Changing leaves and other departures

As I’m writing, I can’t even believe that we’re already 3 days into October.  Today is the last day one of my kids will be in the States, since he’s going overseas for college.  Rita (see below) wrote her redpepperquilts blog post with the title “Change is Good”.  I think that she is mostly right, but some changes are harder to swallow than others.  Here in New Jersey, the leaves are changing colors and they are bright, colorful and good!  The shedding of leaves brings cooler weather and also amazing apple varieties, pumpkin spice, hot cocoa and more.  Those things bring a sense of warmth and coziness as we contemplate the end of summer.  It’s not my first rodeo seeing leaves change and it’s not my first child going out of the country, but both still make me feel vulnerable.

With my mood a bit melancholy, you bet I have been doing some active sewing.  I need to keep busy sewing for others because it makes me very happy.  But being an artist isn’t always easy, comfortable or practical.  Lately there has been constant news of companies, artists, and quilters leaving the field in one way or another.  It all boils down to money.  Being an artist is lovely, cathartic and meaningful, but it rarely pays the bills!  I wish I had a dollar for each time someone said to me, “you should sell your stuff online.”  I would love to do that and may try one day, but it isn’t going to pay me nearly what it costs in materials, time and energy.  I create because I love it and need to do it for my sanity.  I enjoy giving away things that I have made.  I love teaching others to create as well.  I had been envious of the quilters who have turned their passion into profitable careers.  Were they not as profitable as we all thought?


Australian superstar, Rita, of just announced on her blog that she is dropping all sponsors and ending her business.  She has a huge following and I have learned a great deal from her.  Her quilting style is impressive, colorful, painstaking and superb!  She has had a big impact on the larger quilting world in many ways, not just with her signature black and white striped quilt borders.  It was common for many of us to first learn about new fabric lines or quilt happenings from reading her blog.  Checking her blog was one of my treasured daily habits.  While I am happy for her, I am so sad for the rest of us.

I also apparently just read Jessica Skultety’s last issue of The Wonky Press newsletter.  What?  No!!!!  Jessica, of, is someone I have talked with a bit online but had always wanted to meet in person. Her quilting style is fresh and modern, just as is her writing.   She has been lovely responding to my comments and helping me to learn about resources in my area.  Her newsletters were always filled with great information, fun tidbits and numerous links to art all around the world.  Reading her blog often felt like the most satisfying museum visit and tandem art show!  I routinely checked each of her links and would wonder, “where does she find this stuff?”  Well, now where will I find out about such stuff?   While she is clear to say that she will still be blogging, this is sadly her last issue of the Wonky Press.  Jessica, your newsletter routinely brings me joy and I can only hope you will resurrect it one day soon.

Finally, the art writer, Abby Glassenberg, announced in the Craft Industry Alliance that the giant designer, Amy Butler, is leaving the quilt world.  You can find Amy Butler designs all over the art world, not just in quilting.  She was one of the first designers to have a strong impact on the quilting world.  Her patterns and fabrics are hoarded by fans and used sparingly, as if they are made of gold.  She announced that she will no longer produce new fabric lines, and is instead focusing on other aspects of her creative career.  Her last fabric line, Natural Beauty, will be out this month.  She mentions needing financial stability as one of her reasons for the change.  If someone at her level can’t make fabric designing an actual money-maker, what hope is there for the rest of us!?  Amy is so beloved that there is a project inviting everyone in the community to post a reflection or tribute about Amy on Wednesday, October 10.  Click on Abby’s link above to learn more.

Speaking of changes, does the pattern below look familiar?  This same block was used last year and it’s being revived as a quilt drive for Hurricane Florence victims.  Carole of is collecting 12.5″ Perkiomen Valley Fire (or known as Thomas Fire) blocks in jewel tones.  She gives a tutorial on her blog and here’s another PDF tutorial from the past quilt drive.  No matter which instructions you prefer, just be sure to use jewel colors.  Using up scraps and dipping into my stash a bit, I was able to make 14 blocks in no time at all!  Seeing them up on my shadowed fence makes me wish I had made just one more.  It would have been nice to add more golden and bright green colors, but the scraps dictated my choices.  The blocks are now ready to mail.


Jewel tone blocks using lots of leftover scraps.  These will be sent to help make quilts for Hurricane Florence victims.



Amy needed more boy clothing for her dolls so…A Doll Like Me just received a package.  Doll clothes are always fun to make and this recent batch was all for boys.  I have to admit that the polar bears selfies are my favorite pj’s thus far!! I love those happy faces!


the polar bears selfies are my favorite pj’s thus far


This is what the velcro looks like inside the top.  I sometimes find fun colored-velcro but white always comes through in a pinch.




Don’t you just love the d-ring for a little key fob on these doll cargo shorts?


These grey cargo shorts may look dull, but trust me, the print has lots of fun little designs peeking through like bunnies, sailboats, moons and more! For some reason it reminded me of Halloween so I had to add in an orange key fob.

linking up to:

Midweek Makers

Needle and Thread Thursday








10 responses to “Changing leaves and other departures

  1. I’ve been paying attention to sustainability within the creative/crafting field for a while and I think that while the incredible access we have to beautiful fabrics, patterns and other inspiration has brought so many people into the field as a hobby, the constant bombardment of images can also be a detriment to the field. For example, I think the number of fabric lines that come out creates a saturated market in which it is probably very hard to compete. The online market for handmade items is also very saturated — there are so many sellers on Etsy and similar sites that prices are driven down even before you consider that much of what is sold handmade is also competing with the mass produced marketplace as well. Sigh. I’ve been pretty clear to myself about my sewing being a hobby, but even that has a saturation point — we joke about Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy, but it’s kind of a real thing as we see family members unwilling or unable to hold on to what used to be considered heirlooms — dishes, decor, and even furniture. I am still buying fabric, but I have been thinking a LOT about what is realistic and what such rampant consumerism does overall for the value of handmade items overall.

    Sorry to go on so long, but this is something that has been on my mind for quite a while!

    I love the blocks and doll clothes you made this week!


    • What a thoughtful reply. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a very interesting comment. I agree that there are too many fabric lines. There are many that even cover the same imagery and color. I remember noticing a lovely print with foxes that I loved and then suddenly everything I saw had a fox. Someone did a print with little red riding hood and then all at once it seemed several others came out with a “little red” motif. Artists like Tula Pink are always raising the bar and she truly has original motifs, but many others are falling short. I don’t envy those making the tough decision to leave the industry. However, it has had a long reemergence I suppose, even if I came back to it only recently. Thanks for sharing and yes…the bone china cups and saucers and crystal vases are not going to be wanted by our kids. We should live and enjoy but not be naive to think that the next generation will want our heirlooms, let alone our crafting supplies!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good Afternoon! These doll clothes you share are so darn cute. I love the polar bears, too. It is so sad to read about Red Pepper Quilts leaving the industry as well as the others. Geez. I never thought it would be possible to make a living from quilting, but this is discouraging. Thanks for reminding me about Carole’s call for blocks! I need to get going on mine. ~smile~ Roseanne


    • Roseanne, yes, isn’t it so depressing that even Rita couldn’t make it work!? I also never imagined I could make it into a career, but she had a good thing going, didn’t she!? I’m done with my blocks for Carole but now feel I should maybe make more. I think i’ll mail these and if the spirit moves me, i can always send another batch.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Carole, I hope these colors are close to what you wanted. I was trying to be accurate but also scrappy too.


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