Archive for the ‘self reflection’ Category

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43.2 Waiting game for last of the opportunity quilt blocks

October 12, 2018

Racing back to the opportunity quilt my guild is putting on, I put down in a post a lot of feelings I have had about working on the quilt. Currently (at the moment of writing, not the moment of posting) waiting on 7 blocks to show up in my hands to finish the center of the quilt top we are working on. I have decided (at the moment of writing) to have faith that the blocks others have signed up to do are done. I designed the quilt, ended up making the deadline for the blocks middle of September, and now am in a waiting game for the last blocks to show up in my hands to be able to put the top together with the extended deadline of next weekend.

I am re-releasing my thoughts here about working on the quilt top. A lot of it I feel are current blocks I am trying to work through on my own about my own failings, and what types of things I am personally working through that have come up with the working on this quilt. Most are how I feel about myself. Of note: I got into a huge fight with one of my friends while working on this quilt and with the guild this year. Because of my feelings towards myself, and my attitudes and my expectations. I know I do show some judgement of others below. Hopefully it doesn’t come off as too strong to anyone but myself. Comments shared word for word elsewhere are in italics.

Feel free to skip this post if you aren’t interested in quilting with self reflection.

The quilt is called Sukey’s Reverse, and it is re-designed from a generic block called Sukey’s choice from a block I got somewhere in some calendar or post. To my knowledge, this block doesn’t exist out there yet to any kind of popularity.

Thoughts on my adventures of “ being in charge of the group opportunity quilt”. Have been spending the extra time this weekend on getting parts made for the borders of the group quilt to be ready for when all the blocks magically show up in the next week. Also prepared to angel yet another two blocks in case I don’t get them by Friday. As in, one extra block is done and will go in my own quilt if they all come back, completed as promised, and the other block all the dark rectangular and square pieces are together. I have already signed up and made 4 blocks for this quilt already, and started looking at options for the “too small” blocks, of which I think I have found 2. No one seemed interested in helping with the pieced borders, which is fine, not everyone’s taste, but it is good to get started on some of the pieces already. I also have some “magic sashing” and cornerstones to do to finish out the design just before the rest of the pieced borders. I have yet to sit down and actually measure any one of these blocks to the “correct size”, but along the wall the other day, no one block stood out as being extra big either.

I think some of my stress is not physically being able to be present at the October meeting, and wanting the top done by the last meeting of this year. (In November) I have had fun with it, in the design, but not necessarily in the constant going back and picking up blocks part of this quilt. I think a lot of it is because if I don’t work “really hard” at being organized, I am forgetful enough that I do get off track more than I should. It has been a testament of faith trying to wait for people to make them. Here is hoping that the faith is not misplaced. I am happy enough with the blocks I have that I can shorten up the quilt now if I would absolutely need to in a pinch. Nonetheless, I still have angel blocks in the wings. I am extremely grateful for the ladies who not only promised to fill the last remaining spots that no one else seemed anxious to fill, but for getting them done and to me as well already. Now is a sitting and waiting game for the rest of the blocks by the deadline of next Friday.

This year, I have completely overextended myself with my activities with the guild, taking on this, taking on the organization and entry of the quilts for the local show. It has felt like this year, my extra time has not been mine. With a very small exception of a month or two at most. I realize a lot of this is my own fault, my own complications, my own overexplanations that no one will listen to, my own constant need to ‘oversacrifice’ to prove to others that I am worthy or worth any attention. I have been known for getting attention for my quilts and my quilting, and my designs, and so I have leaned on that hard to “validate my self worth”.

(Some of this over-sacrifice has even lead to my insistence that I was eventually going to “figure out the borders” later. Even though I had a design that had good borders that I liked. But no time did I really ever give everyone the “here’s how to make the borders” part of the quilt, and no time except for the first pass around of the sign up list in March did I ever again ask for people’s help doing the borders) Which means I do have another thing to do now. I am currently ‘reworking’ part of the  borders of this quilt.

