It’s not you, it’s me

I’m not in love with Tula anymore. I know, shocking. It really is beautiful fabric. I appreciate the saturation, the fascinating subjects of some of her panel pieces, the creativity, but after about a year of seeing that fabric everywhere and in every thing, I can say with some confidence that it just isn’t my cup of tea. Oh sure, I browsed #thegreatfabricdestash on IG sometimes to catch a good deal, but I realize now that more than anything it was the thrill of the chase, and trying to acquire a highly desired piece of fabric simply because it was hard to find and so many other people wanted it. Thankfully, I set a price point early on and never went over it, so I don’t have any pieces I’ve purchased that I’m really ashamed of the money I spent on it. I am, however, a little ashamed of how much I have spent on bundles (usually just FQ) of entire collections that now I’m just not sure I’ll ever use. “Sure, just destash it”, you say, but that comes with its perils, some of which I have recently discovered. First, destashing is stressful and a big pain the rear. I destashed a lot of what I have so that right now, of my Tula, I only have a FQ or less of each print. I made some money, but I can’t say for sure if it was worth it. Second, and this is what really turned me off of both destashing, and maybe even the fabric itself (bad associations now), people can be nasty. See, you think you’ve done some research into the pricing of particular, HTF OOP fabrics, you list them for that, and instead of people behaving decently and just scrolling along if that price is too high, they comment. They balk, they tag their friends to come and look at your listing. Maybe then someone comes along and undercuts you and alludes to you in their listing, so their followers can go and look at your high priced listing and then go back and say nasty things about you, your motivations for selling at a certain price, and so on. All the while, you thought you had found a fair price point. You had seen the fabric sell for that very same price just that day, with no balking, no nasty talk, just a fair and honest transaction.

Yeah. My feelings were hurt. Yeah, maybe it’s silly to have my feelings hurt, but I really thought it was unnecessarily childish and hurtful. How hard is it to just move on? If it costs too much, you are under no obligation to buy or even comment.

I can’t even bring myself to look at this fabric right now.

So, the goal now is to use up what I have. Difficult, since this hasn’t been my go-to fabric to begin with.I did want to do the 100 Modern Quilt Blocks Sampler with what I have (I know, how original). Maybe later, after some more prints have gone out of print, I can try my hand at selling again and make back what I’ve spent.

Yesterday I broke up most of the collections and put them in my regular bins, sorted by color. I need to use the fabric from those bins more often, and I’ve been feeling pigeonholed by seeing collections all together. Maybe breaking them up will help the creative juices flow, and maybe after a while out of sight, I won’t feel so negatively about the fabric and will actually be able to use them.

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Just some thoughts

I’ve been thinking a bit lately about my internet usage, particularly social media, and I think it’s time for a change. It’s taken however long facebook, twitter, and all those other social media outlets have been around for me to really come to this (I’m a slow learner), but I really don’t think the internet is a safe place. Not for thoughts or opinions, or anything really personal. Sure, some people navigate it all really well and even make money off of it. People can keep in touch and have so much information readily available. I guess I need to amend my opinion to say, “*I* don’t feel very safe on the internet’.

I thought for a while I might get used to the different ways people communicate through the internet, but I haven’t, and I don’t like how people seem to change online (myself included). In person,  I am not confrontational. I like smiles and easy conversation, but online, especially over things I feel passionate about, I tend to get really confrontational, brash, and I say things in ways that aren’t exactly loving or respectful. I don’t like it. That isn’t *me* and that isn’t how I want to be remembered or known.

Likes, shares and comments feel great when you get them, but they can’t be why I do something or why I share it. I’ve been so immersed in the internet that sometimes I forget that yes, I can do somewhere, do something, or make something, not share it online, and yes, it still happened. 

The way people communicate in person is still “the real way”. Yes, more of everything is moving to the internet, but if I don’t participate in most of it, I’m really not going to miss out on life. I can still have friends and hobbies. I won’t have to worry about the stress of something about my life being misinterpreted, over examined, ridiculed, or criticized. No, I’m not going off the grid completely, but I think my resolve to stay off certain areas is a little more solidified, and I’m rethinking what aspects of myself I *would* like to share with the world.

A year in review – instagram inspiration part 2 (the bad)

I’m only weeeeks behind on getting this out. Sorry, all my six readers.

Now, like in my previous post (if you skip the hockey one I reblogged – sorry, but that was an amazing night and game and no I’m actually not sorry I reblogged), I highlighted several things I thought were super great about what using Instagram can do for quilt inspiration. But with good things, there are often downsides, and I know I have definitely come across a few.

