A quilt for moving on.


It was in the aftermath of all the change and grief earlier this year, that this quilt was born. In the small, silent privacy of my new sunroom studio. When the repetition and attention and clear, quiet whites and greys, and just a touch of blue were having a tangible effect on my soul.


I had brought out my neutral bucket of scraps, (I couldn't imagine working with colour), fished around for the strips, then grabbed the leftovers from my Children at Play pinnies, and the linen ones, and the 'white on white' prints that I had used for a custom order quilt last year and never looked at again. I think it was the memory of that quilt, warm, calm, traditional, that made me feel grounded. And I wanted to create something like it again.


My first log cabins were very intentional. Each piece sewn and ironed and trimmed with care and design. And then (as I wrote here), as that lost its therapy, I started to chain piece. Then, more recently, as I started to feel more myself, I began introducing more pops of colour. More flat solids and less tone on tone. More modern prints and less care whether it matched.


I finished up all the 8" blocks and laid them out on the floor of my friends' house to ask what she thought. I had planned to make different sized blocks and have them scattered throughout. But the regularity of the squares made such a simple, pretty baby quilt.
Cath said to me, "That's pretty, but the other one you have in mind will be wonderful."
I'm so thankful now for that encouragement. It gave me the extra little push I needed to keep going when I felt like finishing up there. I felt the shift from this being all about safety (which was just right in the beginning) to realising I was in a place again where I could go beyond my natural attention span, or motivation, to create something I really wanted. And it feels good to be here again!



I'm joining in 'Festival of Strings'!

Scrap Attack {String Fever}

Beautiful Tree


 
 Wednesday is our 'just us' day. I've taken to calling it our 'I-like-being-me Day'. It's the day we don't rush out the door, we don't invite anyone over and we just do whatever takes our fancy. We be kind to ourselves. We take a deep breath.
Today when I took a deep breath, I burst into tears.

Can I just say I'm finding this HARD. When I was in the very centre of grief, while awful, it was very simple and clear: rest, do what you enjoy, hide if you want to, cry. But this next bit, the moving on part, the deciding each day what I feel up to, and questioning if that's even the right way to go about shaping our days... I feel like I'm at sea.
When I first started to feel up to it, I started to let friends know I'd love to catch up again. Without putting a whole lot of thought into it, I ended up seeing about 10 people in one week, each asking what had happened, how I was going, each time asking the kids to just wait a minute, to go play on their own, to stop interrupting. By the end of the week, I was a complete mess. I hid at home the following week, and have been trying to take it slowly ever since, but it's still a challenge.
As someone who as always had an open home, it feels incredibly selfish and scary. Will I ever feel like hanging out with people again?


A few weeks ago, a dear friend said to me, "This will be part of who you are now." And I thought, "No, really??" I mean, is it ok to be changed by events in our lives? Don't you just keep on living based on what your believe to be right and true? Won't I just have some time off and then go on as normal?
But now I believe her. Grief has been like a torch, shining out all the ways I've pushed myself, criticised myself, expected more than I have to give. Of course, we can't live without our world effecting and shaping us, challenging the way we've done things, forcing us to re-evaluate.


As I was reflecting on this, I was looking out over my back yard and noticed my beautiful tree with its leaves going purple and red and yellow. When I showed Tully, he asked if he could climb up and reach some pretty leaves for me. Then Evie (who has taken to wearing socks on her arms, she's not burnt or anything!) asked if she could get up too and the two of them sat up there, chatting happily and noticing new things about our yard from this new height. And I remembered I poem I wrote for a friend a little while ago that I wanted to share with you here.



When the twigs start to thaw
When the buds are formed new
Help me look to the Sun like you
When the ground is still cold
But my flowers in bloom
Help me look to the Sun like you

When my branches are full
And my shade is enjoyed
Help me rest in the Sun like you
 When the harvest is in
When glad hearts surround
Help me rest in the Sun like you

When my beauty is full
When my red crown displayed
Help me bask in the Sun like you
When my life is adorned
But death still draws near
Help me bask in the Sun like you

When humility comes
My nakedness plain
Help me wait for the Sun like you
 When sleep closes in
When loss like the leaves
Help me wait for the Sun like you.

Jodi. xx


Homecoming

                    

I'm home. And I have been so cared for. I had my miscarriage at home, just Tim and I. The kids were away camping on a weekend planned months ago. And while awful, it was a relief to be alone, to not need the intervention I've had with my other births, to be given space to trust my body.

I'm learning that grief is a waiting game. 
And that the loss of a child (or the hope of one) is not the only grief, but the loss of a routine and direction and identity. 
Don't get me wrong. I'm not completely without direction (or the other things that make me me). And I'm glad for the choice to come home. Excited even. I'm just continually surprised at the seemingly chaotic mix of hopeful, sunny days and acutely-aware-of-the-change-of-plans days.

I've enjoyed reclaiming our front sunroom as my new workspace. With the cooler weather approaching, I look forward to spending sunny winter days in here. I enjoyed unpacking my fabric into this wall shelf that used to be full of Tim's hoarded electronics. I think it's happier with these colours!


I've sorted most of my scraps into these bins. They are all full from 4 pillowcases of fabric. I still have 2 pillowcases left! But I've put these away in a cupboard for when these bins empty a little.
And do you notice my new friend? I got her second hand, hardly touched for a fraction of the cost of a new one. I'll introduce you properly later. But for now you just need to know we are getting along like a house on fire, and I've called her "Red".


I've started on some scrappy quilts, building a lovely pile of works-in-progress while I give myself time to just make whatever tickles my fancy.
And I've set up my iron under the window facing the tree. When it's not raining, this is where the winter sun comes through.
I'm looking forward to those days.
xx



A brief visit.


I think I knew the moment the sonographer put his little camera to my belly. But I still waited for him to say, "Oh, yep. There's the head, there's his little heart."
There was no such chatter, just a long silence as we both looked at the screen which showed only a small circle, silent and still.
He let me leave out the back door. "I'm guessing you don't want to wait for the prints."


Our brief little visitor was a surprise one. First met with fright and insecurity, and then with courage and freedom to make room for him, to let some things go, then confidence, and excited anticipation. And then grief.


I decided to keep this quilt for myself, because I couldn't face anything related to work, no matter how relaxing. I finished the binding, left the rest of the quilting for another day, and rested beneath it. And for now, that's all we plan to do.
We've decided to pack up my space in town, and bring the colours back home and wait and see.