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I am a mother, a grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge was published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon



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Thursday, September 30, 2021

A retirement and redirection

 Hello my good sewing friends and friends of this blog.

After some deep thought I have decided to retire from this blog after a very interesting 13 years writing it. I thought it made sense to do this officially rather than just let it all fade away.

There are several reasons I have decided to do this.

The first of which is that when I wrote my last book I realized it was pretty much all I have to say about garment construction. I don't think there is another sewing book in me to write. Most of the techniques I use all the time I have described in my two books, over the years in the blog, or in the 40 plus newsletters I have written and sent out.

To be honest too I also no longer feel I can keep up with the pressure sometimes to stop and take pictures of the garments I sew. Some days this felt like an obligation in a very busy life I have with all my family, and I didn't want the blog to feel like that.

The second reason is that I have come to realize that the part of the blog I enjoyed the most was the writing part, Flypaper thoughts. That part seemed to be where I want to spend more time and where I want to grow.

Covid had an influence too of course. During this very strange year Daisy and I have sat in our chair at nights after my husband has gone to bed and I have started to write stories. You don't need to be a psychologist to figure out that at a time when I felt particularly cut off from family and places, I sort of invented a world I could go to instead. Local folks will recognize the idea behind Gasper's Cove and the Seaside Sewists.

One of my stories will be published in a limited availability cozy mystery anthology November 1. 

I really enjoyed writing my story for this anthology. As a result  I have decided to take a detour and do more fiction writing, specifically sewing cozy mysteries.

For those who aren't familiar with the term, cozy mysteries are just that, mysteries without sex or violence (I am not qualified to write about either of those topics) and often have a craft type theme.

I think at this stage in my life I am probably more interested in the sewing community, and that would be you, than I am in strictly sewing techniques.

I also have been working on a sort of Flypaper thoughts like book called "How to be an older woman" not of course because I have that figured out, but because I haven't.

I am not sure how this is all going to work out. Fiction is of course a funny thing and stories that I might enjoy writing may not be worth reading. That is a real possibility. It's going to take me some time to warm up for sure. We will see how this goes.

This is change in direction for me, a lighter one maybe (as opposed to the serious heavy content of this blog). It was suggested by an author I respect that it might be a good idea for me to come up with a pen name to distinguish the cozy type stuff from my other writing.

So I did that. The name I came up with is Babs Emodi. That should fool everyone who might think we are the same person. I have also set up a website for this venture called, you guessed it, There's a spot there to sign up for a reader newsletter in case you want to be updated on things I write.

My sewing activities will be documented from here on in on Instagram.

So I guess that's it for now, for here. One thing that is true about this stage of life is that it often involves letting go of some things to try something new.

I hope you understand.

It has been wonderful.

Thank you, thank you.



SuzyQ said...

I can't wait! Love the idea of the seaside sewists. Some cozies are just too saccharine for me; I'm confident yours will be intelligent, joyful, with spunk and just enough vinegar.

Your flypaper thoughts have evolved to be the most interesting part of the blog, so I hope you continue to think about how to explore that.

You've left us a significant archive of tips, techniques and pattern reviews, so we can release you to sew in peace!

Unknown said...

Oh, dear - for me, not for you! I just found your blog this year and have been enjoying it so much, reading "back issues" to try to read it all. I am 65 and enjoyed reading something from someone in my age group, as it were, and I feel I have lost a friend I just found, but I can only imagine you are ready for a change and hope it will be good for you in every way. Thank you for the generosity of your time and effort to sustain a blog for so long - I know it's not easy and must have felt like a real job sometimes and want you to know it brought great pleasure to this particular reader, and I'm sure to many, many others and I thank you.

STAshworth said...

