Taking it slow is something that comes to my mind fairly often when I’m checking my Bloglovin feed. I follow over 400 blogs right now. Yeah, that’s quite a number. Thank goodness they all don’t put out a new post each day!

In my feed I see beautiful work and great ideas. I also see hurry. Maybe not necessarily rushing. But what I perceive as fast, quantity, next. Churning out of projects. Sometimes I want to shout “Slow down!”

I understand for some they are operating a business of making. For others they have the time and it’s their choice to spend it that way. But I also think there is a type of keeping up with the Joneses going on.

It brings to my mind the slow movement. The idea of slowing things down. I’m not talking about creeping along. When I think of it in regards to making I think of taking your time. Enjoying the process. Quality over quantity. Savoring. Honing skills. Learning.

Just because someone else makes a quilt every week or a big stack of zipper pouches in one day doesn’t mean you have to or that you’re inferior somehow because you don’t or can’t. If you can and enjoy it, that’s great! Either way, be true to yourself. Do what is best for you. Don’t set expectations for yourself based on what others do and then get down on yourself because you feel you’ve fallen short.

You have to find your own personal balance. What fits in your schedule and what makes you happy. I would have to be Wonder Woman to keep up with all of the quilt alongs, bees, swaps and projects that are continually popping up. Heck, in January I decided to do the Aurifil block of the month this year and made the one for January but wasn’t able to fit in February or March or even April so far.

Making is a wonderful thing! I enjoy it very much. I love the process of creating. From coming up with an idea all the way through to the finish. Admiring my work. Accepting shortcomings and imperfections, also. I hate to think that making can turn into an unhappy thing for somebody.

So, I say make at your own pace! Set your goals and expectations based on you and not on others.

I’d love to hear what you think.

PS – That’s a photo I took of a flooded trail after a heavy rain. Isn’t it beautiful?

23 comments on “Taking It Slow”

  1. I totally agree with you. I take my time on making my projects and sometimes my health doesn’t allow for me to work much on them or even not at all. I take each day as a gift and use it the best way I can and your picture was beautiful.

  2. I know that in years past I have definitely felt the need to keep up with the Joneses; but it was never going to happen, and it often led to a lot of disappointment.

    I have become more thoughtful and have distanced myself by actually un-following quite a lot of blogs that I did not feel a connection with anymore. I can always Pin the bees, quilt-a-longs and such for later.

    Thanks for the reminder to Slow-Down.
    >> Kristy Daum recently blogged: Perks of Being An Adult

  3. I understand you thoroughly! I have wanted to quilt for so long and I have finally started, but I keep seeing all of these patterns I would like to try. I have started the quilty stitches with LMS. As you see I said started. I am such a procrastinator. If I have my grand kids I am usually so tired. I finally figured out how to link giveaways with yours with the pictures. Your just a sweetheart for all you do even with helping me figure things out. You can only do so much, then you do have to slow down.

  4. I am so glad that you brought this subject to attention. I feel the same way that you do but it took me a while and during that period I was feeling like I was so unorganized and frustrated with little progress on everything. I see people cranking out a quilt a week plus all the other duties they have and I wonder how in the world they do it and are they really enjoying it at the time or is it just another finish to add to the list. There are so many projects that I want to make but I am going to take my time, enjoy them and not worry about how many I get finished this month.

  5. The photo IS beautiful. I’ve slowed down of necessity. Too much else going on, but it bugs me that I’m not sewing instead. Not in a hurry, just that’s how I’d prefer to spend my time. =)
    >> Susan recently blogged: Happy Easter!

  6. I do agree with you, although I’ve never pushed out products very fast. I quilt on my own time. I joined one quilt along that took 15, 18, 20 weeks, I don’t really know. I kept caught up, but now that it’s done, I’m waiting until I have time to think about and finish the borders and back. Then I joined another one–10 weeks, at least, and we are almost through that. Then a quick one. Now I’m done for a while

    I have my own projects, and it’s golf season. Now I quilt when I won’t be outside;I’m a Midwest girl. I like having UFOs in the summer so I always have something to go to “when I feel like it.” Although I don’t read as many blogs as you do, I won’t let them tempt me into doing more. I really like looking at good work and original ideas. Like Kristy said, I can always Pin those I like. I may get to them, I may not. By then there will be more good ideas. But thanks for reinforcing a take-your-time-and-enjoy-the-journey attitude.

  7. Thankyou so so much for this Mel! I fund myself in the middle of a no-sew-go at the moment and frustrated by the lack of creativity going on. I’ve sometimes skipped whole days of blog feeds just so I can breathe {!} And not feel so guilty for not ‘keeping up’. Have some amazing readers who I think understand. About to start two weeks of holidays and two weeks of r&r {and not staring hopelessly at my sewing machine!!!} time. Thankyou for sharing – just what I needed to confirm that a bit if bleugh time is ok and a slow down is just what the doctor ordered! K x
    >> Keera recently blogged: bright {a neon accessory}

  8. Melissa, your post came at a wonderful time! It is the end of the school year and things are ramping up and for some reason, my sewing, which is my Zen space, has also started ramping up….so many BOM commitments and projects to complete! Thank you for reminding me that this is something I choose to do because it gives me joy!

