Blog - Wise Craft Handmade
F & F Collection Peek

The Process of Rediscovery

F & F Collection Peek

Being the only one at the helm of this ship called Wise Craft Handmade ⎯ the only one to produce, make things happen, create new products, post online, write patterns ⎯ is both challenging and exciting. There is never a time that I don’t feel I could be doing more- more work, more reaching out, more social media, more product design. There is pressure to work more efficiently, quicker, smarter, and do all the necessary things to make more of a business to my creative world.

Many have discussed the illusion of “busy” online. Other people seem to get it right, they look polished and productive. There’s an awe of “how do they get it all done” that washes over us whenever we see their newest project. There is a self-imposed rush to post beautifully composed Instagram images regularly, to write thought-provoking posts on FB, here on my blog, or even to caption a photo. Its very easy to feel overwhelmed. Even after being online since 2005, I can still feel overwhelmed some days. Most recently, I feel like there’s never enough time to make the actual content to post on social media in the first place, that I’m too busy creating the social media posts, or securing the work. And to what end?

People disappear from social media for a time and we worry, or they announce a “break”, or simply just throw their hands up and walk away. Its tempting, I will admit. Social media can warp what you really think of your own work, and what it is you want to produce. In can confuse you into thinking you should be doing things a certain way to get a desired result, and make you forget where you passion is.

I asked my newsletter subscribers back in the Spring for their advice on embracing a slower Summer schedule. It really felt like the perfect time to make a deliberate shift. I needed to back away from what the work in my studio, from social media comparisons, and look at things from a broader and really, a simpler, perspective. Things had gotten creatively muddy. I was also weary of how deadlines were just zapping my creative energy. Deadlines are important and necessary, but I had begun reacting to them in a way I didn’t recognize.

I was feeling REactive.         I wanted to feel more PROactive.

The overarching advice I received from my readers was plain and simple. Give yourself permission take a break and pause. I knew that, but appreciated (and needed!) the nudge. Taking a break online and saying no to new projects, even for a short period of time, can feel like I’m walking away from my income stream.

But, I really needed to change things up. I forced myself on a little hiatus.

I’ve watched two seasons of The Great British Baking Show and sewn thousands little hand stitches while doing it.

I’ve browsed through aisles of thrift stores, a coffee in hand, searching for old books or strange little things that I could play with and perhaps give a second life.

I’ve been to the museum with my daughter.

I’ve seen movies with my son.

I’ve supported them as they’ve both embarked on their first real jobs ever.

I’ve had fancy dinners with my husband.

We’ve said goodbye to Gracie, our wonderful furry companion for 12 years.

F & F Collection Peek

As for studio work, I have spent some time working on things that are exploratory, instinctive, and just a little different for me. Things that make my heart sing. I am more inspired than I’ve been in a very long time. I’ve had time to look at my entire business in a more “what if?” kind of way.

It feels scary, uncertain, and exciting. Feelings that life is too short not to allow myself to feel.


Indigo and Aster blog tour

Bari J’s Indigo and Aster Fabric Collection

Indigo and Aster blog tour


Little known but widely done- I spend many days in my studio not talking to anyone. Its the very essence of working “remote”. Except for the occasional sputter of profanity that I’ve been known to unload when I experience a computer crash, or a very wrong quilting error, I don’t really talk to anyone on those days. But I have people that mean alot to me that I text with often. They are in other parts of the country, likely doing very much the same thing I’m doing- quietly working hard at home.READ MORE

Curated Quilts Issue 5 Mini Quilt Submission

Curated Quilts

I finished up my submission for Curated Quilts Mini Quilt challenge. The theme is Connections/Improv and I immediately knew what I wanted to do.

Yep. I needed more hand stitching.

Curated Quilts

I created this piece the same way I’ve created several other recent hand stitched pieces. Arranging bits of fabric over a base cloth, marking lines with my hera marker, and sewing those lines with a running stitch to secure everything down. Composing an abstract piece in fabric and stitching it all securely down, with the hand stitching become an important part of the composition.

Curated Quilts

I’ve done several hand stitched pieces this way (this paintbrush holder and tote bag are recent examples ). This process allows even the smallest bits of fabric to be used. There are no seam allowances to lose. Rather than worry about them, this process celebrates raw edges. Fraying is Controlled by the hand stitched lines.

Excited to be forming a slow stitching workshop around this process for 2019, stay tuned!

Free Motion Framework by Jen Eskridge

Today, I wanted to let you know about a new book that just hit bookshelves. Free Motion Framework: Ten Wholecloth Quilt Designs by Jen Eskridge caught my interest immediately. Those that know me know I love free motion quilting and am always looking for new tricks or ways to improve. Jen is an enthusiastic teacher, and offers up quilting patterns and strategies to help build skills and create dynamic quilting designs, whether you are a long armer or free motioner. Don’t feel that you have to dive right in on a large quilt, this book has ten perfectly sized patterns to start quilting on fat quarter sized quilts. Which sounds so much more doable, right? I’m in love with the idea of tracing out the shapes and overall designs onto the fabric, then spending some time at the sewing machine filling the shapes in with all kinds of free motion motifs. Jen calls it accidentally making a whole cloth quilt, I love that.

Please check out more detailed info on Jen’s blog, as well as leave a comment to be eligible to win a copy of the book and other prizes!

Read more about Free Motion Framework


Stop by each blog listed below this week for a possible chance to win a copy of Free-Motion Framework. (International winners, outside the USA, will receive a digital copy.)

Monday | June 4

ReannaLily Designs (here!)
C & T Publishing

Tuesday | June 5

Joey’s Quilting Co
Helen Ernst Longarm Quilting
Nancy Zieman Productions, LLC The Blog

Thursday | June 7

Wise Craft Handmade

Friday | June 8

Kustom Kwilts
Living Water Quilter
Seamingly Slawson Quilts – Susan Lawson

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