I love your Flypaper Ihoughts, and I’d welcome Flypaper Thoughts about being an older woman. Best of luck to you in your new adventures.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I am late to your blog but have been enjoying your posts for a few years. My favorite are the Flypaper Thoughts, I have thought before that you might write a book or two of essays about sewing similar to what Stephanie Pearl-McPhee has done for knitting. Best to you and will continue to follow your work on Instagram.

wendy said...

Thank you for every single post you’ve written, I’ve enjoyed reading them all for years. Your ‘fly-paper thoughts’ have been wonderful and often made me laugh out loud and given me food for thought. Very best wishes for your next adventures, I’m heading over to your website to sign up and make sure to keep up with your writing. Warmest regards x

Anonymous said...

I will miss you!

Anonymous said...

I understand you perfectly. I have so enjoyed your flypaper thoughts over the years. Your first book is on my shelf and the latest on my Amazon wish list. Alas I don’t use Instagram - between work and home I spend far too much time online as it is. Good luck on your new writing ventures, Babs!

Christine said...

Hi Babs
I have always loved your blog but really for your thoughts and stories rather than the sewing. You combine wisdom and insight with a wonderful humour. So I will miss that.
I have both your books and would recommend them to everyone. Signing on to your new website. Your new direction sounds wonderful. Best of luck with it all

Helen Marshall said...

I will miss your posts Barbara! Thankyou for all the information, laughs and occasional tears you have offered for so long and best wishes with your new ventures.

KathrynT said...

I will miss your blog posts, but definitely understand. I always felt selfish enjoying reading blogs without one of my own, but knew I wouldn't be able to keep up with the photos and writing. I certainly don't have your beautiful turn of phrase nor your wit, which I have greatly enjoyed. Best wishes for your plans and thank you for the time to produce this blog.

Anonymous said...

Yikes, I will miss especially the flypaper thoughts (now I'll have to think for myself?) and the updates on husband, kids, grandkids and especially Miss Daisy and her kitty admirer.

Thank you for all your messages over the years; its been great. I have already signed up for your "cozy" newsletter.


Kansas Sky said...

What joy you have given me in your words of instruction and words of wisdom. I cannot thank you enough for this. But I sure do understand about the blog. Crossing fingers that "flypaper thoughts" will appear on your new website. Put me down as an avid reader of all that you publish, in any fashion, in any way. I've kept all your newsletters in a computer file. Your books are always near me as I sew. Sometimes I just pick one up and read a few pages once again, freshly inspired and blessed. THANK YOU, thank you, thank you.

sewsan said...

I will very much miss this blog. I have learned a great deal from it and have enjoyed every post. Thank you so much for sharing your sewing life and thoughts for so long. Wishing you all the best in your next adventure! And now to check out your new website! Sandra

Valerie said...

I’ll miss you Barbara, you’ve been a lovely companion over morning coffee. We’ve laughed, we’ve thought, we’ve designed.
Well done for making a difficult but exciting decision. I look forward to the next best thing!

JustGail said...

NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good for you, much sad for me. I've enjoyed reading you blog for quite a while, whether about sewing or your flypaper thoughts on whatever is on your mind. Sadly, all I get is a log in screen lately when I try to see things on IG (no account). But I *do* understand going there. Good luck with your new writing efforts!

annie said...

Oh, gosh. I've been following you for a long time. I enjoyed your sewing posts. But I loved the other posts even more - your family, adopting Daisy (lucky doggie), Flypaper Thoughts. Sure will miss all that but I do look forward to the next chapter. Pun intended.

Jean Shaw said...

While I have appreciated this blog (and I have both of your books), I love the new direction. Your wit is much appreciated, and I look forward to following your new adventures!

scgrandma said...

Thank you for for guiding me in my journey back into sewing after many years. Your books are staying on my sewing shelf and your recommendations at the back of your first book were a source of classic sewing knowledge.

lulu said...

De-lurking after so many years to say: Thank you so much for all the knowledge and wisdom you've imparted on this blog!

Julia F said...

