Tuesday, February 3, 2015


There has been lots of talk about this 'Movement' recently on multiple boards across the quilting community.  How many of you have heard of this movement? 
It has been around for a handful of years now when Elaine Lipson spoke of it, and has gained momentum since Mark Lipinski took it up.  I myself am very happy that there are quilters discussing the merits of not rushing through every quilt. 
My 2 cents--
I find it difficult to watch our industry push quicker and easier, all the time!  Yes, sometimes there is a baby coming and we want to get a gift done but sometimes we could take the time to start earlier and not rush.  It isn't like they just pop out....There is usually a 7-8 month lead time!
When I am around quilters who profess to "Love" quilting yet they spend all their time and money trying to find the cheapest-quickest way to 'get it done', I have to shake my head.
Why, if you are passionate about something, do you want to 'get it done' (said in the tone of rush)?  To me, being passionate about something is savoring it, loving the process, and taking time to appreciate what you are doing whilst doing it vs. get it done quickly so you can move on to the next thing. 
With all the gadgets and time saving techniques, I honestly don't see people getting it done quicker, just piling up more stuff and UFOs. We do have many tools to help us do things quicker and I am not saying to get rid of them.  Where would we be without the rotary cutter?
Full disclosure:
I have a ton of UFOs mostly from trying out new designs (oh, and that 'Squirrel' syndrome:)).
I do a lot of machine, fusible applique because it is quick and easy and it allows for me to get pattern samples done in a method that appeals to the consumer.
8" x 11" ALL hand embroidered
The mini included in Pumpkin Trellis
If I had my way though, all my applique and quilting would be done by hand!  FULL Disclosure--NOT the piecing, can't stand to piece by hand and I am awful at it! There is something so soothing about putting each stitch in and this probably explains my new love of English Paper Piecing.
In the Mark Lipinski article, he talks about the conscious meditation with each stitch.  The article starts to sound a little too 'new-agey' at times but when I really think about it, isn't that what I get out of it?  I can get almost meditative, tune out the world around me, lower my blood pressure which is so needed right now:)  I believe every person could use one thing in their life that makes them feel this way (working on cars, wood working, knitting, cooking, etc.) I have met many people who say they don't have the patience for hand work.  Maybe not, but I bet there is something in your life that you can throw yourself into that makes the world around you slow down. 

Who remembers learning about the Arts and Crafts Movement of the early 20th century?  We can re-familiarize ourselves with it and start our own now (everything old is new again:)).  Try shutting out some of the technology of today that is making us all "too" busy.  I don't believe we are "too" busy because we do make time for the things that are important.  Facebook, games online, etc are all easily put away for 20 minutes a day to feel the accomplishment of doing something with our own 2 hands!  IT is all about priorities....now I am starting to sound preachy-sorry!

Slow Cloth has the immediate notion of doing it all by hand and I would love to see more of that in the industry and my guild, but it also means slowing down to appreciate what you are doing without rushing the process. Remember WHY you started doing this (or any) particular craft/art, your health will thank you.

Find your 'SLOW' and let me know what it is:)



Susan Noel said...

It is serendipitous that I came across this through the QuiltArt list this morning. Much of what you say connects with the mindfulness that I am thinking so much about right now. I want to find and read what Mark ? (that you refer to) has said on this subject. Thank you for writing and sharing your thinking.
Susan N in Plymouth, NH

Robin said...

Glad you are a part of the conversation.