The Free Motion Quilting Project: The Happy and the Sad

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Happy and the Sad

I was all set to share a new design today and then something really crazy happened that totally blindsided me and made it impossible to write about quilting.

My mom called with the news she's leaving my Dad,
and oh yeah, by the way, your sister is pregnant.

Crazily enough, it's the pregnancy news that's the most shocking. Up until now my sister has sworn never to have children, but I think she started to change her mind after I had James.

I'm excited, but also scared for my sister. I wish there was a way to prepare her for the months and years ahead, but I can't. It is our own road we walk into motherhood, and no one can do it for us.

My parent's splitting up is kind of awkward too. I'm 26 years old and, growing up, I was one of the few kids who didn't have divorced parents.

But also growing up, I witnessed two deeply unhappy people living together in what can only be described as a unstable truce.

What it comes down to is love,
and that's why I'm sharing this with you today.

free motion quilting | Leah DayMy parents stayed together as long as they did out of love for me and my two sisters.

And out of love for them, my parents, I accept their decision to live separately as the only way the two of them will ever really be happy.

Back in January, I made the sketch of the goddess to the right. She is "Bound by Love", and literally bound to the ground she grows in.

I drew this while considering a proposal to travel far and teach in many other states and countries.

My final decision was to turn all of the proposals down because I want to stay home with my husband and son, especially while my son was so little.

Like the goddess in the drawing, love can transform us, but also bind us into one place.

It's always a trade off, but one I ultimately will never regret.

I've been thinking of this goddess quite a bit lately and I think "Bound by Love" needs a companion goddess.

I worked on this design a bit today and am very pleased with it. This is "Blooming Through Love":

free motion quilting | Leah DayBoth of these quilts will be very small wall hangings, and may even be 100% painted rather than trying to applique all the little pieces.

I realize that I really do love to have many different projects going at a time. It seems the less I have to do, the less I get done!

So here is to love,

Leah Day


  1. I've been through the same wringer myself. Except it's my dad leaving my mom, and I'm the pregnant one. I'll admit to being a little more blindsided about my parents news, as they were together for 30 years, married 28. The baby has been a nice distraction. :)

  2. My husband's parents got divorced a few years ago ... I think we were about 32 or 33 at the time. It was a shocker for all of us. It was only after some of the post-decision discussion began that we learned about a lot of the stuff that had been going on between them all of the 35+ years they were married.

    I also have a friend who declared that she would NEVER EVER have kids ... went so far as to say that the Earth was overpopulated and she would not contribute to that problem. Well, she got married and a couple of years later I got the phone call saying that they were expecting. (I suffered a miscarriage several years before, so it was painful to hear)

  3. Dear Leah,
    I am so sad for the news about your parents. And I wish your sister all the luck and love she needs as she brings this little one into her life. I've had six children and cannot think of a sweeter time in my life, unless it is the birth of my 15 grandchildren. I truly feel blessed.
    I love your little blooming goddess. I thought of the saying: "bloom where you are planted" when I saw her.
    She looks like she is planted.

  4. I think the companion goddesses about say it all--one tied to the earth of her own choice, and the other blossoming out with a lovely set of petals that could be wings. We are all about our choices, and we make different choices at different time. I can't imagine receiving such stunning news that like at the same time. I like the way you balanced it and framed it by your own work as a quilter and a designer. That's really all we can do some days.

  5. So sorry to hear about your parents. It is tough on everyone when a divorce comes about, and it doesn't matter how old you are. Your attitude is what will carry you, and your parents, far away from the sad, hurt and pain.

    glen: who just has a mom left.....

  6. sometimes things are blessings in disguise. My parents separated the day after I got married and I was relieved. They were much happier after the divorce. Just be careful not to be pulled into any disputes they have with each other. set the boundaries early for your own sanity. Things will be better for everyone. A new baby in the family is always a blessing.

  7. I guess it doesn't matter the age you are when parents split up. My mother left my father when I was 23 years old and it hurt for a long time. They too, just stayed together for as long as they could and for the sake of their kids. Their situation is strange in that they never divorced and were separated for 25 years until my fathers passing New Year's Eve of 2009. It's a tough thing to have to deal with so I feel for you.

  8. Leah, i'm sorry.
    I'm sorry your parents are splitting after such a long time together.
    I'm sorry they stayed together "for the sake of the children".
    I'm sorry your world is so topsy-turvy at this time.

    But it's these difficult times that you and your husband go through together that will bind you stronger together in the long run.

    Maybe your sister has been "faking it" for awhile? Simply repeating what she's always said because it seemed right to say it at the time? Or maybe she "made a mistake" and didn't intend to get pregnant, but once it happened...

