A few years ago I took advantage of some free counselling after a particularly nasty end to a supervisory relationship during my post-grad studies. My very wise counsellor pointed out that many of my sentences contained the word – “Should”.
I know where it comes from, and have learnt with time that employing that word robs me of joy. I employ it while heaping burdens of expectation on myself, expectations not usually shared by the people for whom I am labouring.
So, this year I am going to try to identify the occasions when “should” comes out to play, then remove it from my vocabulary.
This of course is easier said than done. Take one of my 2016 FAL goals – to make three baby quilts. I made this goal because I am suddenly surrounded by new neighbours in the throes of procreating. Now, a “good” neighbour would do something to say “Hi”, since these neighbours have all shifted in only last month. I am a quilter, so I “should” make them a quilt. Hence, I committed myself to making quilts.
Of course I eventually came to my senses, and decided to finish the one I was working on, then find another way to say “hi”, like delivering some of our thousands of plums to them. Or making muffins. Except while I was delivering the first (and only) quilt, I met one of the new neighbours for the first time. The quilt recipient pointed out that they were also pregnant, leaving me with seemingly little option but to say another quilt was in the making.
In the way of these things, I intercepted a $5 charm pack yesterday at my LQS, so the cost isn’t the issue. It is that making these utility quilts means I am getting little time to explore quilting, learn, expand my skills, and quilt for the joy of it. Yes, I could use the opportunity of making these quilts to do these very things. But when you are faced with say, finishing five quilts in six weeks to give as Christmas gifts, then speed is more important than artistry. And so, quilting becomes just a chore. A chore with a price, since extended time at my machine triggers migraines.
Hence enrolling in the 2016 Gypsy Wife QAL. I love this quilt. I love picking out each and every little scrap to use in it, and after finishing them, they are all mine.
What does this means going forward into 2016?
It means I am going to re-examine my FAL list, and make sure my goals include quilts I want to make, not feel I “should” make. Some editing is required, and then I aim to add quilts to the list that satisfy my new criteria:
- Do I want to make it?
- Am I going to learn something new?
- Does the fabric and pattern make my heart skip a beat with anticipation when I look at it?
And if I feel antipathy, a sense of dread, or boredom, then it gets the chop.
I am also going to start getting rid of my scraps and trimmings. These have been piling up around me, determining my quilt choices. I want to liberate myself from feeling like I have to use every last scrap. This is going to become optional instead. Or, I might find someone to swap scraps with, since other peoples scraps are always better!
To this end, I emptied my rubbish bin into the trash sack this morning, without sorting out all the little scraps I might use one day. (Still feeling a little guilty)
I am also going to donate my enormous pile of leftover Pansy Blocks to our Guilds Charity Block collection. I disliked making the first quilt, I cannot bear the thought of making a second. I have learnt my lesson, and I will never collect fabric like that again. Begone pansies!
I have decided that 2016 is going to be the year of Liberated Quilting, just not quite in the modern quilting sense.
Linking up eventually with Crazy Mom Quilts.