I know that I don’t do a lot of things for other people, and see these acts of service as “helping the greater good”. A lot of quilters that I know make quilts for others as a regular part of their quilting lives, and I can’t get a chance to finish anything I have started. But some of that is because of this. I do tend to keep the smaller quilts I make. There is also lingering guilt that I never got a quilt made for her before she passed on, and that my indecision in things never gets anything completely made unless I have a deadline, or unless other people are counting on me.

(I wrote once fully, and then rewrote smaller two separate versions of the pattern for this quilt).

(I was very excited to get the instructions down to one page, but yes, I did just say we’re going to do the borders later in the instructions, and then put a picture of the original block there). Being asked now by one of the people who have been done and wanting to help as of now).

Then I start thinking about how the whole opportunity quilt thing works.

I wonder how easy it will be to be sitting selling tickets for this quilt next year at the large quilt show, and how I will handle any off-hand remark from others about not liking the quilt after putting this much work and effort towards it. And I wonder how I will feel when it leaves the guild’s hands completely at the end of the year next November. Oh, am I supposed to be the one who organizes people to sit with this at other guild’s shows to show it off to sell tickets to it? I hardly want to think about adding that type of task to my list as well next year. I hate that type of task, and am slightly hoping that once this quilt top is made and at the quilter’s it becomes someone else’s issue to deal with. I suppose I can ask, but there is a nagging feeling that no one else will want to do that part either, and it will also fall to me, but we will see.

(picture below me sitting at the last opportunity quilt at the event described above)

Something about quilting that is somewhat unique is the sheer amount of planning, preparation, doing of tasks to get a piece like this done. As with any art, it has gone through many hopes and dreams, many aspirations, many variations and explanations. A lot of thought goes into this. Including the “oh, I haven’t finished my part in this”, and the “why hasn’t everyone even signed up to do this” and now the ecstatic joy to see the matching fabrics contrasting the ‘very, very scrappy’ fabrics, the possibilities, and even the condescending comments about how I am over explaining too much again in effort to be helpful, but also sting slightly. Which is nothing new to hear, but still hard to hear as well. In addition to the blow up over a promise that didn’t get fulfilled in the time frame as well. In these hopes and dreams and feelings, are each stitch, all these promises of getting things done, of helping others, of the greater good, and of “getting this thing off my plate already so I can get going working on something else for once” too.

Just a quilt, huh? Just a blanket? Something pretty on the wall. Or on the bed, or on the couch, or hopefully not, in the dog bed. I just hope the person who draws the # for it has an appreciation of it. I was glad to be a part of this quilt, and hope someone else can carry the “weight” of it next year!

(Not so sure I will abstain from doing designing and collecting of blocks the following year. I have been overwhelmed for the timing of both the quilt show and the opportunity quilt being the same, similar time frame, in 2018. I am sincere in hoping others will be able to manage the distribution and sale of this quilt I am working on now for the time of 2019. Timing of the next opportunity quilt will also fall on the same year as the local show, 2020, of which, I still hope to be a major part of that project.) Not sure now how I feel about that right now.

As someone said, I shouldn’t have to do it alone. I don’t know why I always struggle to ask for specific help. Somehow, it’s a part of who I am – or so I think. If I work on the skill of figuring out what specific help to ask for, and being specific on what is needed, then maybe I will be able to ask and receive the help. But, sometimes, the anxious part of my brain is worried that things will fall through and will be on my shoulders again at the end anyway. In all honesty. If I can figure out how to quiet that part, or work with it, instead of against it, things might feel more peaceful.

I have been surprised at my feelings of waiting for blocks the last week and a half. I have said to myself and at least one other, “I have to have faith they will arrive.”

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43.0 Dressing up the stained glass quilt

September 28, 2018

In contrast of the red and grey Dresden flower quilt, I was cleaning up the parts of the Forget Me Not stained glass quilt pattern, and I had a few ideas on how to do my borders on this quilt.

It was a nice change and I noticed the shift of tone, both literal and figurative, of working on such bright colors.

