The Artist’s Way – an update

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I started to work through the book The Artist’s Way several weeks ago. I’ve owned the book for years. In fact, I began working my way through the book two years ago, and another two years before that. I suppose I wasn’t ready for the work because I never managed to make it past week two and, like all things, when you are ready to do the work and accept the outcome, change will happen. You can’t set great ideas in motion without doing the work. I’m happy to report that I am currently in the middle of week four. Since a few people have asked about the book and my progress, I thought I’d give an update on what I’m uncovering.

This is where I sit each morning to write my morning pages. It’s dark outside these days, but the view doesn’t really change. Except for the dirty chairs – sometimes the handprints are cleaned. ;/

I think the most important items to share are that I’m committed to doing the work and I recognized that I was at a point that I wanted some things to shift in my creative life and needed the push to make necessary changes. Now, can a book really push me to make the changes? No. It can guide me. I have to do the work. The book is merely a tool to get me there. Am I seeing changes already? Absolutely.

Read on.

When I decided to pursue this work (again. third time is the charm, amirite?), I knew I’d need to hold myself accountable to actually DOING THE WORK. I also wanted to do the work. You have to want to do it. Period. I cannot stress that enough. I decided to share my progress on Instagram to hold myself accountable to my entries and lessons. Now, you don’t see the journal entries or lessons, those are my private thoughts about laundry and carpool <<laugh, laugh, laugh>>, but you see the date and my pencil, empty pages waiting to absorb the contents of my head. I originally posted a few images in my feed but decided I didn’t want a feed full of, basically, the same photo so I’ve moved them to my stories and a highlight. Days are dated. Accountability in check.

At first I was dreading the 5:45am wake up calls but I need the extra twenty minutes to write my morning pages and while, frankly, I wasn’t thrilled about the hour, I find that the early morning musings and getting all the minutiae out has been extremely liberating for me. I didn’t realize how much the contents of your head could muddle your path until I put those thoughts on paper and got them out of my way. It clears my head and helps me focus on what needs to be accomplished for the day. As I enter week 4 I find I’m less stressed and far more focused. I’ve been more productive than I’ve been in a while and it’s a really good feeling! I feel creative energy around me and I’m soaking it up like a sponge. I’m excited to do my work!

I’m learning a lot about myself as I work my way through the book. Today I actually WANTED to write a little more but didn’t have time. The book is helping me put some events in my life into focus and work through how some small things can have a big impact on a persons creative journey – like my 4th grade art teacher criticizing the shadow on my artwork. Seriously. We were tasked with drawing a landscape. Mine incorporated a building and I wanted a shadow to fall on the grass beside the building. Instead of making my shadow a darker green, I had a black rectangle next to my building for the shadow because I wasn’t old enough to know that it was a darker hue. I’d like to point out that NO ONE ELSE in class even thought to incorporate a shadow, but my art teacher criticized me harshly for my creativity. Like all trauma (yes, this was an artist trauma), I remember my teachers face, the place, and the actual piece of work I was creating. I remember her less than encouraging comments, and how’s that’s how we derail art journeys for children. Recognizing that now is how we (I) reconcile the damage from that child artist and work towards a sense of recovery. I realize I sound a little hippy, dippy, trippy here, but work with me, people. ❤

On a more practical level, I’ve always been pretty good at listening to my spidey-sense. It usually doesn’t steer me in the wrong direction, and now I’m really learning to lean into it and owning what that can and does mean for me -personally and creatively. I’m choosing to notice serendipity and acknowledge it as a helpful tool for my art and life. I’m open to accepting things that happen for a reason and to listen when they do. I’m also working to not second guess the signs.

Would I recommend this book to makers? Absolutely. Has it been helpful? Tremendously. Am I seeing changes in myself? Yes, and for the better, I might add. I’m a work in progress, for sure.

I’m excited about what the next 8 weeks hold and how the process will continue to unfold for me. If you have the desire to unblock your inner creative, I cannot recommend this book enough. Even if you go and buy the book, flip through it, and hold onto it until you are ready, you’ll be glad you have it when you finally are ready.

