Monday, December 12, 2005

Progress Report

Before I lay out this week's goals, I wanted to recap how things went last week. I was very pleased with how making my lists kept me on track. I met my two primary goals by the end of Thursday, leaving me free to play on Friday. I always seem to have so much to do that it's hard for me to designate a weekday to play. But because I did, I'd given myself a carrot, and subconsciously I was pushing myself harder to complete those first goals.

I settled on stamping for my play day for several reasons, but mainly because it is another technique I want to try with my willow leaves. It turned out I wasn't as ready to stamp as I thought. I let myself fixate too much on doing leaves instead of practicing stamping and quickly discovered I had nothing on hand with which to make my own leaf stamps. I decided I could review some instructions I'd accumulated and get organized though, so picked out some fabric and started going through my cart where I keep paints and dyes and yes, stamps I've purchased but never used. I found ink and paint I'd forgotten I'd bought, a stamp I'd made with pieces trimmed off an assemble-yourself-stamp set, in short, plenty of stuff to play with. It's all out now and ready for some serious experimentation.

The amazing thing I discovered on Friday was the sense of freedom I felt all day. No looming guilt about what I should be doing. No disappointment in myself because I changed my plans about what constituted play for the day. No sense of obligation to work on something "important" as long as the stamping idea fell through. I'm notorious for beating myself up, and I wasn't doing it at all. It felt as much of a major breakthrough as when I tackled that free motion embroidery.

As for my hand quilting, I really had no sense of what a reasonable amount of progress might be so I ball-parked what I knew would be high, just to get me moving. As it turns out, I'm struggling a bit getting into the swing of it so the stitching is going much slower than I thought it might. The goal I set was totally unreasonable, even if I had worked on the piece every night (which I did not). Still, without writing down something, I may not have touched it at all. Here is part of what I finished this week. There is one of these motifs in each corner of this 22" square and a small interlocking heart design between them on each side. I was thinking I could get all those done, but that really was overly optimistic.

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