1)FABRIC TEMPTATION. Seriously, I have probably spent more money this past year on fabric than everything I ever purchased up to last year, including non fabric quilting supplies. Fabric is gorgeous, and when everyone posts their latest purchase and happy mail from conventions and sales and shops, it’s really hard to resist. With Instagram, you can also follow designers and shops directly, and so you see the latest lines and all the sales. It isn’t just stores and shops that are the problem, either. See, there is this little hashtag called #thegreatfabricdestash with THOUSANDS of posts of users destashing some of their fabric stash. It’s usually at at least a slightly discounted price, and a lot of it is OOP, so that can be a problem. I am usually a little late to the ball game with big destashes, so I haven’t purchased a lot. Tula Pink goes especially fast, and the prices can get really high, so I’ve actually taken to make sure I don’t follow any destash accounts and I avoid Instagram when one of the people I follow regularly hosts a destash because I just don’t want the temptation to get caught up in it all, and believe me, it is really easy to get caught up in the frenzy of fabric purchases, especially when something highly sought after is on the line.

2) Every thing starts to look the same. I don’t mean this as an insult to anyone, because certainly everyone buts a lot of effort into every thing that they make, but after a while, it seems a lot of the work people make tends to start resembling each other, and it’s quite hard to really stand out and find your own voice. Now, a lot of quilters really just like to make what they know looks good, and I don’t think there is anything wrong at all with making a trendy quilt in a trendy quilt pattern with the latest fabrics, but for me, it’s started to become a bit much. I suppose there is a safety in knowing what already looks good, and like I said, that really is okay, I’m just a bit weary, creatively, from it all. A lot can be learned from mimicking other artists and quilters, and I’ve certainly made some cookie cutter quilts, but I’ve learned enough now that I really want to branch out and find where I stand in it all.

3) Extreme sadness when my quilt friends get to go do cool things and I can’t. I’m just three hours from where Quiltcon was held this year, and because of other things going on around that time, I couldn’t go. I signed up for classes and everything, and missed one of the biggest quilting events of the year, where pretty much my entire list of IG friends were. I had to not look at IG that whole week because everyone was sharing awesome purchases, amazing quilts, and getting to hang out with each other. It made me sad.

And that’s really about it for me on the bad. I have another post on quilt swaps which will hopefully not take a month to write. Thanks!

A year in review – thoughts on using Instagram for quilt inspiration (part one – the good)

It’s been about a year since I first discovered Instagram as a great way to network and meet other amazing quilters. I’ll have to credit Molli Sparkles with being the first quilter I followed, and from his page, the three or so hundred I now follow. I think the easiest way for me to work through my thoughts on this would be a simple pro/con list, because I do have a fair few of both.

Pros:
1)This one is easy, really. Getting to “meet” amazing quilt artists from all over the world and being able to expose myself to a huge variety of quilts and styles. I’ve mostly followed the modern crowd, but I do have a few more traditional quilters on me feed as well.

2)The fabrics! I would have never, ever known about some of the amazing lines of fabrics that have come out this year or in the past. This has been a bit of a double edged sword (as you’ll see in the cons list), but overall it’s been quiet positive. I’ve learned about some great shops, both larger internet ones, small etsy shops, and my local modern quilt shop.

(Denise Schmidt fabrics are  my jam, yo)

3)The quilts, duh – Of course, amazing quilters using amazing fabrics are going to make some killer quilts. I confess, I have hundreds of pictures of quilts and quilts in progress saved on my phone just to easily refer back to and look at because so many are so gosh darn pretty.

4)Global participation/swaps/trades/etc – I think it’s just awesome that I’ve made some quilt friends from all over the world. I love it. I love thinking about how even though they might be on the literal opposite side of the world, we all share a common interest and spend many of our days sitting at our sewing machine, taking photographs of our work and sharing and commenting. Even better, that some of these people take it upon themselves to organize swaps so that we can gift each other with what I consider basically beautiful pieces of art, created from the heart of someone else for another, regardless of skill level. Through these swaps, I’ve learned how to appreciate fabrics and aesthetics that I might have overlooked as “not my taste” and never thought about again, but by using fabric out of my comfort zone to make something to the taste of my partner, or my receiving something my partner has made for me, I can see fabrics, techniques, everything in a new, refreshing, and inspirational light.

(Minis I’ve received in swaps so far)

5)Branching out – Not only have I really stretched myself this year in quilting, but I’ve also decided to pick up a few other hobbies. Many of the quilters I follow also do embroidery and cross stitching, so I’ve picked up some materials and have started a few projects I’m really excited about, too.

A year long sampler I am so, so, so behind on (this was for 2014)

6) Motivation – I don’t think I have ever sewn so much in such a short span, but this last year I have finished so many quilts, tried so many new techniques, just seen SO MANY new things. Plus, seeing other quilters just crank stuff out so quickly lights a little bit of a fire underneath my rear, so I’m really itching to get to a few unfinished projects that have been languishing so I can post them and call them DONE.

