Taking little bits at a time. Like this teeny thread sketch. It’s ten-thirty and I haven’t started tidying the work space yet.
Pulled an old book off of the shelf yesterday, “Live the Life You Love” by Barbara Sher. I love the contribution she makes to working with resistance. Genius, really. I’ll leave you with a couple of her thoughts:
“If you think your inability to stick with your resolutions is a sign of weakness, I have a surprise for you: it’s more than likely a sign of strength.”
“… if resistance is universal… then… it must be as natural and biologically based as sleeping or eating, built into our system for a purpose.”
She doesn’t believe we should combat resistance (or even, vilify it) until we recognize its purpose.
I will leave purpose aside for now and just go with some of her tricks for getting around it. Number one listed strategy for loosening its grip — “Find the smallest unit – and do it.”
This is such a useful technique. ‘What can I say YES to in this moment?’ There is always something I can say YES to… even if it is just cleaning the iron (actually, bad example, I hate cleaning the iron) — even if it is just — sweeping threads off of the floor, or sewing shut a tiny little seam on something I’ve already made, or locating the fabric I’ll use for straps on a purse in progress.
(Can you tell the pile of cut-out pocket books is NOT feeling very attractive this morning?!!)
Finished this little boy blanket top today. Center terra cotta section (a beautiful linen leftover from a curtain job years ago) was made during the Treasure Island quilt process last year (made for Wendy Golden-Levitt, remember?) I also found a scrap of the pirate fabric from that project, stitched it to linen and a super-soft, striped decorator fabric, and plan to mail it to her. (P.S. – do you see my silly owl who looks like she belongs on Sesame Street?!!)
In the process, last week, of rooting around in my stuff to make a display at the JCC, I also unearthed a tower that I pieced around the same time. Added lace, and appliqued a moon — it is nearly done also.
All this finishing!
And then there are the scraps from the baby blanket –
This little elephant emerged. I’m hand quilting it this evening, and it’s almost done, too.
And more scraps –
Meanwhile, I am working on the lap-pin-dark-mess quilt, which is slowly becoming less of a mess. It is a metaphor for life (aren’t all sewing projects?) – I do what I can, taking one little section at a time, knowing it’s okay to return and do some more later.
There is so much else to rattle on about, but for now, this lace post is fun to look at: Janet Haigh
Parts of the whole — vintage lace, cuff of New York City scenes polyester shirt, pale taupe and white shirt pieces (shells and floral clusters), phototransfer of Mexican flashcard (the ladder), iron on transfer of self portrait, inkjet-printed words on linen.
“I WANT TO GROW” was not the sentiment I began with, but as I pawed through my scraps of words and what I call “precious tidbits”, these two phrases seemed to work. I, in fact, DO want to grow. It seems odd to say this, but for a long time (the time almost exactly coinciding with the intensive years of parenting two boys, two years apart), my growth was not at all on the radar screen. Survival, more like. Their growth.
Here, a shell, ripe cherry tomatoes and peas, as well as a fragment of New York seem to echo the longing for ripening and fullness.
The ladder makes the rather obvious connection to UPWARD growth — not spiritual growth, necessarily — but certainly in a direction counter to downward. The fact that both of my parents grew up in Brooklyn makes the quilt resonate that much more. Both of my parents were from poor families. None of my grandparents went to college. They were seamstresses, bricklayers, and shipbuilders. My parents’ growth was up and out, in a way. They left the city, went on to have a family and careers. And mine? We shall see, I suppose. There is the question of time. I find it interesting that although I have a graduate degree in law, I am working with my hands — sewing and digging gardens.