Sunday, April 27, 2014

Patchwork therapy












I've gotten into the habit of keeping a bag of cut fabric squares in my desk drawer. When I get a new fabric, I cut a few squares with my 2.5-inch template. This is especially quick and easy to do with jelly roll strips because they are already 2.5 inches wide. Zip-zip-zip through a few of them with my rotary cutter and I have a pile of squares for the bag. It's instant patchwork anytime. Sometimes I take them out just to play with them.

I was having a hard day last week - nothing serious, just an accumulation of everyday stress. I felt a strong urge to sew, to pick and mix from my bag of squares. I wanted to sew straight lines - simple and almost mindless. I wanted to look at bright colors. I wanted to create something eclectic. It was a beautiful afternoon and I sat at the kitchen table with my sewing machine, the sliding door open to the back patio, where the children were riding their bikes. With the door open, I could hear them talking and laughing and I could smell the pyracantha and photinia blossoms on the breeze. The window straight ahead of me, at the end of the breakfast nook, was filled with early honeysuckle blooms.

I sewed short, straight lines - five strips of twenty squares each, repetitive and soothing. The strips looked random and eclectic, just like I wanted. I think it might become a table runner. I draped the strips over the back of a kitchen chair as I finished piecing them. They glowed there, lit from behind by sun through the sliding door. They were cheerful. I felt accomplished. My children were happy. There was afternoon sunlight, pretty calico, fresh air and the laughter of my own two small Bears. I felt better and better.

57 comments:

  1. There is nothing like the sound of happy children to bring a smile to your face, add a bit of patchwork or crochet and life is perfect.

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  2. Great therapy! Whatever you make with it will be perfect!

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  3. Having only just got into sewing I can really see the appeal and satisfaction of sewing line after line. Your strips are lovely, esp feeling the hot pinks and cerise flashes - so fresh!

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  4. I'm no hand at sewing, but I have a friend who loves patchwork and finds it very therapeutic. When I need to be soothed and cheered up I knit. :-) Those colours are so cheerful.

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  5. It sounds like a blissful way to spend an afternoon. These moments are what makes life perfect I think. You have captured it perfectly, in both your words and pictures. Such a lovely post Jennifer. I hope you're able to have some more wonderful moments like this soon.

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  6. Sewing really can be good therapy can't it? I love the look of your patchwork. A really good idea to cut some squares as you get your fabric too. Have a lovely week.

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  7. I can relate with this feeling so much! Your World could be tumbling apart and the only thing that can set it straight is cheerful fabric, the whir of your machine, subside and tea and simple straight lines :) Happy sewing Jennifer!

    Sophie xo

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    1. That's supposed to be sunshine not subside :) Commenting from a phone is not easy!

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  8. Crafting and writing are the two most therapeutic activities I've ever encountered (with organizing being a close third for me), so I can wholeheartedly relate to the stress relief and sense of serenity that quilting helped bring you that day (and in general).

    ♥ Jessica

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  9. Glad you are feeling better now Jennifer...
    I did a wee bit of sewing myself this week...
    Made my daughter 2 outdoor cushions, and continue to work on new covers for some seat cushions for the cottage...
    Whatever you make, it will be beautiful!
    Enjoy your week ahead..
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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  10. I've been cutting and cutting squares on and off for a while now in the hope of accumulating a pile to sit down and sew. I find it incredible relaxing, especially pinning things. xo

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  11. Cheerful therapy...I think this colorful patchwork would make a beautiful table runner!

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  12. I think this is just fantastic! I love your fabrics so very much friend! Where do you get your fabric??? Whenever you can create to take your mind somewhere else it is a win win!!! I can't wait to see what you turn this into! SO vey pretty already! Wishing you a wonderful week ahead Jennifer! Nicole xoxo

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  13. So beautiful! The first chair photo is stunning! I love the way fabric soothes the soul too. There's nothing like it! Your table runner will be a nice cheery accent!

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  14. That will brighten up any space! A table runner sounds like a good idea. And how lovely to see the sun!

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  15. There is nothing more satisfying than making something useful out of little things.. is there? Sounds like a lovely day for you and the kids. We got some neat coastal images today, I'll post in the morning before we pack up and head home. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  16. Lovely patchwork squares and very happy children, bliss x

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  17. Hi Jennifer thanks so much for following me on bloglovin! You made my day! :)
    I truly enjoy reading your posts and looking at your beautiful photos. I`m already looking forward to your next post! Hugs Debbie

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  18. Lovely Jennifer I feel better just reading your post, I love the fabrics so bright and cheerful, the view of your patio is very pleasing and I can almost hear the sound of your children's voices as they play. Looking forward to seeing what you make with your lovely strips of colour. :)

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  19. Wonderful! Such cheerful bright and pretty colours. I have always found sewing the most soothing thing to do, and I think you are like me! I do like your idea of keeping a bag of squares going, so you have something quick to dip into. Very clever. Look forward to seeing the runner.

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  20. Your patchwork is looking lovely and you are right, it is ideal for stress relieving. Patchwork squares and chldren playing on a sunny day...perfect!
    Have a wonderful week.
    Helen xox

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  21. Your patchwork looks wonderful. It gives more beautiful for the things. !