Taking a quilty break

Things have been really slow around here, crafty-wise. I’m stressed about a few things, and sometimes I’m able to turn to quilting to relieve some of it, but right now it’s the opposite. I am just not excited about sewing right now. My inspiration has dried up. My desire to touch new fabrics or browse the endless ideas on pinterest has completely gone. It’s a strange feeling, and not one I imagine will last forever.

So, for now, this blog may be used for other purposes, maybe to document whatever it is I’m working on that’s taking up my attention, or it may sit dormant until my quilt mojo comes back.

For now, the plan is to finish my WIPs, because I have deadlines and I don’t want that baggage of unfinished projects from previous bouts of inspirations hanging over me (it seems when people go through dry periods, and then come back, some of their tastes or the direction their work takes often changes).

I will, of course, post finishes as they come!

Rambly thoughts on baby #2

Two posts in one day? What is this nonsense?

Well, since I was already in the updating mood, and I had a little bit of news, I figured why the heck not? If I wait until tomorrow, I might not feel like it anymore, and then the idea would be lost forever.

I’ve got all the pages for my home organization binder printed, copied, and laminated. I hope to do a full entry on just that sometime soon. Maybe when I get them in the binder and organized as I use them? We will see.

I also wanted to share some happy news:

I had my 20 week ultrasound scan yesterday and everything indicates baby #2 is doing just fine. The heart, brains and innards looked healthy and appeared to be working normally. Baby was rather uncooperative in other regards, and so we were unable to get a nice profile view of the head. Instead, we got a front view of baby opening it’s mouth and scratching it’s face in all it’s weird, skull-y looking goodness. With Kostya we were able to see his adorable button nose and enormous lips, but not so with this one. It shall all be a surprise!

Baby also initially did not seem inclined to let us see the naughty bits, but after I walked around for a while and went back for another check, we were able to see that it was indeed another little boy. My husband and I are overjoyed. Not that we would have been sad over a little girl, but in our mind’s eye we just always pictured two little boys first off. Kostya and this one have been named for years already, long before James and I even got married. After this one, we don’t have any more ideas, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it (we do have a girl name picked out, so if we get a #3 and it’s a girl, she is already named as well). I don’t have a nickname picked out for #2, but I’m working on one so I can refer to him by that in this blog.

Something I’m relearning this time around is how to handle people’s reactions to pregnancy news and some of our choices. Once again, it has become so apparent that there is nothing we can do that everyone will know will like or agree with. I know this is the case with everything, but with this, it feels especially personal, and sometimes hurtful. This is my baby, so when someone scowls when we tell them the name we’ve picked out, or makes a comment about being disappointed with the gender (or even that we’ve decided to find out), it does hurt a little bit. This child isn’t for you, or even for us. He is who he is already. His gender is something so completely out of my control, and it’s not something I would change if I could. I might have felt the teeniest bit of what could hardly be considered disappointment when I learned I wouldn’t be buying adorable dresses yet, but that’s nothing.

I have  been utterly shocked and rendered speechless at some of the offhanded things people have already said. I know people don’t mean it maliciously in any sort of way at all, but it can sometimes sting. At the post office, once of the clerks asked if I knew what the gender was, and at the time I didn’t know. He said “I bet you want a girl, right? Since you’ve already got a boy.” I said that no, not really. I wanted a baby (although a velociraptor might be cool, but he didn’t get the joke). He seemed so surprised when I told him it didn’t matter, and that a boy would actually be a lot more convenient since we’ve already got everything. He was even more shocked when I told him we had no intention of stopping at two children, as though I was nuts for even considering more. Why would  I want to stop? I love this. I love momming. It almost brings me to tears to think that someone else would think that’s best for our family. I know difficult times are coming, and that nothing is guaranteed, but I’m not going to step in and end the growth of our family just to ward that off. My babies are wonderful gifts, whether I get to meet them here or not.

I think another thing that makes me sad is the almost impression of this baby, since we now know it’s a boy, as a “second choice”, because he’s a boy just like his big brother. All of his cousins are boys as well. Sure, a little girl would have been fun and new, but this little boy already means so much to me and my little family. The idea of his being not the first choice for anyone else hurts pretty deeply.

I know that’s reading pretty deep into things that probably aren’t even there. I just wish people would be a little more considerate when they said things like that. Just be happy. He’s a person, and he’s healthy to boot! What more does one need to celebrate? And if he wasn’t healthy? We should still celebrate, because he’s a person and he’s ours and we love him. He is half me and half James and yet entirely his own unique, unrepeatable human person, created in a completely new likeness of God and it’s so stinking amazing and I’m so lucky to be his mother.

Oh goodness. I went on for quite a while. Blame the pregnancy hormones, or the fact that I’m on cloud nine after spending the first half of this pregnancy worried out of my mind. 😀