Monday, April 3, 2017

When will the break be over?

I know that we all take breaks from time to time.  From work, from blogging, even from *gasp* quilting.  It seems these last few weeks have been my time to break from blogging and quilting at the same time.  That may or may not have to do with my blog being about quilting.  :)

I have been doing a little bit of blog reading and commenting and as I get inspired by all of you I think to myself, "Today's the day, I am going to be back at my machine and I am going to be SO creative and successful!"  Then when I get home, I just can't bring myself to do it.  Part of it could be the near constant pain in my shoulder that has me exhausted by noon. (Trying a new treatment on Tuesday, so wish me luck there!)  And part of it could be that I have been working on things for other people too much.

I know I have mentioned my dear grandmother before and how she was a very important influence on my crafty life.  One of the last conversations we had was about quilting.  She told me that if it ever seems like work and not fun, then I wasn't doing it right (I am paraphrasing there).  I think that I fell into that trap a little farther than is comfortable for me.  I like doing things for other people, but I had too many deadlines on big projects and started feeling pressured to work on those.  Hence, not wanting to work on anything at all.  I have a feeling that I am not alone in this.

I have one more project to finish up for someone else, then I think that I am going to focus on things only for me for awhile.  My pattern writing mostly.  I really want to get some new patterns out there and I really want to try to get a pattern published in a magazine.  If you have any advice on that front, please let me know.

One of the things I have finished lately is my flimsy for the Meadow Mystery quilt with Cheryl at MeadowMist Designs. It was my first ever mystery quilt and I had a heck of a time choosing fabrics without knowing what the quilt would look like.  I am pretty pleased with it though and think I am going to use this quilt to try some new quilting designs on.  The muslin I used for the background just screams for some intricate designs.  Don't you think?

A closeup of the pretty brown fabric. It is hard to see the detail from farther away.

You can see more of the variation of the dark brown here.  Also, look at all those spaces wanting to be quilted!

And the completed top.  I think I have enough of the fabric to piece together for the back.  Not sure which one I'll use for binding yet.

To help improve my mood, Spring has decided to show up in Portland finally.  :)  I saw 3 little baby geese yesterday and then this is what it looks like all over the place:



Happy Quilting Everyone!
I'll be linking up to my usual places.

20 comments:

  1. Deadlines, pressure, and a feeling that you need to be running to catch up all the time, I have always so enjoyed sewing for others, but lately limit myself and do not make any commitments at all. Your shoulder, I really hope that whatever they are going to try does work. At least, my arms are OK, even if one knee is pretty much useless at walking properly or even going up one small step. Just as well I wasn't going to the moon!!! Love your spring blossom, looks like you will have warmer days a'plenty very soon.

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  2. Oh, Jen. I hope that new treatment does the trick. That would be awful to never feel like doing what you love. :( Your mystery quilt is really pretty and I can't wait to see how you decide to quilt it! Have you thought about what kind of quilting you're going to do?

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  3. I am glad your grandmother is such a great resource for you. She certainly has some sage advice. If you are interested in pattern publishing, I really suggest going through Cheryl's Pattern Writing blog series and joining the Quilt Pattern Designers Facebook group for help and support. And your version of Cheryl's mystery quilt is lovely!

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  4. Your mystery quilt is so pretty! I love the colors you chose and how they worked into the quilt. My rule on mystery quilts, is if you love your fabrics, surely you will love the quilt. This is definitely a fun one to custom quilt and I cannot wait to see how you decided to quilt it. Ruts, man, we all hit them and they can be so hard to shake sometimes. Sometimes you just have to take things one stitch at a time.

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  5. Hi Jen: I've also been struggling with blogging and quilting for several reasons, but one of them is for sure pressure on myself...and perhaps trying to do everything for everybody.I think I also need some patience with myself. Here's to hoping we both find our way back to what we love and I hope your shoulder lets up on the pain.

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  6. Beautiful blossoms, thanks for sharing that with. We have had rainy, drippy, gloomy weather for too long. But the sun might peek out today they say. Yes I think we all go through the stage you are in with too many pressures to get things done. Hang in there, you will recover!

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  7. You definitely are not the only one who feels the pressure of deadlines and projects for other people. When there are too many, it certainly takes the joy out of quilting (for me). A happy balance is when I can fit in "me" projects along with the commitments I've made to other people. When I feel overwhelmed and like it's work, that's when I schedule in time to sew just for me. It's like a reward system...do this for Person A, then I can do this for me. It helps keep me happy. I hope you find your way soon, and good luck with the shoulder treatment. :)

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  8. It's funny but a few of us have been gong through this recently it must be something in the air. I can't even say I have been doing stuff for others and not myself. Personally I blame the winter, the long dark days, not enough sunshine, we are all suffering from SAD syndrome. Your shoulder can't be helping either and perhaps resting it will help it recover sooner. Your mystery quilt is lovely, I love the contrast with the brown, it enhances the design so well. It's a wonderful version Jen. I can't give you any advice on pattern writing but I will say that in my opinion you are very talented, you just need to give it time and practice and you will get there.

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  9. Your quilt is really striking. I think you are very right about all of the open space. I hope your treatment works well for you.

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  10. I think you would be an excelent designer! maybe you are just done with your current phase of quilting? It's pretty awesome that you are developing other areas you are curious about! I cant wait! (lol, I can wait and don't mind one pretty bit. lol) * your work is awesome, btw!

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  11. Your Mystery Quilt is gorgeous! I agree: Choosing fabric without knowledge of what the quilt will look like is near impossible. But the contrast between the blue and brown is so striking. Like many modern quilters, I avoid brown; here you've given it a long-awaited day in the sun.

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  12. You're definitely not alone in feeling pressure to finish. I sometimes question myself on who has put those deadlines in place. Often it's me. I have decided to pull back my ambitions to realistic lately and that has helped a lot! Love your Mystery quilt! Hope the shoulder improves.

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  13. Helping the new treatment helps your shoulder. Your mystery quilt is great love how the blue frames everything up.

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  14. We are further behind in Spring than you are, and this past week where it has been below normal cold and rainy hasn't helped! I keep telling myself Spring showers bring May flowers. TOTALLY with you on the sewing for others; my poor mum's 80th birthday quilt? Not even finished cutting. And there are 3 others either unquilted still or not even fabric pull/purchase finished. Here is my permission to you to opt out of the Freefall QAL. ;-) Maybe doing stuff for yourself will help your shoulder ache go...the mind/spirit is so connected to the physical.

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  15. I really love your version of the mystery quilt! It's really hard choosing colors when you don't know what the finished result will be, but you did a great job. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that you were doing too many things for other people and none for yourself. It's happened to me before and it's almost like a "writer's block" effect. Try some smaller, fun projects for yourself with no deadlines.

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  16. You chose fabrics very well for the Meadow Mystery, especially given that you didn't know what the finished quilt would look like. The color scheme actually looks like it was pulled from the top half of your Portland spring picture. I agree some detailed free-motion would look awesome on the muslin.

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  17. I love your mystery quilt! When I am feeling the lack of sewing and quilting mojo, I try to make a small make (mini quilt, pouch, etc) that is just for fun and a quick finish. That usually helps me.

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  18. I think it is a good idea to take a break. Looking at things that are not quilty and be inspired by other art forms is refreshing. I am sure when we return it is with renewed creative energy. Sending hugs and healing vibes your way.

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  19. I had a break in blog reading too so just catching up ..... hope your break is soon at an end and that you are soon finding joy in sewing again!!

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