Saturday, 31 May 2014


I got this quilt top finished today while Tim was out with the kids. Another long-lingering resident of my WIP box, it only needed these final borders sewn on to be done! I'm amazed at how many things in that box are just short of the finish line. My machine is in desperate need for a service so I was extra motivated to get it finished so that I can be hand-quilting it while the beast is holidays.

The pattern is Rachel of Stitched in Color's Modern Medallion, which was part of a hand-stiched course I took a couple of years ago. I found making a medallion quilt challenging with my old machine. My 1/4" seams weren't accurate and each border didn't quite fit. I found the motivation to stitch the final decorative border when I heard my cousin was having a difficult pregnancy and, lo and behold, it fit perfectly! And then I must have got distracted. Finishing off Christmas presents and custom orders and being pregnant myself.
I kind of cheated with the finish. I didn't attempt the beautiful mitred corners that Rachel put in hers. And I used the leftover strips from my bed quilt rather than try to keep with the colour theme. All Anna Maria Horner prints go together, right?

Fin woke up while I was taking photos so I lay her on my pillow and kept snapping, hoping she'd forgive me for being distracted when I should be feeding her. Then she started giggling at the camera! You know that kind of breathing-in noise that escapes just before the stage where they can actually giggle?

So of course, I moved her to a much prettier backdrop where she completely stole the show.

People keep asking me how I get so much done with a baby in the house. I'm not quite sure myself!

Thursday, 29 May 2014


When I lived in the country, there was a paddock by the river near our home that I would walk around for quiet and exercise. Each morning, I would walk off the road and through the gate and a hundred grasshoppers would bound up in welcome and hop out of the way. It was my morning fanfare. Is it silly? It made me feel celebrated.

When I saw the Umbrella Prints Trimmings Challenge, the colours of the Floating World pack reminded me of those mornings. I'm sure you can imagine, seven years later, I don't quite get welcomed to the new day like that any more. I thought I would make myself a quilt to try and imbue that feeling. And butterflies were a far simpler and fun insect to stitch than grasshoppers!

I cut the the larger squares into rectangles, and then cut each print into half-rectangle triangles. which I sewed into the corners of 5" squares. I made each pair of triangles into a butterfly in a 9.5" block.

Then I laid them out randomly and filled the spaces between with a couple of low volume prints. I quilted it with wavy vertical lines reminiscent of the long grass in the paddock, and then bound it in Denyse Schmidt's Jagged Stripe. White was tempting, but I do love a strong border, don't you?

Then we took it to the beach for an afternoon walk and photos. The light on the water was amazing. Even the kids were transfixed (and transfixing). The clouds, the light on the yellow grass. And butterflies (!) fluttering over the shrubs in the sand dunes. It was that exact same feeling. A deep breath. A welcome. A fanfare. And this time I had these little people (and my faithful quilt holder) to share it with. These little darlings who greet me in the morning with dirty nappies and and hungry tummies.

And then that warm familiar voice reminded me. Even though I gave up those mornings for them. It's not their job to replace them. It's mine to introduce them to the same welcome.
We walked towards the sunset back to the car, and Evie said, "Do you know why God make the sunset pretty?"
"No, why?"
"Because he knows I like purple."

Yes he does, my sweet girl.

I'm entering my quilt in the Umbrella Prints Trimmings Challenge. All entrants will be pinned to the Challenge Pin Board where you can vote by pinning the photos from tomorrow afternoon (Friday, Aussie time). Judging by my blog feed, the collection will be amazing!

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

The WIP box.

Last year felt like a year of letting go. I lost a baby, I shut up my shop in town, I had even denied myself the blissful escape of fabric shopping for the year. When I fell pregnant again, it was a joyful, terrifying, intimate experience. But it also felt like a final breath. I was having my third child. This is where I would bid farewell to my time and inspiration. Good bye Jodi. I'll see you in 20 years.

Perhaps it sounds melodramatic, but I couldn't actually fathom ever feeling inspired again. It was like all my creative energy was going into making an alien life form. I stopped selling at markets, I sold all my stock on sale, I put the rest in this box. I had no idea if you were ever going to see me again.

There are lots of little deaths in motherhood. There is the death that comes with loss and dashed hopes, and the death that comes with hopes granted and the consequent lack of sleep. There's the death of one's agenda, personal space, confidence, drinking tea while still hot. I expected those again. What I didn't expect is a kind of resurrection. I didn't expect energy. Motivation. Enjoying my craft again. Maybe it's hormonal, maybe it's that sweet certainty (and fingers crossed - we've had surprises before) that this is the last. This is us now. We are in the next phase. The phase of moving on, and not always starting again, not always in limbo - will we, won't we... And maybe it is as many of my friends have said, that with the third, you feel like you finally have permission just to enjoy them. And enjoy them at home. Because that's where you all feel safe and ordered and creative. And any parts left of you from years gone that said you should be out, doing things that are REAL and IMPORTANT are more easily silenced.

And so, for the first time in over a year, my WIP box is not glaring down at me from the top shelf. It's down, on my sewing room floor, lid open. (actually, I think the lid has been stolen to be used as a shield) And I have ideas. Lots. Enough to make it feel like a little death when I recognise my limitations. But I am thankful for the death that's chosen and not the one that feels like a loss of identity, that is just too tired.

So this year, with a million, beautiful interruptions, my goal is to empty this box. Perhaps it's unrealistic, probably it will be put to one side when Finlay starts to teethe, to move, to eat lego. But right now, I'm enjoying having a goal that is not just to take each day at a time (though I want to do that too).

I'm sure there was something else I wanted to say but the baby has awoken. So I'll show off my first WIP box finish (and our beautiful coast) and chat more next time.

Jodi. xx

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

A new finish.

The kids are cleaning their teeth. The baby is awake but happy on my bed. Her crusty hour begins around now. So I'm taking this 2 second window to pop over, show off my CARE Circle Spinning Stars quilt before I put the big kids to bed and settle into an evening of breast feeding and old TV reruns.

I asked the CARE circle girls if they could make me a single Spinning Stars block with a green and aqua centre, white/low volume ring, and alternating yellow and orange corners. I arranged them to get the most contrast I could between the blocks. It was fun making this quilt again but in completely different colours. The main challenge? Anna Maria Horner doesn't have an inch square for scaling purposes on her template. We ended up struggling with block sizes a bit.

Oop. There goes the baby. I miss this space! But I do find Facebook and Instagram easier to update. Follow me there (@jotickle)!

Over and out. xx