Thursday, July 16, 2015

I can get some, satisfaction...

I am a quilter.  Okay, to be fair, I do very little actual quilting -- the act of layering a top

and backing around some sort of fluff or layer in between, and hand or machine stitching those layers together -- so I guess I'm actually a quilt-top maker and a quilt-finisher.  When my kids were little, I taught quilting at night in a local shop.  It gave me extra spending money, and let me talk to three dimensional people who had an address other than Sesame Street.  The owner of the shop would let me choose fabric and patterns, and create samples for the shop at no cost, I would teach the class, and when the fabric sold out for that design, the sample became mine to keep.  

It's been more than fifteen years, and I am still uncovering various samples and blocks, in various stages of completion, in my closet.  This summer, I've been moving the "stash" of fabric, and making tough choices - love it, lose it, gift it, save it for another day...  Some of my friends envision that I am chained to my sewing machine 24/7, given the recent number of photos of finished projects I've posted on Facebook.  

Yesterday I posted a picture from an excursion, where I purchased more fabric.  The new rule is that if I am purchasing fabric, it is NOT going in the closet, and MUST have a project, destination, and completion date set.  Jaime was in on this purchase, and the dare was that I would make matching dresses for the two of us.  (Fortunately for the world, we are rarely seen together!)  So when Jaime asked if the completion date would be forever from now, aka anything longer than 3 weeks, I heard the marching orders in my head.

As previously mentioned, I am a quilter - not a sewer.  Two things scare me about being a sewer - and the first is the remarkable similarity the word has to the place where Ninja Turtles and rats live, and the second is that the image of someone who sews causes people to think Project Runway as a skill level.  Fabric is expensive, and creating 3D clothing to fit human bodies rarely turns out well for me.  Yet everyone else with us yesterday was choosing fabric with unicorns on it, so it seemed that Jaime's choice was the logical one.  (Go figure.)

I knew if I didn't start it today, it would be two weeks before it happened, and the likelihood of it never happening would increase exponentially with each passing day.  So the pattern and fabric sat on the coffee table in front of me last night, as I convinced myself that finishing the Captain America quilt was the priority.  I cut the dress out this morning, and the actual cutting took twice as long as the assembly of the dress.

Today I am a sewer.  (The kind with needles and pins, not the smelly kind with the Heroes on the Half Shell.)  I have created, in under two hours, the vision that was in my mind yesterday.  And the best part?

I didn't procrastinate.  I finished two projects, and they have destinations.  And they both came out better than I could have hoped.   

I wonder if this new found skill of anti-procrastination could aid my preparation for the school year?

Let's consider the skills used:

Incubation
Motivation
Authentic Audience
Trial and Error
Deadline-setting
A tad bit of perfectionism (resulting in some "reverse sewing" with a seam ripper)

I have new notebooks, and some flashy new markers.  I can totally embrace the new, motivated, Susan. 

Starting next Monday.