    Whatever the case, she's still your sister; still needs your love. (And i am NOT implying that you don't!)

    And you will still need your husband's shoulder to lean on at the end of the day.
    It's times like this that can make our marriages stronger.

    My parents divorced when i was 16. My Dad married a *much* younger woman a few years later. My husband & i were trying to have a baby when i was 25; i had a miscarriage, and then my "step-mom" called & told me she was pregnant! I hated that she got pregnant before i did!
    Our daughters are 5 months apart.

    My Dad & she split up when my little sister was in 8th grade.

    Stuff happens.
    We don't like it but we live with it, and we survive.

    I'm here to listen if you want to complain.

  9. Hi Leah, I am sorry to hear about your parents, but sometimes apart is better than together is you are not happy. I think no matter how old you are, it is hard to hear that your parents are splitting. Congratulations on your sisters pregnancy. I am sure with a sister like you she will have someone to turn to for advice and help and have a wonderful experience. I have to say I really really love your new sketch, the "Blooming through Love". It actually depicts how I feel perfectly. Tied down to one place doing one type of routine with my children but the love that you feel while being tied down is so overwhelming and gives you so much love that is just radiates from you. I can't wait to see your finished quilt.s

  10. Leah, luckily you are level-headed. My parents divorced after 25 years of marriage, and it changed who I was. I hate that it had that effect on me. Thank goodness for your husband, son, and sisters. I'm glad you aren't alone.

    As for your sister, hooray for her! Quite often, it's easy to see the disadvantages to having children, and until you have them, you just might not realize how full your heart can feel.

  11. Doesn't matter what age you are when your parents separate or divorce. There is the initial shock and isbelief. I hope they will at least be on speaking terms and not play the he said-she said game or play off the children. Even after almost 20 years apart we are still can't mention my dad much around my mom. drives us crazy! keep things out in the open and be frank with them early about family get togethers etc. it will be tough and I wish you all the best in the coming years. I love your blog and quilting videos. if you ever want to vent about the situation I am just an email away.

  12. I also grew up in a household like yours, except my dad also drank and that wasn't a good scene. I hope you live somewhat close to your sister, to give her good support during her pregnancy and birth of new baby. Love your drawings and can't wait to see them in progress in material! prayers to you and your family.

  13. Both of the quilt are going to be great. They really do go together well.

    I will be praying for your family, in all that is to come.

  14. Leah,
    Love, love, love the two "goddesses" - As you wrote, I see this as the same goddess - she can't bloom unless she is firmly planted where she's supposed to be.
    I'm enjoying your blog and the process of quilt-making!
    Have a great day,

  15. I'm so sorry to hear this news about your parents, but at the same time, the news about your sister is wonderful. The happiest days of my life were when I got to hold my babies for the first time... and I LOVED being a mom!
    Your goddess drawings are inspiring - you are so talented and generous. Thank you for sharing your skills with us.

  16. I'm sorry to hear about your parents and your obvious empathy will help both of them as their new lives unfold. Happy news that a new niece or nephew is on the way!

  17. sending you a big (((hug)))

  18. Sorry you have sad news, but extremely happy that you made a choice to be there for your son and husband. My boys are now about the same age as you are and I'm glad my husband and I spent a lot of time with them when they were growing up. There's one thing I learned through the passage of time. When your babies are little, they are always chasing you and wanting you to be there for them. Then there's the dreaded day when they grow up and we're chasing them. Enjoy this special time and make some wonderful memories--you will never regret it! Please know that my thoughts are with you on your parents divorce. A dear friend of mine was 40 years old when her parents split-up. It hurts no matter what your age or if you were expecting it.

    I have free motioned quilted for 25 years. Your quilting is wonderful. Thanks for sharing your talent with us.

  19. Your two goddess designs say it all! I've been thinking a lot lately about choices I've made because of Love. Love binds us and gives us room to grow at the same time.

  20. Leah,

    I think you are going to be the guiding light in the coming months. While I'm truly sorry for your parents, I am glad to know you are ok with it and I hope your parents will truly be happier in their new roads, while their paths will take separate roads. And, as far as your sister, she has a fantastic sister who will be there to inspire and help.

    Hugs, many hugs.


  21. Leah,
    You seem truly wise beyond your years. I am very proud of you for choosing to stay home with your husband and son instead of traveling all the time. You are reaching so many of us this way. Keep it up and enjoy your family. My parents divorced when I was 13. We all survive and life is what we make it.
    You are doing great with your life. Enjoy!
    Yvette K.


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