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  22. I've just signed up to an online sewing course. I'm determined to learn how to sew! Crafts are such great therapy. I've seven started to see some medical reports on the benefits of crafts. Have a good week. X

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  23. Hello Jennifer,

    Well, sewing for us would be guaranteed to increase our stress levels no end, but, clearly, for you it did the trick! It is good that we all have different ways to unwind and take us into a calmer place.

    The scents ofSpring always seem so pungent after a long hard Winter. Perhaps it is because we anticipate them for so long that they seem even more wonderful when they occur in Spring. This us such a perfect time of year!

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  24. Such pretty colours, can't wait to see what you end up making.

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  25. Your squares look beautiful sewn together into their strips, and will be even lovelier I am sure when they become the finished article! How lovely that you can sit by the open door and sew! xx

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  26. Craft therapy - the best! And especially with those yummy fabrics, each and every one is lovely! I can't wait to see what they become...Chrissie x

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  27. How lovely, such a happy mix of colours. It's going to make a fabulous table runner.

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  28. I can feel the sunlight pouring into your kitchen, as the sewing away, between pauses for alignment, and smell the honeysuckle sweeten the breeze, while the bears burst through the door for a refreshment!

    Poppy

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  29. The strips of blocks are very cheerful looking. I'm glad they were able to lift your spirits, Jennifer!

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  30. Lovely colours and patterns Jennifer, definitely therapy for the soul !
    Have a good week,
    Kate x

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  31. Such a lovely eclectic mix of fabrics Jennifer...so pretty! There is something so addictive about patchwork and stress-relieving too...I have a pile of squares sitting on my desk that I'm promising not to touch until the summer but I'm finding it difficult to resist...I may have to hide them out of site! :-)
    Hope you have a happy new week,
    Susan x

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  32. Oh they look amazing! Such beautiful fabrics. xx

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  33. Oh that is so pretty and the colours work really well together! I am sorry to hear you were having a down day, I certainly can relate to those (and how sewing can take that tension away!) I really want to try patchwork sometime soon, I haven't done anything like that yet! It's a great idea to have squares ready to sew together. :) I hope you have a stress free week Jennifer! :)

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  34. Lovely colours in your patchwork Jennifer. Glad you had a lovely afternoon. I love to sew. xx

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  35. You are so well organised! The patchwork looks so cheerful, I'm glad you felt better after being creative! Sarah x

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  36. Oh just beautiful! Love those patchwork strips, the different fabrics look wonderful together.
    Marianne x

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  37. These patchwork strips are ever so gorgeous. I have a patchwork blanket that looks so very similar, I must take a picture and email it to you. I hope this week is less stressful :-) xx

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  38. I can just feel how calm patch-working made you ... isn't crafting amazing for settling the soul ... and so pretty too ;) ... Bee xx

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  39. Slowing down and taking time to craft is one of the best balms for the soul - especially with such bright, cheery fabrics!

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  40. What more could one ask for - happy children, warm sunshine, gentle fragrant breezes, and brightly coloured fabrics being sewn into something beautiful! Happy days! Joy x

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  41. Sic such a cheery sight, love that little patchwork....yes sewing can be the best therapy! :) x

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  42. It lifts the spirits doesn't it :0)
    Loving all the pretty little pieces of fabric - it'll look so bright and cheerful made into a table runner.
    x

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  43. Oh, it's so lovely - what you've done already looks beautiful. Just sitting at the kitchen table with the doors open is pretty amazing (it's still not quite warm enough for that here) but sewing too - just perfect. x

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  44. Sorry to hear that things have been stressy. All your squares look bright and cheerful together...I'm looking forward to seeing the finished item! Jx

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  45. What a beautiful and soothing coping skill .

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  46. I love sitting in my kitchen with the back door open... it's the best! Your table runner is going to be gorgeous. I love all the bright, happy colors!

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  47. I had one of those weeks last week too :) I hope that your week is going better now, I sew and do crafts when I'm stressed also. It's a great stress relief!

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  48. Hey Jennifer,
    Your patchwork strips look gorgeous. I'm glad you were able to channel your energies into something that made you feel happy and more balanced. One of my most favourite things right now is sitting and listening to Olly at play.
    Leanne xx

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  49. Loving all those eclectic, colourful strips of patchwork and imagine it must have been very stress relieving sewing. Now the fun begins when deciding what to make. Enjoy x

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  50. I love your patchwork, all the pattern and pretty colors. Happy inducing for sure. :) Tammy

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  51. Hi Jennifer, I am feeling the urge to go and cut and sew! These strips are so pretty. Real strips of happy colours. Do show us the finished result! Heather x

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  52. Patchwork is my therapy too! Those colours and fabrics look tremendous together and will brighten up any day! x

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  53. Again! A lovely post - am enjoying catching up on your wonderful blog posts! It's so funny I feel such a connection with you and your life - so similar outlooks and yet such different locations! J9 x

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  54. Your account of the elements of your therapy: color, light, scents, sewing, all add to my sense of well-being, too, Jennifer. Thanks!

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  55. Hello lovely Jennifer, it is really lovely to be back and to catch up on all your news (and there seems to be a great deal). As for the Sushi, yum you had my mouth watering. I must say I think having some squares handy to do a little sewing sounds like such a great idea and maybe one I should adopt, It looks like it might be a beautiful and bright quilt in the end and hopefully reminding you of happy and content children. Hope you have a lovely week xoxo

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