Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Slow Stitching in the Fast Lane

Is it just me, or is time truly zooming by at speeds never before seen? I don't know what exactly is happening, but each day seems to be over and done before I even got started. I feel like I am on some Twilight Zone amusement park ride which is whipping me around so fast that everything is starting to blur. Why is that? Anyone else feeling this way?


I try to slow things down a bit with all of this hand stitching. I am now in the last stage, quilting all of the 31 patches that I hand sewed on to the quilt top. Counter to the quickly passing hours of the days, it is not moving fast at all. More like crawling along at a snails pace, and despite my desire to have life slow down a bit, I can feel myself caught up in the whirlwind of time management, or lack of, and am starting to feel anxious at how long I am spending on this piece. (Truth: I'm not sure if it is possible for me to ever really just be content with how things are.)


At the same time I feel grateful for the oasis of calm and rest this quilt provides for me, and know it's good to consciously go slow at times, especially when everything around you is going so fast.

40 comments:

Colleen MacDonald said...

Oh Sister, I hear you! I feel the same way, and I can't believe that January 2010 is half way over already. There's so much pressure to be going all of the time, I'm so glad that you are using your extreme talent with hand stitching as an excuse to "rest" a little. Love your new quilt!

Anonymous said...

I share your sense of life happening at warp speed these days. Too much doing, not enough simply being. But your handwork is a comfort to me...and your blog an inspiration. Thanks for your lovely words, pictures and works.

Kenton and Marianne Ogg said...

Oh man, what a beauty! I feel the same way, but your quilt sure looks like its coming together fast! Maybe that's because its not me working on it =-) Do you use a frame when hand quilting? And if so, is it a small portable one or one on a stand? I love hand work and I use a small portable frame but its not my favorite.

belinda said...

Oh yes...me too!! I feel I have soooo many projects I want to get done and time is just running out....I LOVE doing hand work and quilting and have always wondered why I feel it is a time killer...I think it is akin to how I was raised growing up....you should NEVER just be SITTING....your quilting is turning out terrific and I will be anxious to see it in its 'sunday best'!!!

rosie/ the fabric shopper said...

I so love these "work" quilts you are doing. I just ordered fabric to do a quilt for my son and I am so tempted to add some hand stitched rows. I'm not sure I can go in straight lines ;-0

Victoria said...

Thanks to each of you... good to know I'm not alone!

As for using a frame... nope, I'm not a fan of hoops and frames, and tend to avoid them when possible, as they just get in my way. With this particular quilt, the hand work has been made easier because I first machine stitched rows across the quilt, then went back and hand quilted inside each row. The machine quilting has been enough to keep anything from shifting during the hand quilting. I know it's not the usual way of working, but it works for me and I enjoy the contrast of machine and hand work. Thanks for asking! :0)

Hens Teeth said...

The care, time and attention this beauty has received shines through V. Your talent for putting together fabric in this wonderful way is stunning. Every moment spent on it is very much worth it. As for time spinning by, so difficult to get the time management thing correct.
x

Blue Is Bleu said...

I feel like time's zooming by all the time! Never enough time in a day I reckon. Your quilt is blowing my mind... that hand stitching is just stunning.

Dee / Cloth Company said...

I share the sense that I am running, running -- I haven't even wrapped my mind around the decade change yet, never mind it being the middle of the month, as Colleen said.

I don't think we're sharing a hallucination about things speeding up -- it seems to me that things are changing, accumulating, FAST.

So, the question is, what tools do we have that fit our selves/situations that will allow us to take stock, take a breath, regain balance?

My goal (and I wish I could remember where I read this lovely idea) -- is to 'live at the pace of guidance'. and boy do I have a way to go!!

BTW, your quilt is so stunning and so beyond doubt gorgeous, that I wonder how wrong ANY feeling it brings up could be, if the result is itself?!

not quite coherent, but you get my drift, I hope.

Victoria said...

Thanks again to each of you, and for your kind words.

Dee, beautifully articulated, (and very coherent) ;o)
I like your quote... very calming and "true north" as far as seeking direction... wise words indeed. Thanks for sharing!

Jackie said...

No matter how fast or slow you are going in theory or reality, the quilt is looking absolutely beautiful!

Digs said...

so inspired by your work... again!I can't ever tell if so much sewing makes my life feel faster or slower. It was funny: I was feverishly working on a baby quilt over the holidays and had a conscious thought to slow down a bit... it was kind of "what would Victoria do" moment. So then, of course, I added some hand stitching!

Diane J. Evans said...

I hate to be a downer, but time goes by more quickly as we get older because a year is a smaller fraction of our lives. When you're 10, a year is 1/10 of your life (fairly large, I'd say); when you're 40, a year is 1/40 of your life -- really small and gone in a flash.

Sometimes it's difficult to appreciate the moment, because it goes by so quickly. But please know that others appreciate your moments, especially the ones filled with your talents, and we're grateful that you share these with us.

Diane

pklaw said...

However time is moving for you I am so glad you are spending some of it on this quilt. I can't wait to see it finished. You truly are an inspiration! I have the shot of your last quilt on the side of the barn as my screen saver! Thanks for sharing these beautiful pieces!

Allie said...

I'm feeling it too - and yet, while working on ANY project, I feel like I'm moving in slow motion. But when I look up, hours have sped by.
I'm loving this work of yours - just the colors are so calming. And the handwork is exceptional. Truly beautiful!

Fer said...

You too?! I just thought it was because of the wee girl - having a baby in your life does seem to cause a whirl-wind but maybe I'm wrong!

