Monday, September 8, 2008

Enjoy the journey

Ok, so I know that title may be a little cliche, and maybe not so creative on my part, but I am truly starting to appreciate that saying. Like everyone else, I have my up days and my down days, and today while sewing (yes, I actually did some sewing today :cD ) my mind started to wandering.

With all the pressures of life that weigh me down, why do I not try to find the joy in the simple, everyday things that I do? Why do I put more pressure on myself? I'm going to focus mainly on my quilting, but these thoughts apply to other areas of life as well. My blog used to have a UFO list. I started thinking why do I daily remind myself of what I haven't done? Do I really need to be reminded of all those things? Didn't I enjoy the process that produced those "UFOs"? and Why shouldn't I continue to enjoy that process? I haven't pieced many blocks of late, and I truly enjoy that process. I love to challenge myself with more complex blocks. I love to see the level of accuracy that I have been able to reach with the more simple blocks. I love playing with new fabrics. What is the harm in having some orphan blocks? Having a few more flimsies in the closet waiting for the quilting never hurt anyone did it?

Why do I stress over perfect points? Why not just enjoy the creative process? I really don't think when we are remembered by our family and friends the conversations are going to start with "Boy do you remember the perfect points her/his blocks had?" or "I'll always remember her/his perfect quarter inch seam allowance?" As time goes by and life continues to hand me challenge after challenge I am beginning to more and more appreciate the process and to be happy to be able to create things of beauty, things that will be used, things that will be loved whether they are "perfect" or not.

So tonight I broke out some block kits from a shop hop I participated in last fall, and just enjoyed cutting the fabric, peicing the blocks, pressing the patches, heck even the 'frog stitching' I had to do. Let me just say it does really help to read the instructions BEFORE you start stitching :cD...found that out tonight. lol Are my points perfect? Some are, some aren't. Are my seams perfect? Well, no. Hence the not-so-perfect points ;cD But after some thought here are the truly important questions (to me, at least) Is my stress level down? Yes. Do I feel happier? Yes. Do I feel like I accomplished something? Yes. And I know in the end when this quilt is finished the recipient will love it. Not because it has perfect points. Not because of its accurate seams. Not because of the consistent stitch length of the quilting, but because it is something that is beautiful, and made especially for them with their favorite colors and fabrics and the best effort I could put forth. And the fact that it will be appreciated makes me feel happiest above all others. I know I have UFOs sitting in my closet, and drawers, and boxes, and... well, you get the picture. But I know that most of them will get done eventually, and I will no longer feel guilty about having them or starting a new project. I will focus on the joy the process brings me, and continue to quilt on. Quilt on my quilting friends!! :cD

Thursday, September 4, 2008

In praise of small projects

Hi everyone, its me. Remember me? Boy I hope so ;cD Let me start off by saying its been too long since I've been here and blogging. When you almost don't remember your password to log-in...well...need I say anymore? lol My life is still kinda upside down. I want to apologize for not being more sharing about my situation. I don't know why I can't bring myself to just tell you all what is going on, but I just can't yet. I want to thank all of you who keep me in your thoughts and prayers. They are all so appreciated!!

On to more fun stuff. You all know the kind of fabrics I tend to lean toward. With the name Country Mouse I'm sure you all noticed that I tend to gravitate toward the darker, richer country colors of lines like Thimbleberries and such. So someone please tell me how I end up with fabric like this?

Ok, seriously, no one needs to tell me how I ended up with them. I have a horrible fabric addiction and sometimes the colors and fun designs just scream out to me (like the third one down on the right hand column...I LOVE that one :cD) and I just HAVE to buy a fabric. That and I have two little mouselings that love to pick out fat quarters and how, in good conscience, could I not encourage their love of fabric *grin* So what have I been doing with these little treasures (most of them are just fat quarters)? Here is my new little obsession...

This is my own pattern for a tri-fold wallet. Why did I start working on these? Well besides the fabric I wanted to use, and I think this is a great way to use that fun fabric that may not make it into a quilt, I had been looking for a wallet, found one at a dollar store that I liked, but when I started using it found it had some flaws that I really didn't like. So I designed my own that was similar yet different. I'm still working out some of the details that I'm not happy with yet, but the one in the picture above is the one I use and I am really happy with it. Perfect or not. Also with life being as topsy-turvy as it is I love having small projects that I can get done. It feels good to feel like I'm accomplishing something in some area of my life when I feel like I'm just running and getting nowhere in others.
I am still working on the setting blocks for my quilt-along. I want to send out a HUGE thank you to amandajean. She saw my last post and offered to send me some more of the fabric I needed for the setting blocks if I didn't have enough. Well, I didn't and not just the fat quarter I needed to finish, but about a whole YARD of that fabric showed up in my mailbox a few days ago. Now I know I have enough coordinating fabric for binding and everything. I am working on a little something to let her know how much I appreciate her generosity :cD Hopefully I will have a picture of a finished quilt to really soon.
Well, I am going to hop off here. We are supposed to get some thunderstorms today, and the pressure shift is wreaking havoc on my sinuses. Pair that with a monster migraine, and, well... :c( At least I know they won't last forever, thank goodness. Gotta keep thinking of the positive! Hope you all have a great day & warm country wishes to all!