Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Living Life in the Slow Lane

In the crafting world, and in life in general, I see a lot of people in a hurry. People who breeze through life at high speed, instead of slowing down enough to enjoy what's going on around them. I often wonder what feeling comes from moving at such a pace. I'm not sure what satisfaction comes from watching your achievements pile up behind you as you speed away onto the next project. I know there are times when a last minute gift must be made, or a deadline gets changed and you've got to work quickly. There are other times though, when it's nice to slow down and actually connect with what you're doing. Over the years, I've made more quick projects than I can count. I can't remember a lot about them. Not when they were made, what inspired them, or what-the-heck-I-was-thinking with some of them. The projects I remember, the ones that mean something to me, are the ones I took some time on. Most of them involved some amount of handwork, which always slows the pace.

 I started this pillow a couple of years ago during my daughter's swimming lessons, so whenever I see it I remember her joy at becoming an independent swimmer. I left the pillow unfinished for a while and moved onto other projects. I finally completed it earlier this year. Working on it again brought back those happy times.

Elfies Pillow

I worked on a quilt for my mother-in-law, who has since passed on, partly during quiet times while working a craft fair booth. It was during my only season of craft fairing, and as it turned out, people here were more interested in dollar store items, than handmade anything. It was a sad reality for me, and something I remember each time I see this quilt. Not really a memory I love, but it's in there. I take the good with the not-so-good.

Flower Basket

I made some Matroyshka dolls, which are now part of our Christmas decorating, during our summer camping trips. I can't look at them without remembering the fun we had swimming, hiking, roasting marshmallows. I even remember the nasty bee stings too!

Matroyshka Love

So while I think there is definitely room in my life for quick projects, I'd rather spend most of my time on slow projects. Even if it's just a felt doll. The fact that I recall so much about the time I made it, makes it that much more meaningful to me. 

In the next few weeks I'll have something fun to share with you. Something that's all about sharing, spreading the handwork love, slow projects and really getting into what you're doing. I hope you'll join me!


  1. What a great post, Katie. My mom was just looking at my project list this morning and said, "Heidi, you're doing too much. You've got to slow down." While I have some things that just have to get done this month, once I finish them, I'd like to do a project that I can spend a little more time on...probably the quilt for our bed. Anyway, thanks for the reminder. Obviously my mom was right after all. :)

  2. I totally agree. I thought about this and have similar memories that go along with the slower projects too. I really like that part of making things. This morning I sat outside with the kids while they threw balls up on the roof and tried to catch them when they fell back down. It was nice to slow down for a while (all day actually, I still have my pajamas on :).

    I'm excited to see what you have to share! It sounds really great!!

  3. I love this post. The sentiment is just so true. Your handmade items are gorgeous, I love those dolls :)
    Can't wait to find out your idea, I really enjoy hand sewing and embroidery now so I'm all for the slow!

  4. You make such cute items! Loving the pillow! It's great to make things and link them back to some great memories =D

  5. I have recently taken some time to slow down and spend more time with my family and my blog may have suffered a bit for it, but I haven't. I have so many projects on my "want to make" list that I feel the urge to hurry sometimes. But I have to remind my self that I have an entire lifetime to sew and only a few years with my children so small. I knowthat is not the exact sentiment in your post, but I feel like it's very similar.

  6. Girl...this is well written and spot on. Thanks for sharing your heart today and some special memories...what a great reminder that we should enjoy each project (and memory) and not be in such a hurry all of the time. xoxo...

  7. That sounds great! It is nice to have projects that are more about the doing than the product. I know if I made something using hand stitching it means I was surrounded by the people I love!

  8. I know what you mean. It is the bigger and slower paced projects that I remember them most and love the most. Like a life journey. Good or bad or inbetween, we have a tangible reminder of the trip that was taken.

  9. So true! I find that I try to make the most of every moment, especially the 'child-free' moments, and in doing so I end up rushing on almost everything. Quilting is usually the one thing that helps me slow down, but even that's pretty much gone since starting my blog. :) I'm curious about your project!

  10. What a great post! I often wonder what the girls who rush from one quilt to the next are doing with all of their quilts. Maybe it's cause I'm older and have been quilting for so long - I'd be buried in quilts by now if I'd cranked them out so quickly. Not to mention the enjoyment factor! Bring on the slow, detailed and enjoyable!