Sunday, January 3, 2021

2020 Reflections

Each of us has certainly had our fill of gripes and grumbles about 2020 that begin and end with the Coronavirus pandemic, and other not-so-nice events in between. These events serve to remind us that we're not in control. 

In the past months, and as recently as yesterday, I've heard quilt makers and other creative sorts give voice to how the pandemic has impacted them. They either: 1) experienced an emotional withdrawal from their creative process that caused them to drastically reduce, or completely stop creating; or 2) experienced a  renewed, almost frenzied focus on creativity, fueled by a determination to fill each day with therapeutic productivity. The latter is what happened to me.

As many creators have remarked: "I can't imagine what people are doing who do not have a hobby!"

Reflecting on 2020 means acknowledging that early-on, I reckoned the pandemic would last a few months. And so I determined to use my time wisely. I didn't want to come out of lock-down and all that at-home time with nothing to show for extra sewing room time. Ha!

But I made. As if in a frenzy. And I kept making. It was therapeutic. 

In addition to finishing 18 quilts (see 2020 Quilts tab, above), I also made:

lots of totes, bags, cases, and zippered pouches; 

masks, a pillow, hot pads, bowl buddies, and finished a crocheted afghan; 

bought a used peg loom to teach myself peg loom weaving and made two rugs and four chair pads;

and sewed clothes for myself.

And because wonderful virtual learning opportunities arose, I took five virtual workshops that have fueled three new creative loves:

1) patterned improv quiltmaking
"Jazzed," 43" X 43"

2) Kawandi, hand-stitched according to the method used by Siddi women in India; 

3) and braided rag rugs. 

I expect these techniques to appear often in 2021 makes.

I also spent time in my role as Central Florida MQG media coordinator, learning Wordpress and moving our website/blog from Blogger to Wordpress. Though there's been a steep learning curve, Wordpress doesn't present the roadblocks Blogger does.

My latest Blogger issue is that I am unable to upload photos from Iphoto on my computer to Blogger. Now I have to first move photos from IPhoto to the computer desktop, and then upload them to Blogger. Ergh. There's always something. 

We missed four different planned trips in 2020. The holidays were very quiet. And though I'm tired of being at home all the time, a positive is that as Dan and I spent time more time together, we learned two new card games: Gin Rummy, and most recently Whist (an old-English gentleman's game). We also bought and learned to play Backgammon and Rummikub. 

Dan is an excellent cook who makes all our meals, and he managed to improve upon his already delicious, wickedly good pizza. 
before baking

after baking

Upon further reflection, I want to thank those of you who regularly comment on my blog, Your support and encouragement in 2020 has meant more than you know! Since March, I haven't spent any in-person time with friends (or family, for that matter). I depend on phone calls, FaceTime, Zoom meetings, blog comments, and Instagram remarks for all my socialization. So even email interaction is vital! These virtual relationships and friendships kept me going in 2020, and I expect  that will continue to be the same for many months to come. 

Because of the good and not-so-good aspects of the past year, I've been compelled to more frequently turn to God. In prayer, I can express frustrations brought on by the pandemic, and find a measure of willingness to accept and  find peace. Though each of us may wonder what the purpose has been for so much angst, if these anxieties draw us closer to him... perhaps that is His purpose. God is the only Light that can illuminate the darkness of 2020, and give us hope for 2021. 
Now Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you. - Psalm 39:7 
Bless you all. Linda


Debbie said...

I've felt the same as you - making has helped me stay sane during these last 9 months!! Love that you have found some new projects you really enjoy, like kawandi and the braiding. And oh my that pizza!! ;-)

Deb said...

Wonderful post, Linda. Your busyness and ability to get things done and try new things is encouraging and makes me realize that I'm so glad I have these arts to turn to during this horrible pandemic. Thanks for sharing your talents and works. They are inspiring.

Quilting Babcia said...

You said it all so well, blessings to you in this new year of hopefulness.

Patty said...

Great collection of makes for 2020! happy new year.

Kathy@KayakQuilting said...

