confessions of a fabric obsessive

Random acts of sewing

You may have noticed that I haven’t blogged very much since January when I finished the Rainbow Zigzag Quilt for my new niece . I just wanted to stop the world and get off for a while, if you know what I mean. Lots of things I do regularly just got to be a drag, and all of the ones that are voluntary got put on hold for a little while.

I have spent some quite a lot of  time reading other people’s blogs and I seem to have recovered my sewing mojo.

In the last 10 days I’ve probably done more sewing than I did in the last two months altogether and all of it has been spur of the moment stuff, using fabric I had in my stash.

First I made a hanging glasses pouch, then I pulled apart the mini-tote I made for myself so I could add a little inside pocket for my shopping list (my mini-tote is used my “bag of bags”  and holds all of my strong bags when I go to the supermarket).

A few days ago I made a holder/wrap/roll thingy for my crochet hooks and corner turners (you know that little pointy things that you use to poke your corners all the way out) with a little pocket for my crochet hook/knitting needle size gauge (otherwise I lose it/forget I have it), and a huge needlebook with a little pocket.

On Wednesday I made two infinity scarves, randomly, out of the blue (well actually out of some pink striped jersey and some purple and mint patterned jersey, but that’s not what I meant).

Last night I made some little drawstring pockets for my mp3 players and their headphones (one of my mp3 players is white with green details, the other is red, can you guess which pocket is for which player?) so I can find them more easily and not get the headphones tangled up in other stuff.

On impulse.

Just like that.

You’ll notice that all of these random acts of sewing were for me, and all of them were useful (March is still chilly in the UK, so a couple of warmish scarves are going to be useful to fill in the gap between my coat and my chin). That probably says a lot about my life or my state of mind right now, but I’m not the member of my family with a degree that includes psychology so I’m not going to try and analyse it, just notice and acknowledge that this is where I am.

I want to make another crochet hook/knitting needle roll for my mum for Mother’s Day in 10 days’ time. I’ve no idea whether I’ll get around to it, but I hope so. I’m not going to pressure myself to do it, but I already know what fabric I want to use.

I’m also planning another needlebook for myself, this time for machine needles. It will have a suede page for leather needles, a denim one for denim needles, a jersey one for jersey, an ordinary cotton one for “normal” fabrics. That way it should be really easy to find the needle I want when I need it, instead of rummaging through packets.

Having a break seems to have put the fun back into making stuff again, rather than the chore of churning things to for other people.

Sewing had been in danger of becoming a chore, while I wanted to make things for my nearest and dearest, I’m never good with deadlines and I had hit missed a few deadlines over new year, and felt bad about it, thus giving myself plenty of material to beat myself up with. I’ve put my “WIPs on Wednesday” on hold for a little while as well, there’s only a limited amount of reminding myself about unfinished stuff that I can to do before it becomes counter-productive. It’ll be back as an occasional thing and then eventually as a regular spot when I’ve got my head (and home) straight.

I’ve also restarted using my little notebook to jot down ideas of things to make. I write and draw instructions of how to make the thing that has just popped into my head so that I don’t get stressed trying to remember it and get around to making it before I forget. Once it’s written down I don’t need to remember it any more, as I can flick through and know exactly what I was aiming for just by looking at the drawing and the explanation.

I don’t live well with stress, and apparently trying to remember to do things makes me stressed.

Taking photos of pretty flowers doesn’t make me stressed 🙂

Hopeful Claire Bear

19 responses to “Random acts of sewing

  1. quirky March 10, 2012 at 12:22

    March always gives me the blahs, you feel you should/ought to be doing more because the sap is rising but somehow it takes me longer to get into the swing of things. I also get overwhelmed with the thought that soon I will have to add gardening/weeding/pruning to my already huge (self-imposed) list of ‘things to do’. Let’s cut ourselves some slack and just ‘be’ for a while – knock the shoulds and oughts on the head – just for today 🙂

  2. Pam March 10, 2012 at 13:08

    Hi Claire,
    Happy day to you and with lots of big cyber hugs! Yep, sounds like you are where I am and I keep making commitments. It is good you recognize the stress issue and just “stop”… good for you. I love that you stopped to make to things for yourself. How many of us really do that? Smile and relax! Do what brings you pleasure.

  3. pugnotes March 11, 2012 at 11:02

    hi claire!
    it is so nice to meet you!
    i love your post and your blog.
    i am exactly the same way.
    if i write it down, i know it will get done or i will remember what i am thinking about and i can let it go for the next creative idea to arrive. 🙂
    until i did that, i too spun about it so that i would not forget.
    i love everything you have created!
    good for you for listening to your heart and letting yourself relax back into your rhythm.
    have a super day!

    • Handmade by Claire Bear March 11, 2012 at 11:29

      It’s nice to know that it’s not just me, I seem to be the only person I know that has memory issues, or is creative.

      • Zahid June 10, 2012 at 22:40

        Just about any machine can do this for you. You will need a machine that has a zig-zag stitch and one that you can release pressure of the foot. This might not make sense to someone without basic knowledge of a machine. To sew use the instructions, to embroider put the stitch setting on zig-zag, the stitch length as small as possible and release the foot pressure to zero. The little teeth that normally pull the material along will now be retracted into the machine. You must put your hands on the material on either side of the foot [put the foot down] and you can use them as the guide to move the material any way you like. The cloth must be thick enough to hold the embroidery, you can use purchased interfacing for this. Just put it in the back or inside the item your making. I use this for writing, pictures, or anything else I want to sew onto things [oh, and it’s great for patches on] just grab some material and experiment. Have fun.

    • Hitomi June 11, 2012 at 02:57

      Wow, you did really well! Mariah loves to sew. I hate it if I have to follow a pattern. I broke my machine and Mariah asked for one of her own in purple. We’ll see.

  4. Oh Sew Tempting March 12, 2012 at 18:15

    You make lots of lovely different things! I like them all but especially your roll-up 🙂 Avis x

  5. Kathy March 12, 2012 at 22:45

    Hi Claire, sounds like a break was just what you needed to get re-inspired. I feel so relaxed after my 4-5 day blogging break you wouldn’t believe it! It’s great when we listen to creativity and go with her when she calls…and then listen to our need for pausing and go with her when she calls. Thanks for visiting my blog with your encouraging words.

  6. Pingback: Mother’s Day and a Beautiful Blogger Award « HandmadebyClaireBear

  7. Amy DeCesare March 22, 2012 at 12:09

    Just found you via Lily’s Quilts. I like this post…am wanting to make some infinity scarves myself!!! Also, I’m a huge Delilah fan and enjoyed seeing it in the tiny pouches. Love the daffodils, too…they are always so cheering, no matter what.

  8. Karen @ Folk Haven April 12, 2012 at 17:32

    Your sewing is lovely and I like the way you write. I also lost my mojo and took a break a while back. I used some pre-blogging projects to post about during that time but I was off of my machine. It feels good now to come back at it for a fresh start.

    • Handmade by Claire Bear April 12, 2012 at 18:08

      I was the other way around. I needed to take a complete break from blogging as I wasn’t getting any sewing done at all.
      A break worked well though, and I’d do it again if I felt the same as I did then. Fresh starts are always good.

  9. Mrs M May 12, 2012 at 11:33

    Your blog is full of inspiration. Thanks.
    I sometimes feel as though I want to spend more time making stuff rather than having to go to work!
    I tend to do a lot of sewing and have a few projects lined up for presents, but have taken a break by trying to learn to crochet!

  10. Pingback: Stuff that hasn’t been put away properly « HandmadebyClaireBear

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