Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Block 1 "Gentle Domesticity"...

It's that day, THE day.
Our year of stitching "Gentle Domesticity" has begun!

You know, as I have been drawing and preparing and stitching the blocks you'll receive through 2016 for this project, I have experienced a fresh joy very deep in my soul, and a stirring of my spirit that leaves me exhilarated. 

I've chosen this particular block for January because this is where the gentle domestic life begins - by embracing our home-maker hearts.
 Whilst there have been some positives to come out of the women's rights movement, there was also a big chunk of "goodness, it's wonderful to be a woman" carved away, which left an widey gaping hole in some of our hearts. 

I never wanted to be a man. I never desired to have a man's responsibilities, and I never wanted to be considered equal to one because I am woman and a man can never be equal to me.
We're very different for very good reasons and purposes.
A man should walk in his manly ways, and I should celebrate who I am by walking in mine.

I revel in my womanhood, embracing the uniqueness of my femininity and my privilege to nourish and bring forth life from my womb, milk from my breasts, bread from my oven, and love for my husband with my body.
Embracing my home and the privilege of caring for those I love within these walls grew from my personal delight of being all-woman.

Gentle Domesticity is a phrase I first came across when I heard about Jane Brocket's book "The Gentle Art of Domesticity" from my friend Ruth back in 2007, and it has stuck with me ever since. I think the idea  of living a gentle domestic life was brewing in my subconscious back then, but I didn't discover my need  for it until just over a year ago (you can read about that here).

Some of my favourite televison programs this past year have been things like The Great British Bake Off, Kirstie Allsopp's various 'homemade' shows, The Great British Sewing Bee, The Waltons, Little House on the Prairie...and you know, I've watched all of them numerous times! They fill my home-maker heart with fun, inspiration, purpose, dignity, awe, ideas, pride, and wait for it - 'permission'  - to sew, cook, redecorate within a budget and learn new skills that will be reflected throughout my home.

That word 'permission' is one many of you have written me about this past year in private emails.
They all say something like this -

"Jenny, I never knew until now that I have needed to receive 'permission' to simply be me and embrace what I love to do most - be a home-maker. This year of gentle domesticity has changed my life for the better. Thank you."

"I have to work outside the home but my heart yearns to spend the time left over creating a gentle domestic atmosphere within my walls, so I shall give myself permission to do just that!"

"I've begun looking at my home and my responsibilities very differently now, and instead of feeling annoyed that the chores never end, I see them as a grace because they make this house a real home and somewhere we all want to be. It's like I needed permission to enjoy my role as a homemaker, you know?"

Now you may not agree with me about some or all of what I've written today, and that's okay.
You're a unique woman too.
And maybe my focus this year isn't exactly your 'cup of tea' either - that's okay. 
I truly truly  wish you well in your chosen life path, the one that calls your sweet name.

for the rest of you precious women who would like to wander with me through 2016?
I'm so honoured to be linking my arm in yours and embracing our home-maker hearts together.

I'm even considering opening a forum/message-board at some stage in the future so you can all have a voice to share, and inspiration to offer. Pray about that for me, okay? It would be a huge responsibility and commitment of time (probably money too) so I'd need trusted friends to help and a definite direction from the Lord. This would not be done on a whim.

Ready to stitch?!

The blocks in this BOM are free for 1 month only.
When block 2 is shared on February 5th, this first block will be a $2 purchase so head over to my shop today and download it as a free gift. Even if you're not ready to sew it yet, you can save it for later.

There's no quilt pattern at the end, in case you wondered.
Just twelve inspiring home-hearted blocks you can use in whichever way speaks to your creative spirit. 

A note about the "Postcards from Heaven" BOM:

If you're stitching "Postcards from Heaven" this year and would prefer to use the KJV text that Allie is using on her blocks you can download them HERE from her blog.
My wording on each postcard is not Scripture, but the sentiment a father would write to his child based on a Scripture. 

