Thursday, August 8, 2013

Curiosity and the Things We Do

Good morning, superfriends!

The things we do.... oh, yes.  The things we do.  Historically speaking, a lot of the projects I've tackled are done because someone else tells me I can't.  Or that it would look silly/stupid/blah blah blah.  If I disagree, I am likely to follow through and see what it looks like.  I have a double streak of stubborn and curious that runs through all that I am. 

I have never seen an inverted Double Wedding Ring, as previously mentioned.  Even I wasn't sure it was a good idea!  Especially since I don't necessarily care for dwr quilts (I am lazy - I am NOT typing the full double wedding ring again and again!  It's my blog, I can do what I want!).  But.  Because I am stubborn, I decided that I would make at least one ring of an inverted dwr.

So here it is.  In the admittedly less-than-ideal light of the dining room.  It's not half bad!  I still can't see myself working on a full-out, bed sized dwr quilt.  But if I ever were to, it would be the inverted variety.  I am pleased with it, and that is ultimately why I do the things I do - to make myself happy.  Particularly when it comes to quilting and sewing.

Last night was also the start of doll-making.  I have most of a doll put together.  Tonight her head will go on her, and I will start figuring out costuming for her.  She may skip the hair - because if I can get a hat on her, it will completely cover up her hair anyway. 

I've been musing more on the things I do and why I do them - not the obvious, like jobs and such.  These are the "other" things - the things that most people would consider a little odd/offbeat.  Strangely, quilting falls into that category.  I don't understand that, but I come from a crafting family.  My sister sews, my mother used to sew and embroider, my father works in wood... and we were always offered the opportunity to play with all sorts of crafts.  Drawing, coloring, making little red clay pots at our grandparents' house... even dyeing with beets.  In an old iron pot outside.   Sewing doll clothes with scrap fabric at my great-aunt's house, sitting in the living room.

It was never a big deal - it was a part of life.  We were given the chance to explore our world, wherever that world happened to be.  We weren't rich, not with two teachers for parents, but we took road trips, and we learned things wherever we were.  My parents encouraged curiosity and thinking.  We went to the zoo a lot, and learned about animals.  We went to libraries - not just the closest one to us, but to several different ones.  Despite always having overdue books, I always had library books.  We were encouraged to read.  We learned about other places and other times, and learned to tell good writing from bad.  We went to museums - my hometown of San Antonio has a fair number, and we went to a lot of them.  I still have favorites.  We learned about art and saw things we wouldn't have otherwise.

All of that combined to create in me a passion for creating.  I cannot draw to save my life, and most of my crafting skills do not produce exactly what I have in my mind.  But it's not going to discourage me from trying.  Because above all, we learned not to quit.  We were instilled with that love of learning - maybe not in school, maybe not traditional learning - but we learned to hang on to the curiosity.  That has carried me far, and tinges everything that I do now.  While others may say 'it can't be done,' my family is in the back of my mind saying 'go for it.  give it a shot.'

As far as the rest - the stilt-walking, the sewing of costuming, the writing, the ren faire... and anything else that I decide to take up - it's curiosity that drives me.  That, and the desire to learn.  As long as I live, I hope to be learning.  If I can pass that on to others, it makes it all worth the effort.  Strangely, looking back, I don't see that my parents "worked" at getting us to learn the things they taught us.  They just lived their lives, and we saw them doing and enjoying.  And it's still the case - they are still learning, and showing us the way. 

So here's to curiosity.  Maybe I'll build on the dwr and call it curiosity.  Just because I want to see what happens with it. 


Monday, August 5, 2013

August sewing space

Good morning, superfriends!

Now that's it's August, temperatures have finally crept up into  "normal Texas summer" areas - meaning that we're over 100 degrees for several days running.  Because that's the case, and because of many other reasons, I am temporarily moving my personal sewing space from the forge to my area of the house.  It's a little more crowded, and the light isn't as good, but I only have to A/C one area, and I am doing small things right now anyway.

I moved my machine and one of the scrap fabric bins upstairs to my space this weekend and started actually feeling like sewing again!  Win!  I love the forge, but planning to sew, having to go out and turn on the A/C an hour or so before... it gets old.  And it makes me feel obligated to sew for several hours when I do so.  Which makes it.... well.. an obligation, not something to be enjoyed.

So for at least the month of August (and maybe September, depending), here is the bulk of my sewing area.  It's such a down-sizing.... but it will work better for me until work and temperatures are a little more stable.  The weirdest part is that I have to sew sitting down.  I haven't done that in years!  I will move my Ott-Light up for more natural lighting, but for now, here it is. 

And this weekend I cut out pieces for 2 dolls - both for costuming purposes - and started the project you can see on the table.  It's a double wedding ring, but inverted.  I just can't get all that interested in a standard double wedding ring quilt.  I don't know why - they just don't appeal to me.  But I caught myself wondering what one would look like inverted - with the scrappy on the non ring sections.  And this is what it looks like so far.  Don't know how big I will go with this, but it's an interesting project!

The strips are all from the scrap bin - blues and blacks - with the bright white for the rings.  I will hopefully get the next round done tonight, just to see what it continues to evolve into.... I like it so far, despite my innate bias of double wedding ring quilts.  (Which is probably because most of the ones I have seen are in colors not to my taste.  We shall see, when I've finished this project!)  My only problem is that I don't have enough blue to do the next rounds, so I will swap colors.... I guess I'll see what I have to use!  Maybe pull the other scrap bin in.... see what the weather brings this afternoon.

I bought more fabric this weekend - but this time it has a purpose!  We have a "full contact Christmas" party, in which gifts are exchanged at work.  Everyone last year was in high hopes of a quilt.  So... this year... it might just happen.  It's on my list of projects.  We'll see how far I get!

I am doing projects because I want to right now... not because I have to.  The dolls are costuming related, more for my own benefit. I figure that if I have the dolls, I can at least look at them and see what I want.  If I don't get the character, I will at least have that!  And it feels like forward progress.  And that will keep the stress levels down - I'm accomplishing something.  And that's really what it's all about right now.