  9. Mel – thanks so much for this great post — and it sure hits home on some days. I find myself unable at times to keep up with all the Social Media and be creative and productive. Slowing down, enjoying the process and still connecting with those loyal followers are what do bring me joy. I appreciate your insight and thanks again for this “slow down and smell the roses” post. Hugs, Karen
    >> Karen Miller recently blogged: Week 3: Month of Monday Giveaways Celebration – I’m teaching!!

  10. Melissa, You are so very right. Each of us is unique and needs to learn to be happy and enjoy life no matter the circumstance. I accomplished much more when I was married, had small children, and worked full time plus. I was young and had more energy and much better health. All that overachieving and just life has taken tolls that make each day a challenge. I am not able to accomplish much in comparison. I rejoice at what I am able to accomplish. I love to see the creations of others and rejoice in their accomplishments and see the wonderful creations. I gather ideas for things I might like to make. I also find that my stitch group and guild involvement is also a great source of enjoyment and encouragement. Since I joined the guilt guild about four years ago, the number of quilts at Show and Tell appears to have decreased. The ladies are getting older and slowing down as a general rule or not sharing. Thankfully we are getting more young women and MEN to join our group. Thanks for the comment.

    Your picture is wonderful. It is amazing. It shows the beauty in what could be considered a disaster. God’s creations are amazing – including you.

  11. Oh Melissa, I think I am the queen of the slow movement. As a fairly new quilter it seems that everything takes me ten times longer than I think it will. But I just plug along until I get things done. The plus is that although everything doesn’t always turn out the way I hope it will, I do learn a lot by going slower. And then I know better next time. Thanks for this post; it certainly makes me feel better knowing that I don’t have to rush along like other seem to do.

  12. Quality over quantity definitely. I so agree with all you say, I admit I have been guilty of blogging for the sake of blogging in the past, just wanting to get a post out even though the content wasn’t really worth blogging about. Hopefully I’ve changed my ways on that. Lots of people have taken the “Process Pledge” – I want to start the “Content Pledge” – don’t blog unless the content is worthy of your reader’s time and worthy of your own time to photograph, blog and linkup to the myriad linkies available, not to mention responding to comments, it frustrates me when I go to read a blog post and it is basically nothing. Have a great week, go slow, do what makes you happy. xxx
    >> Sarah from milaandcuatro recently blogged: Selvedge Scraps/Improv gift cards: Scraps 101

  13. I’m slow by nature and I’m new so I have to go slow! Lol! I sometimes catch myself wanting to rush through a project when I really want to see the end result occasionally. I agree with you, the entire process should be savored so it can be a meaningful event for yourself and your work even when you feel in a rush. Thanks for putting this out there, it’s something we should all put more time and thought into!

  14. You are so right. Quilting, sewing, needlework, all of those things we do to be creative are meant to be savored and enjoyed. Mindfulness is what we are doing. Find your way and work with it.

  15. Thank-you! I have plenty going on in my life and so project-making isn’t finished very quickly. (Okay, so I’m also slow, and I also do more by hand then a lot of people, so that doesn’t help either).

  16. Wonderful post – I am working on being part of the Slowdown Crowd! Simple is better etc! Love the pretty picture- I think we are all going to have some flooded trails after the heavy snow this winter !

  17. Well said, Melissa. Sewing and embroidery have become a sort of therapy for me. Aside from that, I’m a very slow, prodding kind of sewer. I couldn’t keep up with others if I tried! I’m very happy to take my time and to be inspired by all of the other fantastic creations that I see others produce.

  18. Thank you for this post. It reinforces what I have known about myself for lo these many years. On additional benefit I find is that when I don’t rush through a project often new inspiration comes to me. For example, a quilt I pieced almost a year ago and have waiting for assembly and quilting now has a new pattern for the machine quilting. Last week I received an appliqué pattern for butterflies that will accentuate the butterflies in one of the print fabrics. It is paying off to let the piece sit for more inspiration!

  19. I’m naturally a very slow person. I do everything slowly. It’s not intentional I just can’t seem to do things quickly. It’s easy to look at what people produce and how much they produce online and feel a bit inferior, but I think you’re right. Making is fun and healthy. If I hurried projects along I would be unhealthy and unhappy. Maybe we should start another slow movement!

  20. I think thank you for posting this! I joined a quilt along knowing it would be tough to follow along and am now facing the reality that it’s probably just not a quilt that will get done on “schedule.” I agree that since the quilt is just for me I have to take a breath and think about how rewarding it will be to meet the deadline with everyone else vs. how rewarding it will be to take my time with the project. I think taking my time will win; thanks for affirming that is often the right choice :-)
    >> oneenglishteacher recently blogged: Triangle rows – done!

  21. I love blogging but I do it when I can. I have so many designs to work on but I do it at my own pace. I realized a long time ago that I need to find balance in all that I do. Sometimes I have time to sew and share on my blog everyday and sometimes I can’t. I too joined Aurifil’s BOM and squeezed it in at the last minute, like this month I haven’t started it. I feel that we need to enjoy what we do and putting too much pressure on ourselves to finish projects after projects will eventually lead to getting burned out.

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