The Silver Lining

The Southern Pacific Dogwoods which bloom in Lake Arrowhead in spring are spectacular!

Blooms larger than your hand!

How are you doing through this COVID-19 event? I pray you and your loved ones are healthy and well. If you have been affected by this terrible pandemic, I pray things improve quickly and you’re back to feeling as right as rain very soon.

As for me, I can’t believe how quickly the time has passed. Several months have gone by in a flash. But it didn’t start out this way. While we were lucky to return from an amazing quilting cruise on March 15th; the last day the US was allowing people to disembark from cruise ships in US ports before going into “stay-at-home” orders, I’ll admit the first several weeks were a tough adjustment. I couldn’t seem to find my groove. I felt adrift. Aimless. Unmotivated. Restless.

Finally in early April, the world shifted. After a long, late at night, heart-to-heart talk with my husband, he told me to “let go and let God.” From that moment on I turned off the television, stopped checking the news for COVID-19 updates, and I prayed and turned over all my angst to the One who IS in control. 

My nephew and his darling family all wearing the masks I sent them. 

The following few days I got busy. I put my hands and heart in motion. It started with a big make-over in the studio in our cabin. From there, my creativity was ignited! I became so busy preparing for the Facebook LIVE events I was doing for Janome — all while making masks, creating new projects and experimenting with some long-forgotten, creative ideas! 

Having Mr. Kim work from home during this time has been such a blessing to both of us. And son #2 has been back from college helping here at home, too. We’ve enjoyed some much needed family time. 

We’ve had a ball playing board games.

Plus, we’ve stayed connected with son #1 (who’s currently living and working in Virginia) by sharing weekly meals together via Facetime. I’ve held several “Mom’s virtual cooking classes” where the boys made meals as I walked them through the steps of their favorite recipes! (I admit; those are the best times and this Mama’s heart just bursts from the memories we’ve made together.)

We’ve rested. We’ve caught up on sleep we didn’t know we had been missing and we haven’t felt this good in a long time. We’ve spent years running on fumes and this feels so much better. 

There has been time for reading books. I’ve finished two (including this one) and I just started reading Before We Were Yours. If you read it, did you like it?

I’ve gotten up early and witnessed sunrises over Lake Arrowhead so exquisite it almost stops your heart!

And of course, we’ve made time to see lots of breathtaking sunsets over the ocean — even while the beaches were closed and the police would not allow any parked cars. We found a way to enjoy them anyway!

We enjoyed a day’s outing to see the poppies bloom! Having never witnessed this yearly phenomenon, we were overcome with the beauty of the vibrant orange color. There were poppy fields for miles and miles — as far as the eye could see!

There has been sewing. Son #2 caught sight of a stash of Star Wars fabrics and decided he wanted to make a new, extra-large quilt for his bed. He’s been hard at work stitching his blocks.

With help from Cheeto, of course.

Late one night I got a wild hair idea and decided to give my other studio a thorough cleaning. I sorted through all the drawers, cabinets and storage containers. I found things I haven’t seen for more than twenty years! Now everything is organized and tidy. I may not have slept much that night but you can’t begin to know how happy this newfound organization makes me! 

I had fun helping a dear friend finish a Sashiko project…..

Great job, Judi! Now its time to work on your next project.

And did I mention all the sewing? Oh my goodness….I’ve been sewing and quilting; I’m even back to garment making! And the best part is, I’m mastering every intricacy of my Janome Continental M7. I’ve finished projects and long-forgotten UFO’s and I’ve started new projects. The creative spark has burst into a blaze of ideas I want to make. I’m trying to put all my ideas down on paper or the computer and every day I wake up with more ideas of things I can hardly wait to try. I’m in heaven!

Cheeto is my constant companion in the studio.

There have been days when my embroidery machine has been going at the same time I’ve been stitching on my M7!

Soon, I’ll have a brand new quilt pattern or two to reveal!

Every day there has been so much to see. To do. To enjoy. 

This is all because I stopped trying to control the situation (which I can’t.) And every day I make a conscious choice to make the most of this time, which I choose to see as a gift.

Would I have chosen this pandemic? Heck, no. But because of the storm clouds of COVID-19, my family and I have had a chance to rest. Reset our priorities. Refocus on what’s really important. To spend time on things that really matter; the things which make us the best versions of ourselves. 

