Saturday, March 28, 2020

Guideposts for 2020

 I am not one to make resolutions when a new year rolls around.  This year was no different in that regard.  I do however use some guideposts in making choices.  These guiding words have been a filter through which my choices pass through this year.  To not follow these would mean I would a) have a lot more UFOs in my closets, b) I’d be buying unnecessary things, and c) I would be suffering consequences of some less than beneficial choices.    Let me explain .

O – Order !

C – Consistency!

D – Discipline !

Did you notice that the acronym is OCD??  My daughter laughed at that because if there’s one thing I’m NOT, it’s OCD.  I can handle some chaos as long as someone doesn’t mess with my chaos (aka mess).  I may drop something but I know where I put it so please don’t touch it or move anything!  However, those messes can stress other people out, hence my attempt at bringing order to my world .

Consistency – This applies to every area of my life but I’ll address my quilting world here.  I am working hard at consistently applying myself to my quilting work with a goal to doing “x” many quilts a day.  This consistency will benefit my bottom line so it pays to apply this one.  It also applies to my sewing projects.  I do maintain flexibility on the hours I choose to work but as long as I’m doing this daily it’s working for me .

I have signed up for some long term quilting projects.  One is called the 365 Day Challenge and this means a new quilt block every day.  And NO I haven’t kept up.  In fact I’m through to April …. . of 2019.  So I’m ahead for 2020 but truthfully started last January.  I’m also doing another quilt by the same designer called Aves and it’s a weekly block.  You must be wondering why on earth I signed up for these.  Well, they are skill building…AND I’m one of those people who likes teeny tiny blocks.  And I get bored easily so the variety is something that keeps me enthused.  If I’m consistently working on these projects they will be done and not relegated to the UFO pile.  So far I’m sticking to them.  Not daily, not weekly but consistently moving forward so i count that as success .

Here are the two long term projects:

365 Quilt Challenge Quilt by the pattern designer Kathryn Kerr
Aves Quilt by the pattern designer Kathryn Kerr
Scripture is my guiding post first and foremost

And now Discipline – Yeah…I’m not sure where to start.  When I hear this word I immediately think of exercise and I’m not going to spend any time there because the only exercise I get is walking.  I am going to investigate CrossFit when the world returns to normal.   

For now, I’ll apply it to the life I am living inside these four walls because that’s where I spend the majority of my time, even without this pandemic threatening our civilization.  I am working at disciplining myself to reduce debt, eat foods we have in stock in our cupboards, pantry and freezer before replenishing, and not buying any new fabric.  I do allow myself those small purchases to finish a project but nothing is being added to the stash ‘just because I like it’.  I have enough fabric for the time being and enough UFOs to last me years.  I’m focusing on finishing those before starting any new projects.  Disclaimer:  If I am developing a new pattern, then and only then, will I make that quilt from scratch for the purpose of testing the pattern and having a sample.  (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it).  

Maybe you think these guiding words are obvious, and I would agree that they probably are.  But I do like to start the year with a fresh slate and these words are working for me.  When I’m tempted to buy something or join something or do something, I ask myself will it bring order to my world?  Am I being consistent with what is already on my plate?  Am I disciplining myself to get ‘all the things’ accomplished that were important when I started them?  

I want my life to have some design, some guideposts, so I don’t just wander through life.  As a Christ follower I am ultimately guided by scripture but these words I’ve set out above certainly fall in line with scripture so they help too .

The scriptures are a great source of comfort and guidance for me .
God’s word is my main guidepost.

And with that, I will sign off for now. Tomorrow I need to get back to customer quilts and get some consistency happening in my world . The world is crazy right now. I need my daily dose of God’s word, some order, consistency and discipline in my sphere to maintain my peace.

I hope this post finds you well and these words encourage your own journey towards order, consistency and discipline.  We will see fruit for our efforts.  Will you join me?


Thursday, March 19, 2020

International Quilting Day - March 21, 2020

Celebration Day is almost here! International Quilting Day is always the third Saturday in March and this year falls on March 21st. The usual celebration you might expect to find is groups of quilters gathering together to sew on their projects or charity projects. Some join online challenges and mystery quilts. Others go to quilt shops to support the small businesses in their locations and their vacation destinations. How many times have you seen requests on online groups that go something like this: "I'm going to be visiting Las Vegas next month. Where are the quilt shops?" A time or two right?

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Last year I had an idea that on International Quilting Day in 2020 we should celebrate by hanging quilts outdoors. I guess the basis of the idea came after visiting Sisters, Oregon twice for their annual Outdoor Quilt Show. It has become a vacation destination for quilters, quilting groups and some good natured significant others. Quilters get on board with events that focus on their passion of stitching with love. Quilt Shops organize shop hops under the banner Worldwide Quilting Day on the same day to encourage people to support local quilt shops.

I thought, "what if we hang quilts outside, and ask our friends to do likewise, and they ask their friends, and so on and so on. Wouldn't it create some curiosity? Wouldn't it add some colour to our yards? Wouldn't it tell our neighbours that we love our craft? And that is how it all began.

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I then created a Facebook event so that there would be one place online where people could find out information about the event. From there I shared with some online quilting groups. I had very enthusiastic responses and decided I might be on to something. Then it went viral.

The idea has grown and taken on a life of its own. Then arrived the Covid-19 pandemic with social isolation protocols announced and social distancing becoming the new buzzword. School is out for spring break but then on hold thereafter. Restaurants are closed except for takeout. Grocery store shelves are bare. Streets are empty. While sporting events and other gatherings are being cancelled, including our Victoria Quilters' Guild 2020 Quilt Show the first weekend in June, this project suddenly became something that quilters could do, hang their quilts outdoors at their residences, to add some colour to their neighbourhoods, despite our new restrictions. My last week has been spent on promotion in our local media, producing a driving map for my city, and answering social media enquiries. By the number of pings on my phone, it seems the world has realized that we can still get in our cars and maintain social distancing and yet do something fun this Saturday.

Let's go see some quilts and take pictures and post them! You will undoubtedly see bed quilts, traditional quilts, modern quilts, baby quilts, and art quilts. You will likely see them on railings, in trees, on benches, on the sides of buildings and hanging in windows.

Here is the link to an interview on Tuesday this week which aired on our local news channel:

Here are the locations in Greater Victoria, British Columbia where there will be quilts hanging on March 21st:

I would love to see the Internet filled with pictures of the quilt spottings! (Hashtags would be appreciated: #internationalquiltingday2020 #internationalquilthanging2020 #hangaquilt) Let's brighten someone's day. Let's help them remember their friends and family members who may have quilted and gifted them one. Let's help the cancer patients and NICU parents remember the love expressed by these caring strangers who donated to them in their time of need. Let's do what we do to show tangible love and comfort in these uncertain times. Let's wrap the world in quilty hugs.

Mavis (aka Dayspring Quilter)