Wednesday, October 1, 2014

the Start of Oct Swaps

Its been said that others will treat you the way you treat yourself. To that end, I have joined several swaps this year and am enjoying the small surprises that come in the mail. What I find is that most swappers are generous with their talents and resources. 

I worked on a couple of blocks yesterday for the 12" swaps. This is my third try at the Halloween block using the orange and grey batiks my partner requested. It was not an easy block to make, yet clearly turned out better than my first two tries.

The second block is done in traditional Christmas colors. I pulled out everything I had that was not a novelty print for this one, but did go with the red dots on white for the contrast against the red.

In many ways, creating these blocks is like working with my self-image and what I present to others. When I am judgmental with myself, it shows in my work. When I am open to receive inspiration and open to the joy of simply working with color, textures and visuals, that also shows in my work.

I made this mug rug for another Halloween swap I am in through swapbot. These swaps are not particularly for quilted items, but it is giving me a chance to use up small scraps. For instance, on this one, there was only enough green and purple to make two sides of the frame, and only enough orange to do the binding. Its gone off to someone in the North Territory of Australia. Her profile did not indicate she was a quilter, so its a simple hope this will please her.

Growing up in an Italian family, you were either quiet or very outspoken. I was the first in my generation and was able to turn on both characteristics depending upon the situation. That placement is called Ambivert. Testing for this, I am more of an Extravert with Ambivert tendencies. I think I've sited this test before if you haven't taken it. introvert-or-extrovert-test/

As time went on, I let the culture sort of push me down for awhile. However, whatever is in me came out at school, later in the workplace and in social settings. In some way, my self-esteem has always struggled to find that balance.

For years, I would be the gift-giver, the organizer, event-planner, the teacher and life coach. During those years, I think I closed off any way to receive from others. As I started to retire from this and that, there was a sort of deprivation that eeked in and I realized that the flow of giving and receiving was not in balance. 

My quilting is primarily for me. I get satisfaction from learning, from doing, from struggling, and then from finishing a project. Thing is, they are still practice pieces, and as such need homes other than my own. When I start most projects, they are designated for a specific person in my life. 

And then come these swaps. Strangers. All strangers. Here is where my risking comes into play. Here is where I can present my sell full out. The person I send to through the swapbot site is not the person who sends to me. They are not connected, not in parity relationship with me, and so there is nothing to lose nor to gain in being generous or holding back.

The thing with swapbot is that the recipient rates what they got, and there is a deadline to what is sent, so if it doesn't come or comes late, it effects their swapping cred.