A year later...
Until the last few years, I've written this blog pretty consistently since 2007, but suddenly, probably quite a while before the pandemic, I just didn't feel like doing it anymore, which felt both odd and completely fine. My husband and I often used to talk about something Joni Mitchell said when asked how she could consider retiring from music: 'Easy, it's like a wind that blew through me, that's stopped blowing. It's gone.' The finality of that always seemed so shocking to us, but then we both experienced it in different ways, and it kind of made sense. But just like Joni (do you see how casually I've aligned our paths with an internationally acclaimed wonder-horse), we've both gradually found our way back to the things we love: my husband has written and recorded nearly a whole album during lockdown and the moment we're allowed to see people again will be meeting up with the drummer he played with when we all lived in London; and I've found my way back to sewing and working with fabric, having had a few years where I just didn't feel quite as driven to stitch or document that as I once had (there was a summer where I made a whole new wardrobe of dresses and tops and didn't document a single garment here or on Instagram...I think I realised I just felt happier existing more quietly).
In short-form, I've posted on Instagram quite regularly (that's only short form compared to a blog post...my posts are excessively wordy by Instagram standards, although one day Sarah told me that's called micro-blogging, and having a name for it seemed to make it feel legitimate). Looking back over the year on Instagram, I've sewn scrubs for the NHS (that seems so long ago now); made facemasks for family, friends, and sold them on Etsy (there's a mask pattern here); made quilts and erm, more quilts, and another! And this one...I think what these show, is how much I've enjoyed working with fabrics and backings that aren't traditional quilting cottons this year; I've asked many questions (and received amazing answers....sometimes people still message me with suggestions months later, which I love); I recreated a little street in Amsterdam (you can also read about the shocking and quite volcanic incident that meant this piece had to be started again from scratch when it was nearly finished here); the palm house at Sefton Park in Liverpool (which is a bit of a hybrid with Kew Gardens in terms of my inspiration point...which can be traced back to my 40th birthday); and a tube map using handmade 1/8" bias binding, which I'm calling Liberty Underground, as it is, predictably, made up with Liberty's Tana lawns (and as you can see from the links, I've also had Giclée prints made up of those things on German Etching paper, which is so lovely and tactile that it feels like the paper equivalent of fabric). I've talked about the books I'm reading and listening to (too many posts to link to); the things we're watching on television (ditto); sweet treats; the artists whose work I'm enjoying; how it felt when our daughter left home for university mid-pandemic; the sewing tools I'm using; my decorating escapades; random stories from our day; cats and dogs; And I made my very first technique demo video...I felt a bit like one of the animals in a Creature Comforts ad doing that...
And weirdly, only three paragraphs in I seem to have told you what I've been up to over the last year....I think I just needed to warm up to it! Please do share how this year has been for you, if you feel inclined.
What I also wanted to ask you is this: I sometimes struggle to fit in all the things I want to say in an Instagram post...I'll often want to talk about four books, but have to limit myself to two; or I'll want to ramble from subject to subject to explain why I'm feeling a certain way about something and end up finding it's just too exhausting to attempt it in the generous-but-limited characters available. And I'm also aware that many of my old readers may not even use Instagram (or maybe most do now)? But either way, I've been thinking about how, if people want to hear about those things in longer-form, what might be the best way of doing that.
Do you still read blogs? Or do you prefer a newsletter delivered direct to your inbox (I know some people subscribe to receive a copy my blog posts to their inbox, but I set that up years ago and never really understood how it worked and still don't), but I'm thinking more of a newsletter where I'd be heading there intentionally, which somehow feels different in my head, at least. Or maybe, if you don't use Instagram, you might like a hybrid, where I embed my Instagram posts here, like I've done above, and then write a longer form post around them? Or would you prefer for me to save them up and put together some kind of printed journal every now and then? Things seem to have changed so much in the last five years, that I'd love to hear how you enjoy hearing from people for longer-than-Instagram posts, if at all.
With love, Florence x