Monday, July 6, 2015

Finding Some Much Needed Focus

It wouldn't be 4th of July weekend without starting a new quilt project! That seems to be my modus operandi for the last couple years, so why not this year too?
Background for the new quilt blocks
The problem is, I've been stacking up fabric and playing with all sorts of ideas for quite awhile now. Hesitating and deliberating. Second guessing and mostly just sort of wallowing in self doubt. I worry that I'm stuck in a rut, always doing the same 'ol, same 'ol--maybe it's time to branch out? uhuh  Like the Fire quilt wasn't branching out? But that doesn't count because well, that was a one time thing. That's different....

So, over the weekend, I took a little time and laid out every single one of my 28 {yes, you read that right it's 28} finished quilt tops. Checked them out, did an informal critique and mentally decided if they were worth the time and effort of hand quilting {my gold standard}. Are they interesting? Compelling? Do I connect with them, respond to them, like them? You'd be surprised how many quilts I don't like. Okay, I might like them a little, but they don't inspire me like these do. Not that I want to make those quilts either. Not exactly. And surprisingly, a little self critique {and comparison} made me okay with most of what I make these days. It also helped me regain some quilty focus.*sigh

Note to self: The quilts I love are NOT going to break any new quilting barriers, involve complex techniques or wow the judges at Paducah or QuiltCon. They will probably be fairly simple, a lot traditional, no doubt involve some repetition in color and/or pattern and most importantly, make me smile.
Yummy apricot jam!
On another note, my husband impulsively bought apricots and asked me to make jam. On our long weekend home without the kids too! Oh well. Looks like I played the adoring wife and now we both win....

13 comments:

  1. Looking forward to seeing what your new project will be. I always get that strong feeling to start something new at the beginning of a new year. Those jars of apricot jam look so delicious!

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  2. the jam looks wonderful, I made blueberry and strawberry/rhubarb last week. it will last awhile hubby barely eats it so a jar of each went to Melanie also. now you have me thinking of apricot though :) . That is a lot of tops you have to quilt isn't it. Sometimes it is hard to figure out what is next. I thought I wanted to make the La Passcaglia quilt and I made a little bit of it and now it doesn't interest me at all and I think that book is getting put away and the project tossed and maybe it will be redone another time but I'm not going to look at it right now.

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  3. Yum - homemade jam! Like you, my quilts aren't especially show-worthy ... they're traditional and simple (both in piecing and in quilting), but they're used and loved and I like them. That's really all that matters - well, at least to me.

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  4. I've been having a similar conversation with myself. I am trying to be honest and yet gentle with myself on the topic is making and creating. You must do more of what you love, right?

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  5. Admiring your handiwork and finishes while stirring jam...:)

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  6. Love your style. Thanks for sharing the link to the quilts you like. That was fun eye candy. Jealous of your jam. My apricot tree didn't produce this year.

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  7. I had a wee look back through your posts and I too love your quilts! And I enjoyed comparing what you do like with what you don't! Looking forward to seeing just what you end up sewing next!

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  8. I've been thinking about my quilts, too. Award-winning quilts are fabulous but frequently not "warming;" I don't want to cuddle with them. Trying to decide where I do want to go.

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  9. You are too funny - and I l-o-v-e apricot jam. Sounds like a winner of weekend to me. I have been struggling quite bit lately myself - just gotta keep on sewing on . . .

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  10. I love the look of that # fabric. I can't wait to see what you start next :0)

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  11. Oh my your post hit home! I love the traditional too as I think about my next start I think simple is best! I guess I don't need a challenge anymore, I just want to enjoy my stitching and not face anything too difficult or challenging.

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  12. I love the quilts you linked to! I also like your 'rut' a lot, if that's what it is. I bet though that when you looked over your own quilts you could see developments and changes in your style. We grow a bit with everything we make and evolve as we go - no need to make huge leaps in style unless we really want to.

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  13. Thanks so much for the link to the margaret sampson george exhibition - I'd never seen her work before and am just gobsmacked. And I won't be making anything like that either, but it does make me want to work an applique project in before too much longer.
    I like the same kinds of quilts you do, I think. And looking at your work makes me smile...

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