Have you ever found yourself in a quilt-making slump? Here you are with a craft, a skill, a hobby, that you enjoy so much then suddenly you find yourself in a place where quiltmaking isn’t making you happy. Maybe its a lack of inspiration, imagination, energy, or your place in life that makes you lose the joy of quilting?
Well, I’m there, and have been there in that slump, for several weeks…but I think I’m making my way out, finally! Even though I’ve pieced a few blocks here and there, and played with fabrics, and looked at my stash and quilt designs, nothing was giving me the satisfaction that I could usually find in quilting.
So how have I gotten out of it? Well by first giving myself lots of days away from sewing, and allowing myself to just let things sit. Days without picking up a needle, or turning on a machine, or heating up the iron! Then, by problem solving…what is it that’s bugging me?
I know that family stress is an issue, my mother’s Alzheimer’s is advancing a little more quickly than we expected and now we’re involved in finding care and addressing various issues that come along with an ill family member. I’m excited about my daughter’s engagement, but of course that means a wedding to plan for next summer, and she and her fiance have school and career changes planned over the next year. Just when I need quilting the most, as an escape and stress reliever, I couldn’t do it. I haven’t even been able to write on the blog, or to friends.
Eventually, we all have to shake ourselves out of a funk. So I started by basting the Antique Sampler quilt top, setting up my machine, and stitching one in the ditch seam. It has stayed like that for two weeks, until today, when I grit my teeth, sat down, and finished the ditch stitching…actually enjoying myself part way through!
Then there’s my applique. Something I cannot do without, really! I had put down my Backyard Birds…more about that later…and needed something else. Over the past week, I decided to start on a sampler from Applique Delights, by Piece O Cake designs. I quickly decided to just start using blue and green scraps. Not much thinking needed there, and I’d have something in my hands. Well, next thing I know Iwas getting ideas for a much different kind of sampler, ordered some blue fabric, and had a terrific insight!
That blue fabric arrived, an assortment of fat quarters, and it was exactly how I had imagined it. Brighter blues, not my usual reproductions. But something was wrong. No matter how good that blue and green drawing looked in EQ, and no matter how good my completed and half completed blocks looked, I just wasn’t comfortable with that colour range…I needed, truly needed, my good old trusty reproduction/traditional palette of colours, specifically for applique.
I have ventured into different families of fabric styles for my piecing, the Schoolhouse Just Takes 2 quilt is one of them and I love it!. However I have finally come to realize that everytime I try an applique quilt with something other than repros/traditonal, I end up quitting it, or making it small. So one has to know where one is happiest!
I know I’ll use those blues in a wonderful pieced quilt, and be very happy with it, and I also know to stick with what makes me happy when sewing hand applique.
In the meantime, I`ve figured out how to use the two backyard birds blocks I`ve made, and I `m going to get to sewing that this afternoon before I change my mind!
I now have a plan for this week. I have hand applique to work on, and I`ll post about that project in the next few days. Tomorrow I`ll have a pic of the little top I`m going to make with the Backyard Birds blocks. I get to design a fabulous pieced quilt with those blue fat quarters. And, I`ll make some decisions about how to quilt the Antique Sampler!
And here`s a pic I took, very quickly, of the Labyrinth quilt after washing, on its way out the door to be given to my nephew (who loved it, and isn`t that why we quilt?!)