sea. I used mostly greens and browns and I call it Storm in my Garden. I didn't care much for this quilt when I finished it, but we hung it in the living room and it has grown on me. It's hard to see quilting in a photo, but the machine quilting on this is wonderful and the few bright colors are a great representation of the flowers I grow in my garden, yellow-gold daylilies, pink phlox, blue plumbago.

I don't know about you, but those make me want to go home and quilt. Fortunately, I'm off dinner duty tonight, so I'll have some time to do just that.

Have a great day. Lane


Anonymous said...

Lovely eye candy today. I don't have a blog. I mainly go to quilting blogs, but also enjoy when they talk about their daily lives. Sometimes people need to vent, and if it's through their blog, that's their right. I can understand censoring what you write about Syndey, because she might not want the entire world to know what is going on in her life. Just wanted you to know that I enjoy your blog. Thanks for sharing.

Paul said...


Thanks for sharing... I like your drunkard's path... Learning to sew curves is on my 2011 To Do list, but I haven't tried yet. So is "Hand Quilting". I have done everything by machine at this point, and I think I ought to at least try to do it the way those before me always did it.

Take Care,

Becky said...

It's hard finding a balance isn't it? i'd love to just share a million pics of my daughter, but I too worry that something bad would happen to them. Good luck finding your balance. I enjoy all of what you post!

Bonnie K Hunter said...

Dear Lane ---
Don't you know that life is what happens around our quilting?! Your life is what makes you who you are, and the quilts you post have a story because of the life you live while working on them.

Please don't stop talking about you, or 13 yr old angst, or Rob, or the animals, or the garden, work deadlines or whatever is weighing on your heart.

A world with ONLY quilts in it would be a boring world indeed!

It is because I have read everything else, and we have interacted because of everything else ((And thank you again so much for the email regarding Oscar, you have no idea how much it helped me that day when I needed it the most!)) that I can consider you a real-life friend, not just a blog about quilts that I read from time to time.

Keep Typing! :cD

Impera_Magna said...

I've been following your blog these past few months and enjoy reading what you're up to...whether or not it's related to quilting.

As you find your blogging balance, just know that your posts have been interesting and I feel as if I've gotten to know you a little, enjoying your garden photos as well as your Hudson Bay jacket adventure!

Keep on bloggin'...

Anonymous said...

lane your blog and talking about your life allows me to feel its ok to make mistake talk about them learn from them and move on. I agree with bonnie your real life makes you who you are and your quilts would not be the same otherwise. o and my 14yr old is much the same as sydney its kinda nice to hear someone else talk about the difficulty of raising teens.

Elizabeth said...

The blogs I like to read the most are the blogs that are 'real;' the ones that involve real people and their real families and their struggles as well as their triumphs. There are dozens of blogs out there that read like magazines and have huge followings, but I don't care for them much. I'm into blogging for the personal connection. Life isn't all beer and skittles, you know? Sometimes it is messy and ugly.

That being said, focusing on the positive is always a good thing. If you look for things to celebrate and talk about things that make you happy, then that is a good thing.

xo -El

Andra Gayle said...

I totally understand how you feel about your blog. I feel the same but have failed miserably at keeping the complaining out. I love to hear about Sydney though.
Love the quilt from your great grandmother. I have a double knit one that was pieced by my grandmother that still needs to be sandwiched and tied. Maybe someday soon...

lw said...

I'm not sure how to say this. It would be impossible for me not to care about whatever it is that's so important to you that it bleeds into your blog.

You write really well. I love to read. I hope you keep writing.