And that’s the silver lining. 

Remember, we each have a CHOICE.

So, why not choose faith, not fear?

  1. This has been a blessed time- I have begun to filter what comes into my brain about this nasty disease( can’t avoid it totally as I am a nurse) but am enjoying my off time with my family more. FaceTime has become a tool for us also. It has not been so bad down the hill ( except it will be cooler up there today) 😉

  2. What beautiful flowers! What is the name/designer of the lips and moustache embroidery that you used on the masks? I’m looking for a more delicate one than I’ve been using. Thanks.

    • Susan – Those lips and mustache designs are FREE! I designed the lips and another Janome Artist did the mustache. You can find the designs on the Facebook Janome Sewing Machines page….scroll WAY back to the early part of April. They are there for a FREE download!

  3. God bless you and your family!

  4. Thank you so much for this. I have been a hot mess since February, battling Covid and depression. I really needed the reminder to “let go and let God”. Bless you, Kent, Josh, and Andrew.

  5. Exquisitely said!! Thank you!

  6. What a view. So beautiful. Sunsets and sunrises are wonderful. High up views must be such fun. So lucky.
    I see Cheeto and Toby nearby.
    Yes. We do have lots to be great fun for. Life. Why not make beautiful fun items. When life gets back to more normal times, we will have learned how to live differently and been happy.
    Thank you for sharing such wonderful photos of your scenic grounds and flowers, quilt, and thoughts.

  7. Beautiful! Every bit of this. And inspiring in many ways. There’s so much to be found when we just “let Him have it!”

  8. I feel the same way. I had such anxiety at first I could barely go into my new sewing room. I got a new machine which gave me the jump start I needed. I still haven’t quilted but done lots of new machine embrodiery projects. I also admitted there were some projects I had bought fabric for that I was never going to get to in my lifetime so I spent hours returning the fabric to my stash and rearranging how the stash was stored. We were so blessed to move into our own home the beginning of February and are enjoying fixing it up and decorating. My husband is finding skills he never knew he had. And I am attempting to grow flowers.

    And yes I have been reading lots too. I read Before We Were Yours and liked it although the story is sad. The epilogue at the end was very interesting. I will look into The Girl Who Wrote in Silk. My husband and I have decided not for o go too far until things have settled down.

    Cady and James are doing well. Cady’s case manager has been grocery shopping for them. The weather is finally getting better in New Hampshire so she is getting out for walks.

    Stay safe and I will see you in Paducah. I signed up for your mystery class.

  9. Wow you just summed it up and thank you
    Wow what do you think of this with blue print
    I have your classes and like 200 more ,,so I hope we can all save them somehow
    If you hear anything about it I would appreciate hearing from you
    Thanks again and hugs to you and your family

  10. You have such a beautiful way of expressing things. Covid19 has given most a new perspective on life and this world we live in. We have been so blessed. We know God is good. We must remember to thank God in the midst of peril and you have reminded us to do so.

  11. You’re always a bundle of energy so I am not at all surprised to read how much you have accomplished with this enforced time at home! I wish I could say the same for my own creativity but I am still working for the library (if not AT the library) and find managing staff remotely is even more time-consuming than in person! But I have spent my off-work time decluttering and sorting and tossing and organizing and otherwise trying to get my home in wonderful order. And I’ve sewn a lot of masks and found all kinds of “works in progress” and look forward to finishing my organizational projects so I can get back to quilting! I love your posts and your photos. And, by the way, I read and LOVED “Before We Were Yours” last year.

  12. We get so busy with what some call the norm, not seeing the beauty in the smallest things, fun time with family, and the wonders of nature. I retired three years ago and discovered the wonder of it all, and what a blessing it is for me to experience the splendor of it all. I agree with you, pandemic excluded, it’s has been an eye opening Experience for a lot of folks to re-discover the awesomeness of GODs sunsets, purple and orange flowers, the love of one another, and by you wonderful words, seems you and your family are blessed to discover it all. I haven’t been reading, though I’ve discovered Zentangle and Zendoodle and have just Been tangling art patterns that I learned, I’ve been using in my quilting, like paisley, flowers, feathers and echoing. I’m looking forward to your new quilts, keep calm and keep sewing. Be well and be safe!

