Remember that chevron quilt I was working on? Well I finally finished it. It took FOREVER. One day I will actually remember that quilting is a really extensive process. Maybe.
In any case, I am really happy with how it looks in our bedroom, making it even more monochromatic than before. Even though I made a ton of mistakes at the end of this project, I still have the quilting bug. I’ve just learned that quilting a queen size quilt on a tiny sewing machine doesn’t work as well as I had hoped it would. I still can’t wait to start the next one. I’ll just have to make sure I have a long time to work on it.
Ever since we had out Mad Men Party there have been plans for more marathons and themed gatherings. The most anticipated is our Twin Peaks Marathon, which is happening this weekend. Being a huge Twin Peaks fan, I may have been a little too ambitious in my preparations. In order to make our living room feel like the black lodge, I’ve been making a black and white chevron quilt. I love how it’s coming along, but with so many pieces on this fairly large quilt, I’m not sure I can pull it off in time for this weekend. I’m going to try though! Thankfully I have Radiolab podcasts to keep me on task while I sew.
Beyond the quilt, I still have red velvet curtains to make. Plus lots and lots of pie. I am really good at making nearly impossible tasks for myself. I wouldn’t have it any other way I suppose.
In my continued quest to make things, I endeavored to sew a nightgown. I thought with the impending warmer months it would be nice to have something light to sleep in. I found a few patterns with modest designs, much like you would see from years ago, and thought they would make nice projects. I chose a bright striped fabric and got on with it.
The pattern was simple and a nice reintroduction to sewing complete garments. Following directions is simultaneously comforting and difficult for me; I like having the guidance but I rarely follow instructions completely. I often cut corners or do things out of order, which can often lead to problems, although not always.
Of course, as I finished it, the weather turned cold again, so I imagine it will be awhile until I wear it. There should be a button on the top, which I may or may not add later, and I sort of wish the waistline was a little lower, but at least I’ll know for next time. Mostly I think it’s fun, and being so simple to make, it gave me confidence in my sewing skills once again.
Recently I’ve been spending a lot of time on the internet. Let me clarify that. I’ve been spending more time on the internet than usual, which was already a lot. It’s not good. I mean, hey, I love the internet as much as the next girl, but things have gone overboard and I can feel it. It’s a double edged sword for me, as I have a really difficult time connecting to people in real life (one day I will write something about this introversion and shyness…one day…), and the web gives me a way to have social interaction. Such a conundrum.
Lately though, I just feel drained. I feel as if it is literally sucking the life and creativity out of me. My motivation has been lost somewhere in the ether to twitter and instagram and it makes me feel like I am no longer myself.
I’m taking a step away from the computer as much as possible, and diving into other things, into making and creating and contemplating.
I came across this pattern for a one hour dress and I thought it would be ideal to get me on the path away from the virtual and back to the real. It was indeed, as this simple one hour dress turned into a much much larger project (I stopped keeping track of how long it took after hour 4). Working at my sewing machine, I felt energized, and even with my mistakes and missteps, I forged onward, until it was done, and I was happy. I found a certain level of gratification in making something utilitarian like a dress that can be worn regularly.
It’s nothing particularly fancy, but it’s exactly the style I like. It’s comfortable. It has pockets. Most importantly, I made it. That in itself brings me a lot of satisfaction.
This weekend I hope to step away from the allure of the internet and continue to make things or simply enjoy a quite walk outdoors. I hope you’ll join me.
*I thought I should add that I do clearly see how it might seem hypocritical to write about getting away from the web on a blog, but my trouble lays in the consumption rather than what I put out there. It’s easy to get sucked into social media and arguments and articles, whereas my blog is my own space.
It probably comes as no surprise that I’ve been an obsessive journaler for most of my life. The tendency crept in in middle school and just stuck around for those tumultuous years following. Truth be told, my first real journal was not a book, it was my computer. I was trying to work some things out and thought it best I write it down, while simultaneously, I thought it was time I learned to type properly. Thus, my first journal was born in a word document (maybe it wasn’t word back then, but I forget to be honest). Subsequently I filled many composition books and spiral notebooks with the mundane details of my life and tons of teenage drama.
Then I found livejournal. Were you on livejournal? I feel like so many of us were. At first the concept of others reading my own personal thoughts didn’t occur to me, it was just like my computer journal, except stored secretly online. Over the years, connections were made and it became a way to vent as well as bond with others. I still had a paper journal, but the online one was something different, more careful and stylized and intentional. When an ex-boyfriend read one of my journals, livejournal became a safe place with its password protected private posts.
I guess now I’ve grown out of journaling. My life no longer has the drama worthy of writing about. Of course, there is this blog, which takes care of some of it. A fancy highlight version of life, with a few oblique references to internal struggles. That’s not to say I don’t sometimes miss journaling, but mostly I miss livejournal itself, the endless melodramatic posts and conversations they sometimes spurred. I do not, on the other hand, miss the times I wrote about, and am thus much happier to be without it.
My livejournal has since been deleted, fearing someone might find it and connect it to me. Before I disposed of it forever, I made a backup and years later, inspired by a friend, I finally decided to have it printed into a book so it would not be entirely lost.
It took a few hours to format everything into a printable version and then cost about $15 to have it printed. Now it can get stored away with the others serving no purpose at all, except that I have it. It’s not recommended reading. The bits I skimmed as I edited were so depressingly embarrassing they made me cringe. Reading things you wrote in college is not a good idea. That being said, I’m glad to have a physical copy even if it is only to be burned before my death or something along those lines.