If you’re anywhere around the modern quilting world you know the Bee Sewcial gals. In my futile attempt to properly describe these ladies, I’ve erased and rewritten this sentence a dozen times now. So I’ve decided not to try. They’ve been quite inspirational to me in my modern quilting journey and always always leave me wanting to push myself and reach the next level.
If you don’t know what a quilting bee is (I’m sure I have a few stragglers from my food satire blog days – yes, you read that right) . . . well, a group of ladies get together and make a block or two chosen by and for the “queen” each month. Every month is a new queen. You end up with a quilt made by numerous hands. It’s super interesting to watch these quilts come together in the traditional sense and absolutely revolutionary in the modern, improvisational category.
Bee Sewcial is a select, special group of ladies who focus primarily on improv and solids, but they highly encourage their groupies to play along. This month’s theme, Resolution, was crafted by Stephanie of Spontaneous Threads. Feel free to check out the link and then come back. I have no intention of rewriting Stephanie’s words here, she did an excellent job in her post.
First thing I had to do was watch a Ted Talk. My notes were as follows:
- big picture
I don’t make sweeping resolutions each year. This year we are attempting loosely to save money (so we bought a couch, oooops) and I started the Whole Food 30 in a desperate attempt to reign in sinus issues and perhaps actually feel decent for a change.
But my quilty resolutions are quite another matter. Here’s the vulnerable part from above. I struggle with wanting more. It’s a pervasive issue in the quilting world and one no one seems able to fully escape. Yes, quilting requires materials and not cheap ones. There’s fabric and batting and thread and patterns and needles and notions and rulers and cutters and scissors and mats and sometimes long-armers and don’t get me started on the price of a halfway decent sewing machine. The worst of the want, however, is the fabric.
When I was young I always told my mother that quilters were the nicest people in the world. I stand by that. Most are friendly, helpful and oh so very generous with their time and talents and especially their finished products. But they also hoard like no other. Yes, hoard. They hoard. We hoard. I hoard.
Fabric lines come out all.the.time. They are pretty and shiny and new and we must have them. If we don’ have them we desperately want them and covet those who do. So often we buy them just to hoard them because once they are gone they are gone forever unless you want to pay ridiculous rates on Etsy and even then you might not find what you want. We must have them now in case we want them later, whether we use them or not. Don’t get me started on The Tula Troops and their addiction to Tula Pink fabric (I have a similar, albeit slightly cheaper because she’s a less prolific designer, addiction to Sarah Jane fabric – I buy it, pet it, stare at it, barely use it because it’s too pretty and I have a finite stash of it.)
I don’t want to want. I really don’t. As I type this I’m Jonesing so hard for the new Alison Glass Sunprint and the new Cotton & Steel, especially Bluebird and Sleep Tight and Black and White. Oh and Heather Ross Sleeping Porch even though the colors aren’t totally my jam and I’m NOT a huge Ross addict and the new Friedlander is out and it’s okay but her stuff is so popular that if I don’t get some now I’ll never be able to get it in the future and oh there’s this cat attitude fabric that’s so freaking cute . . . did I mention I’m a dog person? and Sarah Jane has a Christmas line coming out and I don’t love it but it’s Sarah Jane so should I get some just in case and Tula Pink has the most ridiculous fabric coming out with cans of cat food and I should totally get it because despite the fact that it’s freaking cans of cat food and I completely don’t understand it, in five years I can sell one can for like eight bucks and make a fortune.
Yup, that sums up how I feel about this issue nicely.
My quilty big picture is I want to want less. Use what I have, no matter how small or seemingly irrelevant. Transition to a new way of thinking, a long term way of thinking. Enjoy the process of using up every small scrap and finding fabric in unconventional sources.
Case in point, this fellow.
It’s an old belt from an old sweater. I found it on the garage floor. I have no idea how it got there, the sweater is long gone.
I washed it.
Pulled fabric scraps most people would have thrown away.
Made an improv panel.
Drafted a pattern.
The first take at a pattern, my son commandeered and colored in the mountains. I adore that kid.
I knew the tippy tips of the mountain needed to be the old garage floor belt. It just had to be.
Photographed the finished blocks in front of my fabric “stash”, which for the record is meager compared to most. As much as I would have loved for this to have been a real photo shoot with my fancy camera in a cool location, my stash on a dark morning with my camera phone is real life.
Block number two is the little round fellow up top and my first six minute circle. I’d been wanting to try one. It means nothing more than that.
Thanks for stopping by.
If you want to send me any of the above referenced fabric lines for free, I’m in the market to accept.
Clearly I still have some work to do on that wanting less part.
P.S. Email me! I’ll send you my address!
Yes, lots more work to do.