In Defense of the Small Project

mini quilts
Time in my studio and how I use it has always been important in one way or another. When the kids were younger, I felt pressured to use that time to its fullest while I had it. Inevitably, creative time was short and precious, usually last on the list of needs in our days. As the kids got older, I found myself spending more time in my studio, but those were days I spent a lot of time thinking about exactly what I wanted my creative time to be. Writing a book has given structure to my studio time, but in between those books my time in the studio has become more and more my own. With teenagers, and one away at college, my time in the studio is blissfully mine. No more trying to keep kids busy while getting creative things done, or trying to create a project for them so that we could craft side by side. These days, I have lots of time to make what I want, or to create a real body of creative work that I am very excited about. This usually involves quilts, and quilt-related things (like pattern writing). I love every minute of it, but being the sole proprietor in the studio has created a schedule of working on lots of long term things a little bit each day. In some ways I really love that, but in some ways I’d love to see results more often than I do.
Enter the mini quilt. I was slow to warm to these, they’ve been around for years. Just never got them till now, I’ll admit it. Considering myself someone who makes and designs projects for the home, a mini quilt can’t keep really anyone warm, are not really a pillow- so no function there- I just didn’t see it.
I have been hard at work on the Dream, Learn, Quilt! online class which is currently in session and running on a password protected part of my site. Seeing and discussing with real samples makes a huge difference in learning, and there have been several times when I’ve wanted to explain a concept or lesson in quilt form. But its not always easy to just whip up a quilt!
But it is much more doable to whip up a mini quilt!
These are both about 30 x 30″, and they are the perfect size to do the things I need to do, like try a technique, test out a new batting-
straight square mini
or free motion quilt some feathers-
feather mini quilt
Not to mention the sheer satisfaction of a quick finish, sandwiched in between all the longer term quilt projects I have going on.
It got me thinking about other quick projects that would be fun to do. Which soon turned into a fun session of making more sake and Japanese tea cup pincushions. There are new ones listed in the shop.
flower pincushion
I am going to really try to remember to take the time to do more quick finish projects in between all the other longer term projects I have. Its so important to feel a “finish” sometimes, to wrap something up, to check something off your list. I am revisiting my DIY archives and getting inspired to make some more things soon.

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