Thursday, September 9, 2010

Got me under pressure...

I had an epiphany of sorts this week.  As I was checking in on one of my favorite blogs, the entry was about yet another quilt-along.  Previously, I would have jumped right in and signed up.  This time, I only felt anxiety and depression. 
Can I just send a message out into this vast quilting blogosphere...UNCLE, ALREADY!!
Oh my gosh!  There is just too much out there; too many quilt-alongs, sew-alongs, bees, swaps, groups and guilds.  Too many give-aways, charity auctions, quilting for causes and what not.  Too many designers to keep abreast of, new patterns coming out, books to buy and conventions to attend.  As hard as I try, I just can not keep up with it all.
Don't get me wrong, I think the on-line quilting community is great.  It has exposed me to ideas and techniques I probably wouldn't have been exposed to otherwise.  And believe me, I would kill to be able to attend a Denyse Schmidt workshop, but really people, I have a real life!
I don't think I am the only person with a passion for quilting that also has to juggle a job, home, family, and friends along with work in my church and community.  Yet to read all these blogs, it appears that everyone else has an ideal life with nothing else to do but whip up their newest creation and quilt 24/7.  My logical mind tells me this cannot be so, but never the less the perception is enough to cause a bit of discontentment with my own situation. 
So, to all you lovely, well-meaning quilt bloggers out there, can I just ask for a little mercy?  Next time you want to put out a call for another quilt along, sew for a cause or swap, will you just stop a moment and consider us poor peons who are trying to keep up with it all???  Quilting is supposed to be a LEISURE activity.  It isn't meant to cause pressure and anxiety.  It isn't supposed to be another thing on our to-do list that we are behind on.  Just think about it.
 As for myself, I am going to start editing the amount of blogs I read and the groups I join. I know this will be hard.  I know, in the beginning,  I will feel as if I am missing out on so much. But in the end, I think this will help me feel more relaxed and content.  Can I get an Amen?
Phew, I feel better now that I have vented.  Moving on...
Remember this entry?  Well here is the finished product.
I love the way this came together.  My colleague, Kathy made six blocks and I make six blocks and I think they fit together seamlessly. 
She sewed the top together and made the sandwich, then I took it and quilted it.
I choose to to organic, straight line quilting; no guide. I think that choice was a good one.  It gave the quilt an "art quilt" feel.
I found some great, vintage buttons in my stash.  I added them to give it a little more flair.
This is my favorite block.
What I loved about this process was that I was actually quilting-along with a real person, not women I didn't know whom I just happened to sign up with on the internet.  It made the whole thing so much more "connective".  Every day we would bring in the blocks we had completed and talk about how we would put them all together.  We consulted together about color, placement and design.  When it was all completed, we rejoiced together over our accomplishment.  Now that what I have always pictured a quilting bee to be about.  I can't wait to see this hanging on our lunch room.  That ought to perk the place up.

I finished the quilt I was working on from Material Obsessions 1.  I love it!  The colors are so fresh.
For the focus panels, I used Tweet Tweet from Alexander Henry and for the squares I used coordinating fabrics I had in my stash; everything from Nicey Jane by Heather Bailey to some old Amy Butler Midwest Modern.  I am now mulling over how exactly I want to quilt it.  Any suggestions?
Looky, looky!  I have a thing for labels so when I saw this, I immediately signed up.  I got my first shipment yesterday and I LOVE IT!
Then even sent my own customized label.  How exciting is that?!
Speaking of new goodies, look what came in the mail.  It is called Go By Bike from Erin McMorris.  'Lil bikes!  Don't they just make you swoon?
Still in the throws of my creative surge, I went through my stash again to find a new project.  I totally forgot that I bought these at last year's International Quilt Festival in Long Beach.  Now is the perfect time to start working on my annual Christmas quilt.  Now I just need to decide which of the two patterns, pictured in the photo, I am going to use.  What's your vote?
Joe and I wish you a happy, pressure free week.  Live your life, enjoy where you are, quilt for leisure.  :)