I've been reading from afar (England) for several years and am always excited when a new blog entry or newsletter of yours appears. I've learnt so much from you - thank you for taking so much trouble with all of it and saving me from so many mistakes. Flypaper Thoughts are absolutely The Best. I read them out loud which makes my husband slightly bemused, probably because I'm laughing so much I can't get the words out. As a 60-something almost-retired person, I would really LOVE to read them in book form. Please do it! I have your first book and have been holding my breath waiting for the second which became available yesterday over here. All the very best with your new direction. Julia

Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) said...

I will miss you and hope that you will post more to Instagram so I can get my Barbara fix there. As for letting the blog go I so understand the picture challenge because I'm experiencing the exact same thing. I think it's just a part of growth and moving on. I can't wait to read your new sewing fiction! Onwards and upwards!

Anonymous said...

Noooooooo!!!!!! I've loved reading your blog/flypaper thoughts over the years here in Scotland. Hearing about Daisy especially. I may now have to join Instagram which to be fair I have been putting off for yonks. Just want to say thank you for your time, wisdom, sewing tips and especially your humour! Good luck!!!

BarbaraSews said...

I have always enjoyed your writing immensely, your sewing too, both are fabulous! I have often read to my husband aloud from your flypaper thoughts, which often are quite poetic. I am sad you won't be continuing this blog, but I am thrilled you will be continuing to write. I have already signed on at your new website. Thank you for your generosity of spirit and skill over the years! I look forward to more wonderful writing and reading (btw I have your 1st sewing book and will be asking for your 2nd at Christmas time). Best wishes to you!!!

Lisa - SF Bay Area said...

I will ready anything you write! I am just happy that you will still be sharing your work with us. Keep up the great work!!!

Moosiemoose said...

Like all of the above so sad for me but very understandable. I love your flypaper thoughts. They always made me laugh out loud. So I wish you all the best as I don't and won't (no facebook anything) be logging into Instagram. You are truly a remarkable person. Best to you, Daisy, and your family. Jean

SunnyTechGirl said...

I've enjoyed following along on your blog and retirement adventures. Congratulations on your new adventure. I'm sure I'll be laughing out loud while I read your stories.

Janet said...

Hi Barb! This is so exciting. I love that we continue to evolve and change! Thank you for the "cozy mystery" term, this is right up my alley.

Doctor T Designs said...

I will be sad to see the blog end, but I am very excited for your new direction - it sounds like it will be a lot of fun! Best of luck with the new endeavors and I will definitely be following along. Thank you for everything you've done with the blog and your books - they will continue to be an excellent resource for the next generation of sewists.

Ccmel said...

I will also miss your very entertaining take on sewing and life in general. Wishing you every success with your future endeavours.

Karen B said...

Thanks Barbara for all you have written and done.

I have previously purchased both your books and collected your newsletters. Thank-you for those. While I may aspire to couture sewing I need to produce things I want to wear now to offset my seemingly continuous discouragement and you talked to my reality.

I understand your need to do something different and as someone who enjoys cozy mysteries (but am really tired of saccharin food based story lines) I look forward to the stories you create.

Thank you for telling us you are changing direction and giving us an opportunity to sign up for your new blog/newsletter.

Best wishes Karen

Zoey said...

Gosh, I'm really sad to hear this! I love your blog, you are a skilled writer and sewist, but i will look forward to your next chapter

Anna said...

As many others (I think) I came for the sewing and stayed for the Flypaper thoughts. <3 I was chuffed anytime they showed up in my inbox. I hope to see them elsewhere!
I probably won't read the mysteries, simply because I own a bookstore and have so many books to read that time is limited. I know, such hard work! ;) But I will follow you on Instagram, and I wish you all the best for the future!
Anna in Sweden

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the sewing tips, encouragement, live lessons, knowledge and laughs.. Good luck, enjoy and stay well.

Nethwen said...

