Final Finish – Here is my final pre-Christmas project finished and ready for collection. A couple of tote bags made to the design I’ve gradually developed, based on various tutorials and pattern instructions.
Looking Back – So, the end of 2015 is well and truly in sight. As I’ve been preparing for Christmas, sometimes smiling, sometimes not, my thoughts have wandered over the past year. Back in January I took the idea of choosing a word of the year and chose two (indecisiveness is a common theme running through my life); ‘finish’ and ‘learn’. The gallery page of this blog provides a fairly accurate record of this years finishes and I am pleased with the number and variety of projects I’ve seen to completion 🙂 Seeing projects through to the end is something I have to work at and I’ve realised that one skill set in particular is holding me back: machine quilting. Which takes me on to the other word – ‘learn’. Well! If you use the category bar at the side of this post you will not be overwhelmed with accounts of me trying new techniques. I have not allocated time to learning and giving time is a key component in the process of learning new craft skills. (Although in terms of blogging and learning I have benefited greatly from participating in the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop). The desire to learn was there as demonstrated by the number of Craftsy classes I have bought into but barely started! For example: ‘Next Steps with Your Walking Foot’ with Jacquie Gering, ‘Quilting with Rulers on a Home Machine’ with Amy Johnson, ‘Mastering Foundation Piecing’ with Carol Doak, and ‘Hand Applique Made Easy’ with Mimi Dietrich.
Looking Up – Always good to keep perspective as we review and plan ahead. A good friend and I meet regularly to share a meal, chat, share our discoveries of God through reading the Bible and praying. A few weeks ago we were both captivated by a story of Jesus early in his three year teaching ministry. The account in Luke describes how Jesus paid a regular visit to the local synagogue. Having been invited to read, Jesus was handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah:
Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”
Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them. “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
There are lots of ‘wows’ in this short account. I love the simple details that make the scene so real; imagine the listeners hearing the familiar words of the prophet and being told with calm assurance that that very day they were witnessing the fulfilment of those 700 hundred year old words. It is Jesus’ calm assurance that captivates me; we are told, ‘Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down’. No fanfare, no self-aggrandizing speech, just an authoritative reading of the scripture followed by an emphatic finish. No wonder we celebrate his birth!
Looking Forward – Combining the ‘looking back’ with the ‘looking up’ I let my thoughts roam as my feet trod the familiar route to our church. I was surprised but content to discover my words for 2016 are ‘home’ and ‘family’. These words are not leading me to think in an inward looking, isolationist way rather it’s an acknowledgement that this is an opportunity to invest some attention to our home that has had so much ‘on hold’ through the past year. I hope to make it a more welcoming place, to use the extra space to practice a more openly hospitable lifestyle. As for family, I have relied on their patience and support a lot this year and I’ll be glad to give them more attention in the coming months. In terms of patchwork and quilting ‘home’ and ‘family’ look like allocating time to making some practical and decorative additions to our home – like a cushion seat for the bare wood bench in the hall, a pot holder for the hot handle of the teapot (!), cushions for the sofa bed in the new room, a runner for the guest room drawers…. and some gifts too. There’s a chance to learn and develop new skills in this context – much more relaxing to try something new when the finished article is for home use rather than for sale.
Halfway through writing this post I took a break, took a look in my ‘in-tray’ and caught up with some posts from some other bloggers and discovered that Yvonne (Quilting Jetgirl) has set up the ‘2016 Planning Linky Party’ so I am linking with that and with Amanda Jean for Finish It Up Friday.
This will probably be my final post before Christmas so I’ll take this opportunity to wish you a peaceful and happy time through the celebrations and into the New Year.