Monday, April 15, 2019

Finishing is freeing.

Yesterday, I mentioned that I have been thinking a lot about setting things aside, leaving them unfinished. I have spent time wondering whether that is a problem I should try to correct or and what it is that has me lose interest. 

I never quite came up with a consistent answer as to interest and why I no longer feel excited about the making of something, and my guess is because my loss of interest comes from a variety of factors. 

But as to WIPs (work in progress) being a problem, I have come to the realization, that, to the contrary, they are actually a valuable part of the creative least, for me. 

I don't know what happens in the making that shifts my focus or has me lose interest, but I am okay with it now. It used to drive me nuts that I had baskets filled with projects that seemed to scream WHY DON'T YOU SEE THINGS THROUGH??? And while I will not ever let my WIP baskets become so overflowing again, because too much is quite simply TOO MUCH, I see the value in a basket of things calling to me.

When inspiration is low and ideas are swimming, it can be overwhelming to just begin. Personally speaking, my time to myself is rare and coveted, and I hated stepping in to my sewing room (a room filled with fabrics and supplies that I had spent money on and loved) and feeling disappointment and frustration. My sewing room is my happy place, my therapy. And the sense of being overwhelmed had permeated these walls, leaving my zapped of everything, and making it impossible to quilt....the one thing that always brought me joy. 

So I turned to my older projects. The idea was already there, the fabrics selected (many stored with the project), all I had to do was finish it. Not a lot of thinking or pondering, just the steady sewing and going through the motions. And each time I fed fabric through my machine, I remembered why I loved sewing. My joy started to come back bit by bit. And in the process, I was finishing things. I was getting it done. So rewarding. And in finishing, I was clearing up space in my room and in my mind for new ideas. 

So, to make a long story short - too late, I know- I think setting things aside isn't something to feel bad about, rather, something that offers you the opportunity to create new joy later. Just maybe don't let your WIPs bin total in the 30s?? Or is that just me?

Here are a couple other quilts I recently finished. I have been knocking projects  out in the wee hours of the night.

This quilt came about over two years ago, when I was watching Under The Tuscan Sun on repeat (I still watch that movie all the time) and chose the color palette for this because I was in love with the colors that came from the scene where they are drinking Limoncello by the sea. So, the greens and yellows of the drink, the cyan blue of the sea, and the linen is the sand. How's that for a random quilt inspiration?

I used some of my favorite Tiger Lily prints by Heather Ross in this one!

It is available in my etsy shop here!

When that was done, I pulled out some blocks from a bag. I had 6 completed, so I made 3 more and voila! A quilt!

This one is probably the smaller quilt I have made, at 40 x 40 inches, and the only square quilt I have ever made. I love it. I love the fabrics, and the blue against white. 

That sweet sailboat!!! 

This is also listed in my etsy shop!

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Finally Finishing

I mentioned in my last post that I had taken a long, unplanned break from quilting. I think the break was caused by two things... my husband's recent return from deployment and me wanting to spend every minute with him.

Additionally, my motivation and inspiration tanks were empty. So much so, that I avoided my quilting room because every time I sat down at my table, I felt overwhelmed that I had soooooooooo much fabric and no idea what to do with it.

Only in the middle of February did I decide to revisit older projects. Maybe it was all the popularity of the Marie Kondo advice on netflix, but I decided that my excess (or fabric, of projects, of supplies) was TOO much and overwhelming. So I got to work at tackling my "work in progress" bin. Which is really just several baskets filled with large bags of projects.

I made a little deal with myself....for every 2 old projects I completed, I could begin something new. In this post, you can see that I completed 4 old quilts! So the first quilt pictured below is my *new reward.

I wanted to do an untraditional log cabin quilt with a varied background. Is there a term for this, quilty friends? I have no idea. I chose the color palette after a sweet customer informed me that my etsy shop was low on blue quilts. So I got to work on fixing that.

I used a wool batting and stitched in the ditch, making this especially fluffy!

See that VW bus? I love it!

It is listed in my etsy shop here!

With that quilt finished, I went back to my in progress bin and grabbed another older project.

Every time I grab an incomplete project, I try to recall what it was that had it me set it aside. I keep coming up blank. This particular quilt was probably 80% done....why on earth didn't I just finish it?

And with those two blue/teal toned quilts, I made sure to grab a work in progress that was heavy on the pink. It's all about balance.

This quilt is available here!

All of this finishing of older projects got me thinking about WIPS and setting things aside.....I will share more about my thoughts on that later. But it feels so gratifying to be finishing things!

Monday, March 25, 2019

winter quilting

These quilts marked a renewal of quilting after an extended break. From September through January, I had left my machine to gather dust. My sewing room more like a ghost town, and despite trying to force myself to get back to it, I had zero drive or inspiration.

Once my husband deployed again, I needed to satiate my nervous energy, so I got back to quilting. And these quilts are the result, with almost all of them being completed within a two week period. In fact, some of these were old WIPs, that had long been abandoned. It felt pretty wonderful to complete them.

This was one I let sit for almost 2 years, as a pile of blocks waiting to be assembled. 

This color palette was bold and foreign to me, and that's probably exactly why I love it. 

The Nani Iro fabric is so soft, and between the backing and the wool batting, this one is extra fluffy and crinkly!!

Did I mention that I love this one? The black fabric in particular!

This quilt is like a snapshot of some of my MOST favorite fabrics and designers!!!  From the Liberty, to the Alexia, Heather Ross to the cotton + steel stars!!

When in doubt, big-patchwork it out, I always say! 

I don't actually say that, but I do love big patchwork.

The creamy colored binding on this one makes me happy.


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