The Power of Choice

Last week, I took part in the @textileartsite ( #StitchCamp. I learned to use paint on fabric, cut apart and recombine bits of painted fabric, and add all kinds of stitching to blend the pieces into a unified whole.

Then, on the day when the final video dropped, I lost interest. I finally had a big block of time and I wanted nothing more than to dig into the servicing of my (formerly my mom’s) Singer Featherweight sewing machine.

At first, I was hard on myself for not finishing what I’d started. But then I reminded myself that #StitchCamp was not the boss of me. In fact, as the week progressed, I had realized that #StitchCamp was actually a very slick marketing tool to get me to sign up for #StitchClub. For the low-low price of $38/month I could learn from fabric artists around the world! And yes, I was tempted. But “Look what you can create in just 30 minutes a day for a week! Imagine the amazing artist you will become if you take our classes!” gradually morphed in my mind into “You’re going to PAY someone else to steal time away from the projects YOU choose to do? Are you NUTS?”

Needless to say, I’m not signing up for #StitchClub. I’m going to follow my own path of learning, most of which won’t cost me a dime. I’ve got a quilt to make and another to repair. There’s a jean jacket yoke to finish embroidering and hoop that’s a playground when I just need to drop some random stitches or some beads and sequins. And yes, I’m going to finish the scrap I made in #StitchClub and use it to embellish a canvas bag that I’ll donate to the Casting for Recovery Ohio online auction in March. Stay tuned for the final product and information about bidding!

These lessons about choice are ones I’ve already internalized as a writer, and which I whole-heartedly embraced when I was a teacher of writers. It’s interesting to me that when I switched my media from words to stitches, I had to learn about the power of choice all over again.

5 thoughts on “The Power of Choice”

  1. You really did create a beautiful piece of fabric. I see how tempting it would be to sign up for the whole shebang, but you made the right choice. Choices for how you spend your precious time are important.


  2. Someone or something is always trying to railroad our power to send us down their prescribed path. It’s so much better to use what you learn from others as a springboard. Enjoy leaping back into your own work.


  3. Mary Lee,
    I love quilting retreats where I have my choice of project within a community where I can grow and learn from the expertise of others.
    There are also videos for individual learning. No subscriptions needed.


  4. “You’re going to PAY someone else to steal time away from the projects YOU choose to do? Are you NUTS?”

    Ha! This sounds familiar. Your last paragraph struck me as well. Isn’t it interesting the way we have to learn lessons over again in new territories?


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