  13. You inspire me to make the most of life right now! Thank you for sharing your heart and faith with us, Kimberly.

  14. You said it all sistah!! Will miss you at VQF but glad you are getting some much deserved rest and rejuvenation! You captured so much, what I believe, everyone is feeling. The sense of reset, back to basics, and FAMILY.
    Be well and stay safe!

  15. Thank you for such an uplifting post! We are a Janome family. I work for a Janome dealer and we have 4 Janome machines in the house. My husband bought himself a long arm last year and keeps up the Facebook page and live events. He loves Cheeto! We have three cats and our orange and white kitty Doodlebug is my constant companion. So of course we love it when your pets make an appearance.

  16. Beautifully written, Kimberly. It is, indeed, hard to find that silver lining when one is out of routine or groove and so many of us feel a bit adrift, aimless, unmotivated, restless and somewhat agitated during this unfamiliar journey. Every day, I start fresh but end up feeling like I’m on a treadmill, going nowhere fast. Thank you for reminding us to rest, reset priorities and refocus on what’s really important. I am grateful to you and Cheeto for brightening my days and inspiring me to be the best I can be.

  17. Your photos and inspiring words were just what I needed. I too have been cleaning, organizing and purging in my quilting space. This surreal time has been eye opening as to what the entire world is going through. We are blessed with the opportunity to slow down, reflect on the path we were going, and to revisit ideas sitting on the back burner in our creative minds. As we continue to ‘Stay the course’ placed before us, making health of self, family and friends a priority, look to God for He guides our journey in all that matters.

  18. Amen and Amen! Thank you Kimberly I so appreciate you and your teachings!

  19. Kimberly, you are such a beautiful person. You help so many people with your teaching and your words, which are truely comming from the heart. It is such a pleasure to listen to you you are an awesome teacher. I tried to sign into the life session today and could not find it, probably an operator issue, since I am facebook challenged. You know God has put people on this earth who have a positive impact on your life . You are one of those people and I am lucky enough to have met you and will do so again at Paducah. I am so looking forward to this. I will continue to see if I can get into the life sessions. Take care of yourself and stay healthy. Gods blessings Bea

  20. Wonderful to read your blog and look into your beautiful home. I also have 2 boys, who are now both married with beautiful Grandchildren for me to cuddle. The most important thing this COVID 19 has taught everyone is how precious family is. When we are all so busy and caught up with life in general we forget how precious our loved ones are. We have all had time to reflect and BREATHE, slow down, look at the flowers, watch the season change and let Mother Nature also BREATHE and show us her wonders.
    In a strange way it has been a blessing to remind us of what is and isn’t important

  21. I am back at work, but the time off I got some of my sewing and quilting done. I organized my sewing room during that time. It is so much better working in it.

  22. Kimberly, I, too, was shocked about Bluprint! I pray all is well with you and that this doesn’t put a monkey wrench in your life. I’m concerned as I, too, have purchased many of the classes of which I have several of yours.
    I just found your actual site and have signed up to keep in touch. I really enjoy your teaching and the way you are a stickler for pressing. I feel it is one of the reasons that a lot of people like my quilting. It is an absolute priority in my estimation.
    Thanks for all you do. Looking forward to what you may have for us in the near future!!! Cindy in Bandon-By-The-Sea, Oregon

  23. Kimberly thank you for the beautiful pictures and sweet thoughts. Im wondering if you think a kaffe fassat jelly roll would be okay for a lonestar starburst. I love his designs but don’t like glommed up quilts with so much design you can’t see pattern his fabrics are so beautiful so i want them to shine so hoping your beautiful design will work

    • I love Kaffe’s fabrics, too. BUT….the thing that makes Lone STarburst really work is definition between the fabrics (think: contrast). And that can be hard to obtain with Kaffe’s fabrics because they are so busy and saturated with color. I’ve seen some students’ quilts done using these strips and while they are pretty, they make me think this pattern isn’t going to do the fabric justice OR will the fabrics do the pattern/design itself justice. Thanks for asking!

  24. Thank you so much for the perfect Pineapple pattern. It is so cute. I was so disappointed when the Utah Quilt show cancelled and We couldn’t take your class, but I ordered the book, pattern, ruler and I am ready to make that wall hanging – just as soon as I can get my room cleaned and organized. Thank you again.
    Gini Bright
    Grand Junction, CO

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