Wednesday, 17 October 2012

In the Making: Following Patterns

Do you follow patterns? Or are you more of a 'make it up as you go' kinda gal (or guy)? I think I sit on the fence between the two. There are times when it's most liberating and fun just to wing it, but I have to say, I'm learning that if I want to sew to relax, without the constant wondering how it's going to look when it's all done, I love following a pattern.

I'm on the home-stretch with these handstitched jewels for my Modern Medallion quilt. I once read, about reading to children, that if you take a book slowly, in little chapters, they soak it in more, re-create it in their imaginations, and start to live and breathe the characters. That's what this quilt has been for me. I've purposefully not pushed myself with this one, so that I could keep enjoying the process, stitching it during our Monday night gathering with friends, the occasional film, on Thursday nights when I go sewing with the girls. I've soaked it in, enjoying the process without the planning (though I know that part is fun too!). I've felt completely safe and rested in Rachel's thought and creativity she'd added to each consecutive border.

I've also started this quilt with Laura Gunn's fabrics from her Cosmos and Garden Wall lines. You can download it free here. It's a slightly different pattern following process for me, because I'm not even choosing colours or prints. But the wide strips, appliqued to each other have made it quick! And I have in mind someone who would love it for Christmas, and who doesn't love a quilt which gets crossed off the handmade Christmas list early?

In contrast, here's my laptop case I made for Tim this week, from my precious Heather Ross guitars. Heavy weight linen, cotton wadding and flannel make it a pretty cosy and safe hidey-hole for our laptop. And though there are lots of great tutorials out there, I wasn't really in the mood for looking back at the computer all the time (especially when I was using it for measurements!). And how hard can a rectangular sleeve with flap be? Well, you'll notice there's no flap. It got cut off half way through, because I'd sewn too far when I realised it wasn't going to just flip inside out for me. So I thought I'd just add it after. Then, I made it a little too cosy. Our laptop had an extra large battery sticking out the back, so while this would be perfect for a normal 14" laptop, ours needs to lose a little weight.

So while it's all part of the learning, I did think next time, when I was cutting into my expensive linen, I might slow down and read some instructions. Or write down the process myself from my head, thinking through how it would work well. Meanwhile, I've been thinking about getting a new laptop for myself. Maybe I'll limit my purchase to a 14" with a small bottom?


  1. Gorgeous Jodi! All of them! :)

  2. I'm the same - I tend to go between the two, depending on the circumstances and how creative I'm feeling. ;)

    Your Modern Medallion quilt is simply divine. Loving the hand-stitched jewels.

  3. Oh the medallion is gorgeous!! The case doesn't look bad at all to me, just add a strap maybe? It's hard to tell because I was super distracted by the lovely fabric in the background ;)

  4. Jodi...the Modern Medallion quilt is stunning. I so wish I had joined in on that. I do appreciate a project like that here and there and I can tell you are enjoying it!

    And I love the case!!!

  5. Yes, I enjoy both - the winging it and the patterns. It's funny because one or the other is more restful, just depending on one's mood!


I so love your comments! I read all of them and reply when I can. If you don't hear back, I'm lost under a mound of scraps or outside jumping on the trampoline with the kids. Jodi. xx