Do you have a fear of missing out?

I started this blog post with something of a plan for what I wanted to say – but the wheels fell off the plan and it has become something of a ramble. I wish you well because this isn’t my best writing, but it is something I needed to get out.

For those who don’t know about the phenomenon of FoMO it is basically “a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent”. (From Wikipedia) for those of us with friends who are addicted to Social Media – this can be a real problem – but I have been thinking of it in terms of fabric choices and other quilty things.

One of the many things that happens when you have been quilting for a while, is you get to see the fads come and go. Looking through my fabric collection on the weekend (some may call it a stash), I was struck my the change in my choice, but also the sameness of the core of my fabric choices.

As an example, I don’t particularly like the “country” style of quilt – but I do have some hardcore country Debbie Mumm there from days gone by. For the most part I have been drawn to the types of colours, so while there is a bit of bright blue with yellow flowers (what was I thinking), I am now finding that there I could conceivably make many quilts from the fabric I have there, and they would have a strong sense of working together. Because really, my overall tastes and styles haven’t changed all that much, just some of the things are a bit dated now.

Instagram tells me that 83 weeks ago I started my Modern Medallion quilt. I decided in the making of that quilt that I would use all the precious fabrics I had been hoarding for just the right project. Of course having made it, I can tell you that I didn’t really make all that much of a dent in the fabric collection and I should use more of it. I keep the different individual collections/designers together until I kind of reach a point I can’t understand why and then I integrate them back into the whole. The stockpile grows.

There are some collections/designers that I am very late to the party on. For instance, I have never bought one scrap of Bonnie and Camille fabric. I was once given some as a swap extra and had no idea what to do with it as really, it just isn’t my thing. But by the same token, I have had to stop myself from buying it. I don’t generally do white backgrounds for me – I do that for other people because that is what they like. But I know that there will come a time that I will make something that has a white background for me. Because that seems to be what I am surrounded with – it is what I see. I am wondering if it is something that I will eventually do, fall into line = do I fear missing out on something, will I regret not buying the fabric?

For the record there is only one line of fabric I regret not buying – the Heather Ross one with the fairy tales on it. I think I would make something for me with it (I am in a bit of a whimsical mood, perhaps I will get some of the one with the mermaids instead).

But this whole thing has me thinking.

About four years ago I stopped buying fabric because I wasn’t happy with what I had been seeing. It all had a sameness about it that I wasn’t really all that impressed with. Now here I am talking in my LQS, I know that I could have gone online and purchased something from there, but in reality I was still enjoying the feeling of being in a physical store and purchasing fabric with the intent to sew something. The consequence of this fabric buying hiatus was that I stopped sewing. It took me going back into my stash to get me to sew again. I needed to rediscover the things that had bought me to quilting in the first place – the desire to play with colour and to make something useful and beautiful at the same time.

But what has this got to do with anything?

Sampler quilts and me.

My first quilt was a sampler that I made in classes at a quilt store in one of the northern suburbs of Brisbane. It was 1998 and I still haven’t finished it. The top is done, it is basted, but I just can’t bring myself to quilt the thing.

Since then I have finished another sampler, it is on my eldest child’s bed because he chose the blocks (yes even the appliqued flowers). But I have remained intrigued by sampler quilts. I collect the ideas of them.

At the moment I belong to two groups who are working on sampler quilts* – The 1930s Farmer’s Wife Quilt and Project 48 – it was the fabrics for the Project 48 Quilt that had me looking at my stash on the weekend. Having said that, I have the beginnings of the mother of all sampler quilts, the Dear Jane Quilt, in a box in the garage. And it is the one that calls my name every couple of months.

I joined Project 48 as a recognition that I wasn’t going to actually start the Farmer’s Wife quilt. I like it and all, but I don’t know if I love it. I am also after a project that I can use to teach myself how to use Bessie, and this seemed like a good way to do that. I can also use up some of that fabric I have collected over the years, I will do this in the same spirit as I did for the Modern Medallion – I don’t want to buy any new fabric to complete it, I will take from what I have. And I digress again.

I signed up for the Farmer’s Wife Quilt because I was afraid that I was going to miss out on something, but by joining the group and watching other people make their blocks I am actually learning things about me.

I think I will do the Project 48 quilt because I don’t know what is happening next – I don’t need the sense of control with it, because I have gone into it knowing all that I need to know about it. I don’t think I will make the Farmer’s Wife quilt (within this QAL), because I don’t think I am missing out on anything; yet I signed up because I thought I would. Strange.

Last night I posted a photo on Instagram of the books I was looking over:

The call of the Dear Jane is strong at the moment. Perhaps that is the one I should be making, after all, it is the one that I feel a sense of regret about.

Do you have a fear of missing out?

*please note I said that I belong to the groups, not that I had commenced work on either of the quilts. Although I think that I should have started Project 48 by tomorrow afternoon.

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