It's a good thing we have sewing as our therapy. :)

Marit said...

There's nothing like hand stitching to catch up with oneself... Love the texture of your quilt, very inspiring! And tempting to have a try at it, to ; )

Mrs Moen said...

Oh I know what you mean! On New Year's eve January seemed so long with lots of time for new challenges, but half of it has gone by and I had not even noticed. I too hand stitch to slow down my uberactive brain and my life; it's so soothing.

Hey Harriet said...

Yes I really felt time speed up this week. That could be related to returning to work after holidays, but I'm feeling like it's going to be 2011 before I've caught up. I have to admit that my time management skills really suck! I'm loving your quilt Vic!

Suzanne Kistler said...

Your latest quilts INSPIRE me. I LOVE them!! I "stumbled" back to your blog last week, and have been revisiting almost every day to look at your Jan 3 post. I love, love, love this quilt!! Hope you don't mind, but I'm going to have to link to it so my friends can see what I've been raving about. :)

the Campfollower said...

Like you and so many of your commentors I too feel the effect of the speed of life. The pace can be exhausting. I love what you are doing with this piece and you are always such an inspiration to me.

Enjoy your quiet moments while you have them and be blessed by the busy ones.

Deborah said...

This is gorgeous! Handstitching can help slow things down but it does appear to me that many people are zipping around.

RosaMarĂ­a said...

you're not alone feeling how the time flies ... I think all the world is moving fast and depends on each of us make a pause to realize this and stop this rhythm ...
I think sewing is a good therapy for it! and what you are doing is so beautiful!

Cheryl Arkison said...

Maybe that is precisely why you've been working on pieces like this. It is simply needed.

Michelle Engel Bencsko said...

I'm not going to lie. I feel it too! But, hey... it's better than fast stitchin' in the slow lane- that sounds downright dangerous. :P

Sorry, not profound, but it's all I've got tonight!

-xo

henny said...

Vic,
first of all...I love your pic of the Barn. Great new banner :)
about the time which moving past, well...it also happened to me.
'CARPE DIEM', you know its meaning? I've just read it early this morning on one of Etsy craft store and think it's a perfect "tag" for me personally to keep on my motivation.

XUE said...

I got hooked on sewing & quilting so late in my life so (this may sound morbid) I feel I really don't have that much time left to sew what I want to sew! Luckily I hv a 9 year old who tells me that if I leave clear instructions, she will complete sewing whatever I can't - I don't know whether to laugh or cry at this.
On a very cheery side, tomorrow, this same little sewer & I will be going to the BIG Tokyo Quilt show which started today!!!
Happy weekend Vic! And as usual, I'm gizzy at the sight of yr work! That Annika's version of giddy & dizzy.

vadjutka said...

hi, I just found your blog via Colleen's blog...and I love your works. I never knew that quilt can be so modern and exciting as you do it.

karen said...

I know exactly how you feel but this confusion and time spent in the twighlight zone obviously works for you because this is just beautiful.

Jackie said...

I can just imagine how that quilt feels..all cool and pleasantly bumpy. Its really stunning with those red stitches and patches.
Last year flew by like the wind but this year I feel a bit more relaxed.

Deb said...

It seems like this year just started on one hand, and on the other it feels like half a year has whizzed by. I'm working on hand quilting my daughter's quilt (with inspiration from your current project) and I'm getting anxious to get it done and can't slow down to enjoy it. There are so many awesome ideas coming to me I have to jot them down for later haha! It feels good to be quilting again though. Have a great weekend!

britt said...

This quilt is so incredible. What sort of thread did you use for the quilting? Were you able to bury your knots? I hand quilted something with perle cotton, just big decorative stitches and it about killed my fingers. And I didn't know what to do with the knots on the back!

Victoria said...

Thanks so much everyone!

Britt, I am using Sulky Premium Egyptian Cotton thread in both the 12 and the 30 wt. (whatever I happen to have on hand, and I don't mind using both in the same quilt, in fact I like the variation). I double the thread over so that I am sewing with two threads, and I hide the knot and thread tails by pulling through the back layer, and I secure with some back stitching.

The thread comes in lots of great colors and can be found on line or at certain quilt shops. It runs about $5.00 a spool and I like using it for hand quilting much better then traditional "hand quilting" threads, or the perle cottons. :0)

jacquie said...

i've been thinking of my goals for the new year...and i've binked my eyes and half the month is gone. i thought i had more time to have the boys home and that long vacation disappeared and they're both gone. i want to hold on to time...it's not working.

Amy C said...

how beautiful, the colors are so calm and soothing

Victoria Bennett Beyer said...

LOVE the colors in this - that red and yellow stitching looks fab with the aqua and teal colors. You have such an amazing sense of color :)

Elaine Kiziah said...

I just LOVE this. Your color sense is amazing. And I love how it's simultaneously cozy/cheerful/inviting and at the same time features clean, contemporary lines. That's exactly the kind of balancing act I'm always trying to pull off in my own home. I'm blogging about the process of putting my home back together after a long renovation, and I just featured your quilt on my blog (http://www.nestingblog.us) as an example of a wonderful contemporary quilt. (And of course I've linked back here to your wonderful blog.) Thanks so much for sharing it with all of us!

Candied Fabrics said...

I hear you! It's like I never caught up from Christmas!

kanishk said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anna said...

What thread are you using to quilt that? It looks amazing!

I have finally made myself a quilt (why are we last on our own lists?) and was wanting to do it all in bright bold stitches like this (also hand quilt). I have a 30 lot piece of purl cotton - would that work for this? I hope so....