I had not taken any handwork with me on travel, realizing I would be more focused on the kids while visiting. But, while away, I did reflect on projects I had completed. This post is not so much about what I (and others) have done, as it is about how those projects once gifted, have lived on. It was gratifying to see how many projects had not faded into oblivion but were in active use. I have often professed that quilting is about the process, not the product; but it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling to see the product appreciated as well. If you are looking for creative inspiration or instructional tutorials from this post, read no further. If you want allow yourself to bask in the belief that what you create has an afterlife, then please read on and see these examples.
I enjoyed seeing my oldest granddaughter, four-year-old Autumn, playing with the mermaid doll and accessories (May 23, 2017 post) I brought out to her.
I also recalled that three-year-old Vivian, my second oldest granddaughter, had taken her Lil Red Doll (March 8, 2016 post) with her to a Sleeping Beauty stage show several months ago.
While I was away, it was cool to get a text from my son showing how Vivian and had set up two mermaid dolls for herself and her little sister Lillian. I made me feel that making three sets of them had really been worth it.
My daughter, my granddaughter, my sister, and I had a girls' night out where we went to see a Disney show, titled When You Wish, having its pre-Broadway debut in Oklahoma City. Autumn wore a My Little Pony dress made by her mom. It is gratifying to see the sewing gene is being passed on.
My sister brought with her from North Carolina a sweater our mother had knitted for my sister's oldest son. Glenn is about to turn 48 so this sweater is over four decades old. It had been worn by my sister's three sons, by her grandson, by my two sons, and now by my two-year-old grandson, Isaiah, who is the younger of my mother's two great grandsons. Now that's longevity.
Making is not restricted to cloth and yarn goods. Here is my husband Frank assembling a Spider-Man Desk for two-year old Isaiah, a true fan of the Marvel Comics hero.
Isaiah was very excited to see it and he put it to immediate use.
Seeing how into Spider-Man Isaiah was, I purchased some fabrics to make him crib sheets. I just started yesterday and here are the three prints I picked, two for crib sheets and one for a changing table pad or pillowcase. So far I have made a crib sheet of the bottom-most red fabric. I am confident the sheets will get loved and used! They will be replacing the dinosaur themed ones (June 22, 2016 post) that are fading into the past (much like Puff the Magic Dragon). Triceratops and Brontosaurus, move over for Marvel Comic heroes.
While visiting I got the opportunity to look through some quilt book and patterns with my daughter. Just spending time together like that is rewarding. I did a bit of quilt-related reading. I was bemused by That Dorky Homemade Look by Lisa Boyer, and my sister was, also. It is a humorous tongue in cheek collection of essays reminding us all to not be so serious and critical about our hobby.
A quick look at the Table of Contents gives an idea about the fun topics.
While visiting my nephew in North Carolina I caught a peek of my sister sleeping under this quilt, made for her son in 2007. The red/white/black color scheme was chosen by him based on his college Alma Mater. The pattern was of stack and whack vintage.
So I hope your takeaways from this post are not feelings of inspiration or education, but rather an over-abiding sense of jubilation and appreciation. Reflect on items you have made. Take joy in the knowledge that many of those items you've dispersed to a good home are loved, be they a spectacular work of art, or a dorky homemade item. To quote Lisa Boyer about the dorky ones:
The most important aspect to remember about dorky-homemade quilt making is that once you have put your last stitch in the binding, you are still only half-finished. The quilt must now under go a thorough conditioning. Give it to someone you love dearly. They must drag it around the house, wrap themselves up in it when they have a fever, spill something brown on it, and occasionally let Woofie lay on it.
This trip, I got to see items I've made being used. It was great! Productivity? Hmm ... Why was that so important, again? I will delay being productive a bit longer while I link up with Sew Fresh Quilts' Let's Bee Social #188. It is a pretty sure thing that I will find inspiration and education there in addition to jubilation and appreciation.