31 August 2009


I have a really awesome project in the works. It's for my mom's birthday, which was on August 13th. I would love to show it to you, but it's not finished...mostly because I'm making it up, and it includes some techniques that I don't know how to do. Referring back to my skirt post, I know that I decided that I needed to follow a few patterns instead of doing things I don't know how to do, making them too complicated, and struggling through processes that would be a lot easier if I were following a pattern. Nevertheless, my imagination is boundless, and this will be awesome when it is finished...which will happen...at some point.

In the mean time, I've been procrastinating. [gasp!] Oh don't act so surprised. Procrastinating is one of the things I do best...along with hula-hooping, Disney trivia, and Encore, an excellent game of song lyric recall.

Anyway, this project for my mom kept my making on the back burner for a while until I decided that if I wasn't going to work on her present anyway, that shouldn't stop me from doing something. I felt out my creative inclinations, and I decided that I was in the mood for some crazy quilting. (For those of you not in the know, crazy quilting is a sewing technique and does not refer to the psychological state of the quilter in question.) So I pulled out some fabric that I had set aside for the embroidery hoop project I didn't do because I'm a fabric hoarder. And I took a pair of scissors to it. Muahaha!!!

Jagged edges, no precise measurements, just a pair of scissors cutting out random strips and shapes. It felt freeing, irreverent, to mangle the fabric I had treasured for so long. And as I cut and ironed and sewed and ironed again, I found myself having a profoundly lovely time. The simple repetition, piecing the colors together like a puzzle, seeing the fabric grow into something new...it was...joy. I ended up with a rather large swatch of crazy quilting that I couldn't decide what to do with, but I think it will end up in an embroidery hoop on my wall, just as it was originally intended. Maybe I'll do some embroidery on it. Maybe not. Maybe I will surround it with remaining fabric cased in embroidery hoops of various sizes. Maybe not. Maybe it will be a pillow or something else all together. The important thing was that I did something. And I enjoyed it thoroughly. Mission accomplished.......kind of...because my mom's birthday present still isn't done. :o/


  1. Robin...if procrastinating were your worst trait, it wouldn't be that difficult to accomplish something. But you are a procrastinating PERFECTIONIST- someone that not only has to do something LATER but it has to be PERFECT. Lose-Lose. I think if you weren't so hard on yourself about deadlines or making something that was perfect in your head (ie: finding a yellow formal dress that looks like your drawing) you would come up with many more wonderful creations like the one demonstrated here. I'm very proud of you when you can create for the fun of creating and not get bogged down in making something "perfect..." because your "something just for fun" looks pretty perfect to me!

  2. Thanks, Megan. Way to strip me bare in front of the whole blogosphere (aka my 3 readers). :o) That formal dress was quite a challenge. I just couldn't understand why something that was so clearly awesome didn't exist. I should have made it. That would show 'em.

    I think that my perfectionism is the reason I procrastinate so much (except in the case of science fairs--I just HATE science fairs). I envision something and then I know that it will take more energy than I have to bring it to fruition, so I put it off until some later date when I envision that I will have boundless stores of energy to master it. Pretty crazy, huh? Maybe I need to start drinking Red Bull or something.

    That being said, I'm trying to figure out what my "just for fun" is...something I enjoy making just as much as I enjoy dreaming it up.

  3. Hey, that looks cool. keep up the crazy quilting!

  4. i'm really glad you posted this, because i've been meaning to ask you about quilting for a while now that you have become my creative expert :o)
    I saved lots of fabric from my time in Mauritania determined that I would make a quilt from it. In fact, I ruined several perfectly good outfits by cutting huge chunks of fabric out of my skirts or headwraps to be stored away. So, now i'm all set. I have a craft station prepared in my new apartment, fabric and scissors and such strewn about...and have no idea what to do. I've been debating just starting, because I know what quilts look like, I can stitch decently by hand so that's all I need, right? I think this is probably not the greatest idea, especially given your project words of caution. so, any ideas? Or, better yet--if I outsource all of my material to you you could have another make!! hooray!! :o)

  5. I think that a hand-sewn quilt would be awesome. Unfortunately, it would also take about 37 years. But if you sent the fabric to me, that might also take 37 years. :o/

    But from the facebook pictures of some of your outfits, a quilt out of those fabrics would be GORGEOUS!! Definitely a fabulous idea. I would probably start by going to borders or barnes and noble or the library and checking out quilting patterns. The best quilting books I know of are the "Quilt in a Day" series by Eleanor Burns. But other sewing books like Last Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts (Joelle Hoverson and Anna Williams) have some good ideas for some less traditional styles. Then draw a picture of what you want the quilt to look like. Do you want to make blocks in some sort of pattern? Or strips of fabric? It's always easier to make something that big when you have the vision on paper. (Plus coloring is just so much fun.) After all that, if you want to start sewing by hand, more power to you. I don't think I would be that brave. Maybe someone in Joel's family has a sewing machine you can borrow??