A few years ago I got a few green-blue-green fabrics that worked well with each other. I had done my “twisty quilt” from the challenge from my guild from 2 years prior, and these leftover solids were hanging out in my stash, but seemed to play nice with all the pretty fabrics of the forget me nots.

I started hijacking the initial fabrics provided by the quilt kit pattern that I bought initially, but still had a desire to use the fabrics somewhere in the border.

I also imagine the borders of stained glass windows to be made in smaller, manageable pieces like bricks.

And I have a very wild, colorful fabric that many people would automatically decide was perfect for a border fabric, but is usually not my preference. But I auditioned it next to the forget me not fabrics and was reasonably happy. As long as I continue on with the stained glass part of the quilt, which will frame the wild fabric well next to the prettiness of the applique of the forget me nots.

I didn’t take pictures of the quilt as I was designing it in stages, only at the end.

Actually these pieces are still all in the auditioning phase. None are cut out to the correct brick length or figured into the design of the end of the borders of the quilt completely. I do know my limited amounts of fabrics have kept the widths of each blue border bricks to these absolute widths.

Also I had some leftover bright solid yellow left from the same challenge quilt. Since yellow is such as strong color, I plan to use “mini bricks” in the rows of the borders to bring the yellow color outward from the middle of the quilt.

And then the large patterned obnoxious fabric I think will rest widely on the outside of the entire thing without doing any bricks on it.

But before it gets completed, I have the frontward-facing flower shrank down and copied, ready to add to the outside borders on top of all the bricks in at least 2 different colors.

And as of a couple of weekends ago, this was stitched down to the back.

I used the F stitch on my machine, a blind hem stitch, which meant I had to keep on the right side when sewing it down. I used Aurifil smoke colored monofilament on the front, and as you might be able to see, grey thread on the back.

Try as I might, it’s going to be near impossible for you to see the monofilament on the front.

But this project, even though the color, the brightness, the hope did it’s job to pull me from an area of darkness, my focus had to switch back to other things, and put this one aside for the end of the year this year or beginning of next year.

First to do some handwork type projects to not bring my sewing machine to a small sewing day, and then to have something to do offline when out of town, and then onto the guild quilt that I am in charge of making, as it is the one with deadlines and other people involved.

I do have to say, that it was really striking to have both this quilt displayed right next to the grey Dresden quilt on my design wall. It really showed the “tale of two cities (quilts)” vibe here of best of times, worst of times. It was kinda nice to see the interplay of both those types of feelings together. The spring, the color, the designing, the bright yellow pops, the curves, the possibilities!

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42.9 Grey Dresden quilt to help work through sad feelings

September 12, 2018

In the brief couple of weeks at the end of one project (guild show) before ramping back up with the opportunity quilt project, I have been working out my feelings between two different “art quilts”.

The last quilt I posted about the Dresden petals offset ended up being the “sad color quilt”.

It seems strange to be working in color pallets leaning towards grey and neutral, but also cathartic.

Last I posted was an offset Dresden petal with strange circles. I actually took the design a little bit farther before I got stuck.

 

I started making the grey petals to complete the design and settled into the light grey petals for the bottom of the flower. Then, since my other project I was working on just beforehand was a stained glass quilt, I thought about making a “stem” out of the premade bias tape I was using for that.

And can’t some other petals pretend to be leaves since they were pretending to be flower petals,

And then, can’t some other petals pretend to be grass, and be present at the bottom of the quilt. The flower has to have something to sprout from, doesn’t it?

I have glued down the stem as it is, I am not 100% certain I like how thin it is. But perhaps it could represent the thin feelings of the weight of the heavy flower being held up by a thin feeling of support, ready to crumble at any moment, but still holding strong anyway.

During the making of this quilt, I have been spending a lot of time working through some thoughts about how I am as a friend, about how much work I am spending towards others, how much I have been putting off grieving a loss of mine from earlier in the year.

How I have thrown myself into my responsibilities, even when that doesn’t mean “work” for me this year, well this is all in addition to working and driving, and having my normal crazy hours. How much I have done for the quilt guild I am part of, and how much I feel others might be smothered by what I am doing & overdoing, and how much it feels like I have been wanting to take a step or two back, but not being able to, and how lonely it feels to see others not feel so trapped in the feelings of getting too much done.

