8 minutes for 25 cents

You don't realize how much you are actually going to lose when you go through a divorce.  You mostly think of the things you don't like and how you will be rid of them.  The things you'll gain like personal choice and freedom.  I knew I would lose big things.  Time with my children.  My home.  
But there are other things that are gone that have had much bigger impact than I could have anticipated.  Like my washer and dryer.  
I spend an awful lot of time at the laundromat these days, but also doing laundry wherever else I'm able to.  Not having free laundry access has greatly influenced my routines and the choices I make.  Not unlike when I lived in Washburn and would wear only light colors one week and only dark colors the next.  You choose clothes that wash easily and wear well.  You are strategic with your wardrobe choices based on when you can do laundry again.. ('I really want to wear these jeans when we go out to dinner Saturday night so I better wear ___ instead now..).  I plan what I'm going to wear throughout the week like some people plan meals.
It has also impacted my quilting.  I no longer pre-wash fabric.  (Breaking this habit hurt my heart on some levels, it's a quilting rule I felt strongly about).  I also had a lot of quilts and items in storage because I didn't have the space for them to get used (and dirty, and need washing..).  
Without access to a washer and dryer that are "mine", my quilts smell different, my home smells different.  Scent has a huge impact, I definitely hadn't anticipated how divorce would change the way my life smells..
But as with every major life change, there are things to be gained, positives to fill the void where the negatives have been removed.  A change in laundry access has made me appreciate routine more.  And with each new laundry routine I'm building, I process a little bit more what has changed.  Where I've been, and where I am now.  (In case you're curious, no, I don't spend much time thinking about where I'm going). And I think of all the other laundry routines I've had.  The other washer women I have known.  It is one of my favorite domestic activities.  The repetitiveness, the warmth, and, I have learned after the divorce-- the care.   The care and love you can put into doing someone else's laundry.  Then I feel grateful to every person who has ever done mine .  

This is the Skill Builder Sampler from Get Started Quilting.  The deadlines for the book were so tight that I didn't actually finish this quilt.  It's done, but I sent it off to Shannon to have it long armed (and OMG, she did an awesome job) and also asked her to bind it.  She put on the label and the hanging sleeve, and then we sent it right off to London to be photographed.  I think she sent it to me and I sent it on, but when it finally came back from photography, I was already packing all of my non-essential life in boxes, preparing for the move so I haven't spent much time with this quilt.  I took it to the laundromat this week to give it its first wash and I was amazed at how fantastic it is.  I was so focused on making each block, in writing the instructions-- both for the book text but also for the photo crew who would need to take my fabric patches, semi-sewn seams, and lay them out for the stage photographs.  Tomorrow, when I go shovel snow, I will take it out for a proper photo shoot (hoping some tall neighbor can help).  
Then later this week I will take it to the post office and send it off to some new friends that have filled part of the divorce void.  People that should have been in my life all along, but I didn't know to make that sort of space, or maybe we just weren't ready.  Damn, I'm glad the pieces fit together this time though.  


  1. Beautiful... The quilt, your writing,YOU!

    Your sis

  2. It is amazing the things we take for granted ... until they're not there! Glad you are finding some great new things to fill some voids. God bless :)

  3. oh! I wasn't savvy enough in my laundry mat days to do the all-lights and all-darks thing. I could have saved precious quarters that way! I admire the grace with which you're moving through this phase of your life. Also, the blocks you're assembling for the Mishchief Quilt, with the bunnies in the center - AWESOME :)

    1. Thanks Lynette. The bunny blocks are stalled on my design wall, basted to the background but in need of hand applique. My wrists have been hurting from smartphone browsing/texting lately and this is slowing down my ability to stitch. Must prioritize!

  4. Jessica I'm sorry you're going through this. You are such a caring person and that's a special quilt to gift. Sending you love and hoping good smells surround you xxxx

    1. Lucy, I'm torn. I want to keep my entire collection, fabrics, notions, threads, photos, books, quilts.. but my reality doesn't have the space. Both physically and emotionally. I need to shed some weight and streamline my possessions so I can keep growing, healing. At least I know it's headed somewhere where I can still visit it.. xoxo

  5. Absolutely beautiful quilt. Bravo! I hear you about laundromats and the strategic wardrobe planning. Wishing you lots of good smells. <3

  6. Great post. You are such a good writer , able to share what you are going through with such honesty.


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