A needed pause…

I have given myself a break.

I needed it. Not sure why, but I was feeling a bit burned out. Things I normally enjoy had no savour, I was tired all the time, the sewing room wasn’t enticing me, that sort of thing. On top of that, we’ve once again had to cancel our trip south to see friends and family as the Rona is rife in our destination. This was a really big disappointment. I haven’t seen my sister for 2 years, and my friends for the same period. FaceTime or Duo calls are great, but they don’t replace hugs and face-to-face conversation. Oh, and there was a nasty migraine in there a few days ago, which always knocks me about a bit. So, yeah. It wasn’t depression, but it was close. I have stuck a smile and some lippy on my face, and away we go.

And now it’s time to pick up the reins again. A month off is plenty long enough to whip myself back into shape, I feel. I’ve had a rest, indulged my blah, and now, it’s time to get my big girl pants back on.

Next on the agenda is finishing the Hopscotch quilt. I have managed to complete quilting all the blocks in record time on Aretha, my beeeautiful new sewing machine (my word, that thing is a total pleasure to work on!). I’ve cut all the joining strips and have started assembly. I don’t love this quilt, it has always been just a way of using up scraps in a constructive way, and I don’t feel inspired by it or look forward to working on it, but it deserves to be finished.

What I AM looking forward to is getting on with a number of other projects. I have all the lovely blocks from the last F2F project waiting for me, and the other day I fetched them out and laid them out. After lots of rearranging, I think this is probably the layout I’ll go with. Any blocks not used in the quilt top will go on the back, probably.

I also have the Tyger quilt to start on, which is exciting me quite a lot; I haven’t worked with such a restricted colour palette in a long time and it’s going to be fun! I still have lots of Parterre blocks to make… So, plenty to keep me busy!

I told myself I wasn’t going to set a key word for this year. And I still think that, but Finish is starting to look like it would have been a good choice! Closely followed, of course, by Start!

Anyway, I’m back, and if I’m not quite firing on all cylinders yet, I do at least have the engine running and some colour back in my life 😊

56 thoughts on “A needed pause…

  1. jmcheney says:

    Good for you, Kate. Pluck will carry you over the rough patches. And that is a very pretty & colorful portrait. I’ll get you perked up your guys too with brilliant lippy & neclace!

  2. Dayphoto says:

    I love seeing your BEEUTTIFULLL FACE!!! Time off is always nice. We sometimes just have to veg out.

  3. Terri says:

    Glad you’re feeling better Kate. We all have those blah times where it’s hard to get motivated by anything so it’s easy to relate. The F2F blocks look great.

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s unusual for me to be unmotivated, so perhaps I give it more weight than it deserves… anyway, it’s over now! The F2F blocks are gorgeous! I have some lovely fabric for the backing and a really unusual colour for the joining strips, so I’m looking forward to seeing how that all works out!

  4. Marty K says:

    Take whatever time you need. 💜 I totally get it. Our area has had pretty high covid rates (including hospitalizations) all along, so there’s never really been much of a break.

    So glad you’re having fun with Aretha. At first I confused your F2F quilt for the Hopscotch one and couldn’t understand why you didn’t find it as beautiful as I do. 😹 You know what they say when one assumes… 😉

    • katechiconi says:

      Nononono! Hopscotch and the F2F, hereafter known as ‘Fade to Grey’, are very different aminals. One is meh, the other is gorgeous!
      We have the Rona here in our city now, after managing to keep it substantially at bay for the last 2 years. We take precautions and are triple vaxed, but it’s coming, it’s coming… Never mind, we’ll meet that problem when/if it comes.

  5. I noted your quietness but post-festive season seems to be the time to take a break even if not as intended and regroup. You’re looking well, and very stylish I must say. Our catch-up was much anticipated… and still is. One day our plans, one way -us heading north or you heading south- or another will come to fruition.

