Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Mindful sewing

Last night, I was reading a magazine that I borrowed from the library. Yep - it's ready to be returned today so I see a walk in my future!

Anyway, there was an article in the magazine about Sustainable Sewing (Mindful Making). It's Part 2 so now today, I'll try to find the issue with Part 1. The article focuses on garment sewing, but as quilters, we also have the same issue. 

We get excited - we buy a new kit or new pattern and fabric. We rush home (well sometimes) and start cutting. Oh worse - we see a new technique or a new designer demonstrating something and we HAVE to make that. Have we ever sat back and thought what the heck are we going to do with all our finished quilts/clothes? I know I haven't and well - I've got a quilt or two hanging out. 

A good number of my quilts are used for trunk shows, but sadly there are some that don't make the cut. They were made, just for the sake of making. I hear them cry out every time I sort through the quilts for a trunk show - "PICK ME - PICK ME - I want to go to the trunk show." Breaks my heart, but there is only so much time during the trunk show. I'd love to show them all. Maybe I need to make a new trunk show - Quilts I designed for magazine and the trials and tribulations of that process!

Anyway, back to the article. Here are a couple of things to consider about mindful sewing. Keep in mind that for most, it's a hobby but for others (like myself) it's an obsession. 
  1. If you're going to sew more than you need, ask if you can sew quilts (garments) for family members and friends. I think most of us do that to some extent. Or what about sewing for a charity. 
  2. Slow sewing. This is the process of sewing to ENJOY the process. Not in a panic to try and get something done so you can move onto the next project. (OH - I'm so guilty of not slow sewing!)

Things to consider when fabric shopping:

  1. Would I give up a piece of fabric in my stash to buy this piece? 
  2. It is possible to enjoy beautiful fabric without owning git!  (who knew!)
  3. Unsubscribe from the shopping accounts. (I know - how much opportunities to buy do I need? If I want something, I shop local anyway!)

Then the article goes on to talk about waste in the textile world. Some ways to have a more sustainable footprint? 

  1. Use up what you have without buying more! (what a concept that is!)
  2. Use recycled materials - i.e. scraps   -(I'm there already!)
  3. Mend, reuse, thrift, and lastly buy. 

Here's a link to the SewNews magazine with the article in it. I can't find the article online but maybe you can download it via your library link. 

And I found a Podcast about Sustainable Sewing. I don't listen to Podcasts, but I'd like to. Hmm - how to fit that in the day?

Anyway, there are loads to think about, but the most important thing is to remember that for most of us, quilting is a hobby. Therefore, we'd better make sure that we're enjoying it. Whether you sew with friends or you sew alone, make your work environment a happy place and make sure you're sewing stuff that makes you happy. Get rid of the rest!

Well, I was going to talk about something totally different this morning. Oops! No worries - the other topic can wait until later this week. 

Look - I've been trying to squeeze a bit of personal sewing into my schedule. I've got four more pairs of blocks completed for the scrap quilt. 

Four more pairs of blocks are completed
This is what remains. There are about 21 pairs still to make. No big deal. I may even take them to the retreat. I wonder why I was so paranoid about NOT taking them before? Oh - I know - because the way I was "taught" to sew them was complicated. The way that I sew them now is easy peasy!!!

The blocks that are remaining

I did some packing last night for the retreat. Not panic packing. Oh no - this was very responsible packing. I took it project by project - some needed the instructions printed. Some needed threads or stabilizers and those supplies are now in the appropriate bag. The only thing that I cannot find is a stack of blank cards. I know I have tons of them - the question is where are those packs? I found one pack, but the cards are small - I want a larger size and I know there are here somewhere. I have to say that I love the way the basement is laid out - it so spacious and I can access pretty much everything easily. Now to remember where those darn cards are hidden. 

Before I go, don't forget to check out QUILTsocial today. It's all about using decorative stitches to do machine applique. Super exciting stuff to consider!!!  Learn by making samples - remember MINDFUL sewing - not sewing to just get done. There's always be another project waiting. Who cares?

I know I mentioned an article about The Golden Girls of Port Perry. Four mature women who bought a house together. They were on the Marilyn Denis show yesterday. Here's a link to the web site. You must watch Season 9, Episode 123. (I think that link takes you directly to that episode). It's in the first segment with Scott McGillivray. Their story is so very cool and despite the fact that they seem to drink a lot of wine, what a cool opportunity to live a healthy (mental) lifestyle as things change in your life. I'm in!!!!  DH said I was going to have to wait a long time before he kicks the bucket!!!

There are some fun videos about The Golden Girls of Port Perry - search the internet!!!

And now it's time to get the day rolling.

Have a super day!!!!



  1. Yes, I know exactly what you are going through. We are making great headway in getting all the downsizing done in the house ready for the move but the one area I seem to be avoiding is my quilt area. I sold the IKEA cupboards and shelving that held all my fabric and notions and now it is all sitting on my big cutting table and sewing table. So that means nothing is getting done. I'm still trying to come up with a plan on what to do with my fabric, should I store it, should I give it away, will I really sew that much on the road? I'm just happy that it's my choice to downsize and not because of a flood, a fire or some other devastating circumstances. Thanks for the continued inspiration!

    1. OMG --- You're inspiring me!!!! I cannot believe that this is happening! The date is fast approaching as you well know and holy smokes! I'd put the fabric in storage if you have room. Then during this year, you can make a decision what you want to do. TAke some with you - a couple of kits or UFOs. You may want some down time - after all - you're NOT going on vacation. You're going to be living! Good luck!

    2. So I've been thinking and here's what I've decided. I am going to take 10 piecing kits (made from my own stash) with me for the first leg of the journey. I'll pass them on to my group here for Victoria's Quilts. That means I won't need a long ruler or a big cutting board. The rest of the fabric will go into storage. I bought a giant package of acid free tissue paper so I'm going to line some transparent bins with the tissue paper and put the fabric in them. In September, when we are back in Ottawa, I'll replace the kits I've made with new ones. I also have some handwork I'll take with me. I have a table runner with some applique, a hexi project and a yoyo project.

    3. Judith--- I think that sounds very reasonable and you can always rejig if you need in September. Gosh - we can all be so rational when we want to be. So how did we let all this fabric/kits accummulate??? How many days now????

  2. Is it okay to post part of this on my website basically post a hyperlink to this webpage? Mindful