Not worth it, huh? This thought business isn't very lucrative. How about "Fabric for your Thoughts"?
I've been thinking a lot lately about my year-long commitments, since the year is almost over, and I get to decide whether or not to continue and whether or not I want to start up some new ones. I'm not talking about the mandatory commitments like working, feeding your children, carting them around to activities, but the optional ones I chose to do at the beginning of the year, specifically three virtual quilting bees and a 365 photography project.
I was SO excited about these things at the beginning of the year. I had just started getting into quilting and didn't think I could possibly get enough of it. I loved the idea of using fabrics and patterns that someone else picked out so that I'd be forced to try some things I might not usually pick - to go outside my normal choices for colors and styles. One thing I learned about myself in the process (which I really should have known all along) is that when the creative inspiration hits, I want to be able to follow it through as long or as short as I want. The thing that hit me hard this year was wanting to sew clothes for my kids. I still enjoy quilting, but with work and family obligations, my crafting time is precious and short, so I really want to spend every minute of it doing what I most want to do. I think it probably sounds spoiled, but it is one of the things I have a choice on, so for me NOT doing quilting bees next year is a no-brainer.
And if you're in one of my quilting bees, and I haven't done your blocks yet, I'm really not trying to get out of it. I've loved getting to know all my bee friends through their blog posts, fabric choices, block selections, and even the way they package things up to mail them. (Oh, Joanna, I meant to thank you so much for the vintage trim. It's so cool!) It's so awesome to me that I can entrust total strangers with my fabric (and what to a sewer/quilter is more precious?!) and know that they will take care of it and lovingly sew the pieces together in the way that I asked. It really is amazing. So if you're thinking about doing a quilting bee, don't let me deter you. I definitely don't regret it.
So the part of me that never learns has been pondering how to translate the whole virtual quilting bee concept into sewing kids' clothing. The best I can come up with is having 12 people get together and one person each month gets to choose a pattern that we all sew. I think this could be kind of fun - like an all-year sew-along - but then everyone has to buy 12 patterns and of course the fabric (but who minds buying fabric?!) But then the practical part of me realizes that by this time next year, I might be saying the exact same thing I'm saying about my quilting bees about this project. I've been having this argument with myself for a couple of weeks now.
So the 365 project is another one I'm trying to decide on for next year. Have you all heard of this? I first heard about it here on the Shutter Sisters web site. Basically, you just try to take at least one photo a day. This is one that I think I'm going to keep doing. I mean I did just pay for a pro-Flickr account after all. When I can keep up with it, it's great. It's easy enough to take the one photo a day. Well, not as easy as you might think, since I've missed plenty of days. At first that really bothered me, but I've come to terms with that. The hard part to keep up with is editing the photo and either putting it up on Flickr or on my 365 blog or both. (I think I can simplify quite a bit next year by not doing the blog part.) When I can keep up with it a few or even 10 photos is no big deal, but I had seriously fallen behind as in not having edited any photos since August. I just caught up through the end of September which was great, and if I ever catch up for the whole year, I'm planning create a Blurb book with all my photos. This will be great to look back at in a few years. At first I tried to be really artsy with my photos and learn more about photography. I learned a lot, but I still haven't mastered it. A lot of my photos are actually pretty bad, some taken in desperation with my Blackberry or with the flash turned on and plenty taken of pretty boring subjects, but it's actually the boring subjects that will be the most interesting in a few years like how we had the house arranged or what we had for dinner or what books were on my nightstand in 2010.
Thanks so much for listening to my ramblings. I'm really interested to know what you all think about all this. Are you in any quilting bees? Are you planning one for next year? What do you think about translating that into a kids' clothing "bee"? Are you doing a 365 photography project? What do you think of it? Are you planning to make any similar kinds of hobby-related commitments for 2011?
In exchange for your thoughts on all/any of these topics, one commenter can win these three quarter yard cuts (not fat quarters) of Riley Blake Christmas fabric. After all, it was just staring me in the face making me feel guilty about the Christmas projects I wasn't working on. (It is prewashed if that bothers you.)
Thanks again for reading.