Jelly rolls, fat quarters & charm packs.

jenjoycedesign© jelly roll quilt colors

This morning I got a bee in my bonnet! A little back-story is that I have been feeling down in the dumps lately, frozen in perpetual waiting for our house to be built, with the same old routine sitting a the table in front of the computer, plugged into Ravelry & podcasts galore, knitting in a frenzy, drinking coffee, drinking tea, eating who knows what, inside of a packed-to-the-gills tiny house. The tiny house is indeed packed but of really only normal things like a dish drainer of drying dishes, a few pair of shoes or pile of mail, or laundry basket, Emma’s things, not to mention all my knitting around. I have desperately needed something new going on to get me charged up about my life, and I realized that by the time we move into the rebuilt house it will be Autumn 2019.

Thinking about this now, it was Autumn 2009 that I got bit by the knitting bug in a serious way.   Just before that time I had gotten half way through making a king-size Amish style quilt, yet  shamefully only basted the layers together, never quilting it, and it got used that way on our bed until its demise in the wildfire, without ever sewing the binding on.  I guess I never finished it because I had gotten rather distracted with the new knitting thing that took over my life back then. Well it has been a full ten years coming up, that I’ve been knitting like mad. Sure,  I’ve sewn a few bits here and there and made some little things, but its been all-out knitting, day in and day out.  I am pretty confident that I will be knitting day in and day out for years to come, but I think its time I get involved in some new things too.  Deciding that I need to broaden my world, that new things will be good for me.

The second I made that decision I was off to Sonoma, to Broadway Quilts , determined to NOT come home indecisively empty-handed, choose an easy small quilt pattern, not in the least bit overwhelming,  and get kitted up with the fabrics called for, just something that I can piece together in tiny house.  Luckily everything seemed wonderfully appealing to me, and chose a simple throw size quilt pattern and a jelly roll packet of pretty soft solids in summery tones, with an off-white for background and sashing. If you want to know the truth, I learned a few more crafty words to add to my vocabulary; “jelly roll”, “charm pack”, and “fat quarter”.  Apparently before today I was not In The Know, but now I am ready to get involved.

And I hope that this is the beginning of a quest for new things!

25 thoughts on “Jelly rolls, fat quarters & charm packs.

  1. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, Jen! What a perfect gift to yourselves and your new home! It’s good to have a fall-back craft to allow for creative thinking on the one that gets stale with too much attention. Excellent!

      • I would LOVE to join you in a bit of a quilting bee; we just got back from a 9-hour trip to Danville for a family event. I envy your surroundings compared to the browns and gray-greens of my home in San Diego. Someday, Jen, you may answer a knock at your door and find me standing there—with fiber, wheel, yarn, fabric, and various accoutrements—and I will remind you of your invitation, my having run away from home.

        Enjoy your activities, Jen! You’ve made an enviable life for yourself! Once again, I am in awe of your accomplishments, hard-won though they be. Thank YOU for YOUR encouragement.

        • Peggy, wonderfully heartfelt words. I am not sure where you appeared from out of the ethers… but you’re a lovely person. xx

  2. Well, good for you! Quilting is such a great hobby, one that I gave up when I discovered knitting. HA! How’s that for ironic? I love a sweet pastel colored quilt on the bed in summer. I made a queen size for my daughter and son-in-law for their wedding gift 17 years ago…all hand quilted. I look forward to seeing your progress here on your blog…good luck…have fun…breath. V

    • I am not surprised in the least , you are a crafting genius Virginia! I have not decided yet on the backing, the batting, nor the quilting method, but decided to stay away from anything remotely complicated (as was that last one I did) and go with a jelly roll, minimal cutting, just read the instructions, what I need since my brain is seriously mush these days.

    • Oh Virginia, it occurs to me that as you live in PA, and are near the Pennsylvania Dutch themes, in quilts and all kinds of things, but I envy you having it around. Is your community populated with Amish barn sales and such? Lucky you, either way.

  3. I love the pattern and fabrics you chose for your quilt. I haven’t quilted in many years but still have my tools and fabric stashed away.

    Jen, I hope you have lots of fun making your quilt.

    • Wen, I think a little sewing time will do me good. Not sure if I mentioned this before on my blog or to you, but in January I rather impulsively bought an antique Singer in-cabinet style sewing machine from the late 40’s, and it only does straight stitch. It’s been parked in tiny house and used as a table, lol, and I’m hoping to get to try it out soon. I am really unconfident about any of my skills, not sure I can even sew ! But it will come back to me, this sweet little throw quilt will teach me like riding a bicycle, I’ll be able to sew a straight line again. Alternative is to hand-stitch but I just have to take things one block at a time. I may only be starting a quilt, although I hope to finish it one day. xx

      • Your Singer machine sounds wonderful. Have fun with your quilt making.

        I learned to sew on my mother’s 1947 Singer sewing machine in a wooden cabinet. I wish that I still had that old Singer machine as it was great. The Singer was traded in on a new Bernina machine for me, when I was in high school. I still have the Bernina.

