Wednesday, September 18, 2013

this little piggy


For years I have in my mind that I will always have a couple baby boy quilts and a couple baby girl quilts ready to give away.  Baby quilts are my favorite thing to make...but I have never been able to make it happen, until recently.  I finally have a stack of quilts that are ready when a friend has a baby.  Yay!
The quilts in this pile are simple, quick and easy to make.  They tend to be my favorite baby quilts anyway...
 This strip quilt came about because I wanted to use these cute Heather Ross pigs (finally).  I wanted it to be suitable for a boy, and it is, but I am going to admit outloud, officially, that I stink at putting together fabric for a boy.  I tried so many different fabrics, and nothing really stood out to me.  I finally settled on this, and it's fine, but I feel like it is missing something and I CANNOT figure out what.  

It's frustrating.  I feel defeated?  (It's a little ridiculous--it's just a quilt).
then it spills over into all my quilts.  

I have struggled for a while now, feeling totally uninspired.  Everything I make feels like a copy (which I am totally okay with), but it takes me so long to finally finish a quilt, that everyone else has already made one just like mine that is way cuter than mine anyway. 
 It's all silly really, it doesn't cause me to lose any sleep, I don't type this because I want or need anyone to buoy me up.  That's not my intent... 

I have come to realize though that I quilt because it is an outlet, it is therapeutic.  Raising children is hard, and raising them to be good people is even harder.  Being a mom is the greatest and most frustrating thing I do.  And so I need something that is my own...my husband tells me (in a very loving and understanding way) that when I quilt, I plug my headphones in and everything else disappears.  And it's kinda true.  I have those noise cancelling headphones that enable me to not hear the whirrrrr of my machine or the noise of my kids...

I quilt away sometimes for 20 minutes and sometimes for an hour.  But it helps me to be more patient, it gives me something to look forward to, it is exciting to me, even if it's nothing 'new'.

22 comments:

Erica said...

I love this quilt! I love the back as well. I wish I could have a stack of quilts to gift as well, but I cannot even seem to finish the quilts I have made for my own children.

Catherine said...

Totally agree with you about child-raising, and about how important it can be to have time to make things - they are both creative work, but one is a bit of reward for the other:-)

Toni said...

What a great quilt! Those apples are one of my favorites. I think your colors look wonderful together. And I couldn't agree more about needing to quilt so I can have something that is my own! Everything else my kids seem to undo just as I've done it, but they can't (usually) undo the quilts I've made. It keeps me sane with four small children running around. Perhaps that's why I've made so many this year?

Jolene said...

Amen!! I'm always on a seesaw of letting this pressure creep in to make 'exciting' and 'original quilts. Then I have to remind myself that I'm just going to make the quilts I feel like making! Who cares if everyone else made one like it two years ago?!

I'm always inspired by what you make! Your quilts always make me want to go and sew right now!

Annalia said...

Your stack looks lovely.
I always want to make stuff for people too, but they never seem to have their babies at convenient times. Darn them. ;)
...but I'm not sure I could hold onto them long enough, even if I had a stack.

Newer doesn't always mean better..design-wise. For what it's worth, I - a random stranger, enjoy seeing the quilts you make.

Barb said...

I always find your quilts inspring too. And I know how you feel about kids and quilting - I make quilts because it gives me so much pleasure to be productive, something I don't always feel with my duties of being a mom. I've decided not to worry about making something original, and just sewing what I like. Thanks for sharing your sweet quilt and your feelings about it.

Nicky said...

It would be difficult to make something new but we can love making something which in turn will be loved! That is special!

And yes it is good to have a creative channel as an antidote to child rearing!

erica e said...

I know you said you weren't looking for validation, but I've got to comment... This quilt is great and as long as I've followed your blog (several years now) I've always loved the fabric choices in all your quilts.
This urge to compare is common to most women! And the internet has made it a million times worse! Nothing feels original. And it takes a little bit of the fun out of creating when you are trying to keep up with the rest of the internet. I've felt that. Sometimes I just need to unplug and enjoy it just for me.
I use quilting as a stress release. After two weeks of sick kids lately, I have been rebitten by the quilting bug really bad! In fact, I think I'm gonna need some of those ear plugs you were talking about!

