Thoughts on long term projects

My galaxy quilt is progressing very quickly. I’ve actually completed three more blocks since I took this photo! This is only the second quilt I’ve made – the first was my very first sewing project, back in (gulp) November, 2009.

After I made that first quilt, I started sewing garments, and pretty much didn’t look back. I didn’t have the patience for large scale projects (See: the endless parade of winter coats that I started and never finished). When I decided to start sewing again, I knew the first thing I wanted to sew was a quilt. First, it’s a matter of necessity – I’ve got a friend staying with me for the Kentucky Derby this week, and I literally only owned one blanket.  He will have to sleep under a cheap target blanket, but future guests will have nicer things. Second, I wasn’t necessarily eager to actually measure myself and find out what size of sewing pattern I need to cut these days. But, ultimately, in this season of my life I was looking for something to focus on.

This is the first time I’ve lived alone in twelve years, and perhaps the first time in my life that I’ve been truly dependent only on myself.  After separating, I lived with a friend with a spare room for some time, until things were settled and I felt I could decide what the next chapter of my life looked like. I didn’t really want to live alone – I’m something of an extrovert, and the thought of all that time with myself wasn’t something I felt comfortable with. But I fell in love with the apartment, and with the vision of myself in it. With, I think, the life I could lead as this theoretical independent single lady.

And it is, at times, lonely. I have friends, and a social job, but I ultimately come home to myself (and to my kitty, Dionne, my other cat Leon having sadly passed away from liver disease a few months ago).



I find that quilting has a certain meditative quality to its precision.  From starching and ironing, to cutting, to sewing with an exact quarter inch seam.  It’s distracting, and it’s soothing, for those times when my brain starts to run away from me.

This week, and the Derby madness that is this city in the first week of May, marks one year since I decided to go.  Within the space of that year, nearly everything has changed.  I am no longer who I was then, even if I’m not always sure who I am now.  When the quilt is finished, I hope it will be a reminder of this time, when everything felt new.



13 thoughts on “Thoughts on long term projects

  1. I have no wisdom to offer, but it sounds like a great idea. Your new life sounds fabulous (but I’m an introvert with far too much family at times. 😉

  2. I love starting big projects but have trouble finishing them! I tend to run out of steam. Your quilt top looks lovely. 🙂 I have a super social job (teacher) and sometimes I come home to my studio and the quiet is a blessing, but other times the contrast is quite strange. Thank goodness for cats to help with the transition.

  3. You will get used to the quietness, and come to love it! It really gives you so much freedom to be deliberate in your choices because it’s something YOU (and JUST you!) want to do. Just because you’re living alone doesn’t mean you have to be in your house all the time either!
    I think your quilt looks brilliant and I’m cheering and in awe of your perseverance to finish it! You have far more consideration for guests than I do 🙂

  4. The quilt looks fun so far. I’m very curious where it goes next with color and shapes. It sounds likes sewing will offer you a place for peace and contemplation.

  5. Yay, you’re back! You restarted your blog just when I got a little too busy to check Feedly. You are so fondly remembered-you must have been one of the first blogs I ever started to read! Warm wishes to you and for your future!

  6. Hi Jessica,
    It’s great to see that you are back to blogging. I’m really sorry to hear that you have been through a few tough times, but I hope that things will be better and brighter for you with every day. Blessings to you.

  7. Welcome back to blogging! I started reading way back in 2007…. Sorry that things have been tough the last few years, but I am happy to get to read your blog again!

  8. Hey…I am happy to see you posting on your blog again! There had been no new posts in quite awhile and it made me sad. I enjoyed seeing you model your outfits and reading about your life happenings. I am so impressed with your artistry and creativity. All the best to you in this new chapter of your life! Keep those posts coming.

  9. Hi Jessica
    I’m so happy to find your blog again. Your pattern reviews always inspired me and I’m glad you’re trying a quilt now. There is something lovely and cozy curling up in one. And no fitting! Lol.
    You asked about lighting so here’s my 2 cents: turn your table 45 degrees so the light streams in on your left. It will be easier on your eyes. Cheers

  10. Hi Jessica, hope you are doing OK – I was always checking on your blog and no new posts made me sad. Please do post more! Back in the say you were one of the first knitters whose work I admired. Please come back and post more!

  11. Hi! I missed you for so long! I read your blog all the time and, for years, have searched for you every once in a while. Imagine my surprise when I found you today. Welcome back! I am so sorry to hear of your troubles. Divorce is hard! Living alone can be an empowering experience. Knowing you are an extrovert, my hope for you is to feel your fabulous apartment with friends whenever you feel the need or urge! I sat alone for too long. Enjoy your new life and know that you have friends all over that are happy to see you, read you, and learn from each other. You have made my day! Take care of you.

  12. I’m very happy to see you blogging again. Hope and bright new beginnings in this next step in your life.
    Sincerely, Jimena.

  13. I don’t know if you’re reading this but I wanted to stop by and say Hi, I hope you are well and stitching away 🙂 I used to read your blog and loved it so much I remembered it now after 10 years. I also learned a lot about knitting from you and am trying to get back into it – been so busy I forgot about it. Well, if you are still crafting please let me know where I can follow your projects. Your posts used to brighten my day! Clara -from across the globe in Romania

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