        • Wendy, maybe you had the very machine I have now!? I haven’t had opportunity to use it much, just because to do anything in the tiny house, one must rearrange the place, then move something to get to the thing one wants to use, then rearrange the moment one is finished. Lol… incredibly confined… but I’m looking at collecting a few ideas for now, even if I don’t get really started until finally landed up at our nest again, my loft…. oh, I can just feel it now, everything tidy in drawers and closet, and frustration level down to zero. Sigh. I am so impressed that you quilted too, had you ever done hand-quilting? xx

          • I can imagine that doing anything at all in the tiny house is like doing Tetris all day long,

            I hand quilted a tea cozy for my mother. My grandmother hand quilted all her quilts and I have two of them. One quilt has an old blanket inside it and the top is pieced from old clothing, some of my older brothers baby clothes as well as dresses and blouses from my mother, aunt and grandmother. The other quilt is creamy white with red tulips and green leaves appliquéd on with stems done in green embroidery. The pattern for the tulip quilt is called “Tulips Blowing In The Wind.” Grandmother made two of the tulip quilts and gave one to her youngest daughter when she was married in 1959 and I got the second quilt when I was married in 1973. I know my quilt was made in the early 1960’s.

            Your loft sounds lovely and soon you will be able to knit and sew in it.

        • I had a Bernina that I gave to my daughter when I gave up quilting and gave ALL of my quilting stuff away to an needy Mennonite girl with a growing family. I miss quilting on and off but just can’t bring myself to start that craft all over again. It’s hard enough finding time to knit, read, garden, blah, blah, blah…OH! and travel for weeks on end all over our beautiful country.
          Barn sales are not really a thing here in Amish country. Often times there will be an “auction” of an old home full of good stuff but it’s a bit of a scam on the part of the auctioneers and the antiques collectors. They generally get the good stuff and resell the quilts at greatly inflated prices in the shops. There are plenty of new Amish made quilts for sale though all over Lancaster County. They have them hanging out on clothes lines or for sale in quilt shops here and there in the tourist traps. The old quilts are priceless and just beautiful in comparison to those made for the tourists.

  4. Sweet! It never hurts to mix up the craftiness. And a quilt that size will add so much color to a room, whether on a chair for use or displayed on a rack or as a wall hanging. Lovely choice!

    • Thank you Sarah, guaranteed I am going to tie it all together ; the knitwear motifs & themes are going to appear in quilting, and maybe a few more crafty house decor things. I’m excited, and that in itself, all by itself, is the reward for the effort. I miss being excited about doing things. xx

      • Oh, want to add that I went looking for a nine patch pattern but didn’t find one ( that’s because, I know, one doesn’t really need a pattern for a nine patch, but me in my mushy brain, I want instructions and exact yardage, etc) and now that I am looking at the pattern I got , I’m thinking I’ll put a few nine patches in the centers of one or two of the squares, for a random sparkle of nine patch. 🙂

        • I haven’t started yet, and I get overwhelmed so easily these days… .so fingers crossed. I might default every time I try , to sock knitting. lol. I do have some interesting ideas going around, and that is what is important.

          • Oh, so easy to get overwhelmed by big and small projects when a huge one fills your life. I suspect you will be able to break it into small chunks, much like knitting a round on a sock as opposed to an entire sweater. Your brain will let you do that when it is ready.

            • I do not have a lot of confidence about anything outside of the norm. The norm being ‘ working on a design and submitting and promoting it ‘ then take a breather. This whole concept of quest for New Things may just blossom into a larger connected aspects of something which is not quite clear to me yet. I am meditating everyday what my new creative space will feel like, and it is like a breath of fresh air to imagine opening a drawer to find a yarn or a shade card, and not have to remove shoes from the ladder (shoe rack) which leads up to the attic, which is crammed full of all my knitting things, then have to dig… reverse. I am not complaining, but it just takes so much more effort this way, the living space being a lot like a rubiks cube. xx

              • I have never gone through what you have, BUT! I know that our brains often get us where we need to go. Living in such a tiny space when your house is so close to being ready must be very hard. I do worry that when the house is done, you will expect all to be normal again, and I think it will still take time and effort to get to “normal”. Maybe slowly stitching the first new quilt for your home will help you get there. As will reveling in all the colors and textures in your world. Hang in there, every day is a step closer to your goals.

                • Oh, the house is nowhere near ready. Now the sign off date is forecast Oct/Nov because even after our contractors are done, Jeff (and I ) need to do a whole lot ourselves before the final. (We had a list of things we would do to make it affordable, since the county dropped the having to put a road in that bumped it out of our turn-key possibility. Poor Jeff is working his a** off. As for the sign off, if it goes through Autumn I will be okay because I’ve waited 19 months now, I can wait 5 or 6 more. But this is the deal; Jeff promised me that after our contractors are finished with their part of the deal , maybe July, I can move in my ” studio ” stuff; comprised of a few antique/vintage dressers and cabinets, and of course, my fiber/yarns/wheel, etc. I’ve collected. I will be all set up without a want of anything. The appliances will all be in place so it will be suitable for coffee making, and new lovely AC will be in the house and I can work throuh the summer on quilts, etc. I am going to forget trying to pretend there is a normal, or think I could ever get to a place where I could fool myself into thinking that the wildfire never happened and that we only remodeled, so I’m letting go of that plan. Its remarkably a repeat of 15 years ago, when Jeff and I were nearing the end of our epic 6 year build of the original house, so it’s all just looking quite familiar, and I know how to live with unfinished house and feel at home. The most important part is to Be Here Now, and release any expectations that try to surface.
                  Thanks Sarah, for giving me reason to write all of this, I feel better already… lol… XX

                  • Jeff will sure be a busy fellow. If you are anything like us, ten plus years later there will still be finishing to do. I took heart last night, I was at a meeting and a woman told why her husband couldn’t make it. He was putting the trim around the front door. They have lived in the house for THIRTY years. I think you can beat that and so can I.

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