Monday, June 19, 2017

Finding my groove...

A funny thing happened over the weekend.
I discovered a hobby that makes me smile and fills my heart with happy endorphins.

I wasn't looking for this knowledge, but it actually hit me right in the face because it's always been there but I didn't know.


Are you scratching your head and telling me though the computer screen that I've been doing patchwork for years? Hey, if I were you I'd be doing just that!

But here's the thing. 
I embroider all the time, it's my occupation, my work, my income, a responsibility that I enjoy and am blessed to do. Sometimes I make projects from my stitchery designs, but mostly I don't because there's always the next set of patterns to create, a home to manage and a business to run. 

So when I pull out the fabrics and do some patchwork there is usually a work related reason, or like I mentioned in a post last week, a desire to finish projects. And I do enjoy that but I never thought about it as a separate thing to my Elefantz work. 
Until Saturday afternoon.

We'd picked up some old magazines from the $2 bin at our local newsagents that morning so I brewed a pot of tea and settled down to flick through a few American quilting ones from 2016. 

Now here's where it got interesting, like a domino topple where one piece falls onto another, then another, and so on...

* On page 48 of Quilts & More (Summer 2016 issue) I saw a table runner project made from Bonnie & Camille's "Hello Darling" fabrics.

* I thought to myself - "I wonder where the Camille Roskelley book I bought a few years back is hiding?"

* To the bookcase I go, finger scanning the spines of all my craft books. Found!

* Take book back to my tea pot, put the magazine away and start reading through "Simply Retro". 

* Get excited about Camille's big block quilts and decide to make a smaller version of her "Vintage" quilt (page 36) using some prints from the new Tilda "Harvest" fabrics I'd been given. 

* Wonder what Camille has been up to this year, grab my iPad and google her blog. 

* Discover she hasn't blogged for two years but does frequent Instagram. 

* Notice in her blog sidebar that she has a Craftsy class.

* Log in to Craftsy and look up the class, read all the reviews, get excited that it's half price and promptly BUY the class! 

* Make more tea, grab some bikkies and settle back down to watch the first two lessons. 

* Light bulb moment.  I LOVE patchwork. 

* Another light bulb moment. My patchwork skills were all self taught from craft magazines when I first picked up a rotary cutter, needle and thread at the end of  2005. I've never had a lesson and I want some. 

And there is was, an epiphany that has filled my happy tank because I'm learning things I didn't know (further lessons along) and enjoying patchwork as a hobby, not an occupation. 

By Sunday afternoon I'd made three Granny Square blocks from the "Vintage Quilt" pattern. Here's the first two...

...and on Monday morning (today) after I saw Mr E off to work, I set about making the little pin cushion from Camille's second lesson because it was simply adorable and you know I have a heart for pincushions.

Gorgeous, right? Only 4" square, it's my new favourite.

Now bitten severely by the patchwork bug I gave myself the entire day off work to play with Mr E's approval and encouragement. 
I LOVE that man. 

I decided to continue with my plan to regularly make projects from all my orphan stitchery designs but now with the intent that anything I make must serve a purpose or have a function.

We really need new bedside table runners, but Mr E being a bloke he's not much into girly styles, so until I can find some fabrics that will work for him I began with a cover for my own side table.

I chose the "Bloom Where You Are" block from last year's Gentle Domesticity BOM (pattern is in my shop) and cut 2 1/2" strips of pastel fabrics from my scrap box.

Most of the fabrics were used but some didn't really work so they've been put aside for a different project on another day. 
However I did finish my table runner by mid afternoon and it's beautiful! 

It is 16" x 22", simply made with 2 1/2" squares, and exactly what I wanted for the bedroom.

I have a lovely sense of satisfaction right now, and excitement about what to make the next time I indulge time in my 'hobby'. 

Oh, and I didn't forget to do something special for my husband while I was playing.

Between the piecing and the quilting I baked him another Strawberry Shortcake.
Seriously, this is our yummiest winter treat so we have it often. 

Download the recipe here.

If you lasted this long reading my blog post you deserve a slice of strawberry shortcake too!
Now if you could just tell me how to pass it through the screen we could have a tea party as well.

Oh, almost forgot. In our Gentle Domesticity Facebook group this week we're encouraging each other to finish a small UFO project. 

If you'd like to join us you will find the group HERE.

Tomorrow I have some beautiful projects made by two very talented ladies to show you.
Till then, have a wonderful new week!



Martha Roberts said...

What an amazing post!! I am glad to know that someone else follows their thoughts like a connect-the-dot puzzle. I will have to check out this craftsy class. I am also a self taught person. I woke up very early and could not go back to sleep so I checked my Australian friends blogs. This was my reward! Love you and your post, dear Jenny!

Baa. xxx said...

Super lovely post Jenny! And love your 'patchwork' blocks! Such pretty colours. Love your new bedside table cloth as well. Very pretty. Your post made my heart happy.

cassandra cusack said...

This is the perfect hobby for you. Don't you just love Camille Roskelly. Discovery patchwork as a hobby will take over your life Jenny. Enjoy

Kristy said...

You are so cute! I love your newest project. I am so glad you are doing things that make you happy! It makes me happy too. I am currently quilting a dresden quilt on my machine. I am hopeful I can finish it this week. My shoulder only lasts so long and then it says no more dragging the quilt through the machine! We are in a heat wave right now. Better go quilt upstairs while it is still cool! Have a wonderful day!


Lin said...

What a happy revelation Jenny. So pleased that you have joined the rest of us addicted patchworkers! Love your finishes. xx

Gretchen Weaver said...

