This was a very big month: I turned 26, climbed a mountain, renewed my visa and had a pretty bad cold for a long time. But I am well again and ready to do even more amazing things in December. Also, I discovered that I’ve been having at least one daily visitor for more than 2 months! It’s so nice to see this blog taking off and finding an audience. Now November has ended it is time for another update of all the sewing and quilting I’ve done. At the end, there will follow another update of how I’m doing in Kenya as well.
Crewel mountain landscape
A thing I am especially excited about is my new exploits into crewel embroidery! I’ve always wanted to learn how it works. The pattern is from the fabulous Nora Schuchat who runs Sol Y Mano studio whose shop you can find here:
The most exciting thing about the pattern is that it comes with a small tutorial booklet. This was very useful because it taught me four basic stitches. The colours are my decisions. I like to use a pattern as inspiration, and then go crazy with it in my own colour decisions. Here you can see her own versions of the pattern and how far I’ve gotten with mine:
Embroidered patience bracelet for learning
Sometimes lessons for yourself are best taught by repeating them over and over. Also, it works to physically immerse yourself with the message so your brain has time to take it over, at least it feels like that is what’s happening when I embroider text. This ties in with the theories that embroidery and sewing can be meditative because it is a slow process and requires a lot of attention.
While making this bracelet I meditated on the importance of patience. This mental health aspect of sewing is something I am currently exploring because I am curious how far we can take it. Could handwork be a viable form of therapy for example? What is your take on it, I would love to hear your comments on it.
I chose the word patience because I am not good with patience. My impatience makes me suspicious and nervous for no good reason and can give me a pessimistic outlook on life. That is because I believe when something is not happening now, it won’t. This is a really bad way to live one’s life so I am trying to teach myself to be more patient and hopeful. This bracelet helps because when I feel myself becoming pessimistic again I see it and realize what I’m doing. What are things you do to check bad habits of yourself?
The Kenyan quilt
I’ve been working on a new pattern with my Kenyan fabrics this month. I got some fabric with the pattern of Maasai blankets and fabric with wildlife on it. The plan is to combine those two to symbolise the work I do here. Below you see what I have so far. It is only one point so far, but I plan to make 3-4 in total, depending on how big they turn out.
The animal fabric will be placed in the open triangles by fussy cutting. Fussy cutting means that you cut out a specific piece of the pattern of a piece of fabric because you like that one most. In this case, for example, the zebra will be cut out.
Hot air balloon cross stitch update
My BAP, or big as projects as crafters call it, on which I’m slowly making progress. Nothing much to say about it except that the image is finally becoming clear and I am really wondering about the purple and red colours in the bottom. The floss colours make me really suspicious because they don’t go well together so far. But I will be hopeful, continue stout-heartedly and pray for a beautiful finish.
How am I doing in Kenya?
This month was quiet considering fieldwork because I needed some time to putt all my findings together and to see what’s what. Now I am nearing the end of that I have a list of people and organizations I want to talk to in my last two months. It is a very good feeling to know I did well with the data collection so far. I still did go the field a few times though, one of those times for a great party in honour of a circumcision ceremony. So I am still having a great time.
This month I also managed to do some of the touristic stuff, among them climbing Mount Kenya! Climbing the mountain was something I wanted to do ever since I arrived here and I figured my birthday would be the best time to do it – When climbing a mountain is my first achievement in my new year, everything after that will be easy! So up I went together with a dear friend of mine here.
Another thing I did is visit the equator point. Nanyuki, where I live now, is right on the middle of it so it is one of those things I had to do.
How was your month? Which exciting projects did you finish, did you climb any mountains, have you tried new techniques, tell me all in the comments!
Which posts have you missed?
- I am designing quilt patterns: Kenyan quilt update
- It’s my birthday and wow what a year
- The overall design of the Kenyan quilt
- Quilt tutorial: how to make a patchwork star
- I’m not ashamed: humble Dear Jane quilt blocks