Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Making the time for “Making Time”

So I finally finished, with the help of my mother, two of my sisters, the niece of literally my oldest friend, two newer friends, and someone I haven’t seen since high school. My fourth charity quilt and my second community quilt is finished and on it’s way to being auctioned for Grandmothers to Grandmothers, a favorite charity of my mother’s.
I love making these quilts and already have plans for my next one. One thing I need to address in some way is—what can I call it—the drop out rate. As I said in a previous post, a lot of women said they wanted to help, but didn’t sew, which of course is one of the things that inspired this blog. But something that has happened both times I’ve attempted a community quilt is that quilters have signed up and then not submitted a block. Now, again, no big deal really, the quilt got finished and looks great that’s all that matters. But I’d like more quilters to take part. Some just didn’t get back to me. Some said they just didn’t have the time. This got me thinking. What are we spending our time on?
I often feel like I “don’t have the time” to read, to write, to sew, to cook. Sure I have a child and I work (occasionally) but let’s get real here. My mother had a fulltime job, FOUR kids, a husband, did all her own housework, volunteered at a homeless shelter, was going to night school AND still had time to sew up a storm AND make home-cooked food every night. How the heck did she do it?
Well…she didn’t have Facebook, that’s for sure.
See the thing about computer based pastimes as opposed to watching TV for example, is that they require all your attention and both your hands. Ever tried to read a book while you chat on MSN? Ever tried to knit while you play Vampire Wars? I knit while I watch TV. I’m not a big knitter so I don’t do this often but I have friend who, if it weren’t for cheesy TV dramas probably would never have become the professional knitter she is now. My mother listened to the radio as she sewed, deep into the wee hours, not even noticing that CBC radio had switched from classical to “Brave New Waves” at midnight. I’ll never forget seeing her stitch obliviously along to Skinny Puppy at 1AM.
Video games and web surfing and Facebooking and texting don’t allow for real multi tasking. Sure you can play Vampire Wars while Facebooking, but you’re trapped at your keyboard, so you’re really only semi-multi tasking, since the two tasks are really just different versions of the same pointless thing. The question is, how much time are we putting into computer based entertainments and pastimes, and what do we have to show for it at the end of the day?
The home computer was supposed to be this great tool for us that would simplify and streamline our lives leaving us with more free time to …what? Sew? Paint? Build bookshelves? But somehow it has ended up eating up all that extra time, and then some, leaving us no time to do anything at all except maybe order some bookshelves from ikea.com. At least when we watch TV we can do something with our hands. Shuck peas maybe, or make origami.
I can’t believe it but I think I’m suggesting we all watch more TV


  1. As you know, I don't watch "TV" as I don't have cable anymore, but of course I watch DVDs every so often. Last night I was watching The Two Towers and playing my Lexulous games simultaneously! But seriously, I totally agree: I'll need something to watch/listen to/do while I do the denim patch quilt and facebook isn't it! Tess

  2. When I told Tess that I didn't think I could pull off a square after I said I would (never done one in my life), she simply looked at me and said: "yes, you're doing it - pick one of these nights to come over, and I'll teach you." That's all it took. I watched (and ironed and ironed and ironed) and held fabric while Tess laughed me through the process. It was wonderful. (Maybe not so much for Tess!) We had some wine and talked. And laughed. And measured. And laughed. Can't wait to do it again.

  3. computers do "block" your creative little hands from making beautiful creations - my 10 and 11 year old sons recently signed onto facebook and I've literally had to ban them as unfortunately they became addicted. Thankfully last night we went to Chapters and bought them the newest "Diary of a Whimpy Kid"....
    My love of reading, sewing, knitting, x-stitching (wonderful things I've all done in the past and miss so much) have suddenly disappeared - now, I feel this wonderful urge to find my knitting needles in a moving box somewhere, as just yesterday, my 10 year old son was looking for his mittens a wonderful soul made that I bought him at a craft sale 5 years ago, which he mentioned, are the best, most comfortable mitts he likes - unfortunately, I've never tackled mittens before as I understand are a tad too difficult for this fairly beginner knitter - any suggestions for a fairly easy pattern anyone?
    Pattie from Saskatchewan

  4. Hey baby sister, Just want to say that I am proud of you for creating this blog and it's hand-made mission! See you guys soon...love, Monica