After all this writing I'm off to brew a pot of tea and browse my book a while. Enjoy stitching "Gentle Domesticity"!
Hope you have a very special day,


  1. Truly so swet and such a sweet sentiment
    I am so happy to be a woman:)
    Hugs all the way x

  2. What a wonderful post! I'm looking forward to taking this journey with you this year. I'm glad there are other women out there that embrace the role God has given them in their homes. Thank you for reminding me to enjoy the journey and give myself "permission" to be a wife/mother/homemaker first and foremost and do the tasks that need to be done with love for my family/home and always God.

  3. Dear Jenny, I´ve been visiting your blog for months and i love it. I spent so much time here and I enjoyed every minute. Thank you.
    It was funny, when I read Tuesday January 5 at the beginning, because I live in central Europe and it is still Monday, January 4 here.
    Happy new year to you and your family.

  4. Gracias por tus palabras, y por tu generosidad. Por supuesto que me apunto a coser. Ya pensaré después qué hacer con ellos :) Gracias.

  5. Dear Jenny, I've been following your blog for years now and you are such an inspiration and you manage to put into words and threads so much of what frames me as a person. When I read todays blog it was like a light bulb going on inside my head. Yes, you are so right - it's about giving ourselves permission; permission to be a home-maker and to enjoy it, something which is very difficult to be with so much pressure from the outside world. I've been at home for almost 22 years of which 15 years was spent homeschooling my two children and helping my husband get his nursing degree and masters degrees. You give so much of yourself to us all, thankyou so much for all the inspiration and beautiful freebies! with love, Sarah White

  6. Hi Jenny, I'm looking forward to this year of Gentle Domesticity. I get so much pleasure in baking and making things for my family. It is something very special. This first block is just gorgeous. Thank you for sharing this with us. Hugs, Christine xx

  7. This block is precious and my 2016 word is front and center...EMBRACE. I seem to be always saying thank you for sharing your wonderful stitchery designs with us. Yes, we are all unique and precious...

  8. Its such a gorgeous design and the meaning is even more beautiful, thank you for expressing in design how I feel in my heart. Guida

  9. I have been eagerly awaiting you 2 new BOM's this year. They are both quite different but very you, Jenny. Thank you for taking the time to create these BOM's. I know I'm going to enjoy stitching both of them. I love your applique and embroidery pairings. They speak to me. I can't wait to get started.

  10. Another beautiful heartfelt post with an added bonus of another unique Jenny design. Thankyou so much for all the time and energy you have put in to your designs and your blog. Just need to get my printer working now grrrrr.

  11. You know, I was a raging feminist in my foolish youth - didn't get married til I was 30, wasn't a mum til I was 33. And now, I can't even remember my life before this; it seems all I ever wanted, unbeknownst to me, was to be a wife and mother. I adore being a wife and mother, a home-maker, I revel in my God-given role. Jenny, you have such a gift for putting feelings into words, feelings so many of us didn't even know we had. Thank you for sharing your voice, your designs which reflect that voice so beautifully, and making the world a gentler, more gracious place. Love you, my friend.

  12. I feel so blessed to be a homemaker but I long to embrace it more. I have downloaded the pattern and can think of at least friend I would like to stitch this for. I will be praying for you Jenny in your decisions, God Bless you for your generosity in sharing. x

  13. Thanks Jenny for sharing!
    It's heart warming and beautiful!
    Take care,

  14. The Gentle Domesticity Block 1 is so pretty! Thank you!

  15. The block is as pretty as I thought it would be! Thank you so much!

    For some reason my computer wouldn't open the links in bloglovin but when I just typed in elefantz dot com it worked fine. (shrug). I'm just glad I found a way to get the patterns!

    PS--I'm almost finished with the last block of Promises & Borders. Now I need to go back and re-do #1 as I changed fabric after I did it! That's life!