Ada, a Friendly Spider

I don’t like spiders. In fact, I’ve really not liked them since I was 9 and suffered through a bite from a Brown Recluse. I came home from Girl Scout camp with a nasty bite on my arm. I was in a three sided cabin that week and, well, that makes it easy for arachnids to sneak in and make a meal out of you. Yes, it was as awful as you think it would be and I’m lucky that my parents were on top of things and sought quick treatment for me. I think my oversized, bright red forearm was a clue? Seriously. I had a Popeye on spinach forearm. It was not a good look for 9 year old me.

Fortunately, I came out of that experience only mildly traumatized about spiders? I remember 13 year old me freaking out about a spider the size of a pin head on my ceiling so I think I’ve come a long way since then. Mostly I just avoid them and, even though I don’t like spiders, I try to scurry them out of my house with a piece of paper or a cup (or both) when and if they make it inside. I mean, one bad experience with spiders doesn’t make them all bad and just because they aren’t smart enough to stay out of my house doesn’t mean I should squash them, right? I’ll be honest. I want to squash them, but I also want to be a friend to Mother Nature so I don’t. It’s not easy, y’all. It’s all about balance. And trying to be a good human. And not leaving a mark on my white walls.

Anyhow, a few years ago a gorgeous orb spider wove a silvery web outside my bedroom window. As much as I don’t like spiders, I was absolutely mesmerized by her. Perhaps it was the close up view of her world from behind a piece of glass. Maybe it was watching her work day after day to keep her web tidy and secure. I don’t know what it was but I was absolutely fascinated with her. I watched her for weeks and was inspired to draw this embroidery of her. You can click on the images for a free download of the designs.

It’s taken me three years but I finally made Ada into something useful.

To make your own Ada you’ll need:

(2) 8” squares of fabric for top and bottom of mug rug
(2) 8” squares of InsulFleece (you can get some here)
(1) 8” square of batting
45″ of scrap bias binding
thread for quilting
needle and thread for embroidery (I used 12wt Aurifil Lana Wool)
contrasting carbon paper

Print the design and trace it onto your fabric. Put a piece of white carbon paper (or whatever color carbon paper you are using) between the fabric and design then carefully applied pressure with a stylus to transfer the image. If you are using dark fabric, I recommend using white, pink or yellow carbon paper so it will show up on the dark fabric.

Partially completed piece that shows the outline of the spider since I forgot to snap a photo before I began stitching.

Take a needle and thread of your choice and lovingly stitch, following the outline of the spider. For this particular piece I chose to use a split stitch. DMC has a great resource about stitches here if you are looking for a little inspiration.

Once you’ve completed your spider you can start to assemble the mug rug.

Top, backing (those spiders glow in the dark, y’all!), and scrap binding
Glamor shot of batting and InsulFleece

Put a piece of InsulFleece on either side of the batting with the shiny sides facing OUT like then put the spider embroidery, right side facing out, against one side of the InsulFleece, then put the backing, right side facing out, against the other side. Once you’ve created a sandwich, quilt as desired then attach binding.

I opted for simple, diagonal quilting using a variegated thread.
Scrap piece of binding because nothing makes a spider less scary than pink and turquoise!

Turn the binding to the back of the mug rug and hold it down using clips. These clips are seriously one of my favorite sewing room tools and I highly recommend everyone make the investment. I use them all. the. time.

Lots of clips on a small piece but they keep everything tidy!

Don’t forget to pay attention to the corners!

Et, voila!

Mug rug, coffee, and breakfast! Perfect way to start the day!

Aether Quilt

A rainbow of color against the Blue Ridge mountains.

My husband and I took a much needed vacation a few weeks ago. Just the two of us. We hadn’t had time alone since before the pandemic began, really, and we were so grateful to spend 4 days at our favorite bed and breakfast in Blowing Rock, NC.

