A year ago this week we visited Barcelona. What inspiration and constant state of wonder one is in when walking Las Ramblas and capturing details of Gaudi’s architecture. Going back is on my “bucket list” but for now I appreciate the small things at home.
Thank you to all who took the time to comment on my last blog entry. I appreciate your support and insights. It has given me a motivational boost and prompted my first clean up of the studio in two months. Feels good to know that I have space to move the furniture around for when we install the new floor. My quilts for the special exhibition and samples for classes are packed and all I have to gather are the clothes for next week. I am not sure if I can live with the the 30 degree increase in temperature from here to Orlando…
I have made a list of things to do… it is long and growing steadily. One of the items on this list is to prepare a presentation for the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival. My talk will be focused on the slow stitching movement in general. I have a basic outline in my head but I know how it takes off in one direction or another once I actually get down to fleshing it out with images and metaphors.
Just today I was thinking about hand stitching and its meditative nature. I have returned to journaling. A blog is a journal in a way, but I find that writing into a beautifully bound book by hand is so much more rewarding. I am concerned with my script. It has suffered a lot with using the computer for most correspondence. I have bought a fabulous fountain pen last May at the Paint Spot in Edmonton. It is my preferred pen when I open the journal.
There are strong parallels I draw between the deliberate act of mark making when writing, drawing and stitching. It all demands time and focus. When I slow down and employ a mindful approach to picking up the pen, charcoal and/or needle and thread it feels as if my heart and breathing slow down as well. This is what represents “being in the moment” at its best for me.
I ask myself the question “Why do I rush from project to project, sample to sample?” Sometimes I find a sample in my reference library that I have forgotten about. Just imagine: I plain forgot that I made it. Luckily… I still have the mental power to slowly recall and conjure up an approximate timeline for creating the piece. At the same time it saddens me, as I also recall that something I create usually brings me joy and an immense feeling of satisfaction. Why not let this feeling linger a bit longer and completely absorb into my tactile and emotional memory?
Compiling background information and creating samples for my Kantha book remind me of how important slowing down really is. I have decided to create samples for several of the illustrations I used in hand outs and the eBook. Yes, it will take me longer to create and carefully photograph each example but it will also add depth to the final publication.
Are you embracing a slower pace? What have you done or what are you working on these days? Are you discovering hand-quilting? Is hand-applique rapidly becoming you new passion? Or are you taking time to sketch and draw? Share what pulls you to creating more by hand, or why you choose not to return to a slower pace…