Rachel said...

This post really resonated with me! I quilt for those same reasons. And sometimes I too see other quilts and think "well why couldn't have I thought of that pattern..." Etc. I mentioned this once to my husband and he looked at me oddly and said "well you don't have to think of them, even when you make it it's still your own take on it."

Alisa said...

That's exactly why I sew and quilt. I try not to get too bogged down by trying to be original. I just do what I like. My kids are my greatest fans and that's good for me!

Carla said...

Quilting is by far the best hobby! Whether its for 15 minutes or an hour it's time we'll spent. Your quilt for the boy is darling!

Cynthia@aquilterbynight said...

I started quilting when my children were babies, before Internet... As a creative outlet. Just do it for you and try not to compare. Ditto what Erica E said above... Especially with Pinterest in our lives right? Anyway your baby quilts are darling!

Lorna McMahon said...

You said it, Sister! Love your pic of your quilts in a pile. Those little piggies are the cutest! Keep up the good work - the quilting and the raising of good kids.

Alisha said...

well, this makes me totally excited. i hope the stack lasts until jan. I feel a lot selfish wanting another but if all my kids have a nettie quilt and one doesn't... then i'd be a bad mom.

Patti said...

Your thoughts on childrearing and quilting as an outlet totally mirrror my thoughts exactly. I need something to do that has NOTHING to do with my children. Something i call mine. My creative outlet and I am proud to model this for my children in the hopes they will do this for themselves one day too. Its not healthy to have nothing for yourself. Anyways...I think the work you do is amazing and with Pinterest and endless bloggers writting about their patterns and wonderful quilts (which dont get me wrong,...I love to read these for inspiration) it can be so easy to compare yourself. I always remind myself that compare leads to despair.
You make beutiful things. I make wonderful things. I do not blog but admire everyone who does and who inspire me. Thank you for inspriring me.
Im with Erica and Jolene in this that who cares if someone else made it. The way you put it together makes it yours!
I also starting quilting before internet and while we were waiting for the arrival of our 2nd child by adoption. It was so therapeutic for me and still is 15 years later.
Just do what you love, create wonderful quilts to love for yourself and to give away and dont let the comparing of others rob your joy! You do great work

Leanne said...

I think it is an excellent baby boy quilt. I am not sure what would make you think otherwise. Creating is good for most souls, I am glad you find time to make things and nurture you.

Angela Atkins said...

I love this piggie quilt, and it is much more therapeutic to work on the quilts that are quick. Especially after working on some tougher ones with lots of piecing like those you finished recently. Make the quilt you want. Maybe stop looking at others quilts for a while and try to get some inspiration from nature or from the fabric or whatever? You make beautiful things.

Anonymous said...

I've followed your creative work for awhile and I admire your pieces! I also believe that it is really important to have something for yourself - a creative outlet that makes you feel good. Women instinctively know how to create!
Boy quilts unravel me. I always feel the need to add navy! I do love your little boy creation.

Three Sisterz said...

I have similar feelings about my quilts~ they aren't as cute as a lot of others and I take months to finish what some people do in a day! Honestly, your quilts are some of my favorites from a lot of quilter bloggers that I follow. I enjoy your blog too. At the end of the day, we are all constantly learning and growing and building our skills. Keep doing what you're doing~ making beautiful gifts and becoming a better momma. A lot of artists are never satisfied with your work! Thanks for sharing!

Franziska said...

I often look forward to sewing a little in the late evening hours the whole day. As my children like to drive me crazy this is a way to calm down. It becomes frustrating when there are way too many projects I want to make and when the sewing time doesn't happen...

a maidenhair fern said...

Well, even if you think you are in a quilting funk, the rest of us still seem to enjoy your work, so just keep quilting for therapy.

Jess said...

Your quilts are beautiful - you have an amazing eye for putting fabrics together. I understand how you feel about being original. Personally, I found that I am actually more inspired by looking at home dec, fashion, & travel stuff than I am by looking at other people's quilts. Like you said, seeing other people's quilts often makes me feel less motivated (like I'm copying, or something's "already been done")! Funny.

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