Tuesday, 30 July 2013

On blogging

In my last class at retreat John talked with us about blogging which really got me thinking. You may have noticed the decline in blogposts from me this year and I have been wanting to do a post about it but I just wasn't able to find my voice. I think I've got it now though :)
John had a list for us of blogging do's and dont's and covered some of the pitfalls in blogging, some of which I think I fell into head first!

When I started this blog it was so I could share my passion for all things fabric and patchwork and to reach out to like minded people. Somewhere along the line however I found myself stuck with deadlines I didn't want, worrying about living up to expectations that may have only existed in my mind, working on projects that could not be revealed yet and grasping at straws what to blog about, thinking 'I must sew so I can blog!' This is completely backwards of course. 

Prepping to make the first cut. This fabric is so slippery! Wish me luck

And then there's the matter of keeping up with the Joneses. The virtual world makes it seem like the grass is always greener on the other side. They all have the perfect homes, perfect lives, perfect fabrics, finishing up one quilt a week etc. I am well aware that things aren't always what they seem but it still makes me feel bad sometimes when I'm sitting here knee deep in toys and laundry in a house in desperate need of a spruce (at the least), attempting to 'have a life' or whatever that means, and most of all trying my stinkin' best to do the single mum thing which is messy and downright sucks some days. 
Blogging through the lows can be an amazing outlet for some people, for me however it's not. I go silent. I suppose it's because I'm an introvert by nature. But it's also a matter of wanting to keep this a positive space and not airing out my dirty laundry on this big anonymous world wide web.

Vogue dress in progress

So for a while there I lost my desire to sew - like completely gone. This would not be a first for me. I have been passionate about many things in the past that I now have no desire to pursue. This time round though I found a slight change in direction from patchwork to dressmaking did the trick. Tracing back to where my love for sewing first began now fuelled by a desire to one day be able to sew a wardrobe of clothes that are just perfect for me. 

ignoring the vacuum cleaner

This is where I'm at now; sewing a dress and ignoring the vacuum cleaner I placed in the middle of the room so I would use it! Enjoying our summer holiday while it lasts. Allowing that little man to drive me up the wall and instantly forgetting it all when he smiles at me.  

How are you doing with this blogging thing? Do you feel the pressure, do you sew to blog sometimes, do you hop from one craft to the next, ideas, thoughts? I'd love to hear from you!

x Leila

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Fat Quarterly Retreat London 2013

I'm finally back home and feeling somewhat like myself again. I've been travelling and holidaying for nearly a month and it was absolutely wonderful, so it feels strange to be back to normal again.
Last stop on my trip was Fat Quarterly Retreat London.

I forgot to pack quite a few essentials amongst which my camera so I'm stealing borrowing a few photos from others for this post. Please see links below for the original source of the photos, I asked for permission but got impatient so I went ahead and used them ;)

My classes were all fantastic, I took embroidery with John, Touchdraw with Lynne, Portholes with Lu and ended with John again in his blog design class that wasn't about blog design at all ;)
They were all wonderful teachers and left me feeling very inspired to sew, embroider, design and blog.

One of the highlights for me this year was the Liberty talk I was lucky enough to attend on the Friday morning. It was just wonderful to see how these beautiful prints are made and learn a bit more about the history of Liberty.

The good thing about delayed flights and long train rides is you can get lots of embroidery done! Home now :) #fqlondon embroidery class by @j_q_adams pattern by @alisonglass
John provided us with some excellent embroidery patterns this one is by Alison Glass

In between classes there was plenty of time for socialising. Having been to retreat last year I found this a little easier but still slightly daunting. There are just so many people! I'm not overly shy but I worry about imposing so butting in when people already seem to be grouped together and chatting isn't the easiest thing for me to do. It was exciting to reunite with some old friends from last year and make a few new ones.
Getting to meet your online friends in real life is truly the best part about retreat!


And then there were fabrics of course and tons of pretty bags, dresses, quilts etc. from so many talented people. There were goodie bags, swaps, a pub quiz and quilt market. The Baden Powell House was positively buzzing with creativity. For someone like me who is used to being home alone with the kiddo, it was soooo much to process!
It was exciting, exhausting and overwhelming all at once.

Goodie bag
Goodie bag and some of it's contents

Then quite suddenly it was time to say goodbye and catch the tube with my new friend Rachel. Once she had reached her stop and we said our goodbyes it hit me that it was really all over :(
Well that is until next year of course!

x Leila