January 07, 2016
Happy New Year!
It hardly seems possible that we are a full six days into 2016, but we are. For some reason, it doesn't feel like a new year to me. I'm still cleaning up Christmas and the girls have just gone back to school. I had been looking forward to some quality time in the studio (I have plans! That I am excited about!), but the time has not materialized yet. Soon, I think. Actually, I know. I will make the time if I have to.
2015 was a strange year for me creativity-wise. I think it was a bit of a low valley instead of a high hill. I started the year off just having shelved a large project that had been consuming most of my creative time and energy. Last January, I found myself directionless and now, with the benefit of time, I can say that I was truly floundering. I didn't know what I wanted to do and, even if I had, I wasn't sure how to go about it. I gave myself permission to just do what spoke to me and, surprisingly, that was making quilts using kits and other people's patterns with whole fabric lines where I didn't have to make a single design decision. Those quilts were mostly donated and actually showed up on the blog (here, here and here). A couple of those remain unquilted and there are still some kits hanging around the studio. While I know some people look down on quilters that use kits or make something exactly as they see it in a book or on the cover of a pattern, I do not. There is a place for them. For me, having the decisions made for me allows my mind to rest and lets the ideas percolate. Going through the motions of cutting, sewing, pressing is familiar and satisfying even if I am not the one who put those fabrics together in that pattern in the first place. It's restful and I needed it.
Something shifted in the summer. I will thank my first mini quilt for that. All of the sudden it was not so daunting to design something, especially something so small! And from that little bit of kindling, a bigger fire started to grow. I made six large quilts of my own design in the second half of the year, plus two minis! Not too shabby, huh? I haven't blogged any of them, save the two minis, so I am going to start this year doing just that. I do not want to let them go undocumented. I love having a visual record of what I have made with all the details (that I tend to forget) about the project. Some will turn into patterns for sale. I've been slowly working on that this fall, but plan to ramp up my efforts with the new year. I also sewed a couple of skirts, some shirts and a dress. I began knitting again in September. It all feels right.
Some years I have big goals and plans, but I'm taking 2016 as it comes. My one tenet this year is to work hard: at life, at making, at creativity, at being a mom and wife, at being a friend, at being fully me. It'll probably involve a lot of quilts, some garments, knitting or hand sewing in the evenings, maybe some painting. I hope it will be filled with a lot of laughter, time with my family, cooking good food, reading good books, less driving, more walking. I plan on continuing my daily gratitude practice because it has brought an incredible amount of joy to my life the last couple of months. Or, really, made me see that the joy is there, but sometimes I just need to look.
I have a good feeling about this year. Let's do it. Onward!
Thanks, Erin, for sharing your reflections about making quilts from kits and doing improv. I'm still more comfortable following patterns but my idea book is starting to grow with things I want to delve into. I love your blog and the investment you make to share your projects, thoughts and ideas. Happy new year!
Posted by: Suzanne | January 07, 2016 at 08:13 AM
Hope the new year is happy. I like the way you put your feelings into words, much of yours are similar to mine.
I don't care where, whose, when, how. . . . as long as I'm quilting.
Posted by: Barbara | January 07, 2016 at 03:10 PM
it seems you were on a creative walkabout, just like me...cheers to a year of creativity and beauty:)))
Posted by: Beth | January 07, 2016 at 11:21 PM
Nice post for your blog my dear. Well said and gently put. You will make the year what you want. As we all should try and do. Some days easier to see than others. The clearer ones are just so satisfying and those are the ones to keep us going and inspire us further (-: Happy New Year Erin. Looking forward to reading your posts when you publish them and you wish to share!
Posted by: Deb | January 08, 2016 at 06:55 AM
Any good suggestions on books for the cold days ahead? You always have such good advice. 😊
Posted by: Penelope | January 08, 2016 at 10:34 AM
I love your honesty and realism at looking at your practice. I have really enjoyed reading your gratitude posts, and I hope you have a beautiful 2016.
Posted by: Melanie | January 11, 2016 at 02:19 PM
Happy New Year, Erin!! Thanks for still being here ;-)
Posted by: beki | January 12, 2016 at 02:19 PM
lovely. as usual. cheers to another year of visiting you in this space. so grateful! xx
Posted by: leslie | January 13, 2016 at 10:21 AM
Such a fun line of fabric! My first project is making some shoe bag totes for my daughter and I!
Posted by: Lee | January 13, 2016 at 04:33 PM
Love your quilt!
Posted by: Cruz | January 14, 2016 at 12:12 AM