• Johanna posted an update in the group Group logo of Joyful LivingJoyful Living 1 year, 10 months ago

    I am so excited Dawn @redwood. I did my first piece of free-motion quilting (only a very small 6″ square). I was playing around with water colour pencils on fabric and decided to use the piece with all the colour blotches on it, to have a play with some free-motion. Because it was ‘just for fun’, it was way more successful than I imagined – my stitches are horribly uneven etc but it doesn’t seem to matter for the effect it gives – that kinda messy doodling look. I turned my practice bit into a small pillow for a doll (one that is in my imagination at this point but at least has a cool pillow for when it does eventually come to life!). IMG_20160903_115430IMG_20160903_115051

    • I love it! I picked up some clothes at a Charity Shop (Thrift Store) and I am really looking forward to adding to them and individualising them!

      • Thank you Sonara! Would love to see some pictures when you have added to and individualised the clothing! 💖

    • This is gorgeous Johanna ♥

    • Beautiful! VERY creative. Love the design and the contrast with the trim.

      • Thank you Thelma! Because I used a really dark purple thread for the free-motion, I decided to repeat it in the binding to bring it out (plus I love the lady bugs 😊) 💖

    • I love this look Johanna. Absolutely beautiful, intentional and organic, a very soft aesthetic, while so well made. Feel like home.

      • Thank you Leah! I find my self looking at it and wishing it were bigger so I could add it to my bedroom 😁 💖

    • OMG! This is wonderful! And you said it’s only a tiny 6 inch pillow? You created so much beautiful detail on such a small piece of fabric! The wash-looking effect of those pencil colors is stunning too. I am blown away by how natural your whole design is, and even the patchwork on the back of the pillow, with your accent stitches – unbelievable. Your creations are just filled with so much LIFE, and daring too. I wish I could touch the surface of your pillow, feeling the difference between the stitches and the loft would be fun. I can’t wait to see the doll who goes with this pillow, as well as her clothes!

      Now that you’re focusing on your own projects, rather than ‘taking orders’ I’d love to hear what you’re noticing in yourself that’s new or different.

      • Hi Dawn. 💖 I was so excited to tell you. 😊 The small size was a bit of an issue in the sense my stitch control was obviously not great – that is quite a learning curve – so some of the areas got too dense and the needle didn’t like it. I love the wash look of the pencils too but realised that if I was to use this idea for a bigger cushion I would have to find another way to do it because I think the pencil would wash out when I launder it. Maybe watered down fabric paint or indian inks??

        Thank you so much for your lovely feedback!! And for inspiring me to give it a go. I went back and found your picture of the bird you did so I could look at ‘how’ to make it look – I ended up having to do a ‘messy’ look because I just did not have the control. The doll to match is coming together in my head – I just need to find someone who can re-upholster a dolls lounge chair for me and ‘shabby chic’ it a bit. I picture her with bed socks, this cushion, a quilt, reading glasses and a book, curled up in her comfy chair. We will see.

        I have noticed some really distinct changes since deciding not to take orders. What came to me is that there was an internal conflict between what I do sewing wise as a ‘business’ or as my ‘art’. Letting go of doing orders has finally and spontaneously begun to resolve that conflict which came about through my own idea that I needed it to make money – survival stuff. Recently, I was drawn to a blog post by Dana Mrkich – these few lines clarified it all for me and were a major ‘aha’ moment –
        Virgo says “I am not asking you to be perfect, but I am asking you to move toward your dream like an artist or sculptor creates a work of art, or like a writer completes a novel. They do it with great patience. They do it sometimes excruciatingly slowly. But bottom line – they just do it. They show up. They take a step or two or twenty every day. They make mistakes, they get rejected, they fail, they keep showing up regardless.”
        One of the continuing themes that has been bothering me in terms of it ‘making money’ and what it is that I am really doing, has been the length of time it takes me to make things. And because it is sewing and I quilt etc and I follow so many other doll and quilt makers, my idea of it was that it is a craft – I never saw it as an art. When I read this I realised I do it more like an artist – it is not that it takes heaps of time to sew the seam, it is the creative process I go through that absorbs me and can ad hours. I looked at my sewing table and it was littered with bruches and fabrics and ribbons etc etc and it dawned on me that those things are my pallette. In my minds eye I ‘see’ an idea and I might ‘play’ with all those things until a certain combinatio feels right. Just after this ‘aha’ moment my son said to me (because I was needing help with shopify), “You will need to find some items you can chain pice and put together more quickly to sell to make it viable.” and that was the moment that the conflict dissolved. Every fibre of my being went ‘No!” – that thought was an energetic dead zone.

