The plague has lifted, school has returned and things are slowly going back to our version of normal. The Long Time Gone Sew-along is wrapping up and we’re a week out from starting our next two; Jen Kingwell’s Gypsy Wife and Tula Pink Butterfly. My Long Time Gone quilt is still in pieces and I’m ok with that, sort of. I’ve been thinking about it for the past couple of weeks as I starred at it on the design wall. I’m not happy with it. I’m happy with elements of it, but the whole thing doesn’t work for me and it’s really bumming me out – to the point where it was crushing my sewjo.
I went into the quilt without a full plan for how I’d make it work and it shows. I’ve been haphazard and reactionary in my fabric choices and there’s no cohesion. I’ve struggled with making a quilt that is all about colour. I love the fabrics, love the pattern and loved the event – but if it’s one thing I’ve learned over the past 12 months is you can’t force something that’s not there. Sometimes you have to be gentle, patient and willing to give the creative process some space. I’ve taken the quilt pieces off my design wall and put them in a box on the shelf while I moved on to other things.
I haven’t abandoned the project, I’m just giving it some time to percolate. I love running sew-alongs and watching the quilts come to life as people tackle them. There’s something so special about seeing the same pattern re-imagined through different eyes. I’ve seen some amazing quilts come to life through this event. However, just because I’m running the event doesn’t mean that I need to finish the quilt (in the event timeframe). In the same way that just because you might be participating in an event doesn’t mean you need to finish it if it’s not bringing you joy.
Prizes are a great motivator and I love having them on offer, but the chances of winning a prize is so slim that you shouldn’t force yourself and damage your sewjo just on the off chance you’ll win a prize. In my experience the people who have the most fun with these events are those that make the quilts that make them happy. You need to be in tune with your creative spirit; listen to it, respect it, nurture it and tend to it.
I know a lot of you were hoping to see my finished quilt, and you will it might just be next year before it’s done. It may also mean that we’ll have to run the event again so I can finish the quilt in the way that I want. In the meantime, I’m moving on to the next two quilts and I’m starting work on a secret project that I’m really excited about. None of these things would have been possible without the lessons that the Long Time Gone quilt has taught me – and that’s the real value in making and creating. You need to be able to learn and grow, not everything is going to be a screaming success and that’s ok. The real lessons in life are more often then not in the failures – you just have to remember to get back up and try again.
With that in mind I’m getting off the computer and returning to the thing that brings me joy… chocolate. Jokes! I’m going back to play with my fabrics (while eating chocolate). Wishing you a super fabulous week filled with love, laughter and fabric fondling!
Did you know that September 16 is National Sew a Jelly Roll Day? No, me either. But it sounds like the perfect excuse to cut into some of those hoarded pre-cuts. Click here to read more.
Love the look of hexagon quilts but don’t have the desire to hand stitch? Then check out this super fun “cheats” version from Lori Holt. Click here to read more.
Missouri Quilt Co. have just released a fabulous free tutorial to make this Twinkling Stars Quilt and they’ve used Keera Job’s debut fabric line, Daisy Days (through Riley Blake, click here to view the collection) and it’s perfection. Click here to read more.
Want a free pattern to make that tells everyone that you’re a maker? Well, Kristy (of Quiet Play) is offering this great pattern for free for signing up to her new newsletter (click here to do so). She’s also releasing border patterns that turn this block into a modern mini medallion. You can pick up the first border for $1 on Craftsy. Click here to read more.
- Kerry (of Kid Giddy) and Sue (of Moss and Lotus) are running a Christmas in July Mug Club Sew-along at the moment over on Instagram. Last week I shared my kitten themed mug and you can do the same to win some great prizes. Click here to find out more. You can buy the Mug Club Set 1 patterns by clicking here and the Mug Club Set 2 patterns by clicking here.
- Raylee and Barbara (of Sunflower Stitcheries) are kicking off a Quilt-As-You-Go Table Runner Sew-along on July 30. The project includes a number of techniques from embroidery, sewing and quilting – a great skills builder. You can find out more by clicking here.
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