Before we left, I was determined to bring this quilt with me. I wanted photos of it in the Blue Ridge Mountains. These mountains bring me calm, and I’ve always felt a special connection to them. They remind me of some of the greatest times in my childhood. Summer camp. Rafting down Deep Creek. Seeing Unto These Hills (three times if anyone is counting). Picking wild blackberries with my cousins. It’s truly where I long to be and hope that, one day, I’ll wake up here every morning.

On our drive up, meandering through the hills, my mind wandered to all sorts of things. The scenery. The serenity. The smell – there’s a unique smell in the mountains – I can’t describe it but it’s there. I pondered names for my quilt and was brought back to words used by an old friend of mine when she needs to reconnect with herself, her kids or God. She says she needs to go searching for water. I thought long and hard about that and how, if at all, I could tie my sense of searching for calm in the mountains and a search for water into the name of this quilt.

This quilt is a lesson in patience, collaboration and contemplation. I was inspired to make an Orange Peel quilt when Sally Kelly’s Solstice line came out last year and I promptly purchased a bundle. I adore her designs and was elated when the fabrics arrived. The fabrics sat for a while as I gathered my thoughts on how to make the quilt. I started to pull fabrics from my collection. I stared at the stack and processed some more.

As is often the case when I make a quilt, I don’t usually have a complete plan. I have an idea. A direction. A concept. I never know how the quilt will look until I finish. I let the process guide me. I start, stop, pivot, then start again. It’s how I create and I’ve learned to honor this method.

When I finally started to cut Orange Peels from my fabrics, I carefully arranged them on my design wall. I’d audition pieces. I’d cut more. I’d move the shapes around. Many made the cut. Many are waiting off stage for another project.

I created a beautiful rainbow and let it sit on my wall as I auditioned fabrics for the background. I wanted more than a solid. I knew this quilt needed it, so it sat for a bit as I played around waiting for the perfect fit.

Enter a lesson in collaboration and contemplation. I was on the phone with a friend one day and she saw the quilt in process on my design wall. We were discussing background options and I shared a few pieces that I was considering, though not loving, and I admitted that I was stuck. Jennifer sent me a half yard bundle of each of her SKY Ombré collections in the spring. I’d thought about using them but didn’t want to cut into the good stuff. I was saving it for something special

As it turns out, this was the something special. Inspired after our call, I immediately started cutting into the fabric. Her insistence to cut into her ombré fabrics was spot on.

Learning to listen and finding Inspiration from listening. This quilt is more than the sum of its parts; it’s a little piece of magic. There is always a lesson in designing; always something to learn. My quilts are a part of me and my story, my life. They provide therapy, creative outlet and, hopefully, inspiration and joy for those who see them. The florals are favorites. Most, but not all, are from Kaffe Fassett and friends. Some are old. Some are new. All are beautiful. The ombrés made these florals sing. A beautiful chorus of color, movement, faith, patience and art combined. These mountains bring me calm. A place to quiet my mind. They inspire me and they summon me here. The perfect backdrop. The perfect place. A rainbow nestled in the mountains

The pattern for Aether Quilt is available in my Etsy shop.

Misunderstood Quilt

Quite the name, right?  Inspired by my favorite Pandora station and one of my favorite musicians, an afternoon of sewing and quiet contemplation lead to this quilts name. Keep reading. 

I started forming a plan for this quilt towards the end of 2019 but it took its time to fully develop. As March approached, the idea really started to gel in my mind so when the entire world stopped in its tracks on Friday, March 13, 2020 and I thought, well, if I’m home for two weeks in quarantine (little did I know, huh?) then I should make this quilt.

I knew I wanted the quilt to have a blue to white ombré effect so I pulled out all the appropriate blue, white, blue and white, and more! fabrics. Once I felt I had a cohesive color story, I began to cut triangles so I could make my Flying Geese blocks.

My preferred method of making Flying Geese blocks is to make fast Flying Geese – a method of making Flying Geese blocks using squares instead of triangles. You use one large square for your “geese” and smaller blocks for the air around them. This is my preferred method and I actually devote an entire chapter about how I make these blocks in my book, Piecing Makeover (C&T, 2016).

