In the Studio

Say Yes

I came into possession of two large garbage bags filled with vintage linens. I ended up with a new creative avenue to explore.

I brought the bags home to my studio with only vague idea of what I would do with all of this ‘stuff’. The only thing I knew for sure was that I didn’t want them go into the landfill. However, they sat on the floor, untouched over the holidays until finally, I had to do something with them. It’s hard to ignore two large trash bags in the middle of the studio and I got tired of sliding them around out of my way.

Opening one bag told me the first thing they needed was a good wash. It wasn’t an unpleasant odour but it was definitely a strong smell. In small batches, they went into the washing machine on gentle cycle and then hung up to dry.

(For those of you who want to know this stuff, I used Tide for Delicates, Oxyclean (for stains) and Borax to remove the odour. It seemed to work just fine. Nothing was destroyed and only a few had stains that didn’t come out.)

Finally it was time to sort it all out. I went more by instinct than design. I created a pile with interesting embroidery that might make a fun banner for the studio. Another (huge) pile is all Battenburg lace while a third grouping is large enough to use in upcycled clothing (which I also enjoy making). The last pile held possibilities for further needlework. The items that didn’t make the cut are earmarked for charity. Someone else may be able to use them.

The question now was, what am I going to do with all this!

Later, while on Pinterest, I came across a post about How to Start Slow Stitching written by artist Chelle Stein. I’ve been aware of slow stitching for a long time but the timing of this clicked something over in my brain. Chelle wrote about how slow stitching is similar to art journalling. Now, I enjoy art journalling but I find it a bit messy when I’m watching TV and the pets want attention as well.

But this! This I could easily pick up and put down. It’s meditative and intuitive and can be as big or as small as I want. It doesn’t even have to BE anything except a chance to play with a needle, thread and nice materials.

Looking back at this process I learned that sometimes it’s a good idea to simply say yes when something out of the ordinary comes along and figure out what you’ll do with the opportunity later. I didn’t have an answer as to what I’d do with all those vintage linens but I trusted the niggle inside telling me to take them.

It was worth the wait for inspiration to come along. Those bags kicked around my studio for at least two months. All the while my radar was out, searching for the one idea that would kickstart the process. When it came I was ready and now I can’t wait to get started on my first slow stitching project. There are other projects in those piles as well. I know it.

And if you receive a gift that just seem like bags of ‘stuff’ but nothing clicks for you, pass on your ‘something new’ to the next person. It could be you are simply part of that item’s journey and not the destination.

I’ll post my progress with the slow stitching pieces here so if you’d like to see them, sign up to follow this blog. I’d love to share with you.

1 thought on “Say Yes”

  1. Pingback: Ripples of Yes

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