Sunday, October 4, 2015

Enjoy the process

{sometimes you just have to get something off your chest.}
There seems to be a push in the quilting world lately.  It's that what is currently available is not enough.

When did the "right now" become so mundane that we have to spend today's resources for next year's fun.  Why can't we revel in the excitement of today and enjoy the process?

Today is a great time.  We are here, we are able, we have UFO's, we have a stash, we have local quilt  shops with gazillions of beautiful fabrics at the ready, we have plans for the next 5 quilts we want to make.  We can be happy in the present.  Enjoy the process.

There are lots of shops selling pre-orders of the future releases.  The next line is not that different from the current line by the particular designer-same colors, different flowers.  Really, it's not that different from the last 5 lines by the designer.

But there seems to be a driving force in our online-centric world that we must have it first, as soon as it comes out.  So we can whip up something quickly and be part of the online hype.  The sad thing though, is that the designer's NEXT line will start to pre-sell right about the time you are ready for your moment in the sun.  The moment of glory is lost, because the conversation has moved on from the fabric that just came out last week to the fabric not available for 5 months.  It's a disturbing cycle to me.

And it's not just fabric lines.  The Row by Row, which we thoroughly enjoy being part of each year, will announce the 2016 theme this coming week.  There are still many shops looking to award prizes for the current year.  Folks have pre-ordered kits from shops.  We took an email list (I refuse to be your bank & hold your money for 6 months until we can ship November 1st).   Just like with the fabric pre-orders, we start building hype for an event that won't begin for 8 months.

The theme reveal is logical, really it is, and I totally understand the timing.  Designers need time to design patterns; shops like to shop fall market for fabric.  In today's world, it would be impossible to keep the theme out of the public view, as it takes only 1 shop owner out of 2700 shops to slip up and give away the secret.  The RXR fanatics would take to the web with gusto to spread the word.  It is only logical for RXR creators to control the frenzy and source of data flow.

Prior to the online world of today, it was easier maintain information flow and keep new releases at the industry level until it was appropriate to make them public.  It was more fun to see a new thing & seek it out.  Now we see a new thing & feel the only way to be part of it is to pre-order.

And as you have surmised by now, I don't like the financial aspect of the pre-order.  I think it's dangerous for small business cash flow, and I don't think you should put your money in a non-interest bearing account.

But for the most part, I think it just keeps us from living in the moment.  Look around today & appreciate today.  How many are embroiled in the "what's next" that we forget that today is pretty awesome all by itself.

Quilt Market used to be an industry trade show where shop owners could plan out their future events and have some element of surprise with their shop's quilters.  But to reinforce my point above, that can't happen anymore.  The online public sharing during Market creates consumer demand 6 months in advance of retail delivery.  It's sad that new things are old news by the time of their actual delivery.

When I started quilting the focus was on the creation, the process, the learning, and the joy.  The industry seems to have shifted and changed with the online-times.  There seems to be less interest in the joy of creativity and more interest in the online fame of being liked, regrammed, retweeted and hashtagged.

Enjoy the process.
One day you may not have the ability to quilt anymore.  When you look back at the quilts you made will you remember the creative process, the making? Will you remember the faces when you gave the gift of your creation?

We all quilt for different reasons.  The making, the giving, even something just to keep idle hands busy.  Whatever your driving force, try to relish today.  Even if the force is online fame, enjoy the process.

Yes, I am an online and brick and mortar quilt shop, and pattern designer.  Yes, I want you to shop.  But what I want more than anything is for you to enjoy using what I provide.  I want you to enjoy the process.  I want you to encourage others to give it a whirl; to sit with a child and show them what you are doing - tell them why you are doing it.  I want you to quilt for the joy.  I am honored to be part of that joy.  I enjoy traveling to your area, teaching or being part of your quilt show, because I can share my joy of quilting and maybe even help you kindle or rekindle yours.

Enjoy the process.
Enjoy today.

