So for somebody who seldom goes away by myself … it’s been a very busy few weeks. First I attended the Mancuso Quilt Show in Somerset, New Jersey from March 3 through 6th. I was home for a little more than two weeks, and then I left for the AQS show in Lancaster, PA. I was there from March 23 through 27. That trip, as I wrote about earlier, included a bonus bout of food poisoning that took almost a week’s recovery. And I leave, in 10 days, for the Machine Quilter’s Exposition in Rhode Island. I’ve done more traveling in March and April then I normally do in years.
My motive, of course, is my love of quilting. It just happened that these three shows were scheduled close together. I wanted to get a feel for them … and I had the time available. All three shows offered me something very different. And, somehow, it didn’t seem quite so daunting a few months ago when I made the travel arrangements.
I’ve been exposed to some amazing quilts. Some of them inspire me … some of them make me feel amazingly inadequate. I look at the techniques, the creativity, the time involved … and I just wonder if I can ever do this. And then I think about Mark Lipinski, one of my favorite people in the quilting world, who always says that quilting needs to be fun! (And I’m paraphrasing him, I think.) But it’s not about competition. It’s about fun!
Anyway … the upshot is that I’ve felt very burnt out. I have a list of deadlines (all self-imposed) of quilt shows and contests on my wall. I have a new sewing machine that I’m anxious to learn sitting beside me. I have a book full of ideas and notes. But I really just want some time to play, and to assimilate all the new ideas and techniques that I’ve come across over the last few weeks. All the sudden I don’t feel like I’m having fun.
So last night I just sewed. I pulled out a panel of fabric that showed a boy and a man fishing. It reminds me of my son and my father. I threw some Sulky varigated thread in my new machine (after I learned how to thread the bobbin), figured out how to change to the free motion foot, and just sewed. It felt good. The thread doesn’t exactly compliment the water. It’s not close to my best work. But I’m sewing. And it was fun. And that’s what matters.