For this quilt I felt like cutting the triangles ahead of time would give me more flexibility to blend the fabrics.

After the pieces were cut, I grouped the triangles into three categories: light, medium and dark. Easy, right? The difficult part was making sure I sewed the blocks together so I could get the ombréd look I wanted. This was fairly time consuming but the results are worthwhile. 

I grouped larger and smaller triangles by color using the following format:
large light value triangles to small light value triangles
large light value triangles to small medium value triangles 
large light value triangles to small dark value triangles

large medium value triangles to small light value triangles
large medium value triangles to small medium value triangles (needed the most of these)
large medium value triangles to small dark value triangles

large dark value triangles to small light value triangles
large dark value triangles to small medium value triangles
large dark value triangles to small dark value triangles (needed the fewest of these)

Once your Flying Geese blocks are made you can start to assemble the quilt on a design wall. You can start with any color combination and work from there. I chose to go from light to dark but the inverse is also possible, or start with medium and work your way out. It’s really what appeals to you. There is no right or wrong way – do what makes you happy!

Because the geese are made by grouping color/value you *should* be able to easily transition from one block or set of blocks to the next. Don’t be afraid to put some weird color combinations together – they might just blend! For my quilt, the medium value to medium value blocks made up a significant portion of the quilt but it might be different for your quilt if you want to highlight lighter fabrics.

When you put geese on your design wall (floor, bed, ironing board, etc) be sure to put up some blocks then stand back to see the layout. You will see blocks you don’t like more easily from afar. Taking photos and converting them to black and white can also help with color placement, especially when the quilt highlights value. I used a lot of the smaller geese blocks for transitions and to fill any wonky spaces.

Of note, I used quilting cotton, linen, and cotton lawn in this quilt. Focus more on color than a particular pattern. I have Kaffe Fassett, 30s reproduction fabrics, Liberty of London lawn, batik, etc. but they all work because the colors play nicely. There are a few analogous (colors on the color wheel that are next to each other) fabrics in here, too (I see you, purple!). I have a purple and white polka dot, but there’s purple in some of the Kaffe and other fabrics in here so I can easily blend as I move from light to dark and back. When you use as many fabrics as are in here the design on the fabric is a little less important as long as the color story works. 

Oh, and the name? I posted the image of my quilt on one of my social media platforms and received feedback from friends asking if the name was this or that. It wasn’t ANY of those names but did get me thinking about what I would name the quilt. Anyhow, one day I was listening to Taylor Swifts Pandora station and jamming out to Pink’s song, Just Like a Pill. As I was dancing around (with my iron, probably not smart), I glanced down at the album name when I hit rewind and boom! That’s how my quilt was named Misunderstood. 

Unrelated to the quilt but I want to take a moment to note this for posterity or something, MANY years ago, an Atlanta magazine had a HUGE event at the Fox Theatre. I was lucky enough to be invited and yes, I thought I was a complete rockstar (not literally, my sewing is FAR better than my singing and I firmly believe we ALL have talents). Anyhow, that evening, I received a copy of Pink’s debut album (well, her cd that was, unfortunately, stolen when someone decided they needed to take the cd player from my car). Anyhow, I listened to the cd and instantly fell in love! She’s legit one of my favorite artists so it gave me great joy to name a quilt after her album.

Kraftex Luggage Tag

One day, hopefully in the near-ish future, we’ll all be able to travel safely again. I miss vacations and people that don’t live near me. I miss Quilt Market and traveling to teach, too.

But like all things there are silver linings. I’ve enjoyed spending time with my family and my house has never been more organized.

This month, I made a quick and easy luggage tag. It’s perfect for a variety of bags to claim them as yours – they aren’t just for luggage!

To start, I drew a 3” x 4” rectangle on a piece of comic book board. Draw the shape on whatever you have at home – a cereal box, paper, card stock, etc. I measured in 3/8” from each corner and drew a line to create an angle.

Cut out the rectangle and trace the shape twice onto Kraftex. Cut out the pieces. Draw a line 3/4” around all sides on ONE of the pieces. Cut out around the lines to create the front window piece.