  16. Another lovely post! You have such a wonderful way with words. Thank you....

  17. Amen and amen. There are homemaker things I love to do and things I hate to do, and I long ago decided that's okay. Paul was always the cook because he LOVED cooking, and he did it so well. I'm merely competent and am just as happy with a PBJ, if I have to cook! I always wanted to be the stay-at-home mother, but I always had to be the go-to-work mother, and that worked out okay, too, because Paul helped. I truly feel sorry for women who are expected to work outside the home AND do all the traditional woman's role, with no help. I love your first block, Jenny. Thank you - and that green heart is perfect!

  18. Good Evening Jenny! I am so looking forward to another year learning and stitching with you! I have pretty much felt like you about the Women's Rights Movement and have always enjoyed being a stay at home mom and now wife. There are plenty of household tasks that I could do better, but hubby and I are pretty much happy with the way we work together. I know that there are several projects that I want to learn this year and hope they are an improvement for our home. With this spectacular stitching project to start the year, I will succeed no matter because this is a winning project already! Thank you for sharing!

  19. Beautiful block, Jenny! Your handwork is so exquisite, I just love that you share it so freely with all of us. Your words are inspired and inspiring. Thank you for sharing the beauty of you.

  20. You are the most generous person I know :) Just a thought that instead of a forumn which as you said may cost how about a private, by invite, FB page that may work and that way you can restrict the numbers and have control over who is on there & their comments.

  21. Me ha encantado tu relato. Creo que eres muy feliz y se trata de de eso, no?
    Te mando un abrazo desde España. Un beso fuerte y te seguiré muy de cerca.
    Ya sabes que me encanta todo lo que haces.

  22. Thank you Jenny - lovely block. I have been fortunate to be able to spend the last twenty years in France 'unemployed' but working hard in our garden and home.The garden tends to come first! But now that we are cutting back on the veg growing due to age!! I am planning to spend more time getting the house into better shape. xx

  23. Hermosas y ciertas palabras. Muchas gracias por este BOM, en el que por supuesto participaré.
    Besos desde España

  24. Jenny,

    What a beautiful block!! I am always so inspired by your blog -- your beautiful photography, your designs, and your words of encouragement. I have to spend too many hours of my day working outside the home, but long to make my home a peaceful place. Thanks so much for your encouragement, and sharing your designs with us. I was hoping the year of gentle domesticity would not end!

  25. You stated things so well. Thanks for upholding the calling and for sharing such beautiful patterns with us.

  26. Thank you Jenny for this sweet block and for all the beautiful patterns you've shared with us. blessings, marlene

  27. I love all of your embroideries and how you share them with us. You are a very talented lady!!! Just a fyi -- shouldn't this say 2016 instead of 2015??
    Thanks & Blessings in the new year ahead!!!!

  28. Okay - I must be blind, Karengene, because I can only see 2016 in this blog post. Where is the error, please?

  29. This is a lovely block!! Thank you for sharing it! I'm excited to work through these! All of your work is pleasing to the eye. Lovely job!

  30. Hello Jenny,
    Thank you so much for sharing your faith and your life with us. I love the idea of a year of gentle domesticity, in fact for me a life more like. My life has taken many twists and turns and I worked for many years. Now I've been disabled from my job and I intend to travel with you through this year, maybe I can regain some of what I felt was lost. I really love this pattern and hope to make myself something special apart from all my other projects, maybe not straight away but I will collect all the blocks. God bless you, I also think the idea of a forum is great. You will be in my prayers.
    God bless

  31. Oh my goodness Jenny! I am already in love with you and your lovely blog! I am so glad you joined the Art of Home-Making Mondays so that I was able to find you. I can't wait to attempt this project as I love handwork! :)

  32. Dear Jenny, This is just a little note to let you know we have *featured* this beautiful post today on the Art of Home-Making Mondays! I have downloaded the pattern and can't wait to start! :)

  33. Thanks so much for the beautiful pattern -I can't wait to get started making it.
    Have a great day!

  34. It can feel so lonely being a woman who desires "gentle domesticity", and I feel so at home when I read blogs like yours. <3

  35. Hello Jenny! I've come across your project and your blog at the Pilgrims party and came straight over to say hello. It is fantastic!


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