Now that I have decided to take up smocking, I would love to join a smocking guild again. I have been involved in smocking guilds in both Indiana and Florida, but sadly, there are no local smocking guilds in this part of Pennsylvania. I am considering joining the WEB smockers through SAGA. Hey - I work from home, so why not attend SAGA meetings from home?? :-)
As you can see, Sew Bear and I finally got to do a little smocking last night. I don't believe I have introduced Sew Bear on my blog. She is my Vermont Teddy Bear that my sweet husband gave me as a wedding gift. We also went to Vermont Teddy Bear Company on our honeymoon. Sew Bear is wearing a cute little jumper, has a tape measure for a headband, and carries around a tomato pincushion. Kurt gave her to me so she could keep me company while I sew.
Last night, Hannah and Jonathan were at band, and Kurt took Timothy on a walk to the playground which gave me uninterrupted time to smock. I finished almost an entire row! This is going to be a smocked Christmas ball for the Martha Pullen Fan Club annual ornament exchange. I am getting a head start on my ornaments this year. In fact, I am thinking of making these for my family as well as Christmas gifts. That being said, I needed to get started soon, so now was the perfect time.
Sometimes I think I lost my identity in my divorce several years ago, but I think I lost more of my identity when I stopped smocking. I discovered and fell in love with smocking in 1998. My first smocked dress was Hannah's 4-year-old birthday dress. I was hooked from my very first stitch. For the next 9 years, I smocked nonstop. I smocked lots of things for Hannah, and then Timothy came along and I smocked even more for him.
Early in 2000, I set my sites on getting my smocking published in Sew Beautiful magazine http://www.marthapullen.com/sb/sewbeautiful.html). In 2002, I started a local smocking guild, The Emerald Coast Smocking Guild when the town I moved to did not have a smocking guild. In 2003, I began to pursue publication in Sew Beautiful Magazine. I was able to work with the magazine to have our local smocking guild featured in the Easter 2005 issue. I even designed a smocking plate that was featured in the magazine.
By 2007, Timothy had outgrown smocked outfits, and I put my smocking supplies away, and with that, I put a part of me away. I resigned myself to doing what most other moms do when their children outgrow their smocking..... I took up quilting. Now, don't get me wrong. I like quilting. I *love* quilts. They're works of art. However, I am not very good at it. I've been working at it for quite some time, but it just doesn't come as naturally to me as smocking did.
Now here I am -- it's 2010. I am newly married to a wonderful man who is very supportive and encouraging of me enjoying my creative hobbies. So... what do you do when you love to smock, but your children have outgrown it?
Okay - I admit it -- being a working wife and mother is not as easy as I thought it would be. I know it will get easier once school starts, but for now, during this adjustment period, I am a bit busier than I thought I would be. My children are here all day long, and I am trying to work all day.
Our goal is for me to eventually cut back my hours so I have more time to be a wife and mother, but until that time, I need to figure out how to make this work.
After a week of having my kids back from Florida and working, I think I have gotten most of the daily housework routine down. Now I just need to figure out how to make time for me so I can do the things I enjoy to do alone -- like quilting.
For starters, I am researching what would be involved in starting a quilting small group at church. Our church already has a scrap-booking group, so why not a quilting group? That would give me at least one evening a month with my hobby.
However, I'd like a little more. I think I am going to begin to apply the principals from Nancy's book "10-20-30 Minutes to Quilt" so I can still enjoy my hobby. I have to readjust my mindset to realize that I can't always sit down and sew/quilt for an hour at a time. I have to just be ready to grab a few minutes here and there whenever I can.
So, here's my goal. For the rest of this week, I will spend a minimum of 10 minutes in my sewing corner each day - even if it's 10 minutes before we go to bed. In an effort to have some accountability, I will post to my blog each and every day what I accomplished during my 10-minute quilting block.
I actually made it to my sewing corner yesterday evening. I made 8 more 9-patch blocks. I now have 32 blocks completed.
This morning, I put up a few of my sewing-themed decorations on the wall near my sewing corner.
This evening, I plan to make 4 more 9-patch blocks. I will have some company with me as I sew this evening. Sew Bear - my sewing-themed Vermont Teddy bear that Kurt got me as a wedding gift will be keeping me company.
I can't wait to get my IPod back from Hannah. She took it to Florida with her. I love to listen to quilting pod casts while I sew. It's always inspiring.
Kurt and I were married on June 18, 2010. The wedding was incredible. I will post pictures later today. We are now settled in our new home. My children will return from Florida this weekend, and then we will be completely settled.
I will now have time to find myself again. I think I got lost in all the hustle and bustle of planning a wedding, moving, end of the school year for kids, work, etc. Now that things are settled, I am looking forward to quilting time.
I started a disappearing 9-patch quilt some time back. I am not sure if I will pick up where I left off on that or do a quickie quilting project like perhaps a new purse or something like that. Regardless, this evening, quilting/sewing is on my schedule, and I can't wait!
My sewing corner is in our bedroom, and it's all set up and just waiting on me to sit down and get to work. Oh, and one of my wedding gifts from Kurt was an adorable Vermont Teddy Bear dressed in a sewing outfit. She is so precious and will be joining me as I sew.
I will report back tomorrow (or later tonight) and share what I accomplished!