Happy New Year
You may have noticed that I skipped my usual end of year goal check in this year. I set out a very ambitious set of goals for myself in 2011, and ended up learning and accomplishing many things - many of which weren't on my list. I wrote a guest post on Heart Handmade UK blog, attended the Fletcher Farm School of Craft for a week-long quilting course, and participated in a quilt show. But I didn't check off everything on my list - my interests shifted a bit over the course of the year, and I ended up taking on some new projects (in non-crafty areas of my life) that pushed me in new ways.
One of the things I learned over the course of the year is to allow these shifts to happen - to allow my course to change directions, and be flexible with my expectations of myself. I have come to realize that I have no shortage of ambition and motivation to push myself. I know that I am continually going to learn and grow and pursue interesting projects. My inclination is always to fill up my time, set goals and benchmarks, make lists, and set up structure for myself. But I don't think I necessarily need to do those things. I know that I'm skilled at them - maybe overly so - because I fill up my whole calendar and neglect a really important piece of my life: rest and renewal.
In 2012, I have just one challenge for myself: to place more value on rest, relaxation, and recharging myself. (Thanks to Erin at Big Girl Feats for her awesome blog post that helped me articulate this.) I want to adopt this challenge in how I approach my life - try to not strictly schedule my time and projects, stray away from structure and lists, etc., and I also want to bring this into my creative work. I want to make sure that I spend time in my studio on a regular basis, because being away from my creative practice for a few months helped me realize that sewing is essential to how I process life, reflect and recharge. I'd like to stray from the usual structure that I impose on my work by experimenting more with improv quilts and designs that don't rely on blocks.
For my first project of the year, I'm getting "back into shape" by spending some time in my studio daily. I'm loosely participating in Fun-A-Day Providence, where anyone can sign up to do something creative every day for the month of January. I hesitated to commit to the project, since I'm trying to stray from structure, so I'm committing to participate only to the extent that it feels right. And so far, it's felt great to be in my studio each day, and to have a new creative project underway.
I assembled a collection of fabrics (above), and each day I'm creating a quilt block design that I've never created before. Together, I'm hoping the 31 blocks will come together as a modern sampler quilt. Check back later this week to see the results so far.