Monday, February 11

No need for speed: Slow Craft


For some time I had a rather large embroidery (it's a secret project, more about that later this year) in my large Qsnap frame. Well I call it my large frame (it's 11" square I think) but they make them much, much bigger than that! But now that project is finished (well the embroidery bit anyway) I have put my beloved Bear & Fish project in the Qsnap again. Yesterday I added the green leaves. Not really my finest shading work, but it looks ok from a distance. :) I really enjoy doing working on this piece. It's not for a pattern, not for a book and there is no deadline, it's just for me! Which brings me to this blog post by Lisa. She did a fabulous job stitching this organic fruit & veg themed piece, and, just like me, she stitched it for fun.

To me it seems that crafters often feel the need to hurry or produce lots of things (for whatever reason: deadlines, new projects on the horizon, demand etc) and many (myself included) have several projects in progress at the same time. It's a paradox really: making things by hand (which is a relatively slow process) but it better not take too much time! Why not make at least one of your projects a 'slow craft' project*. Something you make just for fun or which will help you develop and practice new skills. Are you ready to be a 'slow crafter'? Or maybe you already are? Let me know!

*after I had written most of this post I found out that there is actually such a thing called the 'slow revolution' and 'slow crafts'!

21 comments:

  1. I love my Spring Carnival project which is, as you say, just for fun. It started off as a cushion but has now been added to and will, hopefully, finish off as a quilt. I'm in no rush, just enjoying the process. Very relaxing.

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    1. Spring Carnival is so awesome, I had to resist not jumping on that bandwagon! :)

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  2. I have to agree with you about being on the fast track. I follow a few blogs and I'm amazed at how much some of these women do. Also in my guild (quilting) people are cranking out things left and right!
    I know I put pressure on myself to make things and get them done really quick (usually it's because I've waited till the very last minute ~ teehee). I like the idea of slow crafts. I've got a paper pieced quilt I'm making and I decided it's going to be a year project ~ maybe it will turn out to be more than a year ~ I won't know till it's finished.
    Thanks for this post ~ it's something I need to read.

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    1. Paper piecing seems to be a favorite 'slow craft' :)

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  3. YES! I am always scurrying around, getting 'work' crafting done as quickly as possible for obvious reasons, and often cranking out little projects like pouches and whatnot (usually because I need them for something, I tend to try and make as much as I can rather than buy some poor-quality version of the same thing from the shops), but I do really really love a slow, no-hurry, long-term project. I have my Sajou sampler that I haven't worked on for a while, but I know will probably take several years to complete. And a paper pieced hexagon quilt - Grandmother's Flower Garden, all in reproduction 1930s fabrics - that I work on from time to time when I want something quiet (a lot in the last week, actually, because of my neck injury). I love these projects so much, because they are slow and there's no way to rush them. They will take as long as they take and that's it. My quilt may take a decade, each 'flower' is made of 19 hexagons and measures 8" across - and 1 takes me a whole evening to make. I've made 7 so far. It's a looooong-term project. :) But it might be my very favorite of all the WIPs!

    I love the idea that it's a revolution! :)

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    1. It *is* revolutionary in a way, isn't it? :) Have you got a link to your hexagon quilt, I'd love to see it (even if it's half finished)

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    2. Oh, I didn't see your reply until yesterday, sorry about that! I just posted about my hexagon quilt in my week of Slow Crafts on my blog, so there's some photos over there now! :)

      http://button-button.co.uk/one-flower-at-a-time/

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  4. My EPP hexies are my slow craft and I completely agree about taking time. So many people admit to not really enjoying the process as they want to get on to the next thing...I agree, we need to slow down :-)

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    1. which reminds me of the box full of EPP hexies I have got here...waiting to get inspired to do more... :)

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  5. Thank you all for commenting on this post! I felt a bit awkward about it when I wrote it but I"m happy that there are more 'slow crafters' out there! :)

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  6. Crafting for me is fairly seasonal as my sewing room (the conservatory) is fairly unusable for 3 months of the year, I checked today it's 2C in there!! Brrr, so winter time is my slow craft season. I've come to love it, curling up at the end of the day with some patchwork, knitting or stitching. It's also the time of year I really think about learning new techniques or planning, what I might want to make in the 'speedier machinier' months! Here's to slow crafting and long, cosy winter nights!

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    1. That sounds like a great balance to me and I think after a few 'slow' months you can't wait to speed things up again!

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  7. I spend more time on the planning and thinking part of things I mostly feel a sense of urgency to get the thing that's in my head out. But this is because I know that I will leave a project unfinished if I don't keep a certain pace. The hardest bit for me is being OK with making a mistake... I do like the idea of having something that's there to work on for a long period of time though. Like hanging out with a good friend or something.

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    1. I do recognise the sense of urgency for fear of losing interest before you have finished your project! In fact I'm great at starting things but no so much at finishing projects. But when I do finish one I feel extra-proud :) The good thing about a long-running project is that even if you lose interest at some point that's ok. You can continue when you do feel inspired again.

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    2. Perhaps reframing my unfinished projects as long-running will help me feel less guilty about them languishing.

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    3. or how about 'renaming' them? ;) but it's not quite what I meant actually...it's more like a project that from the start is meant to be a slow one :)

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  8. I know for me, I feel the urgency due to the fact that there are so many ideas and "wanna-dos" rolling around in my head, and I know that I will never do a fraction of them in my lifetime. Times like that, I *especially* need to slow down, and do something at a slow pace, for the pure joy of doing it.
    :o)
    Rose

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    1. I know the feeling, there are so many fun things to try. I'd love to do different crafts (crochet for example) too but just don't have the time!

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  9. If the secret project is what I think it is, then I'm on tenterhooks wondering how it's turning out! And very sad not to be involved any more.

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    1. yup, it's that one! I think overall it turned out good but not finished yet :)

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  10. Hi Nicole, thanks for the shout out! I do enjoy a slow craft and being able to take my time (when I have it!), and I think you're right, both in that it's good to slow down and take your times with things and enjoy them, and yet, there's a degree of pressure to produce, especially if you have a blog. I find that often, I have a mix of things going on at once, longer, more time consuming projects as well as quick ones to fill in the gaps. It usually works out ok, but can be a little vexing at times. Great question, I've loved reading the dialog from other crafters & bloggers!

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