I actually chose a word but I didn’t ever blog about it. That was partly because we had lots of relations visiting and I didn’t get around to it but it was also because I kept coming upon the idea that that public goal setting can be counter productive. The theory is that you announce, on social media for example, “This year I am going to do X.” Then everyone congratulates you and you end up getting sufficient positive affirmation that you feel like you’ve actually accomplished X when, in fact, you’ve done nothing except express a wish or a vague intention. Whether that is true or not, I don’t know. I can say, however, that I have, so far, remembered my word throughout the year.
My word for the year was ‘Illustration’ and my aim was not to make lots of illustrations but to not avoid making illustrations on occasions when I felt inclined to do that. That doesn’t sound much of a challenge but I actually started this blog in 2011 with the intention of making fabric pictures and the great majority of my making has been much more general sewing and knitting!
As it turned out this has been a year of very little making for me but most of my making has ended up being fairly illustrative and I’ve been able to enjoy creating pictorial quilts for the Endeavourers Challenges without thinking I really should be doing something something more arty and abstract!
Today’s pictures are an assemblage of quilted linen, simple embroidery and three dimensional, posable figures and are inspired by a very interesting conversation between Shane Parrish and Hugh Howey, which I listened to on the Knowledge Project – a series of podcasts comprising all sorts of fascinating discussions hosted by Shane Parrish with a very wide variety of guests. You can find the podcasts and lots of interesting articles on Farnam Street. Part of the discussion is about the things we could have, and feel we should have done years ago but have continually been putting off and the way that “paralyses us and make us feel like all the moments in my life where I could have seized the opportunities ahead of me are all gone”. Hugh Howey says:
A lot of our calcification, the inability to break our stasis and launch our lives in a different direction, is that feeling that we should have done it 10 years ago and we’ve lost the opportunity and now we can’t do it. But 10 years from now, we’re going to think the same thing about this very moment today.
Shane Parrish replies that reminds him of a proverb (which he believes to be French): “The best time to have planted a tree was ten years ago but the second best time is today”.
Today is also, of course, a very good time plant real trees.
Whether your trees are actual or metaphorical, I wish you good luck. I hope all your ‘trees’ will thrive and grow and that in ten years time you will look back and be glad about something you did today :)
Slowly and intermittently, over this long time that I’ve been gardening, I have been pondering (and very occasionally working on) a new project and, at last, the nuts and bolts of it are starting to come together.
This is a smallish double-side quit. The dark blue is a fairly improv sewing together of night-coloured scraps, embellished with running stitch, darning and some buttonhole edged squares to created a patched together and mended look and the lighter side is a collection of vintage doilies hand stitched to an ivory background
And yesterday, since it was pouring with rain and I had an unusual and very welcome time at home alone, I made a similar sized quilt with light brown linen on one side and a grungy blue sort of fabric on the other. For the sake of speed and simplicity, I machine quilted with organic straight lines.
I’m thinking of these as backgrounds to display other sewn items and perhaps story scenes that could enable me to make something like the ABOUT TIME book but with reusable pages…
I really enjoyed making the fabric book and I love the idea of making quilts that do something more dynamic than lying in bed all day but, being so constrained by time, accomplishing that is a hard task. Since starting this blog, I think I’ve made two!
So the new venture I’m pondering will, I hope, be a sort of hybrid art quilt/book/puppet show. I found a cheap extending curtain rod, which fits in the alcove next the fireplace in the Makery and I’m planning to hang up the backgrounds and attach or hang or somehow or other display other sewings in front of them.
Mrs Hare and Fiona have kindly agreed to relocate their reading group.
Whether this will all work out, of course, is yet to be seen and I wonder if it’s quite sensible to blog about something that might well fail spectacularly but, as Mrs Hare often says, ‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained’.