They say that ignorance is bliss - and in some ways I think they're right. For some reason, perhaps boredom or being overwhelmed by too many unfinished projects that quite frankly I didn't care to finish, or just that darn mid-life thing - whatever the reason - I completely lost my love of sewing last year.
Like I said, this mid-life change is a great time to figure out what has worked in your life and what hasn't. It's a time to think about the things that really matter to you, and to let go of the things that really just don't. Now this has been going on in a lot of areas in my life, but for today, let's talk sewing because I'm so glad to say that my love of sewing has returned with a vengeance - and a bit of a twist!
First I should admit that nothing spoils the fun more in my life than being hemmed in by having to "follow directions". If there is something to assemble, I prefer to wing it based on what is in front of me - even at the risk of having to take it all apart and reassemble because there are a few extra screws the McStudly says are "necessary." So, when I began sewing years ago, I didn't buy a quilt book or any fancy tools. I went to Wal Mart, bought some fabric I thought was pretty, and set about making my first quilt.
I didn't have a clue what I was doing - and quite frankly, it didn't matter. I was lost in the bliss of taking a pile of pretty fabric and creating something uniquely meaningful for us. I cut a pattern out of a file folder for the hearts, and I literally hand wrote 1 Corinthians 13 on tissue paper to stitch it on the borders. I hand-quilted that baby, and not knowing the "rule" that you shouldn't quilt more than one inch apart - I just quilted around those giant hearts.
Not a quality quilt by any standard. Yet, looking back on it many quilts later, I see that making that quilt brought me more joy than any quilt since then. Why? Well, part of it was the "directions" thing, but I think there is more. There was something truly amazing about the simplicity of just taking a stack of fabric, and creating something that was meaningful to me, and that was my very own, unique "work of art" (using that term very liberally here girls :0).
But, something strange happened. Somehow, I took that simple thing that I really loved, and I complicated it, almost ruined it. Because I loved it, I started buying all kinds of books and patterns and tools and gadgets - and in a strange way, the sheer joy, the simplicity and the creativity that made me fall in love with the craft was lost. What I've come to realize is this: what I had really fallen in love with wasn't churning out tons of quilts from patterns, but creating my own bit of beauty to add to the world, and doing it very simply. So truly, ignorance can be bliss - or at the very least simplicity in creativity is bliss for me!
I grabbed a stack of fabric - and started sewing again - Old School! I sewed just like I did with my first quilt. I had no pattern, no rules, no complex tools or gadgets - just some pretty fabric and a mind brewing in creativity.
Yup, no fancy tools or gadgets here - I even dug out the tissue paper again! It's so easy to trace on (no light box required), and no ooey, gluey mess to remove when you're finished.
First, I made a tea towel to hang on our stove door
I had so much fun that I grabbed another stack of fabric, and made a tea towel for the McStudly's mom for her birthday!
And, being that I've found my zen in creating again, I'm moving on to this stack of fabrics, and some fun ideas in my head for decorative towels for the master bath.
See, what really matters for me in sewing is not perfection, not following the rules, but rather, creating something that is unique and meaningful to me and those I love – just enjoying the tremendous gift that it is to create with simplicity from the heart.
It's been uber busy here with the Junior's senior year, so the blogging has taken a back seat, but I hope to be back to regular blogging after the boy graduates in May. Warning: there are a lot more proud mom moments to come (like this night when he was promoted to Colonel)
Because laughter is good for the soul, I plan to finish each post with a funny!
Part of the busyness has been decorating the new house – which must be done before the big graduation party. I went a little crazy at www.wallwritten.com (more on that later). So, I was showing the McStudly all of the cute things I found, and where we might hang them. And, then, the disagreement began. I found this lovely quote from Song of Solomon to go above our bed. But, the McStudly, well, he thought a different sign was more appropriately suited to adorn the wall above our headboard.
Needless to say, I won (as he generally lets me win – when it comes to decorating anyway)!
Now, I like to make things win-win! So, I had to let him have his sign, too
just on the side of the tub instead of above the bed :0)! A definite win for the McStudly, too - don't ya think. Goodness, I love that man
- no one can make me laugh like he does!