52 Quilters has been a nice way for me to start out the new year: kicking off the project has given me a good incentive to get making and meet some new people (virtually and in real life!), as well as giving me some food for thought on what I make and how I work.
Like a lot of people, I find January a tough month: in London it's cold and grey, and for me it's always that little bit greyer if I've been home at Christmas because my return to the UK reminds me of the distance between me and my roots in Canada. Seeing friends and family over the holidays is both reviving and exhausting, and as a result the return to 'normal' in January always feels a bit dull. Posting on 52 Quilters and engaging with so many people has helped me see the year of possibilities beyond cold, grey January and having so many comments and likes on my posting the minutiae of my life has helped me appreciate what I have.
Connecting with so many people through the '52 has helped the distance I sometimes sense in January feel a little less far, and for that I'm really thankful.
So what quilty things did I do this week? Well I bought materials for and finished a baby quilt. Using the fabrics I bought from Liberty and Oakshott, I made a simple and smart little quilt:
|Closer up (above) and with view of the backing/binding (below)|
I also completed my 8-inch square piece for the 52 Quilters quilt. I sketched out some paper-pieced numbers and letters this morning and created the first block of 52 that will go into the quilt. Because I knew it would not take up too much of my stash, I used the indelible collection fabrics I bought last week in Toronto as a way to mark my week in the '52 and start to play with the fabrics.
Lastly, I learned a few things about keeping focus. I've recently taken part in my first online mini-quilt swaps and this week have been working on a fairly small scale: planning my #rainbowminiswap project, creating my patch for the '52 quilt and making a baby quilt. Although I'm often planning grand projects and rushing myself through to gain satisfaction from the finished product, I'm learning that there is a lot to be said for taking small, measured steps and working in focus.
Seeing posts from people doing the New Hexagon quilt along and the progress of people attempting quilts from Millefiori Quilts by Willyne Hammerstein through social media has really inspired me. I'm so impressed by the patience and focus people have to work in such detail, hand-sewing one small piece at a time. I don't really do new year's resolutions, but as a result of this week, I want to make 'focus' my word of the year for 2015.
In 2014, my year was defined the word 'resilience': I learned to have confidence in my own and I learned to accept that there were certain things I couldn't control or change. I think I have learned that instead of fighting or worrying about things I can't fix, I can instead support myself by doing things which feed my own resilience.
This year I want to remember to have focus: focus in the work I do, focus on my goals and focus in those moments that seem like minutiae: not just taking a photo and posting it to social media, but really taking the time to value what I have.
Thank you for all your likes, comments, tweets and other bits of support this week... and for helping me find my focus. I'm so grateful that this project is taking off, and I'm so excited to see where things go.
As a way of finishing my week, I'd love to know what words or ideas will inspire you this year or what things help you cope with the January
p.s. If you've liked following me this week, you can find me on social media and follow my blog here. I'll definitely post, comment and check in here a few times throughout the year, but I'm pleased to now be stepping out of the spotlight and passing on the blog to the next quilter.