Move over, Mr. OCD!
all got our private rituals for detoxifying from the holidays and starting the
New Year with a fresh mind (and a few extra pounds). Me, well, I take stock of
what I've managed to accomplish over the last 12 months, and what I haven't--but
fervently wish--I had finished. And in terms of my quilting life, man, is there a
lot to be said!
As an editor of Quilter's Home, a quilt magazine that's
lived through many major changes over the last two years, it's a crashing understatement
to say that my partner, Melissa, and I have been busy. It's also obvious to say
that in doing this job, we seem to eat/sleep/breathe quilting and creativity in
all forms. But it seems we don't get to do it as often as we'd like.
And that's a big fat problem. See, I'm a list maker. I've
kept copious, anal-retentive-symptomatic check-offs for years. One of my
favorites is my list of finished projects. (My husband, Mr. OCD, just laughs
when he sees me making lists. Hey, two can work at this organization thing!)
I was working on my first two books, my list of projects done topped two dozen or more per year for three years running, including quilts, small crafts, knitted scarves and more than I could carefully detail and rest in the assurance that yes, I was creative.
It's not just a number either. The more I create, the easier
the creativity muscle is to flex. My projects become more sophisticated and better
put together as I design and make more. (I'm not trying to get all metaphysical
or anything. Just go with me for a minute.) When I'm regularly sewing or
crafting, I'm more relaxed and my sense of personal pride elevates. It's the
textile equivalent of an antidepressant, with a whole lot fewer side effects!
This hasn't happened for a couple of years now. I've put one
or two things on the "finished" list lately, but that's a weak victory, people.
There's an old writer's motto that says, "Writers write."
Well, I'm a writer and I've certainly earned the designation over the last
decade or so. But I'm also a quilter and a crafter. I make things and while my
preferred method of creation comes through needle, thread and fabric, I never
turn my nose up at paper, jewelry and other make-it-mine joys. It's time to
reclaim my identity.
So I'm officially declaring 2011 as the year of "This Quilter
I have at least a dozen almost-finished quilts lying around
my sewing room. My goal is to finish one quilt a month for the next 12 months. Because
many of these are already half quilted, and have been for (in most cases)
years, how hard can this be?
Here's just a peek at what awaits the needle in my house:
I'd love to have your help. To stay honest, I'll take pics
and document my progress, or lack of. But if you wouldn't mind slapping me
upside the head when I seem to be slacking, or throwing the occasional "atta girl"
at me, it will help. And, hey, I can return the favor. (I'm really good at that
head-smack thing-comes from having a hubby who likes to get in trouble!)
Melissa and I love pouring inspiration and motivation into
the pages of QH, encouraging you to find your fabric bliss. But I'm gonna claim
some of that for myself this year, too, and I hope you'll join me on my renewed
dedication to the needle. I'll show you mine if you show me yours, deal?
in next Monday for my progress on the January project: Finishing the rabbit
quilt, three Easters later...--Jake Finch