Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Time to knit

When the air turn a bit colder and the leaves start to change color, my hands want to knit.

Either I pull out a project that has been in hibernation over the warm summer months or I contemplate casting on something new.  My yarn stash comes down from the shelf, a book or two comes out of the cabinet and needles are pulled from storage.

My mind fills with wonderful knitting possibilities.  A fresh tote is pulled from my overflowing collection, perfect for the start of fall and winter knitting.  This year it is a canvas book bag from my daughter's Bat Mitzvah. Printed on it's front, in purple, is a retro bowling girl.

Sometimes skeins need to be wound.  Though I own a winder and swift, I often choose to sit on the couch and slowly wind the yarn into a tight round ball.  One that will torment me for the entire project as it rolls across the floor and under the couch, unfurling along the way. Frustrated, I'll chase it down, wind again and keep knitting.

When the weather turns very cold, I'll knit every night.  My fingers staying warm with the completion of each stitch.  The click, click of my needles will be the ambient playlist of winter.

I may or may not finish this project by April, when the air turns warmer and the sun shines bright.  The project will be then be packed up, hopefully with notes, to be continued later that year.

And so, the cycle continues with thread that runs from one season to the next.

xoxo.  happy stitching.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Promise Me One Thing

Pink, Orange, Hobnail.  Perfect.
Recently Mitch and I spent a day in NYC.  We walked the streets and took in the sights and sounds of one of my favorite places on Earth.  Seriously.  I'm not exaggerating.  I absolutely love NYC.

After an amazing meal at a little restaurant on the Lower East Side, we realized we needed chocolate.  So we hopped out of the Lyft and made our way to a convenience store across the street from our hotel.

The options were amazing.  Far more than you would ever find in a Wawa or CVS.  Again, this is why I love NYC.

Anyway, I made my choice based on the color of the wrapping.  It was Pink.  I couldn't resist.

Ritter Sport.  Quite Tasty.
We went back out into the city heat and waited to cross the street.  As we were crossing, Mitch turned to me and said,

"Promise me one thing.  Always be yourself."

"What?" I asked, a bit surprised.

"Always be you.  Don't try to be someone else.  Just be Marisa."

All the LOVE for Heather Ross.

Monday, July 02, 2018

EPP Community Love

One of the great joys of my life has been the discovery of the English Paper Piecing community.  Many many years ago I decided to teach myself the technique but without a group of like-minded stitchers, my interest quickly faded.

It wasn't until I spotted Willyne Hamerstein's book Millefiori at Alewives in Damariscotta, ME that I again decided to give EPP a try.  With a bit of investigation I found blog posts, youtube videos and lots and lots of Instagram photos to get me started.

Over 2 years ago the EPP Club at Pennington Quilt Works was born.  Many of the original members still join me each month to share their progress, offer support to other stitchers and enjoy the company of other creative women (so far we have no men).

The block above is the Brimfield Block, a quilt pattern designed by the talented duo of Brimfield Awakening.  It was a treat to sew with my Liberty fabric stash - many more projects are on the horizon.

Happy Stitching!

Friday, June 01, 2018

Stitching Pink

A long long time ago I started this blog and an even longer time ago I registered the website www.  A lot has happened over the years including work as a nurse-midwife, the birth of my daughter Lucy, a stint as a personal trainer and most recently the privilege of selling Bernina sewing machines to customers at Pennington Quilt Works.

So here I am, again, at another crossroads in my life.  My job as a Bernina salesperson is coming to a close though I will continue to teach English Paper Piecing and coordinate community events.  For the first time in my life I honestly have no plan.

Well, that's not entirely true.

I'm going to rest. And read. And write.

My plan has always been to blog more and make this an active space for my creative pursuits and occasional deep thoughts.  But there have been so many roadblocks, most of my own making but many out of my control.

I can't promise that this page will become super-active though I hope that it will become a space where I can explore, with a bit more depth than Instagram, my life.  Not all of it of course because I'm sure you don't want to hear about my true hatred of laundry. I mean like I really hate laundry.  But the other stuff.  My exercise goals.  My sewing projects.  My cooking adventures.

Also, my plan is to migrate this site to another platform.  You will know when that happens which won't be anytime soon.  I'm mostly putting this plan out there so that I follow through with it....

Until next time.

Happy Stitching.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

The kindness of a sandwich

We are blessed that we are able to send our daughter to a Sacred Heart school here in the New Jersey. One of the main reasons that we chose the school was their focus on social justice and community involvement.  Lucy has always been a deeply empathetic child so having her in a space where she can express that and have the ability to act on it was important.

This past week her school participated in a program called Loaves and Fishes.  The students made sandwiches for bag lunches to give out at St Mary's in Trenton.  The entire school gets involved.  The day began with the teachers setting the intention of giving to others.  And with that, they started.

The girls formed an assembly line of bread, cheese and luncheon meat.  As the sandwich was passed down, an ingredient was added until it was complete and arrived at my daughter to place in the bag.  It was here that Lucy paused and noticed what was happening.

Some of the sandwiches were meticulously prepared, others were done in haste.  Lucy noticed and said something to her friends.  As she relayed the story to us, she said something like this:

"Hey guys, take your time putting together the sandwiches.  Someone is going to receive this and eat it.  Someone who doesn't have as much as we do.  Would you rather have a neatly made sandwich or a messy sandwich?"

And as she told us the story, Mitch and I held back tears.  Tears of absolute pride.  Because she gets it.  Giving to others is so valuable.  But you must give in a way that respects the value and pride of the recipient.  And in so doing, you are also respecting all of humanity and ultimately yourself.

Because every person deserves to be treated with kindness.  And even such a small thing as how you make a sandwich can reflect that.

I'm proud of Lucy for speaking up.  And proud of her friends and classmates for participating in this day of giving.  And of the school for providing the opportunity to give to others.

Because, charity is an act of love. And learning how to be charitable is a gift that one carries for life.  And you never know when you might need to be on the receiving end.  And when you are, which sandwich would you prefer?  The neat one or the messy one.

You know the answer.  And I'm proud that my daughter at the young age of 13 knows it too.