Thursday, November 1, 2007

Taking Down Fences

Maybe it's how I'm made, or how I was raised (Nature VS. Nurture, anyone?) but I seek perfection. In proportion, in color I look for perfectly balanced symmetry. It's the same part of my brain that still chases after fairy tale endings. I'm sure the answer is found somewhere in my childhood, but I'll be darned if I can find it and erase it.

I was just looking at my friend Heidi's Etsy shop. (§ion_id=&page=1) I love Heidi's work, it is deeply emotional and beautifully colored. Since she is my neighbor I get to see the work up close and really examine it. I get lost in her talent. Looking at her Etsy shop however, I got some distance. I found my favorite pieces didn't appeal to me as much, but others spoke much more clearly to me. What I see overall is that Heidi doesn't share my perfectionism fence. She's not bound up by rules. How did she get so free?

I've noticed this with artists before. They don't play by the same rules as other people, me specifically, and so their products are surprising and breathtaking in a way that mine have never been.

Gotta knock down some fences.. anybody got a sledgehammer?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Yet Another Use For Duct Tape

I have a tendency to raise my hand.

Yes, I'm a people pleaser, sometimes. And a problem fixer. Also, I have learned that I like to have a say in how things get done. Given all these factors, I'm the only one who is surprised to see my fingers waving in the air when there's a call for help. Maybe the PTA needs someone to bake a cake, or the church needs someone to manage an event or the quilt guild needs someone serve on a committee.

Honest to goodness, I need to duct tape my wrists to my belt if I'm going to get any quilting done in the next months.
No more volunteering, well, except for...

Blessings From the Piecemakers

I have to confess that belonging to a quilt bee has made a huge difference in my productivity and inspiration level.

The women I meet with on a monthly basis are lovely, talented, warm and encouraging. There is a wide range of talent, experience and life stages. Some of us belong to the same quilt guild, some of us belong to the same church, some of us are family members. I am grateful that I was invited to join them in 2006. It was a babystep toward getting back to quilting for the sake of creative outlet. It took about half a year before I really began to think about making quilts for myself again but who could stand in this group for long and not want to start creating?

Not me, obviously!

Forgive me fibers, for I have sinned...

Sometime ago I found myself longing to have something ready for "show and tell" at my quilt guild's meetings. Unfortunately, I had been in a significant lull and hadn't actually made a quilt in more than a year. I hadn't even made a quilt top.

I made a decision on that night to set some goals and get something done. I'd been told that if you want to really change something in your life, you should confess it publicly, so at the next guild meeting I confessed that I was going to make a change and start quilting again. That same month, I took a class and decided I would report monthly on the progress of that quilt until I finished it.

Ten months have passed, that quilt top is pieced, but still waiting to be sandwiched and quilted. It's a gift for my dear daughter and I hope to have it done for Christmas. I continue to make regular confessions about it...

In the mean time I have made more quilts this year than I've made in the past 3 years put together, including finishing a UFO, making a quilt completely from my stash (a new accomplishment for me) and making a quilt that hung in our quilt show last month.

Confession is good for the soul... I'm looking forward to sharing my progress with you.

Thanks for stopping by.