The pincushion is so cute and I really like your table runner. It seems strange to me that you are enjoying strawberries as a winter treat while here in northern Indiana, USA, they are an early summer fruit. Enjoy your day, everyone needs a change of pace sometimes.

Lynda's Quilts said...

Isn't that just the way things go......when I decide to clean my sewing room I always jump from one thing to the next as I find half finished projects, or magazines that I have to flip through again, or fabric I forgot I had, or even a kit or 2 I have purchased somewhere or sometime and set aside for "later". Love those days of rediscovery and renewal. Enjoyed your fun day!

Anonymous said...

I really like following your IG, but the posts here are what fill in all the nooks and crannies and answer all my questions! This was a wonderful post, thank you for sharing your process of realization. Obviously, I love patchwork, too! Your day sounds like one of the happiest kind, and the shortcake looks scrumptious. It seems so odd to think of strawberries as a winter fruit, but then it makes sense with where you live. They are a May-June fruit here, too, but I don't grow my own. In fact, I'm out and need to go buy some at the grocery store. Your man is definitely a keeper. =)

Lace Faerie said...

I am very happy for you that you've found another aspect of handcrafting with needle and thread that calls to you and recharges your creative batteries! I love both embroidery and the piecework aspect of quilting, what you call patchwork. And Camille Roskelly and her book are favorites of mine, too!

Between pressure-canning 42 pints of chicken breast meat and 7 quarts of water-bathed sweet cherries, my (grown) daughters and I washed, sliced and sugared strawberries yesterday for an American style strawberry shortcake. That's a slice of some sort of cake, angel food, pound cake, white cake or biscuits (not cookies), topped with juicy sliced strawberries with a scoop of ice cream or topped with whipped cream. It was supposed to be a Father's Day dessert but we were all so full after our sautéed mushroom topped steaks and red potato/onion/red & yellow pepper side dish that no one had room! It's been a couple of years since my kitchen has been a whirl of activity for 16 straight hours! I loved every moment of the time spent with my girls! Stained fingers, sticky floors and all! Having our hubbies join us for a great dinner (grilled by the guys) was icing on the cake of a great, busy, busy weekend!

Christine M said...

There'll be no stopping you now, Jenmy! Your table runner is gorgeous. xxx

Petal49 said...

Oh Jenny, your patchwork is as beautiful as your stitching and the two go together so well. My journey to patchwork was similar to yours and I'm hooked. Now that I'm retired I spend most of my days cutting and stitching.

Winifred said...

That's brilliant! Love that little pin cushion.
I'm sure Mr E prefers the strawberry cake to patchwork!
I used to do handmade pieced patchwork & made a few nice little pin cushions many years ago. My favourite was Cathedral patchwork although it was fiddly it really was like stained glass windows. Now if I could only put down my knitting I could do it again.

Helen L said...

So fun that you've discovered that you love patchwork! I've been doing patchwork for years now, and have just lately gotten back into embroidery. :-) I love your description of how you made the circuit of checking out patchwork: don't we all do that?!!! :-) Have a wonderful week! Hugs, H

Debra said...

I'm so happy for you, Jenny! It is so important to separate hobby activities from work activities. I learned that while working at a fabric and yarn shop. Your patchwork is as exquisite as your embroidery. Enjoy!

Susie said...

That's so wonderful. I have one of Camille's craftsy classes and just love it. I made the hexagon quilt with it. Your blocks, runner and pin cushion are just gorgeous.

Kathleen said...

This was a fun post! I love how you got somewhat distracted, from one thing to the next, and found your love of patchwork. I have Camille's book too, and recently made a baby quilt from it. And I made sure to tell the recipient to put it on the floor and let the baby play on it!! Love the items you've already made. I especially like how you set your embroidery off to the side of the runner rather than centering it. And I bet it's because it would be covered up with something otherwise :)

Skye B said...

Oh Jenny, your blog today made me smile with joy, I'm so happy for you, that you've found another love 😊 and I too adore pincushions (my lovely sewing friends will enact an intervention if I'm not careful Hehe)

SandyMay said...

Your bedside table runner is darling. So glad you found a new hobby. You are incorporating your embroidery into your patchwork, and I am working in the opposite direction - enhancing my patchwork with embroidery. How wonderful when our paths cross in domestic pursuits.

Ondrea said...

LOL, that is what I call a light bulb moment. You made a patchwork quilt for Cully May a while ago. I tend to include a lot of stitcheries in quilts these days except for my hand pieced little Civil War quilts. Love your bedside table mat. Very you. The pin cushion is rather cute too. Enjoy your new? adventure.

Leeanne said...

Lengthy but lovely post. Patchwork has a way of grabbing us by the ankles and pulling us under! There is something crazy mad but soothing to cutting up large pieces of fabric then stitching them back together to make a large piece of fabric!!?? Non patchworkers and men don't 'get it'..............OK so now I am ready for a piece of that scrummy looking pie!

Kay said...

How wonderfull!! Theses such a joy filled post, i can feel your happiness radiating from the words. I love to do patchwork too but have very limited time these days. I must go back to craftsy and watch Camille's course because i have that too. x

Kathy in USA said...

Oh, your work is just beautiful! Thank you for getting me started. Please, can you tell me where to find the cute little clips you hang your patchwork with? I followed your advice for the dowel and triangle corners. Now what? Hugs, Kathy

Jenny of Elefantz said...

Kathy, they were a random $2 find at the local thrift shop.