How I have been selfish, and selfless, how I have used other people, how I have helped other people, how I have sacrificed, how I don’t have a good support if something would go wrong. How unreasonable my expectations are of myself and of others. How much can I be expecting from others if needed. How to ask for help when things are going too awry. How I don’t feel deserving of help even if I do ask. How I haven’t been “really listening” to others.

How disappointed I was in a lot of areas, even thinking back to last year when we missed seeing the “great American eclipse” due to poor weather in our area, despite being directly in the center of the path of totality.

Anyway, in the background, I was working on this quilt, giving it “life” trying to create a pleasing design even when the thoughts I was having wasn’t exactly pleasing. I was listening to someone talk about working though issues at the same time.

Something about that was comforting. I obviously still hold some of the negative feelings I thought while making the quilt, but the act of putting the negative thoughts into the quilt as dark lines, dark themes, grey themes was nice. And then the idea of making a picture of my negative thoughts and putting them behind me, shrinking them down, and giving myself a safe space. It was nice. Pleasing. Kinda “whoo-whoo” but also needed, and reminding me how things were when I was a little kid.

I have sorta stopped working on the quilt now. I made a yellow sunshine that both compliments and contradicts the dark and the grey, and I keep trying to figure out what to do wit it. I have covered it up some with a grey piece, maybe to try to put out my grief from not seeing the eclipse last year (anniversary of it was during the time I was working on this quilt).

I was thinking about “sunflowers” as this is the Sunflower State that I live in now. Maybe I could make the yellow to either represent the sun and the eclipse or the sunflowers.

But not quite sure how to do it.

Someone in a comment accidentally through autocorrect called this the Offender Eye without seeing the yellow piece. Which might be an apt name for this quilt when it is done instead of grey Dresden quilt.

 

I have ideas of a darker pieced border with light grey diamonds around the center of this quilt.

Currently the thing is glued down with washable glue only. I would like to get some of this stitched down. Probably not the droopy yellow sunflower part.

I did glue down the borders on each of my circles with the bias tape and boy, does it make my “circles” look much more smooth.

All the feelings for the last few months have been feeling very BIG, very overwhelming. I know my natural “anxiety state” helps drives some of these big feelings, and anticipation and grief, and a ball of cuddly old feelings. Suddenly felt like the feelings were also overwhelming. And how it would be easier to shut some of this down for the time being, with intent to explore further in the future.

But, suddenly, with the wisdom of the guy I was listening to, the shift focused onto a much brighter quilt suddenly. And then, working on the grey quilt wasn’t quite as important as it was the previous week.

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37.4 Higher, higher, higher

April 18, 2015

First off, a week ago, my quilting of the Samurai Sudoku quilt didn’t turn out as I expected. So there is no quilt to show there as I only am a third of the way quilted and I have to go re-rent time on the longarm to finish.

Then I received my round robin quilt that same day.

I am working on a couple of posts about my round robin, and no this is not it. I had a whrilwind of a day yesterday trying to figure out some solutions that in the end didn’t work, and that involved my round robin quilt. And now I just need a tiny bit of space from it. Teeny, tiny space.

Anyway, I was listening to a lyric of a new song by a band I absolutely adore and this lyric caught my eye. So I made a photo!

my walden burst

Or maybe I like this photo better.

my walden tree mood

I also started playing around with pic monkey on my logo. None of these are takers yet, but starting to see if some kind of update is in order (maybe not?).

Scientific Quilter Lights

Scientific Quilter Blue Painted

scientificquilter underwater

Anyway, that’s where I am at. Looking to be higher, higher, higher, flying with my tapestry of many colored yarns. Thought it sounded quilty.

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32.3 Is there something I can do for you?

September 22, 2013

I have been very stressed as of late. Due to overworking, not sleeping, and general exhaustion.

One of my fears is that this stress and my lack of handling it well is that if I let it get to me, that I will slip into some form of depression.

