Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A year of finishing

About 11 years ago, I treated myself to Jinny Beyer's Annual Hilton Head Quilt Seminar. This was in the days before Dean, and back when I earned the kind of salary that allowed this kind of extravagance. It was an intense several days of workshops, show and tell sessions, and lectures; the theme that year was symmetry. This black and white plan was the result of one of my classes and while I've thought about the project and the seminar a number of times over the years, all the workshop materials, along with the two blocks I actually completed, have been stowed away in a closet with nearly countless other WIPs. I couldn't bring myself to spend time in PhotoShop putting several of the blocks together so you'd get an idea where this is headed, but here's one of the blocks sewn up:

At the time, I'd felt I'd reached an entirely new and thrilling place in my quiltmaking; I was ready to work on projects that would truly be my own and reach into much more compelling places than simply the known stable of quilting patterns. But in fact it turned out to be nearly the beginning of a very long break in quilting or any kind sewing at all, because my life itself went into an entirely new direction.

I came across all this today while cleaning and trying to make sense of the boxes and bags and wads of material all over the place. Still thinking about my post from yesterday and the really thoughtful responses I've received -- mulling over how to prioritize my priorities. Cleaning up, making sense of the mess is important. Letting go of some of this stuff will probably be important, too. And I've decided that getting at least 4 of these blocks made is an important goal for the summer, so that I've at least got enough to make a small wall quilt. I owe it to myself, to the effort I put into going all the way down to that seminar in the first place, and to the idea that I had someplace new to explore in my work. If I can spend the balance of this year focusing on completing some of my abandoned projects, I will gain a sense of control and discipline and satisfaction, and this blog will help me keep to my word. Too, it will help me from buying more fabric. Right?

OK, so that seems a fair start to what I'm doing and why I'm doing it.


Helen Conway said...

11 years? Oh fabulous - I can stop beating myself up about the stuff I started in January and left to start somthing else in February which I left to do somthing else.... I am a mere baby procrastinator. Mind you babies just need time - right?!

I will be expecting to see that Jinny Beyer Quilt so, yes your blog will help you keep to your word, because now you have your own personal nagger. I mean supporter.

Now, what are you doing reading this? Go sew.

Felicia said...

Sometimes taking a break from crafting, whether intensional or not, is helpful to the creative process. I've taken long breaks from knitting but I always go back to it with renewed vigor.

kimberly sherrod said...

I can't wait to see that finished! I love the blues and I collect cloud fabric, so it looks great to me! I use Blog time to focus on my sewing or creative priorities and though it does take time I feel rewarded when people leave comments and take their time to come visit! It broaden your creatiity also and Flickr is a wealth of images - once you go digital...you don't even have to have any pictures on Flickr to share in the fun- you can just use available pictures! Keep going with your quilting- you do good work and it is very rewarding to finally finish!