Keeping up with the Jones’

In one of those crazy seconds of life where I deluded myself into thinking that I could jam one more thing into it, I volunteered to be a part of a slice quilt with some of the gals at work.  This is my slice:

So I began a couple of weeks ago.  During these weeks, I gradually sketched out the major lines, I thought about what techniques I wanted to try, I picked out the fabrics from my stash (often the hardest part for me), I backed all of the fabrics with fusible web…you know, made progress.

(Ignore my breakfast curmpet!).  Then the rest of the gals started to bring in their work and this week most of them were just about done…and I was here:

EEEK.  So, yesterday I knew I had to get my butt in gear!  I went out to garage sales in the early morning.  Now this may sound fun (and it usually is) but it isn’t really a choice, if you see what I mean.  We buy a lot of inventory for our store so even though I am always drawn to the kids clothes, or to the toys, or interesting little things…I have to force myself to go for the furniture first because I am there to work, after all.

So, once I spent the morning doing that, I played with the kids for a bit and then hunkered down.  All.  Day.  As the kids played around me, I only stopped sewing, fusing, and cutting for potty breaks, mediation breaks, and to make lunch/dinner.  And here is the result:

Now, don’t get me wrong, I just love it.  It is completely out of my comfort zone with a variety of techniques that do not include piecing.  But it was the time…

Maybe it would have come together more easily if I were more familiar with creating something like this, but I always balance the result against the cost.  This cost me the entire day with my kids.  I follow hundreds of blogs written by some amazingly talented and prolific designers who create beautiful work on a really consistent basis.  And I just do not know how they do it!

Sometimes, I come home at the end of a week so inspired by all that I saw through all of the different media I track and I feel kind of lousy that I don’t contribute more to this fabulous creative marketplace.  I did that this week.  But for me…I am just not willing to pay that price.  Rather, I am not willing to make my family pay that price.

So I am remembering the mantra I came up with for this year as encouraged by Betz White.  My 2011 mantra is: Release.

I’ll not make this commitment again as my life just doesn’t work like that. It can, to be sure, it can.  But right now my 3 year old is standing next to this desk asking me to play Thomas with him.  I get to choose between being Molly or Bertie the Bus.  Sheeish…now that’s a commitment I want to make!

About Susanne

I am a small business owner, a mother, a crafter and the Editorial Director at a craft book publisher. Opinions and thoughts are mine alone. If you would like to get in touch, I'd love to hear from you at susannewoods at hotmail dot com.
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6 Responses to Keeping up with the Jones’

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  2. Kelly says:

    First of all, this slice is AMAZING. Wow. I’m not surprised that it took you so much time, because it looks so detailed! But mostly, I love your word of the year. I think most of us struggle with comparing, and we’re not always so great about sharing what was sacrificed to finish the project (sanity, the dishes, time with the family!). Your values and honesty are inspiring to me. :-)

  3. Kate says:

    I had never heard of a slice quilt before! Your slice is beautiful, and it is nice to hear an acknowledgement of how much work it required. Kudos for you for recognizing the need for balance – I think it is something we all struggle with as we try to fit our creative passions, family, and daily responsibilities in somehow.

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  5. Heather says:

    You did an amazing job! I can’t wait to see the quilt once it’s all done.

    And you’re so right. It’s hard to find balance between being a full-time crafter and a full-time mom to young children. For me, it means lots of early days and late nights, and not a whole lot of sleep. But it allows me to stay home with them, which I wouldn’t change for the world!

  6. Good for you for making that recognition. I often feel out of balance in this regard. It’s coming together, one day at a time.

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