I didn’t have any clear plastic on hand so I wrote on my tag and sewed it into the front piece. If you have clear plastic, you can sew it on the front piece so you can change the information in the tag when something changes.

Cut a 1” x 5.5” strip of Kraftex and cut a slit in the center. Be sure to leave space at the top and bottom. I eyeballed the cut and tried to leave about a half inch on either side.

Layer the pieces together, making sure the piece that will be used to attach the tag to your bag is in the middle. Use clips to secure the pieces and sew around the edges.


If you use plastic on the front so you can slip information between the front and back of the tag, sew the hang part (I have no idea what to call that piece) to the top then sew the back of the tag to the front, making sure you leave space so you can insert a piece of paper with all your information.

I can’t hear you

Well, if I’m wearing headphones I might not be able to hear you. Or I can practice selective hearing, right? 😉

In all seriousness, 2020 has been a challenging year but there have been some good things to come from it. Getting organized has been one of them.

I like to take my dog, Hondo, for morning walks. It’s good for both of us, and gives me time to listen to my favorite podcasts. I don’t have ear buds and use old fashioned ear phones. However, I store them in a wadded up mess in my purse and they are frequently tangled around themselves or some other item. So, I decided I needed a little case.

You will love this quick and easy craft and you can make the circle ANY SIZE YOU WANT! All I’m sayin’ is that there are some extension cords floating around my sewing room that are about to get situated using this same technique.

To start, find a cup, mug, roll of tape, etc. that has a 3 1/2” diameter. Trace the circle on your Kraftex then cut it out.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a perfect circle. We’ll trim the edges a little later.

Mark 1/2” on the inside of the circle.

Use a screwdriver or other sharp object to pierce the hole. Once you have pierced one side, fold the circle in half to mark the opposite side.

Attach a button stud where you pierced the hole.

Look closely. I folded the circle in half before placing the button stud on the screw so I could mark the other side. It was an extra layer of protection to make sure I’d marked correctly.

Cut a small slit where you marked the Kraftex. Gently fold your earphones and place in the center of the case. Insert the button stud through the slit you cut and enjoy!

Once you reach this point you can trim up any uneven circle edges. Just make sure the earphones aren’t in the case. 🙂

Kraftex Composition Notebook Holder

I am a BIG fan of a composition notebook cover. For years I’ve made them as teacher gifts because they are quick, easy and reusable. This Kraftex version is no different. You can find my free pattern for a fabric covered composition notebook here.

I started with a standard composition notebook. You can pick them up for about 50 cents each.

Step one: measure your notebook. Mine was 9 3/4” tall by 16 1/2” wide. Some of the notebooks vary in size a little bit so measuring is crucial.

Step two: cut your Kraftex. I wanted the top of the Kraftex to be the same height as the notebook so I did NOT add a seam allowance to the top or bottom (ie: kept it at 9 3/4” high) and I added a 3/8” seam allowance on the edges (so it was 9 3/4” x 17 1/4”). Make sure you add 3/8” seam allowance. You will need that extra 1/8” since Kraftex has bulk.

Step three: Embellish the front. I opted for simple embellishments for this. I used some hand dyed burlap that I fringed on the edges from Fiber on a Whim, a strip of batik that I also fringed, some buttons and embroidery floss.

I cut the burlap and batik the same width as the Kraftex and at a height I liked – there is no fixed height, just do what YOU like! I sewed the buttons on using the embroidery floss.

Step four: cut two small panels for the inside. I cut mine 9 3/4” x 4 1/2” wide (again, same height as the notebook).

Step five: Put the flaps on the inside/on the back of the Kraftex notebook cover. Place a piece of ribbon about 12” long between the flap and the cover on EACH side to create the ties. Clip the layers together and sew with a 1/4” seam allowance. You can use coordinating or contrasting thread.

  1. Because the cover is the same height as the composition notebook, you will have to trim a small section from the top and bottom of all sides. I cut a 3/8” x 3 1/2” section so the notebook cover would fit into the cover.

Et, Voila! Enjoy!