As always, wishing you best wishes for straight stitches, Shannon


Mary on Lake Pulaski said...


DeeDee said...

Oh yes, this post rings true! One thing that has disturbed me since I started quilting (about 2 years ago) was the focus on "Get it done quickly so you can move on to the next one!" I've heard this phrase so many times since I started that it's almost put me off quilting all together. I am also an avid knitter and I have been for 10 years. In the fiber world we relish in our stash. It holds promise of the next thing we can make. We enjoy the feel of wool running through our fingers. We often have conversations about if we are a process knitter or a project knitter. I'm a little bit of both - I love having a finished object and using it, but I also enjoy the process of knitting. It's meditative and comforting and feels good. I feel sad sometimes when I come to the end of piecing a quilt top. I enjoy the colors and patterns I'm working with. I like the blocks I'm making. I love watching blocks stack up waiting to be made into rows for my top. I love quilting my projects. Slow stitching that makes my three layers into a quilt. I want to enjoy the process itself, not just the end product. I want to enjoy the fabrics I picked out to make something. I want to be present in the here and now, not just wait for the next big thing. That way leads only to disappointment. Everyone needs an "I can hardly wait!!" in their lives. But when that moment gets here, slow down and enjoy. Be a part of the process.

Thank you for this post. It is so very relevant!

GO STARS! said...

I've been quilting many years and had never bought a fat quarter bundle of an entire line until a few years back. I would pick up fabric for a specific project or just because it spoke to me. Having a huge stash of fabric and adding to it for the "fun" of accumulating more fabric had never crossed my mind. I'm currently determined to buy what I need to finish projects I've started. I love to piece but for a quilt to be all mine, I quilt and bind it too. I'm focusing on enjoyment and not accumulation. A quick quilt occasionally is both fun and a necessity but the long term projects bring the most joy especially when completed. Thanks for this blog post. It's so true.

teachpany said...

Great post, Shannon. I do like seeing what's "new" but seldom purchase new stuff when it comes out. I've won some "new" charm packs or FQs, and look for yardage to be able to finish a project when I get to it (because you know the yardage probably will not be available when I do get to it, and I learned that lesson a few years ago). And yes, it's when I get to it. Sometimes I want to finish an older project, sometimes I want to work on something new. I'm enjoying the process and the completion as it happens, and the inspiration created by "new" patterns and fabric lines, but I'm just as happy to use my older stuff, or pick from my stash. It's just fun, which ever I choose. With that being said, I'm also an Island Batik ambassador, and have access to new lines before they are presented at Market. That's fun, too. It's kind of fun having a secret, and be able to play with the fabrics.

KaHolly said...

Amen to that! Well thought out and articulated. Thank you!

Grandma said...

As a new quilter, your post is just what I needed to hear. I love sewing and want to enjoy this adventure in quilting.

FiberAntics said...

As a quiltmaker, I am all about the process, too! (Can you say "therapy"?) I have a wonderful stash which I have built over the years and I can pull what I need when inspiration strikes at 10:30 pm when shops are closed. I buy when something inspires me unless I am on a mission for a specific project--like a Guild Challenge or gift.

As a fabric representative, however, I am tasked with showing the new and upcoming lines… which, yes, ship in the future. Pre-orders is just a better process for manufacturing and printing exactly what we need and not be wasteful. If there is not enough interest in a particular collection, we take the loss early and don't go through with the pre-press/printing/finishing/shipping/warehousing. I also like to see the upcoming trends as they are often a reflection of our cultures and current events.

Recently, I discovered and was involved with getting 2 new designers into our market. One of them has her first collection with one of my companies and I am so excited for her and excited to share it with my shops/accounts.

So I walk the line. I have always loved the journey and being (and stitching) in the present. But for now, I need to get the bills paid... until I win the lottery.

Kathleen said...

The thing I can't get over is how some individuals, who are in possession of these designer lines, are reselling or auctioning off a piece of fabric for outrageous money, just because it's out of print or simply hard to come by. I just don't get that.