Saturday, 18 October 2014

Just moments.

I spend a lot of time thinking about where I'm headed. Where I fit in the world. What my purpose is. I'm so drawn to the idea of having a creative identity. I make this, and when I do, people know it's me. But it seems that when I pin something down, when I say, "I'm going to make reversible clothes and sell them in town!" or "I'm going to make patterns!" or "I'm going to make drawstring quilts!" that I start to feel stuck. That settled feeling of finding a niche is an elusive one for me.

So it probably shouldn't have surprised me that after announcing absolutely and unequivocally a few weeks ago that I Am a Quilter, I started to feel at sea. Trapped. Like the very act of mapping out my path stole it's beauty, it's adventure. Like it was supposed to be a secret thing, left unspoken and mysterious.

I have a nearly four year old who's a lot like me. Suggest a plan for the afternoon and she runs the other way. But leave her to her own devices and she'll flit (mostly) happily from one thing to the next. If I'd offered to make this pinafore for her, she would have politely, but firmly declined. But today she had in mind that she wanted a purple dress. And because life doesn't always allow you to drop everything and make at a little girl's whim, but today seemed one of those days, I agreed. I gave her the option of the pinny or a wrap dress, and she chose the print.

As I started ironing, then pinning, then cutting this all too familiar pattern, I felt the kind of peace that comes when you get lost in something. I've made more than one hundred of these, but the last was over a year ago. Still, I didn't stop once to double check the next steps.
"I'm enjoying this!" I thought. And then, "Maybe I could make more to sell before Christmas!" And then along those all too familiar tracks, my thoughts meandered. Price. time. feelings. How am I feeling? Would I want to make another after this? Would I hate myself in a couple of weeks when I have 20 cut out pinnies staring me down?

"Mum? Mum. MUUUUMMMM!"

This is why it's good to sew with a nearly 4 year old every now and then. Because you can't think with a little girl's constant stream of questions and stories. And when you can't think, you realise that the good you were enjoying was not the making, but the moment. The opportunity to say yes to Evie. The knowing it was quick and familiar. The feel of her hand on mine so she could help me sew, but "not get needled". This wasn't about finding an identity, this was about being. A mother with a skill and passion that could be shared just like this, right now, because Tim was outside with Tully and the baby was asleep.

And so we sewed. And dressed up. Brushed her hair and photographed her dancing. It occurred to me, just quietly, that it was impossible to get her to model last time, that maybe we could do more now. But I stilled that voice quickly.
No plans. Not right now.
Just moments.


  1. super cute dress and a great post. I love the third last picture the best, of that makes sense!

  2. So glad you got to enjoy the moment - Evie looks so happy with her dress. If you decide you could bear to make one more of these in a size 5 I would love to buy one for Amelia for Christmas before you leave town :)

  3. enjoying the moment - so important. And I would love a dress just like that :-)

  4. What a lovely post. I'm guessing that many of us find those same kinds of thoughts creeping in, threatening to spoil those prefect moments like you were experiencing with your sweetie. I like how you handled it, and that you were even able to identify that it was happening. These are the moments you and your daughter will remember, not how many dresses or quolts you made, but sewing together and dancing for the camera.

  5. You have so poignantly captured the true identity I'd like to have. What does it matter how many quilts I have made or the awards I have earned if I have no time to sit my daughter in my lap or hear about my son's drawings? Here's to appreciating the moments!

  6. Hey Jodi,
    After reading this early this morning and getting me thinking about my inspirations and aspirations. I headed off to Afton's blog where she had some snipets of a quilt show separated into sections. I had a look at the modern and traditional quilts and was about to go thinking "ah art quilts, they are so abstract! I can't be bothered..." but I had a quick look. And they reminded me of the quilts I was very first inspired by when I got into quilting, particularly a lady called "Ruth de Vos". So I popped over to Ruth's site for the first time since 2009ish and was blown away by her work again. So refreshing, so inspiring. And it made me step back out of my "I like modern quilts with traditional blocks" box and want to pick up a pencil and start pushing myself more. So what if I have millions of unfinished projects? isn't the point to enjoy the creating?
    Thanks Jodi xo
    (PS its 9.50am and Rosie is still in bed although I possibly awake, and Dougie slept from when we got home til 5.30!! and then 2 more little stints bringing him to 9am Hurray! We should have more late night visits with you mob lol... don't panic ;)

  7. Yes! It's such a trap to think that because we like this moment, we'd necessarily like so many more like it. Or, in your case, to think that so many more like it could even exist, instead of it being a unique and precarious gift. Thanks for bringing this to me today, my friend.

  8. What a beautifully expressed reminder to enjoy moments! What a gorgeous moment to share with your 4 year old too. She may very well remember that moment forever :) She looks totally stoked in your photos (maybe that's why she was happy to pose?)
    Again, great reminder. Thanks!


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