Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Weekend's Inspiration

Last weekend I went to Handmade Mart, and I picked up a bunch of great ideas as well as a few cool treasures. I love supporting other artists (especially those who price things reasonably)!! :) When I found this letterpressed piece I admit that I got teary-eyed--it is so much what I have been feeling lately, with all of my friends scattered across the country and around the world.

(Click the photo to see it larger.) I want to frame this and hang it in a special place. LOVE it. Treasure it already.

On Saturday I came across this amazing article on Imperfect Action. I'm so inspired by this! Imperfect action is not a new concept but it's one I need to remind myself of frequently since it's not what I do by (my ├╝ber-perfectionistic) nature. I want to work on taking *imperfect action* so I'm going to apply for the Crafty Bastards show in the fall. It's juried so who knows if I'll be accepted or not, but I'm going to apply!

Yesterday I headed over to this blog to re-read the info for our quilt-along. Here's my fabric, isn't it delicious?

Anyway, as I was doing the math for how much fabric I was going to need to cut up, I realized that the instructor/leader, Dana, put up the wrong measurements on her blog. A blog that a ton of people are following along to use to create their quilt. First, I freaked out--was *I* doing my math wrong? Once I figured out that I wasn't, then I got rather judgey. Without getting too technical (I do love math so), she sewed her seams too wide, which made her strips more narrow than they would be if she'd sewed proper 1/4" seams. What kind of leader is she if she's telling us to sew 1/4" seams but doesn't even get close herself? And a bunch of people are following along with her; if they sewed the proper seams then her measurements would get them all messed up! In typical Cameron over-empathetic style, I took on the imagined stress and heartache of people I didn't even know discovering that they had rectangles instead of squares (a problem I didn't even know if anyone actually had), all due to Dana's wonky seams. As you can see, judgey judgey judgey (not to mention a little mental and a lot OCD). I didn't know what to do, and I stopped doing anything while I tried to figure out how--or if!--to proceed.

And then, slowly, as I stared at my beautiful fruit and vegetable fabric and wished that it were a quilt already, I realized something important; Dana was taking *imperfect action*, while I, the perfectionist, sat and did nothing. Dana had enough stripped squares to make a quilt top, while I had a pile of fabric. Okay, Universe, I get it.

So I sat down once again and decided how big--approximately--I wanted my quilt. I reveled a little bit in doing the math (okay, I admit, I actually did an Excel spreadsheet even), and then I sat down on the floor with all my fabrics spread out around me and decided which ones to use. I'd originally come up with the combo pictured above. I love it, but I was thinking it was a little too Rainbow Brite (I do love my rainbows, too!). I'd considered an Italian theme, of all the fruits and veggies of Italy (I even have Italian parsley fabric, c'mon!). But sitting there, amongst the beautiful fruits and veggies, it came to me. The reason I love fruits and veggies so much is that I grew up in Oregon; we had a garden in our back yard and my grandparents had a *huge* garden. I have so many childhood memories of planting and digging in the dirt and pulling carrots and potatoes, and driving out to fruit orchards and berry fields to pick apples and peaches and berries. The way that a sweet juicy berry tastes when you've just picked it off the vine and it's still warm from the sun--heaven! So Oregon fruit and veggies it is! I pulled out the oranges, Italian parsley, and chili peppers (peppers do grow in Oregon, but I have no fond memories of picking them, LOL). I added in potatoes, filberts (known as hazelnuts to you non-Oregonians), tomatoes, carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, grapes, apples, and strawberries, and wished that I had zucchini and lemon cucumber fabric, too. (If you don't know what a lemon cucumber is, all I can say is that I'm sorry. Yummo!)

Then I started cuttin'! Okay, actually, I waited around impatiently while the fabric went through the washer and dryer, and then I ironed everything and trimmed off the wild threads, and then I started cuttin'! I didn't even clean off my table, I just put the cutting mat on the floor and did it there. Which, I found out when I got out of bed this morning, turns out to have been a great glute workout. :) Anyway, here's what I ended up with:

Now I *do* have to clean off my table so I can set up the sewing machine and get to sewin'. Which should be a lot easier since I plan to tack a big piece of paper saying "imperfect action!" right above my sewing machine! :)

And if I get stressed, I will just watch one of the videos from Kellie Pickler's spot on Ellen. Freakin' hilarious!

What *imperfect action* do you want to take this week?


Stella said...

Wow! What a beautiful buffet of fabrics! I can't wait to see your strips sewn together! Also, make sure you join the Flickr group for the quilt along. you'll get a million comments with that awesome fabric!

Skip's Girl said...

I love how you picked those beautiful fabrics! And thank you for sharing those videos, TEARS are falling cause I'm laughing so hard!

cynthia said...

love this post Cameron and thank you for sharing the imperfect action:)

Paulette said...

Now I get it Cameron...Beautiful!Thanks especially for the imperfect action post... so true...I'm going to have to sleep on this!

Wisconsin Girl said...

Love the final fabric combo, esp. after your explanation of what it means to you. Have fun with it! I didn't know that you sewed too:) Where do you find the time??? The Handmade Mart sounded fun. I've made a decision that this year for Christmas, and probably starting now for most gift-giving events, that I am going to try my best to buy handmade things. Shop Etsy and stuff like that. Such cute stuff and supporting local, hard-working, passionate people is rewarding. I follow another blog that is a sewer and has such cute stuff on Etsy. Makes me thing I need to start some sort of any action myself! I do lots of stuff, but feel like I don't have anything to show for it. You've really been on a role lately! It's always fun to see someone in their groove!

Kim said...

I too was freaking out about quilting newbies getting confused by the directions for the quilt along and hoped that Dana would at least put up more of an explaination since clearly the concrete math couldn't be wrong. But, whatever. People are figuring it out, and it is her blog. My seams a a quarter inch though. : )

Tauni said...

I LOVE the final fabric combo. Happy that you added the filberts. :) I got all choked up just reading, thinking of all of those memories in the garden when we were kids. That's why I have a garden now. So many good feelings. It's all the happy memories that I hope I can pass on to my girls.

Lori Hudson said...

Your quilt is going to be ...wait for it ....wait for it.... good enough to eat! Serously, can't wait to see it all sewn together. Now that I'm back in town, time to get down to business with my quilt.

Ava's Mom said...

Mmmmm, I love to eat fresh veggies and can totally relate to your gardening story. Its why I garden with my girls. Can't wait to see your quilt. Love the fabric. It's gonna be beautiful.

Imperfect is OK. I tell myself this all the time. I just don't have enough time to do perfect anymore (not that I ever did). These days, I just say "if it gets done, that's good enough". :-)

Happy weekend.

Ingrid Parmeter said...

My imperfect action WAS in my garden, so that is sort of applicable in many ways today. I kept looking and trying to figure out how to lay things out all orderly, meanwhile my starts were starting to look a bit peaked. So I threw them in there! I'll send a picture soon.
I love Oregon food too. Especially filberts. I have an obsession with that particular nut (although I LOVE all nuts including ones I am related to). When I was pregnant with Francis, I ate so many filberts in the classroom that a student said, "Ms Parmeter, you are going to have a nut for a kid if you keep eating so many of those things". True.

Anonymous said...

love this fabric! i can not WAIT to see the finished quilt. and you are so right about imperfect action...i have to remind myself about that every day. good to get it totally ingrained before kids come, because after that...well, it all seems like imperfect action! :) hope you are well! xo!