Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Doll Quilt Swap Received! (and deep thoughts)

my quilt, from Kelly L./scrapstudio
Yesterday my DQS package arrived in the mail. I was excited, and then I saw that it was from Kelly, who I actually know! She is in the KC Modern Quilt Guild; we have just talked the one time as far as I can remember, but I hope we will get to be better friends now!

There are a lot of great things about this swap and others like it--I enjoy the process of researching, planning, and making a quilt for someone else, who I hope will really like what I've made. I don't usually spend a lot of time thinking about what's being made for me, but I love the feeling of getting a swap package in the mail, opening it, and seeing what somebody else made with me in mind. If you look closely, you can see hundreds of little confetti hand stitches in part of the solid green fabric in my quilt. It is so pretty, and I know how much time that kind of hand work takes. I love what it adds to the finished quilt. Kelly also included a really fun-looking pattern book and a beautiful Gee's Bend postcard (great, another quilt I'm going to have to put on my to-make list.) Thank you again, Kelly!!

I finished quilting a quilt today, sorry I can't share it here yet, but I had fun with a couple of new machine quilting patterns and was thinking it would be interesting (and Faster!) to make a future swap quilt (or hey, a gift or 2!) with some detailed machine quilting, something more intricate and planned out than what I often do with machine quilting. I was reading a discussion on Alissa's blog, and there was some interesting talk about focusing on improving the actual quilting of our quilts. Something to think about, something I'd like to work on, actually.

I have also been reading some things about living  simply or in a more minimalist way, and I've been thinking I could apply these ways of thinking to my sewing/crafting/quilting life by approaching my projects more mindfully, not rushing, and taking the time to really do my best work. This approach for me might mean (probably, yeah) that I don't have the output that I see on a lot of the other quilting blogs, but that's ok.  I have to consciously try not to compare myself to all the other wonderful making-stuff bloggers out there, because I can only do what I can do. I want to enjoy the work, and I want to push myself to improve my skills. And I have to balance that with the rest of my life (husband, kids, neighbors, church, *exercising*, reading, writing, oh yeah all things homemaking). Balance is good, stressing out about the things I love to do is not.

So... what do you think? I know for me it's difficult to have so many things I'd love to make, right away, and at the moment I'm trying to slow down and finish a whole bunch of started things before I start new things. How do you work towards a balanced life, including making things you love to make (or doing whatever your thing is that you love to do) when you have limited time and lots of things demanding your attention?


Angie said...

You are one lucky doll swap recipient! That is a beautiful quilt. Regarding your quilting approach, sometimes it may be better to have a more focused approach, rather than starting many ufo's.m

Anonymous said...

Although I am NO GOOD at balance...I can say that I do think that we should always strive to ENJOY what we're doing!

Jan said...

Good grief. I don't read a lot of quilting blogs, but how much can they possible be making? I am continually astonished at how much gorgeous work you produce, quilts, clothes for the kids, etc. All while balancing life's demands -- and running now and then. I think you're amazing.

One of the things I really do try to do, re: balance, is to be fully engaged in whatever is most important. So, if I'm talking to one of the girls, I try to really focus on her. If I'm writing, I try to focus on that. Multi-tasking is a killer.

Clothed in Scarlet said...

Wow! and your kids are small! So, all I'm saying is...you do the important things first. Then work in some you time ;0) Living simply, furgually or in a minimalist lifestyle will provide a wonderful example for your children. But be easy on yourself! Sarah
P.S. thanks for responding to my comment on the tags you made.