Thursday, March 21, 2013

Spool Basket

As my online classes wind down, now is the time I get to make "souvenirs" for campers who earned all their merit badges.  This is especially fun when a camper chooses to be surprised by what I'll make!

spool patterns by sew-ichigo

I've been wanting to try out these cute spool patterns by Sew-Ichigo.  They're foundation paper pieced and partially freezer paper pieced, where y-seams are involved.  It was a learning experience, and not everything ended up perfect, but I'm happy with my little spools.  Making use of little fabric crumbs was the best part!

for a camper =)

I merged the spools with Ayumi's fabric basket tutorial, making the basket taller and longer so that the spools would be featured at center.  Somehow Chicopee Heatwave Stripe reminds me of thread, so that was quite the satisfying choice!

spool basket

On this side, I love how that tiny Cathedrals Good Folks scrap (center spool) placed itself just slightly off-center.   And the French General "la la la"... I guess this is why people get hooked on paper piecing!

lined with Architextures

Inside, she's finished with the multi-colored Ledger lining (all Ledger colors are still available at Lark Cottons!).  And now I'll be sending her off to her new home, where I hope she'll have a long and successful life as a holder of dear things.

spool basket, stay with me?

Do you know what happened after I finished my spool basket?  I got stuck. Like, WAY stuck.  I didn't want to sew anything, blog anything, instagram anything.  But, the kicker is it was a "work" day and work I must.

Last night a friend and reader asked me if Stitched in Color is a weight of sorts on me.  I had to answer... yes.  On the one hand I feel truly blessed to have a creative job that requires me to stretch myself, grow and make.   And, amazingly, I get to do this from home so that I can homeschool!  On the other hand, it is a job.  We absolutely depend on my Stitched income. It's not "extra". 

And so, yesterday, when I wasn't too happy with a block I'd made for my next class, I felt paralyzed.  Sometimes it feels like our life (and that 85% question of the future) hinges on doing everything right the first time.  Panic!  What helped was to remind myself that I can throw out that block, try it again and keep learning.  I have time to get it "right" and maybe even space to get it "wrong" sometimes.  Perfection is not the point, after all. 

Well, there's no real reason to share this here, except to say "I'm human".  Fortunately, stuck-ness passes.  Don't ever think that you're alone when you feel that creative paralysis.  In my experience, there's often something really great on the other side.

22 comments:

  1. I just blogged about being stuck.... and then unstuck... here.
    http://www.stitched-together.com/2013/03/oliver-s-roller-skate-dress.html
    There's an art to knowing when to step back for a break and when to push through. And when it's your job, I'm sure it only makes it that much more difficult.
    beautiful work, as always.

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  2. "Well, there's no real reason to share this here, except to say "I'm human"." I think you sharing these not so great moments or creations is wonderful. It reminds us we don't have to be perfect every time. Permission to make mistakes can be powerful.
    Love your spool basket and may have to make something similar.

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    1. Thanks for understanding, Ramona. I think it can feel questionable, as a blogger, to share less-than-positive energy on one's blog. I appreciate your encouragement!

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  3. That basket is pretty cute. I like when you share even the smallest things. Even though it is small, it still breeds inspiration.

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  4. Thanks for being real and professional.

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  5. What a beautiful basket, Rachel! It's great to hear thoughts 'behind the scenes', because so often everything looks so easy. Amazing works and sewings just pop out and we may think how 'the others' make everything so easily and quick. Happy weekend to you! x Teje

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  6. It's a lovely basket. Thx for sharing your thoughts on the pressures of making for a living, i find i get total paralysis when i am under pressure to make something for profit, and it takes out a lot of the fun, to make for a living must be very difficult, but you still manage to make fantastic things! :o)

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    1. Oh, thank-you so much. How nicely said! It's refreshing to know you guys understand!

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  7. Hi!!! Thanks for that!!! It happens and some times knowing that it happens to everyone helps!!! I always try to remember that but some days it gets hard...wishing for better days for all of us!!!!! I love your spool basket!!!! Thank You

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  8. I love those spools! My strawberry piece is from the same site...now I see what you were up to. It does get addicting!
    Cat

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  9. That basket is just gorgeous.

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  10. this post is the reason you are one of my favorite bloggers, Rachel. i love your beautiful paper pieced basket and your honesty. You are lucky to live a creative life.

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    1. Thank-you so much, Jules. Yes, I am lucky! And I'm also lucky to have readers that understand why I share this stuff too.

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  11. I can see that. Thanks for sharing.

    And cute basket.

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  12. Those spools are great! Love them!

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  13. I know. I'm a longarmer and i work 12 hour shifts at the hospital and I have 4 kids and I supported everyone on my income while I put my 54 yo hubby though nursing school when he got laid off after 28 yes on the job..,whew! He just graduated last semester and we've been late on our bills so many times that my mailbox is full everyday with bill consolidation crap,which I shred. I got to where I hated quilting for others under pressure and would just stare at their tops and draw a blank. I quit. Its just too much to be forced to shit creativity when your whole life depends on doing it right the first time! I'm with you sister, I totally understand everything you said. Creativity has to has a chance to breath and grow,it don't grow on trees. I love your blog,your projects and I'm old enough to believe that things WILL get better. Hugs,Amie

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  14. Thank you so much for sharing your real thoughts.

    I'm a new blogger and part of what I love about blogging so far is the fact that we finish something, put it out into the world, and then move onto the next thing. This has been good practice for me in understanding that "Perfection is not the point, after all." There are so many more opportunities to keep trying things out and see what sticks!

    Love that basket, too. Lucky camper!

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  15. Sweet basket!

    I couldn't agree more with your revelation about the yoke of the blog. Even though I get no funding from mine, I still feel the pressure to keep going, to keep producing for an "audience." You know your readers value you and your work, but be sure to take care of yourself and take a short break if you need one.

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  16. Love the basket ~ it's really wonderful.
    Know about being stuck ~ I spent most of last summer in that space and it was really hard. I had almost no inspiration and it was all around me. I don't know what to do with myself when it happens ~ lots of wringing of hands and what do I do with myself going on. Good thing I don't depend on what I do for my income.
    I think sometimes our brains just need down time and I also think that the more I accept that down time, the quicker it passes.
    I'm so glad that you share your process in your blog ~ you really are an inspiration for me.

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    1. Thank you for emphasizing, Elsa. I feel like I have been taking downtime lately in that I've been putting quite a bit of mental energy into homeschooling and homeschool plans behind the scenes. I guess I'm getting to that point where I'm logically ready to start going full throttle at sewing again, but I don't feel it happening. I am getting my new sewing machine on Monday though, so that may help!

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  17. Very fun spool block! The fabric choices are perfect for each. :) What a lucky camper!

    I've come to believe creative paralysis is just part of the process. It's like this ebb and flow of energy that needs fallow time as much as productive time to really work. I've been in situations where I definitely couldn't take time to let ideas germinate and I had to always be "on". My creativity and sense of engagement in my work certainly suffered. Once I moved away from that type of work environment, I began to value more and more having the opportunity to take down-time as a way to recharge. For me, it's essential to not getting completely burned out.

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