Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A commitment to meaningful projects

As part of my turning 30 [*cough* x years ago], I tried a triathlon and I got a sewing machine. Now I can truly say with confidence that experience is the greatest teacher of all. You aren't going to get on the bike the 50th time and not be better than the first time.

Likewise, now that I have been sewing almost every day for a few years, I have just gotten better. More patient, careful, precise, and, well just nicer finishes than ever before. 

If I don't rush myself, I'm getting really good at quilting. I get distracted by my daughter's requests for various Frankenstein dresses she would like to cobble together from fifty different fabrics, and custom requests on my ETSY shop, but to truly dedicate my space to a quilt, that feels the most right. 
The skirt is way too long but the customer is always right?!
So I've volunteered to make several quilts for our school auction. I've gone into the school to collect the kids' handprints for the three different classes, and I think they will translate best to three small quilts. This will take some time, and that means it will help me say "no" when other opportunities arise. I'm already feeling a calmness about this choice, because as I left their school today I overheard my daughter ask her friend,
"Oh do you have a nice mommy too?" 
Yes, I totally cry a little every time I think about that moment. I'm finally playing some "offense" in this game called parenthood and I think the kids are starting to notice as well. Taking the hands of the sweet little two-year-olds and walking them down the hallway to my station made me realize just how far we've come.
The set-up at school
The loot (well, about a third of it...)
If you follow me on Pinterest, you've seen me sorting through many piecing ideas. I want to be careful and well-thought out. I want them to be well quilted, which is the ultimate finishing skill. In fact, I'm planning on taking a long arm certification this year at Steve's, so I can rent their machine for $17/hour. I have no idea if I'll feel comfortable doing that, but I've also purchased a free motion quilting foot for my machine that I would like to experiment with as well. 

Now if all of this terminology sounds alien to you, then thank you for bearing with me this far. Most intermediate/advanced quilters would have already tackled these steps. What I'm trying to say is that I'd like to focus on a few, larger, detail-oriented projects, rather than little quick projects here and there. 
My shopping helper. She knows the layout of Joann's better than I do now.
Just as it happened with my half-iron distance race, and the musical I wrote with my friend at Duke, I'm finding much more fulfillment in meaningful, focused committments, rather than the dabbling that I usually do. The musical needs to be fleshed out more, and it will be coming back around in my life, so it's on the docket.

I would also like to connect with the quilty blogging community as I get more entrenched in my projects this Spring. I have dabbled, as is my nature, but have not participated in any group activities. 

I also have my red and white quilt that is calling my wants to be Christmas-y, maybe needs to speak up a little more while I get started on these handprint quilts.

I have a friend having his first baby in June, and he is in the business of fabric, so I'd like to make a show-stopper for him his baby, too. 

So, in the same vein of getting organized in 2014, and saying no to 14 things (I've done *2* already! woohoo!), let's leave ourselves space to create and dedicate to fresh, meaningful projects. Don't let your energy go to waste on little throwaways.
Like this one. Shhhh...I'll share it when he opens it.

Finally hung this piece from Kelly Rae Roberts collection


  1. Yay! That's an awesome project! It will be so well loved. :)

  2. I can't wait to see the finished project. Things like that go for serious bucks at the school auction here...


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