Wednesday, July 3, 2013

4th of July Week is Guilt Free Play Time

After my crumby day on Monday, things could only get better.  Does stress make me more creative? Well, yes and no.  When I'm stressed I certainly like to avoid thinking about the things which cause the tension in my life. Life is too short to have ulcers over things that I have no control over! So for me, it's become a habit to find something calming and restorative to help balance out the tough parts of our life.
Orphaned triangles from a 2006 project
I should probably take a walk and get more exercise.  Instead, I usually head to the quilt room.  Which yes, often leads to random projects with strange beginnings--possibly, maybe? a plus on the creative side. However, if I'm too worried, stressed, tired, etc. then it's better to avoid working on projects that need decisive thought and I do better to busy myself with mindless sewing etc.-- a not so creative effect after all.
Just playing, throwing things on the
background fabric until it looks like there's a 'go ahead'
Lately I just want to play and the unwritten rule is that you need 'proper justification' to play. It's the elephant in the room if you have stacks of WIP's laying around and you're, gasp! starting a new project. So I'm rebelling this week. Have you read this post? Or better yet, what about this post? hehe Dangerous thoughts indeed. 

I'm going to shrug off the fact that I've started at least three new projects without any real finishes because I have STRESS in my life, but really, maybe it's more than that.  And maybe it's a good thing. A thing we shouldn't bother to ever apologize for.*wink
Sewing a basic foundation for the applique work
It's the 4th of July tomorrow. My three oldest kids are headed to the Oregon Coast to what used to be an annual event for our whole family. I seriously couldn't be happier for them.  My youngest son chose to go hiking/trail riding with my next youngest sister and one of my younger brothers, his wife and daughter. I know he is going to have a blast. My husband and I? We are staying home to relax and unwind, enjoy a quiet moment before life comes roaring back with all its zillion demands. It feels right. And I want to play with a red, white and blue quilt just 'cuz it's Independence Day. No guilt included.
Trying to figure things out, but....
No, this isn't quite it.
Things are finally starting to look up for us after three (no, make that four) long, hard years of a bad economy. It doesn't happen overnight. I worry that when things finally smooth out and we've readjusted properly, I will simply go back to my bad habits of buying lots of fabric and then only making things sporadically and a sometimes a bit half-heartedly.
After taking all the applique parts off and starting over,
THEN, finally I can see it coming together!
It's not always a bad thing to go clear back to the foundation and start over. The initial idea may have been solid, but it rarely turns out exactly as envisioned the first time around. In spite of everything we've dealt with (and will continue to have to face in the months ahead), there has been good come of this distressing time of our life.  I'm very aware of that! And I'm not just talking about the strange and beautiful quilts (and yes, the quilt tops too) that are starting to stack up around here....

*I do apologize if you like the big reveal at the FINISH of a quilt.  There are rarely any surprises about what I'm up in my quilting room and the finish is usually a bit of a yawn. lol


  1. Seems like our thoughts are quite alike these days!! Enjoy your pretty creativity!

  2. I really like the outcome of this creative playtime - it feels very spontaneous and free. I'm intrigued with the idea (and ability!) of cutting free-form applique shapes (earlier post) and just love the whimsical appeal of your current project!

  3. Oh my! I just love what you're doing with that quilt! Keep it up!

  4. I'm so glad you are spending some guilt free time playing with fabric. It looks like you are going to have some very nice results! Good for you, enjoy your quiet fourth.

  5. That's a very pretty quilt. I want to learn applique too someday.

  6. Just relax and have fun. I am leaving tomorrow for the Oregon Coast because I relax looking at the tide pools. Have a happy weekend.

  7. Love your projects!! It is always good for the soul to work with our hands!!


  8. "I should probably take a walk and get more exercise. Instead, I usually head to the quilt room. "
    Ha! You and me both! :-)! I should frame that and...... hang it in my quiltroom!
    And I loooooove this new project, is it your own design? Love the design and the colors!
    Have a really good day today, congrats on the birthday of your wonderful country!

  9. I really enjoyed following your creative play with this quilt through your photos. It's another absolutely wonderful project, good on you for starting it.

  10. I love your applique with the flying geese - really neat. We like you are staying home and not doing anything. We used to travel 2 1/2 hours to be with family but as the family has grown and each of my siblings have families grown of their own now with grandchildren to boot every seems to do their own thing now and family reunions are not very often anymore

  11. Funny you should bring up the subject of 'playing' in your sewing room, as 2 days ago I was lucky enough to attend a one day class with Gwen Marston here in Melbourne. Gwen showed us some of her examples of small quilts that her book, 37 Sketches, are based on, and also one of her medallion quilts from her book, Liberated Medallion Quilts. Gwen spoke about just getting started on the centre of a medallion and to just enjoy the process of playing with/working out the next border, and when that border is done move onto the next border. And with her small 'sketches' quilts, the fact that the size was smaller, freed her to experiment/play with colour, be more adventurous, and explore different construction techniques.
    She also spoke about not worrying about the 'quilt police' and to just enjoy our own process of making an original quilt without following a pattern and to be happy/proud with our own work.
    I think you are heading in the right direction of allowing yourself to play in your sewing is stretching your imagination. I love how you have combined the flying geese blocks with the applique!

  12. I hope better times are coming soon for you. I like your quilt .Have a nice weekend.

  13. I really like your quilt...I love the mix of piecing with appliqué :o)

  14. I think we all need time to just play and experiment. This post is a bit topical for me at the moment because Ive been doing far too much playing this year and not enough finishing!

  15. I like the applique design with the triangles. You are very creative.

  16. Go with it. I should be out there walking too, but sometimes you just have to pick up two pieces of fabric, sew them together and see what happens. If you don't like it a week later, it's okay to toss it. Really. Sometimes I think it's just the tactile part of handling a nice piece of cotton that gets us through whatever is bugging us. Take care, Byrd

  17. Hi Audrey: How wonderful that you and your husband have some alone time. I remember the first couple of times my 3 kids were off doing their own thing. My husband and I honestly didn't know what to do with ourselves!!
    Thanks goodness you have your quilting to keep you sane through all of life's up and downs. I often wonder what I would be doing if I didn't quilt. Maybe cooking or doing housework? Yikes! I'll take quilting any day!!!
    Take care,


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