Inspiration = Motivation

My mum recently got me reading some books she had been finding herself reading lately. They are the Elm Creek Quilt  novels by Jennifer Chiaverini. Now let me tell you, for the last couple of years I have snubbed my nose at fiction, turning my eyes towards the gleaming shelves of bountiful non-fiction books in the library. SO much to learn! How would I ever fit in everything I wanted to learn, raise 3 kids PLUS find time to read *cough* novels *cough*? It was out of the question. Absolutely out of the question!

But a change can be a good thing, right? As much as I love to absorb a good manual on how to build a gate (and hang it!), or what to feed our chooks for sunshine golden yolks, nothing takes the place of a story with characters that linger after you turn the last page and leave you looking around for more. Maybe it's because they're such light reading (I'm talking really light - SO light that the character's appearances are not even described so the reader is left to visualise their own image), they are easy to fit into my day. They have interesting storylines that don't need my fatigued brain to work overtime trying to figure out for example, the angles needed to construct a bean frame or the science behind food preserving...

They're relaxing and fun.

But what is the point of this ramble I hear you ask?

Well.....since being drawn into the language of quilting again, I have been itching to thread a needle, cut some scraps of fabric and make something. Something that doesn't need to be a work of art or truly beautiful. Something functional to keep someone warm...I know you know where I'm heading with this one. It's a funny thing, inspiration, isn't it. If my mum hadn't told me about these books, my scraps would still be sitting in the bottom of the linen cupboard where they had been abandoned nearly 10 years ago!  I am sure you are just itching to know why on earth I would've put such a positively rewarding task as that of joining patch after patch together in a monotonous stint of handsewing, finger jabbing and pin pricking already sore fingers away? Why such a riveting exercise would be merely cast aside?

It was babies. My babies to be exact. They were active and demanding and what was originally a project to keep me sane while they were small was abandoned as their (and in turn my) lives grew busier and they grew older.

Anyhoo, the scrap bag has been dusted off from cat fur where the feline family member had set up her cosy napping quarters and the treasures revealed from within....

It's been a long time since they've seen daylight...
My homemade templates made from used milk cartons were still good to go and my fabric pile had grown considerably especially with my newfound fondness for vintage sheets (a whole other story!). My inspiration had suddenly turned into motivation! Thanks Mum!

I find the hexagon tumbling blocks a natural progression from my crochet hexagons.  It is a different feeling working with fabric than yarn, I like the way the seams are exact and the points meet. They don't offer me the same calming feeling as the repetetive motions of crochet though but they are satisfying all the same. Plus the quilt won't be finished any time soon so there's no hurry to get it done....kind of like the crochet hexagons. It's all about the journey, right? Oh, and the love that goes into it. And I am very excited to use some materials from my kids clothes from when they were smaller...SO many memories in those fabrics!!

Maybe one day it might look a little like this, all joined neatly together though, nicely quilted and bound, ha!

Maybe. ;)

A glimpse at 'one day'...
In the meantime, even though every day seems full to bursting with stuff to get done, I'll try and squeeze in a little time for myself now and then for some 'piecing' (and a little less finger jabbing)....


  1. I was looking at all your fabric thinking how nice the colours were.. then duh me I looked and seen the amazing boxes.. your so clever and patient. Beautiful work and I look forward to learn of it's progress from time to time.

  2. I have just read the first 6 Elm Creek books, they really do suck you in to their stories.

    I too would love to see this finished, I love working with fabrics with memories attached and you are right, there is no hurry.

  3. My mom is a great quilter and has made each of my children and myself a quilt for our beds. It is on my to-do list for when I am a Granny! Well done for dusting off the bag and going for it now.

  4. I'm thinking quilting at the moment too. So many inspiring quilts out there, that the idea seems a little daunting....but I really want to give it a go. If I had something to cover our bed, well that would make so happy. But you are right, time. It's not gong to happen overnight, I could be 80 before I get finished!
    Glad you you got inspired again. If you do the odd quilting post it will keep me inspired. (Although I've never even done one square!)
    Geez, what a waffly comment that was...
    Quilt on my girl!

  5. I think you need to read some chick-lit, or even something 'trashy', every now and then, to lighten your mood or just to debrief from the day of saving the planet in between wrangling kids and running a household! I often have a stack of 'reference' type books from the library to read, so something light balances it out!

    Love those fabrics! Now my kids are 5 and almost 3, I am regaining a bit more 'me time' (ie. on laptop now while they both play!) or being able to get into gardening, and loving it!

  6. You know what they say, she who dies with the most fabric wins! Your quilt top looks wonderful - I've never embarked on quilting, but I am a great admirer of the craft. I think any hobby which prevents you from throwing out any scrap of fabric the size of your palm or larger would lead to scary mountains of stuff at my place. :)

  7. Beautiful patterns too in that fabric,;.you are so clever, you!!

    You can do a million of things so good!

  8. Thanks, Wendy. The optical illusion is tricky, isn't it! Just a combination of dark, medium and light fabrics in the right position makes it take on a whole different look.

    Clever you, Sue, reading them in order. I just grab them as I can from the library so have ended up all over the place! Thankfully each book is ok to read 'stand alone' :)

    How lucky you are to have received such wonderful gifts of love, Wendy!! They add something special to a room....

    Waffly comments most welcome here, Brydie :). It does seem a little daunting when one flicks through the magazines with photos of peoples work - so professional. I guess the only way to stop the daunting feeling is to just jump in and get started! It's all fun and if it doesn't turn out as planned at least it will still be useful to keep warm! :)

    Absolutely, Dixie :) It's like a little 'book soapie'break between hard-reading manuals!
    Your kids are a great age - you still have their company but they can play alongside while you are tending a project or 'research' ;)

    If that saying is true Celia, I most certainly won't be winning! My little fabric pile is growing but still very modest. It IS quite scary, I am looking at scraps in a whole new light now and have to set aside a place to store them all! Yikes!

    And you are too kind, Sophie! Thankyou for stopping by! :)

  9. I love the idea of quilting, particularly making a quilt out of some of my kids clothes - the quilt could grow as they got older...hmmm... But...I know I would never have the patience to see it through! My siter makes gorgeous quilts. She made us an amazing quilt as a wedding present. I will have to work on her instead, to get her to make that quilt for me. Not quite the same though is it?!
    Fiction is good (too). I read it to get out of my head and into a completely different head space.

  10. Oh i love those books! I have just finished reading one and am itching to get into my hand piecing of a scrappy quilt myself.


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Hi there, so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love hearing what you are up to. Christine x

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