I think it’s a fear because I am starting to see small warning signs creep up: Incredible anger & irritation, incredible weepiness, I apologize ALL THE TIME. (sorry – okay this one is a joke, but it’s about as bad as that).

And I know that one thing to help out depression is to do something good for someone else.

So rather than share with you my meager sewing tasks this week so much, I should ask you all:

Is there something I can do for you?

I have no time lately, so this is particularly ludicrous for me to ask, as if any of you give me a task that will take a while, man it will take A WHILE…. or it could anyway.

But, I figure it’s worth a shot, it may not take a while, and it may give me the focus onto something good for me to do, a task or two that will help me lift me out of myself.

What do you think?

Oh and since I need to try to put one picture in each post, here is the slow progress of hand sewing the trimming down on my periodic spiral.

periodic spiral quilt hand sewing three out of seven prepped

The top two applique borders are sewn down, the one on the bottom right is just glue basted at this time.

And the embroidery floss is a variegated pearl #5 style, that currently doesn’t accurately show which will go with what names.

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I also have another healing quilt planned called “98 good bricks” that is only figured out conceptual-wise. I could do a lot with the 98 good brick idea, but it’s based off of a story from an audiobook called “Opening the Door of Your Heart“.

Not a banned book that I know about, but maybe it is banned somewhere, since the author is a Buddhist monk. So far that’s as far as I have got. I want to make a quilt based on that idea.

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Anyway, give me a task, big or small, something you would like me to try: maybe clean up my blog, maybe look up how pins are made, maybe display all my finished quilts, something helpful to draw me away from the frustration that I feel pretty much daily.

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30.1 Relaxing

March 17, 2013

I give up on producing the podcast for this week today.

I have gone overboard at cleaning this place up for the Tuesday visit from family (oh no, not me going overboard), and while my house is mostly clean (except for a pile of things in living room that can be put back in a hurry if necessary) I have overexhausted myself at this time.

So I chose to relax with the end of my time for today.

*****

PLEASE keep reporting in on your March-A-Long progress for the 2nd week, and DON’T GIVE UP on Marching A Long with 15 minutes a day for this coming week!

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What did I do, cleaned 3 major rooms of the house which includes things like mirrors, mopping, wiping down, vacuuming out dryer hoses (needed it, now my dryer will work like it did when new and less risk of fire!), folding fabric and putting it away, sorting fabric, cleaning up piles of zip lock bags, picking up things from 3 different rooms, sweeping under areas that I long have avoided, cleaning behind permanently out items on the kitchen cabinet.

I am sorry that this was my priority today, I haven’t even went grocery shopping for the week.  It was a great catalyst for spring cleaning the house, I knew I only had today to put it all together.

But I am “all pooped out”, and hopefully tomorrow, I can enjoy my birthday in peace at a new to me restaurant.

And the next day after work I will be enjoying time with my family without cleaning one bit. I am sure none of them will notice, but I will feel less ashamed this way at how things really get as bad as they do otherwise. I normally don’t “see” the mess at all anymore, become blind to it, until I imagine looking at my house with ‘a stranger’s eyes’.

my clean table

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29.3 More progress on the Star Struck Quilt

January 13, 2013

Slow & steady is how we win the race. Every weekend I have done something that has a little bit of progress.

Last weekend was sewing the back & basting.

basting star struck on floor

Last weekend I also started the black echo quilting lines. Three echoes, and then going back through and stitching the ditch (huh, I think I did that backwards)

And the middle of the black stars are left unquilted.

black echo stitching lines

Thursday I worked up a tracing of the quilting for the multicolored stars and drew the design on paper several times.

quilting design traced on paper

This built in its own backtracks into the design just fine, but keeps the design within the center of the stars. This could have worked for the black stars too if I had come up with it before all the echo stitching.

quilting completed light block highlight

And it works fantastically on a quilt. The multicolored thread I put in both the bobbin and the back as the original black thread was showing too much.

