I used to make my own bread. It was fun, until it became a chore. Up to that point, I enjoyed the process. Preparing my work area. Seeing the ingredients turn from bitsy to smooth dough, and then bread. The joy of watching my family enjoy it. Yes, it fed my soul as well as our tummies.
Maybe a victim of my own success, I dropped bread from my shopping list. Now if I didn’t bake, there was no bread. I’d stay up a bit later in the evening, just to squeeze in a loaf for the next day. The fun seeped away and I stopped. Bread shuffled back on to the shopping list.
Here’s my theory. When you make something from your heart and with your hands, it has to be done for the joy of it. It is about the journey not just the destination. Otherwise, go and buy it.
Today I discovered that this concept has a name. I found it in a magazine I bought myself ready for an appointment today. One of those appointments where they give you a time, but you know that it is just aspirational. So I took a magazine as an indulgent treat and grabbed the inevitable delay as “me time”.
The magazine was “Love Sewing”. Have you read it? Inside there is an article which contained the phrases “slow textiles” and “slow fashion”, which jumped out at me. Apparently a newish concept that encompasses hand crafts such as knitting, embroidery and hand sewing. I suspect it would be best buddies with slow cooking.
Now if the world was to take both these concepts to heart, then there might be quite a few rumbling, bare midriffs, but that is not the point.
I came home and looked at my current projects. I’m knitting a pair of socks, preparing a new Dear Daughter quilt block, crocheting my daisy blanket, deliberating over the backing for another quilt and a couple more dressmaking projects which are almost finished.
Some of these projects have been on the go for a while. Why? Various reasons, but I realise that they are all being worked on. Slowly. I choose to pick up the right project for each moment. Not because I want to finish, but because I want to knit/crochet/handstitch/spin/felt at that precise point.
So I’m OK with my projects. Some things I make will be finished in no time because I’m enjoying the ride. Others will take longer. Maybe some will never be finished, but they will all have served a bigger purpose. In a busy life, my handcrafting acts as my time to breathe and enjoy the moment.
It’s about the journey. Now I have a name for it. Slow Textile.
How about you? Do you enjoy taking time or would you prefer to be wearing a skirt 2 hours after you the first cut of the fabric?
I’m back with another quilt block and letter. Your Dear Daughter quilt is growing. As is the clutch of letters.
I really like this patchwork block. It’s called Rosebud. Somehow I’ve managed to flip the pattern over, which I’m fine with. Eye catching isn’t it? The red against the yellow. I love the raggedy ends of the petals. Probably just me, but they remind me of prayer flags flapping and fraying in the wind. A reassuring image.
This is a patchwork block I would like to do again. I think it would look good en masse in different fabrics but the same design repeated.
While I’ve been stitching, we had an interesting conversation this week. We often do, but this time you told me about the people at school who you find good to be around. I was so pleased to hear you talk about these friends.
You describe them all as positive people. They don’t drag you down. Even when they are unhappy about something, they are somehow upbeat. Most importantly, you know they are approachable and easy to get on with.
I thought your observations were insightful. They sound like wonderful people and I’m glad you know them. It made me ponder. What is it about a person that makes them positive? I’m talking more about the definition of a positive person rather than how they became positive. I won’t go into the nature -v- nuture debate here. Instead, I’ve jotted down a few ideas about how I would define a positive person:
They have a genuine smile. One that reaches all the way to their eyes. I first heard that description in Danny the Champion of the World and it is so true.
They use positive words and phrases with ease. Instead of “I hate“, they use “I like“. Instead of “I can’t“, they use “I’d like to have a go.”
They see others as equals and not as instant competition. Or someone that needs to be squashed so they themselves can rise above. Instead they enjoy hearing about other people’s successes.
My personal favourite. They look for silver linings. The most successful silver linings are ones that move you forward. They may cause a smile (“it’s raining.” “Great for the ducks“) or open doors (“I’m too late.” “Nevermind, now’s the perfect time to do that something I’ve been wanting to do.”)
They share positive moments. Believe me, a positive moment is multiplied once it’s shared. Ten fold, at the minimum. Ask a teacher how they feel after they are able to compliment a student on something done well. Or a small child spotting something for the first time and sharing it with others.
They surround themselves with other positive people. Like minded folk will flock together. It does work the other way round too. (If you are miserable…..)
Goodness. I could go on, but I suspect you have some ideas that you would like to add. I’m sure this is a conversation that we will return to.
I like that you take a moment to understand. You can see the good in people. I hope that you are forever surrounded by people that make you feel good too. People who can turn the negative on its head to expose the shiny positive side of the coin.
Your loving mother
I’ve updated the Dear Daughter page to include photos of all the patchwork blocks so far. Would love to know which is your favourite.