I think it started in March. Could have been April or May, who remembers how anything went in the early days of Covid the days all blurred into one, sorry years, the years all blurred in to one. But I had discovered the world of quilting.
I remember as a little girl learning the basics of a sewing machine on the lounge room floor at my Nanna’s house and the one piece of advice she gave me that I never forgot, “don’t look at the scissors, look at what you’re cutting”. Sage advice for a seven year old. I don’t recall touching another sewing machine until a year 10 textiles unit and then not again until 18 years later when I took myself off to a beginners course at Spotlight when my daughter was about nine weeks old. I made her a few things that I don’t think she ever wore and then the sewing machine was packed away again. Fast forward to 2017 and my machine was coming out regularly and I was loving it! I was making clothes and lots of them, but really only for me which was great because at least I could tailor my clothes to my body. A friend and fellow sewist asked me around then if I had ever tried quilting and I remember telling her that I didn’t think my poor husband could cope with another hobby of mine – sewing, crocheting, cross stitch, the list went on.
Then covid hit and truthfully there are only so many skirts and dresses a girl needs! So off to Spotlight I toddled with a beginners quilt pattern I found online and not a clue in the world. Turns out that first quilt pattern designer was going to become very familiar to me, it was by Ruby Star Society. But it was terrible! My points and seams did not match and the fabric was not my aesthetic so I headed to the online world of quilting. I can’t tell you the exact date I found @jozmakesquilts or Scribbly Gum Quilt Co, but my first post on Instagram with Scribbly Gum Fabric in it is from June 2020. From there the fabric became the obsession. I had been stood down from my job and living in what is now known as the most locked down city in the world, I had all the time I could need to quilt. Not only that, I was devouring online courses and youtube videos endlessly. The fabric couldn’t come fast enough and I was pumping out quilt after quilt.
In the mean time though, I was also relapsing from a lifetime of chronic anxiety that I had only recently gotten a handle on and like so many others, sinking deeper and deeper into depression. There were a few constants in my life during that time, my husband and daughter of course, but Jodie was a shining light of mine and she didn’t even know it! She helped me with everything from building me custom orders, answering what were probably dumb questions and just loving helping me with my new found love of quilting. Our online friendship grew over the next year until one day she asked if I would like to work for her. I think my head nearly exploded. So of course I jumped at the chance to have purpose again during our eleventy billionth lockdown. Getting to see the new fabrics before anyone else was my greatest thrill whilst helping to update the website.
We finally met face to face in November of 2021 and by December I knew two of her secrets. She was moving the shop to Melbourne and…she was going back to her full time corporate job. I won’t lie, when she told me about changing job paths again I panicked. Her, the shop, the quilting all had come to mean so much more to me than I ever imagined. I’d found my passion. So I offered all of the things! I’ll run it for you! I’ll buy it from you! Whatever it took I was determined to hold on tight but hopefully not come off to stalkery.
In February the shop reopened in my home town of Melbourne and since then I have been creating bundles, packing orders and managing the day to day. But now I will be doing it all. Jodie has entrusted the shop to me in its entirety with the knowledge that I will continue to love and nurture it in the same way she did.