This was the first time I had used king tut brand thread, and I don’t know if it was my machine, my needle, my constant tension problems, but I didn’t like it half as much as aurifil. If only I could find these large spools of variegated thread in colors I adore & would use!  I need to start looking for some, I had several broken threads.

As you can see I stitched the lines by hands, no rulers templates or walking feet. I recently downloaded a craftsy class about template quilting, and after watching the first 10 minutes, I thought it was a nifty idea, but I had the problem of having a darning (quilting) foot that is not symmetrically surrounding the needle.

Maybe later in the class there is something about how to transfer all the longarm stuff to domestic machines.  Maybe. If not, I have the class for “way in the future”. The straight lines of the template rulers really appeal to me.

I remember there was a category “tools of the trade” at last year’s MQS show which the quilts had to be made with rulers or other tools on the long arm or they wouldn’t qualify for that category.

Now I can visualize how that’s done.

Anyway, here’s a picture of the baby quilt as it stands now. Patiently waiting for the ends to be cut off and the binding sewn on.

quilting completed on star struck whole quilt

The binding is picked out and I just may get that sewn & pressed later tonight.

And here’s one more picture of the quilt a little more close up.  I need to take down all my overhead lights and clean them, my house seems very dark if I don’t have external lights going on, and this is proving weird color sheens on my quilts.

quilting completed light and dark

The secondary hourglass patches will not be extra quilted except for their stitch in the ditch.

I need to start up talking to my cousin and see if she’s still interested. If lucky, I can get this finished by next weekend or so, only a month and a half late.

Otherwise this quilt could really find a place to stay here ….

….

update

Update on the previous post about decisions to make

And for people reading my blog in ‘real time’, who saw and responded (or thought to) to my last post about my decisions.

I know I am overthinking things too much. If you know me, you know this should not surprise you.  I have sent a couple of emails to people, and no I haven’t yet replied on my own post in the comment section myself.

I did worry a few people with the ‘tone’ of my last post. And this is a true tone. I have been obsessing over something that I shouldn’t be obsessing over for almost 2 months now.  And I do always feel better when I write out what’s bothering me.

Nonnie suggested that I try to blog positively from now on, and I may take her advice to the next level and start my own journal.  Since I do a lot of my thinking while writing out things, this may be a better way to express my doubts instead of putting them all out there for you.

However, this doesn’t mean that a journal will “make everything better” or that I won’t take things too personally in the future as I did in this case.

I am trying to take steps to figure out how to handle things that bother me, and boy do I do the wrong thing about that most times. But I have made a couple of changes already in the last week that I hope will help my frustrations at least temporarily.  And I wouldn’t have made those changes if I hadn’t posted about how I needed to make decisions.

And I want to learn how to make even more changes to help me out. It gets scary to see that I face the same demons that I faced several years ago in terms of fear over the podcast.  I have to battle within myself over something that 3 different bosses have told me is holding me back (maybe 4, I forget). So maybe like most people, I don’t really WANT to change.  And if so I have to figure out how to be OK with that.

I do need to make small changes, small experiments, and see how things go. I still need to think about the direction, duration, schedule, and type of quilting podcast I want to make.

People seem to keep telling me that they like the “just talking part” of podcasts, and for me, those are the longest & least thought out, most rambly, and unstructured parts of my own podcast.  The topic part, yes I probably do go on and on, but I do cut the topics off WAY before I cut off my own quilty rambly thoughts.

Honestly … I find myself scared / angry / frustrated / nervous to lean towards doing a podcast with “only the home sewing front part” that everyone seems to crave.

And then, I worry too much about that whole thing all over again.

So perhaps a compromise is in order, sometimes topic, sometimes just talking???? This is a thought anyway.

Which is why I am sitting down and trying to make the decisions before I record again.

And I still plan to “March-A-Long” in March, doing 15 minutes every day quilting during the month of March, I still plan to podcast the March A Long weekly like last year, I still plan to highlight others who are marching along with me.

So if nothing gets decided between now & then, we’ll at least have that to look forward to. 😉

Well, I’ll keep thinking, and you keep sending me good thoughts. And I’ll try to be better at mirroring those good thoughts back.