January 9, 2013

10,000 hours of keeping track

Okay, so I am going to log all "actual" machine quilting hours for 2013.  During the holiday season, Teri of terifficreations mentioned the hours needed to become a master quilter. So it got me thinking.

 I know I have been doing many things for more than 20 hours a week for 10 years, thereby rendering me expert, master, etc.  So how about I count the number of hours I spend actually machine quilting, since I am sure I don't have as many as I would want in this category.   I am not counting just machine time, i.e. piecing or sewing, I am referring to strictly machine quilting.

With a full time job as many of us have, I am curious how many hours I will log in a year. So I have a notebook by the machine that I started using on January 1, 2013 and I also downloaded the iGoal app and put the 10,000 as a goal, and it is comes complete with stop and start timer.

So below you will see some images for thought and inspiration. And also thanks to Teri I included a quote by Ira Glass (She helped me off a ledge when I was working on a couple of gifts for folks) and a picture showing the gap between where you are and where your inner vision sees itself.

I am not doing this for the purpose of logging 10,000 hours, but to ensure that I practice more and also to get an idea how much time I spend machine quilting. After all practice makes perfect. And this is one of the areas in which I intend to grow in 2013.

January 6, 2013

Process makes Perfect

Okay.. Still awake and it just hit me. I should talk about process. I did take the process edge after all. When was that... Lol is it still going. Anyway.

Process makes perfect, or at least better. This post may ramble a bit, but the focus is on what happens when you spend hours and hours and hours on something only to realize it SUCKS. What do you? Plow ahead, finish it or toss it as a loss. Or do you spend just as many hours undoing it so you can do it over.

Well, for the first time ever in my quilting, crafty life, I have spent in excess of 3 hours painstakingly removing about another 4 or 5 hours of stitching. Initially, I thought I was smoking something. And I dislike smoke of all kinds including incense. Lol

But as I was stitching the "Man in the Mirror" I totally messed it up. I say that because I had not picked various shades of threads, was only using one color, which may have worked if I used a different movement. Although I still think the various weights and colors made a huge difference.

I had way to much movement on parts and areas that ultimately should have been different. Overall, the effect made the subject appear old and it lacked depth. So I ripped it all out. Free motion stitches...yes almost 3 hours of it. Needless to say, it was a humbling experience. Also a well received lesson in quilting.

During the removal of hour and hours of stitching, I was able to see why the original stitches did not work. Of course not to say it still can't be improved upon, but I do believe it came out pretty darn good for not sketching any quilt design first. While removing I decided on the various thread choices, and while identifying why a pattern didn't work, I was able to visual what would work better.

See the mistake below.

So then after I went back at it, after experiencing a level of defeat, and not worthiness, I got back in the saddle/chair. Acknowledged myself for having the ability to see that it was not to my liking and all be it WRONG. And then had the fortitude to try again.

Eight different threads later and a load of patience. I was thrilled with the outcome.

A New Sewl in the Fold

Ahh, I love healing arts and opening souls to the lovely work of fiber. So what began as a pick up of an art quilt, became an evening with the ancestors. Teaching someone the art of using your hands is an awesome feeling for me.

I had the pleasure of teaching someone how to quilt by the creation of a small coaster by hand. 3 hours later after a sip and loads of sharing stories.. She ended up with a finished piece. That then lead to the desire to delve deeper. So today, off we went to my favorite LQS, City Quilter. 2 hours later we had created a customized quilt kit for her to make by hand.

Love it. Another Sewl (soul) in the fold.

I also had the pleasure of finally revealing a piece I had been working on... Needless to say the new owner is ecstatic. Smiles