I completely concur...I think about how I would have managed this past year without the gift of creative curiosity and, of course, time with my new grandson. You not only finished many quilts, but so many EPIC quilts with complexity and interesting technique. Bravo!! I also think we are fortunate that we don't mind being quarantined with our spouses. Although I am ready for a change of scenery...

The Joyful Quilter said...

You are SEW right, Linda! Many people complained of losing their mojo in 2020. I know it was real, but in my head I was like, are you SERIOUS?! I can NOT stop making!!! Sixty-six projects later and 2021 has arrived. Now, I'm off on a new adventure with the TABLE SCRAPS Challenge (tab at the top of my homepage!) offered on my blog in conjunction with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

Nancy said...

I was one of those that lost my sewing mojo. I worked full time until July 2020 and then went PRN. I really missed my Guild meetings and couldn’t get interested in anything. That changed when I started a quilt a long doing the Naive Melody Quilt with a group on Instagram. I am now looking forward to sewing on the days I don’t work. Here is praying 2021 sees all of this turmoil gone.

Anne / Springleaf Studios said...

You certainly accomplished a lot for such an off year. And so many wonderful makes too. I never once felt any loss of motivation or creativity. Rather my projects moved from studio work to things outside. We completed so many yard/house projects that had long needed to be done. It feels so good to know come spring our outdoor space will be mostly ready to go. My original 2020 studio project list fell away and I went with whatever inspired me in the moment. This led to less quilt finishes than I had hoped for but other finishes that I am very happy about. Totally ok by me. The main thing I missed was actual in person guild meetings. The online thing just doesn't appeal to me. Here's to a productive and fulfilling 2021 in whatever form it comes. Have a great 2021 Linda!

Val Laird said...

I can't believe how many projects you completed in one year, Linda, and all so beautifully made!

MaureenHP said...

You were one busy woman in 2020!
I really like the turquoise dress. Simple lines and it looks so comfortable.
The comic was fun. I shared it with the parents of my three grandpups.

Nancy said...

What a fun review of your year of projects! And you even added two new skills to your repertoire- well done. My hope is in Him, too!

FlourishingPalms said...

Hi Maureen! Well, I wouldn't say I was "busy," but rather filling long empty days of inactivity. Except for regular exercise and bible study, I don't have anything else to do! Thanks for liking that dress. I do love it, but haven't had anyplace to wear it yet. Hopefully that time will come by fall, as Dr. Fauci says it's when we'll return to more normal activities. Whew. Happy to share a funny that was passed along! We all need smiles these days. (I am replying to you here because you are a "no-reply commenter," so I had no way to email you a response.)

Betty C said...

The people that I have heard complaining to most last year are the ones that don't have any hobbies. They have all kinds of excuses not to have a hobby or to start one. Maybe complaining is their hobby?? It is so nice to read your blog and watch for progress on your projects. You have such a nice attitude.

Sue said...

Wow you have certainly been in a frenzy like a mad woman in 2020 ( I mean that in the nicest possible way) You have made so many wonderful projects. We are not restricted to home here, so I guess I haven't spent the same amount of time sewing. That certainly counts for my lack of finished projects. You are very fortunate indeed to have your own live in chef!!Have a great New Year Linda, and I look forward to reading all the great things you get up to in 2021.

Jenny said...

You have stitched away like billyoh! Well done on all your lovely creations. I'm particularly impressed with your braided rug and the weaving, both quite different crafts compared to quilting.

Allison said...

Hi! Linda. I have really enjoyed following your blog over the past year or so. I think I must have discovered you via a link-up. I've found the sociability and inspiration of the Worldwide Quilting Community to be a real God send through all the months of lockdown. Our Church is blessed with some really clever techies so we have been able to meet and worship online throughout the year. I hope you have continued to benefit from Christian fellowship too.

quiltingbydawn said...

I have also filled most of my days creating and quilting! It has been hard not to work (I work in an elementary school) and see my colleagues and students. My daughter, her husband and our grandson moved back home so my heart and house is fuller than expected however I miss my friends, going to church and clubs, and traveling. Hopefully, 2021 will see the start to returning to normal.

PaintedThread said...

I came to check out the Jazzed quilt (which is really cool), but that braided rug is excellent! I've never seen one with a pattern like that.


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