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The moving on edition
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A Modern Quilting and Sewing Newsletter
I always get sad when I read these posts, which there seem to be more of these days: quilt stores closing up shop, blogs shutting down, newsletters ceasing to send to the masses. But usually the person writing them is moving on to another chapter, so I try to be happy for them.

The Wonky Press has had a successful 3 year run - 73 issues, 2x a month! I'm so grateful for all of your emails and feedback. But it's time for a change. I'm not saying I'll never be back, but I'm taking an indefinite break. More about the reasons below, but please know - I'm so, SO thrilled to have gotten to know so many of you through the newsletter. I realize this announcement might come as a surprise to many of you and I appreciate your understanding and support (also, please be patient with me responding to emails this week :) ). I'm not disappearing off the ends of the Earth though - I'll still be blogging, and you can subscribe to receive my blog posts in your email, if you like (usually, I blog 1-2 times a week). I'm on Instagram several times a week as @quiltyhabit. And you can always send me an email (there's a link on the right sidebar of my blog!).

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I've mentioned this previously, but in the last year (especially after my book contract was cancelled, though it was by no means for that reason), I found myself choosing to engage in other activities in my spare time besides sewing. I rediscovered my love for fiction and am now usually reading 2-3 books at a time (at least one in hardcover and one on audio). I've spent more time lounging in front of the TV without handwork, just hanging out with my husband and letting my mind rest. While sewing is relaxation for me, it isn't always. And especially when sewing is partly your business, there's always an extra stressor added to the mix. And spending time on the computer often feels like a chore, especially when I do it so much for work already.
 
I started writing this newsletter 3 years ago for a few reasons. First, I had discovered how much I loved newsletters from developing and writing my guild's - a new form of communication for us. Always a writer, I enjoyed the challenge of creating snappy titles, formatting with font and color, and summarizing information clearly and succinctly for maximum ease of the reader. I also wanted an easy way to communicate with readers. And The Wonky Press became all of these things!

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It comes down to a couple of things: time and money. Doesn't it always? Writing a newsletter takes a lot of time. In the beginning, the first ones took 5-6 hours! I've never been a big believer in energy in the metaphysical sense, but in terms of energy out put, I feel that all the time now. I can now easy recognize when my energy is in danger of burning out with too many commitments that I need to (and want to) keep.
 
Now the newsletter takes me an hour to an hour and a half to write, but that doesn't include blog posts that I write during the week and link to, and seeking out and organizing events/inspiration links. That's maybe another 2 hours a week. So, keeping my blog and newsletter updated can take anywhere from 3-5+ hours a week. That's a part part time job! And I enjoy it. But sometimes, something's gotta give. And my real life, not my online life, has to come first.
 
The newsletter also costs $$ to host, and it keeps going up with my subscribers (I'm glad you're here but that's how it works!). The blog costs much, much, much less. So I'll see you over there. There are some exciting projects in the works and still some quilts I have yet to post about from this summer!

Because I'm closing down the newsletter, past issues may not be viewable (though I'm not 100% sure yet). I'll be doing that sometime next week and I'll include an update on my blog when this is complete.

THANK YOU.

And with that, on to the links.
"All Squared In" is a baby quilt in bold, unconventional colors (oh please spare me pastels! :) ) - and while it's quilted densely with a distinct pattern (read more in the blog post below), it's quite soft and cuddly.
Read the quilt story
  • A wonderful new blog series called "The Art of Improv," where Jen Broemel interviews artists about their process. The first one is up now.
 
  • Ellen of Handmade3D is hosting an Instabee (quilting bee on Instagram) with the new FreeSpirit Block Party book. What a cool idea - and 100% of the book proceeds go to Project Night Night which gives care packages to homeless children. You can sign up to participate and find out more info here.
 
  • Have you ever thought about recycling parts of old sewing machines? I want a kitchen island made from one!! {via recyclart.com}
 
  • I can't stop looking at this modern, two-color quilt made by Yvonne Fuchs of Quilting Jetgirl. She wrote a tutorial for OLFA, too.
 
  • Favorites on Instagram this week (viewable to everyone): these paper pieced echinacea, this unusual color combo, this autumnal quilt design, how the quilting makes this quilt sparkle, these saturated blocks, this lusciously quilted America quilt, and this exciting process photo.
Upcoming Events:
  • Lecture and Workshop - West Milford Heritage Quilters, West Milford, NJ
    • Fri. - Sat. October 19-20, 2018
    • Lecture - TBA topic, 7pm
    • Workshop - "Brick by Brick Improvisation," 10 am (3 hours
  • Lecture - Turtle Creek Quilters Guild, Groveville, NJ
    • Sunday, November 18, 2018
    • Topic TBA
    • 1:30 PM
*These are my last scheduled lectures and workshops for 2018, and they will be my last for a while, as I will be taking a break from quilting engagements.

Currently:

Piecing: This year's Disney mini quilt (here's a peek), and of course #quiltyhabitxplusquilt

Quilting: By hand - Haptic Lab project and some sashiko.
 

Watching: Parts Unknown, season 9 and Atypical, season 2.
 

Reading: Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies by Michael Ausiello and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern on audio. The first - I've been waiting to read for a while, and it's delightful (and I'm guessing quite sad pretty soon). The second - it's one of my favorite books, but I've never heard it on audio before. Jim Dale is THE BEST.
 

Listening to: My fall playlist.

Two guild friends of mine made statements within the last year that struck a chord with me. The first was something along the lines of "we all have different chapters of life, and some of those chapters mean less sewing." And as another friend remarked, "I try to remind myself that I still have a whole lifetime of sewing to go. Things don't have to be made right away."

I always encourage people to go and sew and make things, but remember these nuggets, too. They're just as important, I think.


THANK YOU for all your support! Please keep in touch. :)


If you enjoyed this newsletter, please forward it to a friend! New readers can visit this link to subscribe to The Wonky Press. Previous issues can be found here.

Go sew something today!
-Jess :)


 
Click here to email me! I'd love to hear your suggestions, comments, and questions.
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