Return of the Quilting Bug

Fabric Stash

(Photo credit: clumsy kristel)

As I’ve written about reimagining my life and taking time for me, it became clear that it was time to write about my quilting escapades–real and imagined. And before you think referring to quilting as having a bug, let me reassure you that I don’t mean bug in the sense of an illness, but rather the little gnat-like things that buzz around you sometimes and just won’t let you be. No matter what you try, they keep coming back. That’s how quilting is for me. No matter how many times I set it aside (because there are too many other things to do), it still buzzes around, capturing my attention in spite of myself.

Several times in my life, I have started to make a time and space for quilting, but I have usually waited to play with quilting until AFTER other things were caught up. So I either had marathon sessions with a specific quilt project in mind, or I did nothing, waiting for the magical moment when I could devote gobs of time to exploration and play. No middle ground, happy or otherwise. As a result, I have started and stopped quilting many times, the most recent incident having been documented in my blog over last fall and winter. To be honest, considering how little quilting (read NONE) I’ve done since I started blogging, I sure have dedicated a lot of space to writing about it.

Cutting Fabric

Cutting Fabric (Photo credit: designsbykari)

If you missed the posts I’ve done about quilting, I’ve included links to them below. But what I find really amazing about looking back at these entries was how much time I spent fighting with myself about doing something that I so thoroughly enjoy. I suppose it seems even stranger to me now that I am more focused on making my life more something that I am happy with in the here and now, not some distant far-off hope that is left to chance, never to actually see the light of day.

Taking time for me means answering the call to create, and for me, I feel most at home creating in fabric. I think that’s why the quilting bug keeps coming back. As I worked on materials for Farther to Go! over the summer, it was clear that bringing quilting back into my life on an ongoing, regular basis was one of my most important intentions. I have come to realize that quilting isn’t something that I do when (if ever) the time presents itself. I want it as part of my life, and it is now my intention to make it happen.

The first step was to make a regular weekly time for quilting. To have at least one day a week off from working that I could use for quilting. So far, I’ve made it two out of four times, but that’s two times more than I would have had before the intention. And what has happened in those two days of fabric play has far exceeded my expectations. More on that next time!

593 days to 60!

Links to earlier blog posts about quilting.

Finding Fabric  (November 13, 2012). In this episode, I find a great fabric district in Taipei where I can build the stash I’d re-started.

An Idea Whose Time Has Not Yet Come. Or . . .  (January 1, 2013). Rather than keep trying to put in small moments of quilting, I put together the idea for a two day quilting retreat. I mapped out my calendar and found a two-day spot during winter break.

Quilting Retreat: Planning or Resisting   (January 29, 2013). As the quilting retreat approached, it didn’t hold the appeal and excitement that I had anticipated. And so many things had been left undone.

Reframe, Retreat, Renew   (February 1, 2013). I once again packed up all things quilting.

Keyword: Fun (Compliments of my daughter, Kate)   (February 5, 2013). A reminder from my daughter about what quilting really meant to me, and how far away from fun I had let it go.

6 comments on “Return of the Quilting Bug

  1. … I can really relate to what you say .For a long time I felt ” guilty” for doing the things I like , and often made myself complete a list of so called “important stuff ” before allowing myself time to create ! I no longer worry about it so much , and try to live my life doing as much of what I like as I can, after all it is my life, and I think my list of what was ” important ” was more what society says is important, although it took me a while to get that sorted in my head . I am so pleased you are taking time to enjoy your quilting, and enjoying yourself . I will have a look at your past quilt posts shortly .

  2. The other thing I find interesting is that all of those “important” things that really need to get done DO get done. It’s not like taking a little time out for creativity means responsibilities aren’t taken care of. But if I don’t make creativity important for me, no one else is going to do it. And I have come to know how much better I feel when I see how the pieces of fabric go together, how they feel while I’m working with them. It’s crazy not to build in some time for that on a regular basis. All the things on the to-do list will wait if they really need to be done. It sounds like we’re making similar discoveries. 🙂

  3. I’ve never made a quilt but my journey with own creativity has been pretty similar. I’m so glad to see that you’ve decided to give yourself the time to play. There is enough time, you just have to be intentional. If you don’t set your intentions ahead of time, the day will be over before you realize and low and behold there wasn’t time. I’m also very excited to see that you’re looking at the positives – 2 more days than you would have done without the intention, rather than being upset at the 2 times it didn’t happen. I’m working on myself with that one. 🙂

    • Thanks Kieta! I can’t believe I’m just getting back to some of these comments. But it does give me a chance to tell you that now, two months after I posted this, I now am in the final stages of make the quilt top–sewing all the squares together. Then I’ll be putting the backing together and doing some machine quilting. There is still a long way to go, but I nearly have a quilt top completed. A few months ago, this seemed impossible. Setting intentions does make a lot of difference. Hope all is well with you. 🙂

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