Word of the Day: Optimism

The book talks about an old man who planted an orchard after he retired from his job. He was undaunted even though the people around him said he wouldn’t live long enough to see it bear fruit.

I think that starting projects that are daunting is the epitomy of optimism and it shows optimism and joy in the process and not just in the end product.

Using Fabric

I am really in a philosophical frame of mind right now. Not sure why, but I seem to be thinking more about things rather than just trying to get through the day. All that vacation freed up brain space, I guess!

I started a new tote bag last night (forgoing all computer time for fabric time!). As you can see, the fabric is a large flower print. I needed another fabric to go with it. As I was pawing through my blues (oh no! are they back??), I found myself thinking about using fabric.

I am very grateful for all of the fabric that I have. It makes me feel like I could sew to eternity and not worry. It seems that when I am looking for a specific color or shade, however, that I don’t have enough fabric. What I was doing last night was looking through fabrics to go with this wild flower print. It was a lot easier because I didn’t have a certain value or tone in mind. Does the amount of fabric expand or contract depending on what I am looking for?

Additional Gifts from Near and Far

I am a lucky girl! I have such nice friends who give me presents sometimes. 😉

First, I got a gift certificate for some fabric. Above is what I bought. Dots, of course, but also some of Mark Lipinski’s Califon line. I like the delicate designs. Not sure how I will use it, but something will come up. Now I can rest assured that the FOTY 2009 quilt will have some fabric in it. Thgift certificate came from TFQ for Christmas and the fabric just arrived today. I still owe her a thank you note.

How do you like this gift bag? The bottom has something slightly stiff in it, so it stands nicely up to attention. It is made out of felt, so I may be able to make lovely designs with embroidery (using my machine’s embroidery function) on the front instead of the applique’. The blanket stitch can be done on the machine as well. I’ll have to try it. One thing I like about it is the cute size.

This little teapot pincushion was in the gift bag. My friend, Leah, gave both to me. We hadn’t seen each other for a long time and when we got together, she produced this little package for me. It is a very sweet treat, and unexpected.

I have been transferring my pincushion between sewing machine and ironing board, so this came at the right time and, perhaps, I can start thinking about just keeping one near each workstation? I am definitely going to have to buy more pins!

Word of the Day: Work

In my opinion, there are two kinds of work: work where you make money and your life’s work. Some people are fortunate enough to have both in one. For me, the work I do for money is interesting (mostly) and challenging (often), but my life’s work is creativity. At the moment I create quilts and tote bags, occasionally ornaments or other little things. In the past I have made leaded glass windows, painted, knitted, crocheted, done mixed media collages and sculpted. Creativity is my life. It feeds my soul and comforts my psyche.

The book talks, today, about a woodcutter needing to cut wood regardless of the weather, but that planning ahead can make the work easier. The book calls this working in “concert with the seasons” or “according to seasonal circumstances.”

This means that you do some of the heavy work when there is no snow and leave the chopping of kindling for snowy days. It means planning ahead and planning your work.

By “concert with the seasons,”a person is conserving effort. The woodcutter can conserve effort, not only by working in “concert with the seasons,” but also by cutting with the grain, chopping with the right force, etc.

I do this in quiltmaking all the time. I may cut all the pieces of a block before sitting down at the machine to sew. This allows me to see what the block will look like. It helps me conserve effort, as well, because I can sit and sew the whole block without having to jump up and cut another piece each time I sew two together. I prepare the pieces of my Cross (Flowering Snowball) blocks in advance so I can sit and sew in peace when I have a few moments. This kind of planning ahead makes sense. “Whether it is the time or the method, the labor is half initiative and half knowing how to let things proceed on their own.”