Still, I think it all works together nicely, particularly with the Quilt Along, and today I'd like to talk about putting your heart into it!
I attended a morning yoga class and the instructor led the class with the theme:
Practice with your whole heart.
Working through the poses, she continually brought our attention back to this mindfulness and I loved the way it kept my attention on my mat and in the pose and not wandering off to the millions of things I had to do today.
But we can apply this same less to more than just muscle stretches.
When you quilt, when you are creating something, where are you? Are you actively focused on the task in front of your, or is your mind stumbling through the past or daydreaming about the future?
The next time you're at your sewing machine, try bringing your awareness to your hands and the delicate movements they're making.
Focus on taking a stitch, finishing a seam, or completing that block, and instead of rushing off to the next step, take a minute to touch the stitches you just made. Look at them closely and see their perfection and imperfection. Don't use this as an opportunity to criticize yourself, but to appreciate what you can do. Relish your abilities!
When you get frustrated with a difficult task, take a deep breath and thank yourself for being a creative person. How many people refuse to even TRY a creative hobby out of fear, laziness, or apathy? You are awesome simply because you create.
As you work, bring your heart into your stitches. Think about the person you're making this quilt for, even if it's for you! Think about the gift that it is to receive a handmade quilt, and the gift that it is to be able to make one. Quilting is all about wrapping someone up in the loving warmth of a comforting blanket. Quilting is an act of love.
Back in that yoga class this morning, I kept returning to the idea of love and practicing with my whole heart flowing into each pose, each movement, each breath.
As I left that class, I began thinking about all the different ways this applies to my normal routine. I began to see that every task, even washing the dishes, is an opportunity to work through your heart - to put your whole being into the job and focus on absolutely nothing else.
It's actually a comforting thing, as I found working through this day, to play with James with my whole heart, to clean the kitchen with my whole heart, to drive to the grocery store with all my thoughts focused solely on one thing - going to the grocery store.
Very soon I began thinking about quilting and why this project feels so very different now.
When I dug into this feeling, I began to see that this year, more than any other, I have returned to quilting with my whole heart. I'm following my heart by teaching this way, by trying every idea that pops into my head, and by sharing it all openly here on the project.
Often the ideas for the next quilt along post come only after writing a Question Thursday post, which means this project is literally happening in real time.
For the last two years I've created videos far in advance which means by the time they were posted, I was already quilting something else. This was an extremely stressful way to create and it always left me feeling a bit unbalanced. I always want to talk about what's happening right NOW, not what happened 3 months ago!
After realizing all of this, I know exactly why the project feels so much lighter, so much more fun and more exciting than ever before: because there's so much love here!
I love to teach, I love to share, and I love that all of you are here to enjoy it.
So thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being here and for quilting along with me.
Now let's go quilt!