        The only things that are still bugging me or bringing up uncomfortable feelings are, when I sit to do the ‘shopify’ stuff so I can list some of the little things for sale that I have finished, I get overwhelmed (I find the pricing side confronting!!!), and because I have a day job teaching and the creative inspiration has really ‘turned on’ since making the decision I did, I spend most of my free time following that inspiration (the result being I tend to get much less sleep, spend very little time ‘socialising’ and very little time ‘taking care’ of other things such as my professional development requirements – I just couldn’t be bothered. this brings uyp some anxiety at times). I finjd myself daydreaming about some way working out wher I don’t need to do a day job to make money. Lol!

        The other thing that is coming of this is a greater reluctance to touch base with the sewing community – something I realise has helped me determine if what I am doing is ‘good enough’ . I find myself more and more, daring myself to be courageous enough to just ‘do what comes’ without trying to compare it with other’s stuff to ascertain it’s value or acceptability. Part of that comes down to this background fear of ‘failing to meet someone’s expectations particularly if they are paying for it.”

        Anyway, thank you for giving me a chance to put this all down – it is helpful for me to see where I am at. It has certainly been a very interesting process and such a vehicle for getting to know myself and be ‘me’ – sounds funny but I never realised just how much fear was in me in regards to being me and how much I had moulkded myself on the expectations of others.

        Much love and big hugs. And thank you Dawn 💖😊

        • Wow, you are articulating this whole realm for you beautifully! It is interesting how similar some of our issues have been. I’ve had/tried different etsy shops over the years and had the same concerns over time investment, pricing, value, etc. And in regards to being an Artist, a Craftsman, or a crafter – years ago I realized that my definition of Art was what I esteemed but could not create myself. I was totally discluding my own creations and abilities from ever being able to be considered Art by anyone, including me.

          This is so awesome, bearing witness to this process you are sharing. You’re totally taking off!
          PS – the doll scene sounds wonderful!

          • I find it interesting how we are redefining held, and commonly accepted, ideas about ‘creating’. I am noticing a movement in me away from a pre-defined structure (which has served well in terms of ‘belonging’ and ‘fitting in’ with something so we have a catagory to understand or place what we do in) to a ‘looser’ idea of a process that is basically taking something (whether it be fabric, clay, paint, energy, second hand clothes, words etc etc) and creating it anew (re-forming it) into a unique expression ‘defined’ or envisioned from within us and articulated through us.

            I feel I need to surrender the whole pricing, selling thing as well and just create and let that unfold organically as well – allow myself to be shown.

            I had a chuckle at your comment about really taking off – I was feeling like that yesterday, however, today woke with shingles again and feeling like I could cry a river. Lol, go figure.
            Much love and hugs 💖

    • Oh Wow Johanna! This does take it all to a new level. Such whimsy and color. Grace is the word that comes to mind.

      I looked into the world of free-motion quilting a few years ago, it can create such beautiful things. You have the years of mastery of the craft under your belt to do it. I’ll live vicariously – show us all your beautiful creations!!

      • Thank you Angela for your beautiful feedback. 💖
        Not sure I am even close to any form of ‘mastery’ with the free-motion but is lovely to have moved past the avoidance of it. I now feel free to play with it when inspired.
        And thank you for encouraging me so lovingly. xxx