Bee Blocks & Winner of Project Folio

Project Portfolio_chair

First, while my husband and I were watching Robert Redford and Faye Dunaway in Three Days of the Condor, I leaned over to him and said, “Give me a number between one and sixteen.”

“Five.”

Five it is.  Cindy, you are the winner.  I’ll mail off the portfolio tomorrow.  Thank you to all my very fine readers and followers.  You are such lovely people!

I must admit that I did want to give it to my newest follower: my daughter, Barbara (Hi Barb!), but I’ll make her a new something or other for her work-out clothes (what she said she’d use it for) and send this white one to Cindy.  Congrats!

Arrows Aug ABLbee 2

Secondly, even though it feels as if I haven’t touched a machine much this month, I did get my Bee Blocks finished.  Above is the one for Always Bee Learning.  We were sent some some fabrics, a link, and we were off to making arrows.  It was a real brain-stretcher, but I finished mine and sent them off to Megan.

MCM Aug Block 1 MCM Aug Block 2

And for the Mid-Century Modern Bee, Mary asked for some Cross-X, or X & + blocks as I’ve seen them called, in pinks.  So I followed her linked tutorial at Badskirt’s blog and sent them off.

And now, the to pull the biggest rabbit out of the hat: figure out how to start sewing my projects again.  With this disjoint summer, a bad beginning to my school year (it will get better), and some time away from the sewing machine, it’s like being on a boat being carried down stream from the dock, slowly, and you can see your picnic lunch there in the middle and you are getting kind of hungry but you can’t figure out how to get to it.  Okay, bad analogy, but I think you all know the feeling.

I look at my list of things I want to sew and nothing interests me. I love reading blogs and seeing everyone’s fun projects, and think, I could do that.  But if I do everyone else’s project, how will I find time to do mine?  It’s a double-edged sword, this living in a world of blogs and Instagram and it’s hard to turn off the input in order to find the creative project that is uniquely mine.

My father, aged 87, goes most mornings down to his painting studio on the second floor of a building in his downtown.  There, he thinks, starts his routine, puts on his music, paints, pauses.  Of course, I can only imagine this because it is done in solitude, but every October he opens his studio for a painting sale in his studio, proving that he accomplishes, produces, Gets Stuff Done, sending out more paintings into the world.

I find my challenge to still myself — to enjoy the social media-fied quilt world, yet also to let that project that is interesting to me find its way forward.  I’ve been tempted by another Polaroid Swap, a recent Signature Swap, this winter’s Scrappy Trip-A-Long, and the Medallion Quilt among other recent popular quilts.  But I also know through historical evidence that our quilting grandmothers searched the newspapers for what others were doing, and through imitation, linked themselves together through common projects.

LIke them, I do quilt what is in my universe.  I often think of Nancy Crow, a quilt artist I admire from afar who has seemed to produce what is important to her, to follow her own stream of thinking and creating without regard for what is the most popular.  Perhaps she, and my father, are at one end of the spectrum while the social media/Instagram/blogging crowd, of which I am a part, is at the other end.  No answers here.

Just searching for those oars that will get my boat back to the dock, back to my sewing machine, back to my quilty world.

8 thoughts on “Bee Blocks & Winner of Project Folio

  1. Oh Elizabeth….you work is outstanding! I absolutely love the arrows. How fun are they? And the colors are wonderful. You’ll get back into the swing of things, don’t rush it!

  2. I think we all find ourselves feeling that way from time to time. It’s called overwhelmed. Something has to go, and it’s usually our hobby time. I find if I don’t sew for a few days I get cranky. It really is how I relax. Well, I hope you find your oars-and your lunch : )

  3. It is interesting, the fun one has being part of a world community of quilters, all of doing something fun this week like the scrappy trip along or a swap or a bee. It is fun and it is being part of a community, and one learns something about pattern or technique or colour or whatever doing it. But if your goal is to be an artist or working on unique unconnected projects, probably your dad has it right. Can’t you do some of both? I hope your work sorts itself too, I am back at it on Wednesay I think.

  4. Such an interesting post, Elizabeth. I, too, try to follow my own path while being aware of the “now” in the quilting world. It’s interesting that you also mentioned the way our grandmothers quilted…my great-great grandmother had one quilt we could not find the pattern for. Then my great aunt discovered the design was a prize-winning World’s Fair quilt that must have been in the newspaper for my great great grandmother to copy…interesting that our times are so different from that of our ancestors yet so very much alike!

  5. congrats to Cindy and I LOVE that blue chair!
    Creative ebbs and flows and sometimes over flows, you’ll get back into the zone soon. In the meantime, follow your bliss, not your list.

  6. It really is hard to find the time to do it all. There are so many projects that inspire me and I want to do them all NOW! It would be great to add another 24 hours to each day.

    I LOVE those arrows! That is going to make an awesome project.

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