Big Big Print Zipper Pouch

This pouch screams TAKE ME TO THE BEACH! Seriously, this bag, cute suit, floppy hat, some kind of fruity drink and I’ll be set. And I don’t even like the beach.

I do, however, absolutely adore this color of Kraftex and I’ve been going through a lime/chartreuse/peridot phase for some time now. For a few years, actually. I think I’m clearly not going to outgrow it. I’m okay with that. I mean, this is a super happy color. Am I right?

Anyhow, through a comedy of errors last month and lost shipments, I wasn’t able to really make anything to show off the ruby red/marsala color Kraftex. I had a teeny scrap and made a teeny zipper pouch (that is totes adorbs) so this month I decided that, to celebrate all the isms, like lost shipments, I would make a giant zipper pouch. I’m kinda in love with it, to be honest and I knew EXACTLY what fabric to use to make it, too!

As always, there’s a story behind the fabric.

My great aunt grew up in Miami and was an accomplished dressmaker. She had a big personality and had big, fun prints that matched it! To this day I swear she had a rock mounted into a ring – like a rock she found on the ground made into a ring – and she wore bright clothes and leopard print heels well until her 70s (I think she was in her 70s). She was always the life of the crowd and would cuddle up in a big chair with my grandmother and giggle for an entire evening!

My great aunt passed away many years ago and I was the fortunate recipient of some of her fabric collection, including a large stack of Key West Prints. Key West Prints is known for making Lilly Pulitzers fabrics. I am the proud owner of quite a few pieces and some actual yardage of the vintage stuff, y’all!.

I’m VERY particular about cutting into my stash because I love it so, but this green Kraftex and the vision of a giant pouch definitely called my name. Besides, this is a great way to make a zipper pouch and show off a large print.

In retrospect, I wish this was shorter and fatter but, nonetheless, I still love it! I also wished I’d added a handle. Oh, well.

You can follow any zipper pouch tutorial to make this.

From the Kraftex you will need to cut:
2 – 9” x 18” pieces

From the outer fabric you will need to cut:
2 – 11.5” x 18” pieces

For the lining cut:
2 – 20” x 18” pieces of fabric

You’ll also need a zipper. I used 22” zipper and cut it to size.

You will sew the outer fabric to the Kraftex then assemble. I cut 3” squares on the bottoms for my gussets. The pouch finishes at 19.5” x 17.5” (or whatever size you decide to make it).

Mini Zipper Pouch

Is this the cutest little pouch or what?! Oh. Em. Gee. It makes me smile. In fact, it’s mean to hold lipstick in my purse (not that I’m going anywhere) but it’s still sitting on a shelf in my sewing room so I can smile when I look at it. I can’t quite bring myself to part with the pouch, though. It’s so tiny and cute and just…gah! adorableness.

I always have these little scraps of Kraftex and never quite know what to do with them. This month, I decided to put the scraps to use and made this pouch. I used the tutorial here and, well, I should have read through the entire thing first. I wanted the basic dimensions so I didn’t have to reinvent the wheel buuuttttt I kinda didn’t read ahead so when I cut a 1” square from the corners for my gussets, guess who didn’t have enough Kraftex fabric to go up the sides of the pouch? Yep. This girl. So, it’s a sturdy base. haha

And, really, that’s fine but I was going for a slightly different look and didn’t get it.

If you want to make this pouch so the Kraftex goes up the side of the zipper pouch, I recommend you cut the Kraftex about 2 3/4” (or so) high then add a contrasting piece of fabric at the top.

This would also make a darling gift card holder for anyone wanting to mix a handmade item into a gift.

Enjoy the cuteness.

Therapy and Metamorphosis

Therapy can show up in different ways. A dinner with friends, a brisk walk, a cup of coffee and a book, an actual therapist, a loaf of warm bread just out of the oven, a hug from someone you love. It’s not one size fits all and it shows up differently for everyone. It should give you what you need to help overcome a hurdle, or a history, so you can continue. Insight, clarity, peace of mind, wisdom, and the strength and tools to move forward even though it might be scary. Or wonderful. Or both.