I'm happy for you, sad for me. I think this is a good direction for you. I read every Flypaper Thoughts, but use the sewing content more like a reference book. In fact, Flypaper Thoughts has influenced me so much that they were my inspiration when I wrote a free-verse poem for my blog (published under a pseudonym) about the challenges of being a hobby musician.

BarbaraShowell said...

I will miss this blog, but I’ll be sure to find your writing in your new spaces. Thanks for all you do.

Pat Gottshalk said...

Thank-you for your generous sharing and creative skill and spirit.

You Really Sew? said...

I will miss your writing here. But, I will definitely follow you to your next adventure. I, too, am trying to figure out aging and being a woman that is 'old'. Not sure I like the sound of it.

Best of luck
Karen in Illinois

Marishka said...

Thank you for all you’ve given us. Words cannot express what it has meant. Best wishes on your next phase, I’m sure the stories will be stellar.

Tobie said...

I will miss your posts but I suspect I will enjoy your mysteries even more!
Stone Mountain has reopened so if you are up for a shopping trip next time you are in Berkeley, please be in touch!

NancyDaQ said...

I’ve enjoyed your blog so much and will miss it. Best of luck in your future endeavors! I will look forward to seeing what you do next.

May said...

I found your blog this year and have enjoyed reading your newsletters. Thank you for sharing your sewing wisdom and practical advice on techniques and patterns.

I look forward to reading your new stories.

HalifaxFaye said...

Thanks for all the laughs whether in the blog or flypaper thoughts. Lucky me, we can still email and meet in person on occasion. I am looking forward to your new direction in writing.

thornberry said...

Oh Barbara, I will miss your blog so much! It's been an honour to get to know you over the blogging years (actually, I used to read your column in Australian Stitches magazine back in the day). Please do continue to post on Instagram, and I will definitely be signing up to the newsletter on our knew website.
I have learned a great deal from you, not only in regard to sewing. Best wishes for your new venture; there is a season for everything.

Patricia said...

Oh, I will miss your blog, I have loved it for years. The Flypaper thoughts, so clever and insightful, as well as sewing. I have leant so many good sewing skills from you. Congratulations on moving on to new ventures, and I have joined your webpage. Looking forward to reading your sewing fiction - I will enjoy anything you write. Thank you for all the pleasure of your posts in the Blogosphere and Good Luck. xx

Janee said...

Thanks for the blog - I've enjoyed reading all your thoughts, flypaper or otherwise, over the years. Best wishes as you head on to new pursuits! I truly wish you all the best!


Anonymous said...

Very best wishes on your new direction. Like everyone else, I'm sad to lose your present blog, and happy for your exciting future plans. I'm a bit wary of "cozies" because of the sugar content, but am sure yours will be better balanced.


mariestitches said...

Your blog will be missed but I must admit the flypaper thoughts were my favourite. I have your first book, will soon purchase your second and have already signed up for Babs. I have loved hearing about your family, your RV touring, Daisy and your reviews. Thank you for giving so much of your time.

Markje said...

Thank you for all the wisdom you have shared and the joy you have spread with your writing. I shall miss you!

Jo-Ann said...

I am REALLY looking forward to the irresponsible grandmother, assisted by the responsible grandchildren mysteries. If they are as humorous as the stories told before, they will very quickly attract a following.

Jo-Ann Rae

Jean said...

I am late to the party. I just want to say that I have enjoyed this blog so much over the years. You are a fantastic writer, and I will miss this blog so. Of course, I signed up for the newsletter! Best of wishes for your future writing endeavors. I will read your cozy mysteries-looking for clues as to how your grandchildren and Daisy are doing.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you didn't take your blog down - I have been searching for warm, high traction shoes/booties for cold day dog walks and remembered you mentioning some you liked. A few searches later, there they were! I now have 2 pairs on order, allegedly so that I can pick my favorite style, but who knows.

SO, another example of your service to humanity, or at least this small piece of it.