Monday, February 12, 2018

Still cleaning

Another week has gone by; there is more day light, the sun’s visits are more frequent, the cold spell is gone, Ruusu’s eyes are not much better than last week, but better than two weeks ago. I have spent lots of my energy cleaning and I feel happy and relieved every time I have dusted and wiped areas that are difficult to reach and require serious approach. 

But, there is always but, isn’t there? My crafting life seems to suffer. I find it very difficult to settle into anything enjoyable.

Last night, when I put the last stitch on this little quilt, I thought about intuition. Knitting and crocheting, or the yarn related crafts, like embroidery are in some way easier for me. It is as if those crafts are almost intuitive when quilting and sewing always demand more planning and more thought, I don’t know how to proceed and always end up having to think, overthink. When I hold yarn, I (sometimes) right away feel what it should be, but when I hold fabric in my hands, I am never sure. I am not certain if this is due to the lack of experience or if my brain is wired that way. Even though fabric work seems to be a battle ground, I still want very much to do it.

This intuition-thought forces me to rethink my little quilts. I wish I could cast away all the images of different works I have done, put blinders on my eyes, and concentrate on hearing what is it that I want to do or need to do. Also, it could be that I am in a spot, where I must to try this and that, be all over, before I find what I am searching for. This project hunt is extremely difficult. I want to try everything, yet, I don’t seem to be able to seriously stop and focus onto anything and thus what I make, I am not happy with. I guess, I just have to walk on all these paths and trust that I will find the right one at some point, and not end up totally lost.

During last week I tried various projects…

This is free-form piecing and then embroidering on top, there is something I like, but something feels odd and off… could not go on. I like the trees, not so much of the fox. I think the problem is the way I drew him. I should simplify the design. I am sure I will revisit this technique one day. I like how the stitches feel like I have drawn on the fabric and I love the free-form back ground. No need to match the seams, just add on fabrics and enjoy the process and the color play. Now that I look at the piece, I feel that the trees and the fox don’t match.
Then I thought that I would make a doll quilt… but the single block came out too big and this would make a good baby quilt, but not a doll quilt… again one day.

Since I did not know what to make, I decided to sew a little foundation paper pieced block (Sunray from Craftsy Class Start Foundation Paper Piecing by Elizabeth Dackson, see the first picture) and refresh quilting techniques, piecing, quilting and binding. The little quilt is ok, but it does not really fit my plan to make a diary quilt every week. Or maybe it does in a way… But this is all I could finish this week, so I will leave it behind and look ahead.

I did start another left-over/not loved sock yarn cushion cover; and completed the first side. This does not look like much, but I am hopeful, it will be fine in the end. To be completely honest, I have been tired in the evenings, so crocheting this simple fabric has been easy to pick up and thus it has eaten up almost all my crafting time and energy.

Diane, thank you for the question on embroidery on quilts.
When I have completed the top, I baste only the batting to the top and then I will embroider. This way, if the back side does not end up tidy and nice (it never does), it gets covered by the backing in the end. I use usually cotton batting, because it is stable and little bit stiff and it is easier to embroider on if the piece is thicker than just plain cotton fabric. I am sure there are other ways to do this too.

I wish I had something wonderful to share, but this creative dry spell does not give much to write on. This will pass, I trust. It always has. (Fingers crossed.)

Wool with you,


  1. Thanks for the information on your embroidery - that's a very good technique! Your creative dry spell gives me much to enjoy.

  2. I think your little fox is adorable! Perhaps this is exactly what diary quilting is: Groping in the dark until you find meaning. When I write a diary (usually during very diffcult times in my life), it is always a way of trying to find meaning in the difficulties & heartbreak I find myself in .

  3. Beth in Maryland23:13

    I studied the little fox quilt and agree there is some lack of harmony between the trees and the fox. I think the fox is in a bright, playful mood, and the serious trees are ignoring him. Perhaps this is the story of the quilt! In any case, I'm truly enjoying your "dry spell."

  4. Oh, Lene, I adore the fox with trees, the happy sun rays, the delightful doll/baby quilt, and the resourcefulness of the crocheted cushion cover. It seems that the more ho-hum you think your creative work is, the more I love the realness of it, the unexpected surprises, the whimsical quirks. Also, the quantity is almost always more than I manage in a week, so even when you're in a "dry spell," you provide inspiration and smiles all the way over here in Connecticut (northeast US). If I knew you in real life, I would tell you to stop fretting and just keep making things. It's all good and worth the effort. ♥

  5. I enjoy your thoughts about the creative process. Sometimes as makers, creators we do hit a dry spell. I try to think of it as part of the process. It is ok to sit and think. Even so, I really like the small quilt at the top. It looks to me as if the sun is trying to break through the winter blues. Your embroidery technique is a very good idea.

  6. Thank you so much for sharing your process with us! Even though it's a struggle to you, you're creating beautiful things regardless!

  7. I love your little fox...and I love him/her with the trees too. It all looks wonderful to me. You are so creative and I get inspired every time I read one of your posts. Love your second knit cushion cover also.

  8. I’m glad to hear that Ruusu’s eye health continues to improve. I hope things continue in that direction!

    I have a mitten question for you. In the book Folk Mittens (by Marcia Lewandowski), there is a pattern for mittens in a Lapland style. Each mitten has a cord (with tassel!) coming off the cuff. The cord looks to be about 10cm long, and is attached to the little finger (not thumb) side of the mitten. What is the function of this cord? I’ve seen it on other “traditional” mittens, but I’ve never understood why it’s there. Can you help explain? Thanks!

  9. Anonymous00:52

    7 months, no Lene. Missing you - hope you're okay.