But, sometimes therapy shows up as quiet reflection offering to help. For me, it was this quilt and my sewing room. Fabric, thread, and creativity. Being alone, and allowing myself room to grow. And heal.

I’ve thought about what I want to say about this quilt for over two years. I designed it in March 2018 and it came home yesterday. I’ve been trying to get the words down to express these feelings adequately, yet after all this time they seem to escape me. This quilt encapsulates a significant part of my life for the past two and a half years. If I’m honest, it probably represents a little more than that.

I was busy piecing this quilt when we started a major renovation on our house (first world problem, I know, I know). As that ended, we received news from a close family member about a major medical crisis. It required that my husband and I be intimately involved with assisting this family member getting back to top health. And if that weren’t enough, as that came to a close, I had back to back surgeries (one planned, one emergency) that, unfortunately, came with a myriad of rare complications.

I wasn’t able to do much while I was healing, but when I was ready I was able to I sew. Sewing is my therapy. So, I came back to this quilt. I spent a lot of time assembling the top; putting the pieces together. It was poetic that as I sewed together this quilt, and made many pieces one, my body was doing the same thing and putting me back together. And, much like my body healing itself, putting the quilt together was arduous at times, but worth it in the end.

I was grateful to have time for slow contemplation. The past several years had been riddled with challenges and finally, I was able to process them a little more. Some realizations were easy, others made me take a deep look inside. The slow work of this quilt required my concentration and also allowed my subconscious mind to wander and cultivate necessary thoughts. It allowed my heart to heal from some struggles and gave me the ability to find grace for a few things that needed it. It was the beginning of a metamorphosis – one that is ongoing, at least for the time being, until who I am really meant to be is fully realized. I’m still growing, and have a lot more work to do, but awareness is a good first step. Finally learning to just keep my mouth (mostly) shut is a good second step. I’m diligently working on this issue.

It took me several more months to finish the quilt, and tearing off the paper was a chore. I used newsprint for most of the piecing but a few places had regular printer paper, and getting that off a quilt is a complete hassle. But, as with piecing the quilt, the quiet contemplation as I carefully pulled paper off the back of the quilt was a necessary part of the journey.

Once all the paper was off, I sat with the quilt for several months before I sent it to Mandy to have her long arm it. Usually I’m quick to send quilts off, but it took me a while to part with this one. I put so much time and effort into it that I wasn’t sure I wanted to send it off for quilting. It had become such a part of my journey and I having it around was a good reminder of how far I’d come in two years, and how far I still had to go. But I also recognized that at some point I needed to let this quilt go, so it could become what it was meant to be. It was time for this quit to have its own metamorphosis.

The background fabric is V and Co. confetti ombré in Lime. The lightest sections were from the fold and pieced into the quilt with the back side of the fabric facing out to get the lightest possible color.

I can’t even begin to express how grateful I am to Mandy for how she quilted this quilt. It’s exactly what I wanted and what this quilt needed, and somehow she just knew. At this point it’s important to note that I never give direction to long arm quilters. I firmly believe that they are far better equipped to tell me what my quilt needs vs me telling them what it needs and that has ALWAYS worked out well for me. This quilt is no exception. I’m awestruck by Mandy’s talent. The amount of detail in this quilt completely blows me away. I’ve had it for a little over 24 hours and I continue to see new quilting designs each time I look at the quilt. I’m speechless, and if you really know me you know that NEVER happens.

Now that it’s home, I’ll carefully bind this quilt so its journey can be fully realized. I have plans for this quilt, but nothing I’m ready to share this minute. Mostly I want to enjoy the rest of the journey and the slow time contemplating everything and nothing at all while I bind it.

Some say that it’s easier to bury the demons than to face them. Others charge demons head on. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer. I think there’s only a what’s right for you answer. But in the meantime, figure out what therapy you love most. For me, it is the quiet time sewing; thinking about everything and nothing as I dance around my space creating. But whatever it is, I hope it always helps you find therapy and metamorphosis you need to be a better you.