Monday, August 26, 2013

Thread Heaven and other such tools

I just bought another container of Thread Heaven, and use it a lot when I hand sew the binding or otherwise use a needle and thread.

As you know, I was off learning a new quilting process this weekend and creating a quilt that will go to one of my granddaughters for her graduation next June. 

Some of the benefits you get by going to a class or on a quilting retreat is seeing how more seasoned quilters do this art work. I really recommend in-person classes even though those YouTube and other tutorials are readily available online. Yes, you can learn a lot from them, but its nothing like being in the presence of other learners.

This holds true no matter what you want to experience for your personal growth. I really believe that there comes a time that we progress further when we are face-to-face or somehow are able to interact with an instructor or other classmates. 

I came with lots of questions for women in the group. Because I work alone, its an opportunity to change my mind.

Color choices always intrigue me when everyone is doing the same pattern and often buying material from the same manufacturers or store. Everyone looks over the shoulders of each quilter to see how she uses her machine, holds her hands on it, the speed she uses for all those insights into the technique. I did get one comment about my blocks that will help me in future projects.

My rotary cutter has gotten so old that it wiggles when it cuts and causes the cut to change the length or width of a piece.

This got me thinking about the tools I use in quilting as well as in other parts of my life, and my relationship to them. A tool serves me better when it does something I need for my greater good.

For instance, I know the garden shovel is going to give up someday soon. New ones have non-wooden handles. Mine is so old its starting to sliver, so I wear garden gloves. Another tool. My use of the shovel is almost daily because it comes out to help me turn over my small compost pile. That soil is soft so there is little strain on the tool. I take it for granted. Hard clay elsewhere in my gardens may one day snap it.

My stove is a glass top, so one of the fry pans recently was replaced because it started to bow and wobble, which is not good for the glass top. My primary relationship with kitchen tools is the glass top, so it gets cleaned every time it is used to avoid scratches and burns from spills. Nothing is set on it, nothing is slid over it. Every other tool that gets used on it is secondary.

And then there is my computer. How I love this tool. It opens the world to me in endless ways.

My list goes on and on, so back to quilting and those tools: Books, patterns, rotary cutters, thread, fabric. Are my choices to save money? Sometimes when it doesn't matter. 

I believe we need to see the relationship we have with things and people who make our lives easier or more frustrating. 

The old rotary cutter got tossed in the trash when I got home. It made more work for me to square up my blocks. I have a newer one so holding onto one that doesn't work is just silly. Why do we do that? 

Sometimes we have to let go of things that no longer serve our greater good. Its a lesson we can take to other parts of our lives as well. 

We hang onto jobs, organizations and even people who cause us more heartache, more work, or provide more frustration than is necessary for our growth. I don't believe in the phrase, 'no pain, no gain' and am of a mind to say that I can learn any lesson in life without having to be hurt by it.

First row completed.