From reading a LOT of Quilting Blogs over the past two and a half years I get the impression that, had Solomon Grundy had the good fortune to born in the US, he could quite reasonably have expected a quilt or several for each day of the week and probably a memorial one at the weekend…
And that’s great news for those of us who love to make quilts but, sadly, I find myself in a culture where most people consider the possession of a quilt to be by no means essential. By and large, we wrap babies in soft synthetics, sleep under feather or polyester filled duvets, donate money to charities and think of lap quilts as an indication of extreme old age (I’m really hoping that our recent cold Winters are changing this impression!). Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that quilts are not gratefully received and treasured as gifts – only that many people wouldn’t in their wildest dreams consider buying one – especially a bed-sized one – at the cost of good quality raw materials, let alone paying for the hours of labour and skill involved in the piecing and quilting.
So the bad news is that I think there may be fewer quilts on Rainbow Hare in 2014. Most of the people I would like to gift quilts to have received one from me already and fabric/wadding/thread is just too expensive to make bed sized quilts just for the fun of it so I’ll be thinking twice before leaping into QALs. Likewise, postage costs are really putting me off joining any more Bees at the moment :o(
Like all sensible resolutions, this will probably soon fall by the wayside but I’m certainly leaning towards smaller quilted projects like cushions, bags and organisers.
The good news is that there will still plenty of sewing. 2014 is going to be the year of USP.
Useful things – We are like the shoemaker’s children who had no shoes! I have somehow managed to spend two years sewing and giving away bee blocks and mugrugs and wall hangings and pouches whilst our home dec and clothes get shabbier and shabbier! It’s not that we lack material objects – like most people in the west today we have far too many things. It’s more that I don’t want the hole in the ozone layer to grow bigger than I can help on my account, I try to avoid purchases that involve the exploitation or mistreatment of people or animals and we’ve been in a Recession for a very long time. So this year I’m focussing on using up what I’ve got in the way of fabric, yarn etc – and bizarrely a LOT of felt squares – and I’m going to bring the three Rs (reduce, re-use, recycle) more into my crafting. I made a start with a new bed for Lucy, made from a holey picnic blanket and a duvet that had seen better days – she was so impressed she relocated to the hall but I think that’s her usual response to all new/clean un-dog-smelling beds. I wouldn’t be comfortable selling or gifting items made from fabric that isn’t in perfect condition but I’m happy to upcycle textiles to brighten up our house. We also have things that I don’t throw out because I think I’ll mend them but I don’t get around to it…So I shall be mending and re-purposing…
And, finally, I will make more clothes and to do some more knitting and yarn projects.
Saleable items – I’m really hoping to have more time to focus on my etsy shop and on building up a small stock of sewing and knitting/felting projects that will enable me to have a real life stall from time to time. I know it’s not realistic to expect to make a living from my sewing but I really need to keep the wolf from my sewing room door somehow! I’d also like to make some patterns. Fingers crossed, this will be the year.
Presents – this year I was happy, overall, with the number of gifts I managed to make – especially given that we had a very difficult couple of months in the run up to Christmas. Really, though, if I’m seriously going to hand make presents I need to work on gifts throughout the year – especially if there is going to be more knitting, which always takes longer than I expect. And on the three Rs theme I’m keen to try some felted jumper projects. Since the felting provides a stronger fabric than the original garment and everything has been washed at a highish temperature, items made from felted jumpers, seem to me, to be more of a ‘new’ item than a secondhand one and I’m thinking they’d be robust enough to sell or gift without worrying about them wearing out very soon…
Finally, in 2014, I must find a better way to balance sewing, blogging and everything else. To date, I’ve vaguely aimed at doing as much as possible, which isn’t a very good goal because there’s no measure of success and I always end up feeling that I could/should have done more. I know this is something lots of bloggers find difficult and I think life changes in such a way that it’s not practical to set up a regime and stick to it rigidly but, for the moment, I’m going to set the benchmark lowish. I will post one Wool on Sundays post on Sundays, one sewing post during the week and I’ll consider any extra posts a bonus.
If you stayed through this rambling, Thank you :) I hope to have some sewing to post soon!