    • katechiconi says:

      Thank you! Although the new glasses aren’t as funky as the spotty ones, I like them because you can actually see my face as well as allowing me to read so much more easily because they’re more adjustable. I hope we will eventually get down there, even if we don’t stay in the same place because they’ve given us a hard time about cancelling yet again. Probably the other place in Swimming Creek Road…

  6. claire93 says:

    great to see you back, looking all refreshed and ready to do some cheerful sewing ^^
    I know how you feel about not seeing family. We’ve not seen family in England since Sept 2019 so that’s 2 of our children and our grand daughter (who is now 3 and 1/2). Daughter had been postponing wedding since beginning of Covid and we told her to just book a date and go ahead without us. That’ll be next weekend and we won’t be there. Such is life.

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s not fun, is it? This time last year, we were planning and looking forward to my 60th birthday with friends and family. Not happening this year either, but as you say, such is life!

  7. Debbierose says:

    The rest does a world of good. You look refreshed. Sending hugs as we too understand and appreciate your family longing.

    • katechiconi says:

      It has been nice to take that pressure to create off myself, but now I’m feeling the need to move forward again. As for reunions, they will just have to wait… I’m resigned!

  8. nanacathy2 says:

    Well you look totally fabulous now. In the past when I lost weight I ended up feeling awful too, not eating is exhausting. Love the colourful quilt. Take care and enjoy the finishing.

    • katechiconi says:

      To be honest, I feel great. It’s a huge relief not to be lugging around all that excess lard, and I have much more energy. My stomach has got used to less and different food, I drink loads more water (I used to not drink enough), and things that used to hurt all the time just… don’t. I actually feel quite cheerful about finishing Hopscotch now that the quilting process is so much easier!

  9. manicmumdays says:

    I think most of us are fatigued with all that is happening of late … glad you are being kind to yourself 💕
    Those F2F blocks are pretty! What is the Tyger quilt?

  10. beautiful quilt, and you yourself look fabulous. Glad you permitted yourself the breathing space, and hope that you are beginning to feel more ‘yourself’ Hugs as ever. D

    • katechiconi says:

      The quilt’s going to be gorgeous, and I can’t wait to have it to snuggle under once our winter arrives! I’m feeling a lot more motivated after that hiatus, not to mention realising that I’ve dropped 3 dress sizes… Feeling really good!

  11. kymlucas says:

    I’ve found the after-holiday period more challenging this year, perhaps because last year was so weird that we didn’t do much celebrating at all. We didn’t go nuts this year, but I did decorate, and we did have Darling Daughter, her partner, and Mom visit. Besides last year was always going to be bad, but this year, things were supposed to be better, and we’re still wearing masks and once again unable to visit aged parents in person.

    To be honest, I’m finding it very difficult not to point fingers and feel if everyone had “done their duty,” we wouldn’t be in this state.

    Guess we’ll never know.

    My 60th was also shrunk, although The Engineer and I were able to have a socially isolated weekend away. It ended up being nice enough that we’re repeating it.

    I’m with you on the idea of giving yourself time to wallow before shaking it off and “faking it til you make it.”

  12. craftycreeky says:

    We all need to take a break sometimes, recharge ourselves, even from things we love doing, the last couple of years have been so hard. Hope you’re feeling better, your F2F layout looks great, I’ve still to do mine too.

  13. Sharon says:

    we all need a break/down time and reset from time to time

    • katechiconi says:

      We do… I imagined that because I no longer work outside the home I would be immune from burnout. I was wrong. It wasn’t bad, but it was enough that I noticed.

  14. I’m glad you’ve had a break. When you need one, you need one, and that’s all there is to it. And you look gorgeous with your chic haircut and pink lippy.

  15. Boy oh boy do I ever hear you on the case of blahs. Seems like the serious blahs hover just around the edge, especially after nearly two full pandemic years. Thank you for being an example of setting things aside for a bit. Love the necklace!

