A teeny bit frazzled. We returned home late last night after babysitting my brother's children for a few days. Jumping from having two kids to five kids was fun, but completely nonstop! Everything ran smoothly, and we even managed to host a dinner party (see? we're suckers for hectic), but we're home thanking our lucky stars that we got that bonus hour of sleep last night. On the plus side, my husband and I are feeling very confident that when we eventually complete our adoption (you can check out our adoption profile here), adding a third child to our family should be easier than expected time juggling-wise.
Now to dive back into my studio...
Today is the kick off of Sewing with Certainty, a new series hosted by Jessica at Quilty Habit. Here it is explained in her own words: "This series was born out of the doubts we sometimes hear when it comes to sewing and quilting.... I want to inspire experienced and new quilters to try things they shy away from, and, more importantly, inject even more positivity into the wonderful world of sewing." And she goes on to say, "If there's anything I've learned as a beginning schoolteacher, it's this: reflecting on yourself and your strengths/weaknesses helps you a) improve and b) continue loving what you do."
I decided to link up because I know I have been holding off trying a few things I want to be doing in my work (and because like Jess, the former teacher in me also adores reflection and improvement). I end up shying away from projects or techniques that I'm not familiar with yet instead of plowing ahead - in part because my sewing time is so limited that I don't want to waste it creating something that fails (or worse - endlessly seam ripping! agh!), and in part because I'm a perfectionist, so if I feel I won't get it absolutely right, I just save myself the frustration and skip it (which is, of course, terrible for a teacher to say - we're supposed to be all "try again! keep going! you'll figure it out!" but that's easier said solving free quadratic equations on scratch paper than sacrificing expensive prized stash yardage - am I right?!)
Fortunately for my busy schedule, I've decided that many of the things I have lined up already for the coming weeks - a lap quilt and doll quilts, a small wall hanging set, and some beverage mats - will incorporate things I haven't tackled yet or need to improve upon (like long arm quilting, hand and machine embroidery, and a machine binding technique that's different than my usual), so I'm going to post about those for the series. To get started, I'm forgoing my plan to quilt the lap quilt at home on my machine and have signed up for an intro longarm quilting class at a local shop. I've held off in the hopes that I might find a way to make a longarm machine appear in my studio (or at least in my mom's - she's a good sharer lol), but since that hasn't happened yet, I'll settle for renting time and the satisfaction of completing a quilt start to finish myself, only minus the swearing that has accompanied previous large quilts being jammed under the neck of my domestic machine. I'm also going to try and get creative with some free motion quilting on the doll quilts I'm making. Heretofore, I've stuck with stitch-in-the-ditch and straight lines, so it's time to put all the FMQ classes and tutorials I've watched into play once and for all. After all, if they don't come out perfect, my kids sure aren't going to notice and I'll be setting that great "keep practicing and you'll get better" precedent that we parents/teachers are supposed to ; )
Will you be following along with Jess' series, too? What areas of your quilting or crafting do you want to improve?