Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thoughts on making stuff


I'm still on holidays which has been blissful except for falling ill on Sunday and the resulting self-banishment to the spare room due to me not wanting to spread my germs. Plus I've had asthma pretty bad, and there's been a little too much wheezing and coughing going on and the other person in the house needs to sleep as that other person had to go back to work this week.




Anyway, one of the benefits of sleeping in the spare room is that I can sit up in bed under quilts and do whatever craft is going to make me sleepiest (usually it's crochet). And in the morning I get to sit up in bed under quilts and be delivered cups of tea and orange juice and the newspaper. Spoilt much? Rubbish - I thoroughly deserve it.

Cup of tea in the morning

So while I've been sitting up in bed morning and night, under quilts I've made and rugs my mum crocheted, I've had a lot of time to think about what I'd like to make this year. Also - my quilt design wall faces me in bed and taunts me with it's unfinished Kaffe-ness. All the bloody time.

My design wall, taunting me from the spare bed

In addition, today I finally finished a shawl for a deadline. Loved making it, but hated it at the same time. Because it was deadline crochet and that just doesn't feel as nice to me as un-rushed crochet.

Shawl, soaking

With this crochet project finished, and the unfinished Kaffe-ness taunting me, and the fact that I am using a single sized quilt on a queen sized bed because the quilt I was supposed to have finished years ago still isn't finished and even though I love the colourful quilt, it's not the quilt that's supposed to be there and ... see what I mean?

Spare bed with spare quilt

Anyway. Here's what I've realised. *

1. I've realised that this year I don't want to crochet anything that isn't the red cardigan I have planned, or the grey cardigan I have to finish. Crochet isn't interesting to me at the moment and really a person doesn't need as many shawls, scarves and hats as I have. I don't need more.

2. In the last two weeks I have been decluttering like a madwoman. I have decluttered me-made sewn items, all because they didn't fit right, or were uncomfortable. I actually threw out quite a bit. It felt good to be completely ruthless and my wardrobe looks better for it. So this year, I want to sew good quality items that will be there for the long haul. I have a cupboard full of gorgeous fabric, and I want to make more skirts for winter and maybe some long sleeved tops and dresses for work too. I picked up some great books on garment construction last week, and I am going to learn how to adjust and adapt patterns better.


3. I want this year to be the Year of the Quilt. I want to go back to what got me into crafting communities, both online and real-life back in 2000. In addition to finishing the twisted hexagon quilt I started seven years ago, I want to learn some patience in my cutting and piecing. On Twitter, we have been discussing the Swoon quilt-a-long. Even though I know this quilt is perfect for training me to cut and piece better, I have been resisting joining in as I don't want to do what everyone is doing. But I also want to do what everyone else is doing. I am SO CONFLICTED. And you would be too. Swoon is, well, swoonworthy.

Swoon quilt
(photo by Sew&Sews)

And then my fellow Kaffe-aholic B-Fab talked me last night into making this Sarah Fielke quilt in, yes, another quilt-a-long. I'm totally in. Conflict schmonflict.


Photo from Lecien website

And then I also need to finish my Kaffe Quilt. I have a quilt planned for my Lotta Jansdotter fabric I bought in New York, and my Tequila Sunrise quilt never got off the ground last year even though the fabric is washed, ironed and just sitting there.

So those are my plans. I don't want to be frantic while I'm making. I don't want to be possessed by doing a million things at once. I want to eliminate deadlines. Learn patience. Become a better quilter and a better seamstress. I may very well sell the yarn stash. And I don't care if I do or don't.

The good news is I still have three days of leave and I'm starting to feel better. And I'm really excited about what I can accomplish this year. So excited.

*sorry for the ramble!


  1. Did you just say SELL THE YARN STASH? Gulp! You will let me in on the pre-sale then, won't you?
    Sorry to hear that you're not feeling well, but great that it's given you lots of thinking time. I've just done a big wardrobe purge too, with lots of me-made items going to the oppy. It's a good feeling.
    I really want to get some quilts finished this year as well. I have too many quilts in progress. I want the pleasure of using them. My problem is that I want to quilt them myself, and lots of them are large and require room rearrangement (and borrowing Mum's machine) to quilt them.
    I want to sew less clothes (despite having about ten garments cut out awaiting assembly at the moment) and go a bit slower. Do the things that I want to do, when I want to do them. Without deadlines.
    I am very much looking forward to seeing your new quilts, but sad that you're going to do less crochet!
    And do get better soon.
    See, I rambled too.

  2. ps - is that an Armorique you've just finished crocheting? I'm such a crochet nerd...

    1. Yes, it's another Armorique! Although I can't remember doing the first one due to some memory issues, so it was like a whole new project!

      And ramble away. Never stopped me.

      With the quilting-it-myself issue, I got over myself years ago on that one. Anything bigger than single bed I send out. The physio bills are always going to be greater than the cost of the quilt being professionally quilted.

  3. There's nothing like an enforced layup to getnyou thinking, especially when combined with the new year! It's good to have clarity and goals about what you want to achieve with your craft, I think, especially if they address things that have made you less than satisfied in the past. I will miss your crochet too, but look forward to seeing the clothes and quilting, hopefully that will give me a bit more inspiration to go in that direction too!

    And gee Imlove that KF quilt to be. And the wonky square one too.

  4. Oh but what a lovely ramble it was... I'm with you though - when everyone jumps on the bandwagon, I try to jump off!
    I think you deserve a nice slow craft year, one where you have time to really enjoy the making.

    1. I think I deserve that too, Cam. And hooray for the lemming rebellion!

  5. Super inspiring post Michelle, it has got me thinking about prioritising all the projects in my head and thinking about which ones I truly want to work on. Hope you are feeling better soon xo

  6. And I am thinking I should tackle some garments.. I mean compared to toys...huge, it should be easy...but it stresses me.
    I look forward to all that quilty goodness in 2012

  7. Making goals are good. I find it helpful to think about what I really want to make each year, though often I get to the end of it and have made a whole lot of stuff but very little of it was on my making goals list! Oh well, I'm just very good at distraction. Or not very good at finishing projects off. Ahem. I'm looking forward to seeing your quilts progress, even if it's one seam at a time!! Enjoy :-) Anna

  8. I am swooning too and trying to finish WIP's and make more clothes for me. I am off to a good start so far.


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