    • katechiconi says:

      The blahs were seriously eroding my self esteem and motivation. It was time to take… inaction! The necklace is from an Australian company called Dinosaur Designs (https://www.dinosaurdesigns.com.au/) and they do some absolutely gorgeous stuff in resin. I call it my Bam Bam necklace because it looks a bit like bones and teeth! It’s been an enduring favourite since I bought it 18 years ago.

  16. Mya says:

    The photo is beautiful! Everyone needs a break! It’s horrible not being able to see family. 💕

  17. knitnkwilt says:

    I definitely like the idea of following “finish” with “start.” I think m rhythm is more like: finish start start start …

  18. Fogginess is not good and I’m glad you are on the other side of it. Taking things as they come is a huge part of being ‘well’
    Yes it’s been a major disappointment not being able to get together but one day at a time I say. U look so lovely in the pic 🥰

    • katechiconi says:

      Having accepted the need to just switch off for a bit, I feel much better now the switch is flicked back to ‘On’! 73kg and falling, still. I am fitting back into classic business suits I bought nearly 20 years ago – not that I need to, but can if I want to!

      • Excellent work and now maybe u can indulge in a few sweet things as the diabetes is under control.
        HAPPY BIRTHDAY again & so sorry I didn’t ring u back … it’s Monday as you well know !!!

      • katechiconi says:

        Not to worry, I never hold you to it! I had a mini cinnamon danish with coffee when the Dowager came round, and that is my naughtiness for the day. Thanks for the birthday wishes, my lovely!

  19. Kate, I’m sorry you were in a funk, but I applaud your decision to take a step back. I know it was good for your mental health. Two years of covid have really sapped us of energy. It feels as though there is no end in site. Not being able to see family is so hard. Missing out on travel in general is equally hard. A woman I volunteer with who is fully vaccinated and boosted caught Covid. She was quite sick for two weeks, and she now battles heavy fatigue. It keeps getting closer and closer to home. Welcome back. You look gorgeous in that pic!

  20. magpiesue says:

    You look terrific! And Happiest of birthdays (under the circumstances)! Love the new frames. I’ve had to switch back to my rectangular frames, the octagonal ones pinched my nose too much. I’m glad you’re feeling out of the fog now. I was concerned about you. I think January has been hard on more people than ever before. It’s never been an easy month in my book.

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s hard when glasses disappoint, especially when they cost so much. But decent eyesight is so much more important; it was a revelation when I put these on because everything sprang into focus again and I realised what I’d been missing.

  21. Going Batty in Wales says:

    I often find this time of year is a blah spot! I read that we should be hibernating, curling up by the fire dreaming of things we will do when the weather and light perk up, but modern life dosn’t allow that. It may not apply to you being down there on the bottom of the world but it makes sense to me. Having an ‘I should’ project can’t have helped. Hopefully when you get to the ones you really want to do your energy should return.

    • katechiconi says:

      I think humans probably used to ‘retreat’ and vegetate at certain times of year as a natural part of the turning seasons. We’ve lost that natural introspection time, and where I live the seasonal variation is much less. It was overdue, and now it’s done, I feel much better!

  22. time off is always good and hopefully you come back with renewed energy and enthusiasm.

    • katechiconi says:

      I definitely have! Work has begun again on the Hopscotch quilt so I can finish it and get it out of the way, ready to start work on the projects I’m truly interested in.

  23. cedar51 says:

    It’s good to take time out – but also when you come back – don’t rush – take those needed “time out” days…

  24. Steph (and Shinee) says:

    Sorry you’ve been feeling blah. There’s been a lot written lately about the exhaustion and burnout of entering the third year of this pandemic- and in Australia it’s worse than ever.

    Shinee says she hopes Mouse is providing good moral support, and modelling the good life:get lots of sleep, enjoy your food, walk and run and dawdle and stroll outside, and spend time with the ones you love.

    • katechiconi says:

      I’m so fortunate that it hasn’t had a major impact on us up here in Queensland. The lurgy is creeping ever closer, but so far, we’re staying safe. Mouse says hello to Miss Shinee, and wishes she could join him in his evening zoomies around the back yard!

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