Thursday, February 4, 2010
Just Do It
Don't worry, I am not trying to make a sports metaphor. I just had a good crafty day yesterday. Why, you might ask? Because I listened to the little pep-talker in my head that said "come on, just do it" and I did.
This might not seem like an incredible feat, but for me, it is. Like you, I am a stay-at-home mom who has had a difficult time with the lack of structure that comes with life with young children. We've talked about this before: it makes finding time for projects a challenge, amplified by the need to strike a balance between necessary and fun projects. The conscientious part of me feels like I should prioritize the to-do list projects over the purely creative ones. As a result, I drag my feet (because really, who wants to hem curtains?), waste time on the computer instead, and don't get much accomplished.
I have a list a mile long of projects on which I should work, and while these projects should take priority whenever I have a free moment, I decided yesterday to let my creativity guide me and "just do it". I've had the increasing itch to try some log cabin quilt squares recently. A few bags of colorful fabric scraps have been gathering dust in my fabric cabinet -- some are mine from leftover projects, and some I scored from my mom. They've been beckoning me for weeks, I decided it was time to answer!
Toward the end of Ben's nap, the moment of the day I usually panic at the thought of everything I'd still like to get done while he's sleeping, I realized there was enough time to at least figure out the first steps in a square and/or quilt project. "Just do it", I thought. So I laid all the scraps out on the dining room table. After debating for a bit where and how to begin, I decided to make some large squares on a color theme. (I think the idea came from seeing the Paintbox Quilt Along posts and photos on the ever-inspiring blog Oh Fransson!) You gotta start somewhere! I then organized all the scraps according to a general color range.
To begin, I picked orange -- again, an arbitrary choice I pushed myself to make. I selected several scraps that fit that color scheme and cut small and large rectangular pieces as I went.
I started with 2 pieces that I sewed together with a 1/4 inch seam allowance; then turned the piece sideways and added a 3rd piece to border those first 2; then turned the piece sideways again and added a 4th piece to border the previous assembled pieces; and so on. While I tried to keep seams straight, I wasn't specific about measurements. I just added variously sized pieces to create a large square, then trimmed the finished square to roughly 10 x 10 inches. In less than an hour and a half (with Benjamin running around by that point), I had two awesome orange-ish squares!
Now that my square-making journey has begun, I am envisioning a large lap quilt with various color squares bordered and sashed with natural linen. I was inspired to come up with this idea by Red Pepper Quilts and I Heart Linen, two fantastic blogs! I am not sure on the backing and binding yet, but let's not put the cart before the horse!
I am so excited about this! Seeing these two finished squares laying on the table was such an affirmation for me that I can get something rolling, even with 20 minutes of free time. From that first step come small accomplishments, which little by little, add up and end up feeling quite satisfying. I am going to make a point to apply this "just do it" philosophy to all my projects -- the fun and not-so-fun ones -- and I'm hoping it'll lead to increased productivity on my part. And for me, productivity equals fulfillment.
What do you think of this "just do it" philosophy? I know there is plenty of stuff on your crafty to-do wish list. Can you let go of mental and practical restraints and just do it? In 5-minute increments between nursing a hungry baby and doing 3 loads of laundry? Come on!
I've definitely come to appreciate the "just do it" philosophy. With two small children that's the only way to get anything done! In my case, with my disaster area of a craft space, it's not helping me much at the moment. At least not with projects. Time for a complete overhaul of my space, I'll take pictures as I go along so I can get some input.