Sunday, 20 March 2016

In the Studio

And all over a sudden, almost overnight, I went from escaping here for the air-conditioning, to escaping here for the sunshine. From cursing its hot beams radiating through our thin tin roof, to welcoming them through the northern window that fills most of the wall next to my sewing machine.

Perhaps it was the change in the weather, or the finishing up and shipping off three more quilts for Free Spirit. Or maybe even the big fuss over on Instagram about the impending changes to my feed, but I woke this morning with the desire to write. To think about words and the state of things, without limiting it to the space before the ... or how to caption a picture so that you don't just flick away.

English Paper Piecing has become more than just a summer fling. And something about my Free Spirit Quilts becoming my 'day job' has made me feel completely justified in working on more than one EPP quilt at a time. Afterall, it's my relaxing-in-the-evening sewing. I'm allowed to follow my whims, right? And even before this Pinwheel Posy quilt is all stitched up, I have another in mind that's ready to explode out of me if I don't hurry up and give it form. And hey, it's the weekend. Maybe I'll just succumb.

A completely new and exciting adventure for me is Scraps In Tubs. I know. Not new or exciting really, but all the happy feelings come mostly from me actually diving in and doing it. About a month ago, my mum came and helped me sort through my monster of a scrap stash. It was like a virus, making its way into all corners of the house (mostly with the help of our oh-so-helpful two year old.) My mother never passed on her organising genes to me, so I asked her to give them to me in a weekend, and we had a lovely time together wrapping yardage around comic book boards, and reorganising my scraps into these spider-proof, toddler-proof tubs. We threw out anything ridiculously un-useful, and then added my fat quarters and big scraps in the mix too. Now I only have two places for fabric storage, rather than five or six. Oh, it's so good!

I've been slowly going through the boxes and putting all kinds of favourites and not-so-favourites alike through the 2.5" square die with my Accuquilt, for the aforementioned next-in-line hexie quilt. If only I could hand-stitch as quickly as I can cut 2.5" squares!

The big tidy up revealed a longish forgotten scrap project, which this week has been brought out into the sunshine to hopefully be all sewn up. It's made completely with the scrap triangles from a second mountain campfire quilt I've sewn up and was also put on the 'waiting pile.' Fin wanted to be in the photo, but didn't want to be in the photo. She turns two today. And she lives most of her life this way, wanting to join in, and wanting to be in control. I'm like that too so I understand. And liking her despite the infuriating bits helps me like myself more.

I started this blog 5 years ago next month! Back in the very epicenter of baby-rearing chaos. It feels a little strange, a little too good to be true that today we say goodbye to the baby days. All those hundreds of times that I wrote, and said, and prayed, "This too shall pass", and it actually did! Who would have thought?

Some mothers are absolutely, wonderfully themselves with little ones underfoot. But me, I'm enjoying me right here in my Autumn sunshine and my tubs with lids.


  1. I struggle to keep my space organized as well, and I don't have a toddler to help 'rearrange.' Congrats on the progress! I understand that lovely feeling when things are in their least for a bit ;)

  2. Lovely post Jodi and your photos are beautiful! x Teje

  3. Haha, that sounds just like my kids. They certainly do teach you a lot about yourself, hey?!

  4. I'm almost to the point of not caring if my room is neat or not......I clean and clean and then I stop and realize I've just used 2-3 hours of sewing time that I'll never get back :)

    Your posts sound like what mine would have when I had kids underfoot. I loved my little ones but they're such ornery little buggers sometimes and I always felt like I couldn't please all 3 at the same time so I was cranky on top of it :)

    Your quilts are a real inspiration. Your Free Spirit is GORGEOUS!!!!!
    I have my red block from last year in a TO DO pile....I enjoyed that weekly sew along soooo much!

    Peggy in NJ USA (where we are supposed to get MORE snow today)

  5. When will you be able to show your other free spirit quilts?? So excited to see them, hoping for a photo-intense blog post soon! Fingers crossed!

    1. Soon I hope! My friends at Free Spirit said I can share them as soon as the patterns are up on their website. Thanks! xx

  6. I took quite a bit of time last year, cutting my scraps into squares and organizing them by size. I'm on my second scrappy quilt made out of 2 ½" squares and it is so much fun! I've made a nice dent in the scraps and have cut a few strips off of yardage and fat quarters to add to the scrappy mix. I'm really glad I took the time to organize! (I use plastic bins too and they work great.)

    1. Teresa, your comment motivated me to keep going! I'm sure I'd use my scraps more if they came pre-cut! :) Thanks!

  7. Looking at the previous comment, I'd love to hear what you think, Jodi, if you do precut scraps. I've never done that before, but I'm thinking about it as I work on my next class, which is about organizing and using scraps. Glad to hear you thinking out loud here. It's a lovely sound =)

    hmm... I'm looking at your photos of scraps in tubs. One of my class posts will be about different methods of storing scraps. I'm planning to talk about using plastic tubs (among other options), but I don't have any that I use that way or that are appropriate so I guess I thought I'd buy them just for the pictures. Your pictures are actually perfect. Would you let me borrow your pictures for my class with credit to you? I could compensate with a free pass to the class =) Though I don't know that I have anything to teach you about scraps!


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