Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Betwixt and Between

How do you feel after completing a large project?

It’s hard for me to explain…even to myself…how and what I’m feeling right now.  It’s been just over a week since I completed my Raggedy and Friends quilt and I’m experiencing this kind of “empty” feeling.


I was going great guns during the month of December, planning, designing and finally stitching and piecing my first ever full size quilt design.  I enjoyed every moment of it and it reminded me of when I finally got to the actual painting of one of my line drawings and saw it come to life in front of my eyes…euphoria!  Then there would always be a lull before the inspiration took hold to start on a new project.  I think I am experiencing that same lull right now.  I know myself well and I know it will pass, yet it doesn’t make the feeling any better.  I’m “betwixt and between”.


I’ve been keeping myself busy but I seem to be flitting from one thing to another.  I’ve prepped the second Civil War Bride Quilt block…but I haven’t started stitching it.  Maybe today…but I said that yesterday too!  I’m “betwixt and between”.


I also started to knit a pair of socks for my friend Lucie’s son.  I have until June to complete them so perhaps that is why I seem to be procrastinating. 


There is a custom in the French Canadian culture that if a younger sibling gets married before the older sibling, then the older sibling must dance with the younger sibling in their stocking feet at the wedding reception…hense, the wild socks pictured above.  Both Lucie and her son Dan have a super sense of humor and Dan will be wearing these wild colored socks, dressed in a tux at his sister’s wedding.  I know I will have them finished long before June, but I just can’t seem to sink my teeth into them right now.  I’m “betwixt and between”.


I have so many ideas and new designs floating around in my head right now.  I know from past experience that if I don’t write them down or sketch what I “see” in my head, then the idea will vanish as quickly as it came.  I think I’m a bit overwhelmed by the fact that I want to to so much but know that realistically, there just aren’t enough hours in a day to even put a dent in what I hope to accomplish.  I’m “betwixt and between”.


So, having said that, I think I’ll start to x-stitch again.  I haven’t x-stitched since the Fall and I miss it…even though I’m a real beginner.  There’s a needlecase in  the Thank You, Sarah Tobias book by Blackbird Designs that actually inspired me to start to x-stitch and that’s what I have in mind.  I’m going to order the fabric and the floss today and will look forward to starting that journey once the supplies arrive.  In the interim, I hope to complete the second block of the CWBQ and continue knitting in the evenings.

Have you ever felt” betwixt and between”?


Happy stitching!

Kaaren ♥


Kim D. said...

Kaaren, I sometimes have a lull and have to do something besides quilt, for me it's beading. I hope you get your groove back or your Mojo as they say. I love your civil war bride block, it's adorable.

Connie said...

The quilt is so pretty, and i also have alot of stuff going on in my head and realize there is not enough time to do what I would like to do so it is one day at a time and to enjoy what I can get done, if the Lord is willing it will get done. Love your work and you have a GREAT week, it is snowing here so is good to be in the sewing room. HAPPY SEWING!

Marie said...

Sometimes when I finish a project, I find I don't even want to go in the sewing studio for a few days. Then as quickly as it comes, it leaves and I have a renewed vigor to jump into something new. My head is stuffed to overflowing with ideas and I have to let my subconscious develop the 'how-to's' in my sleep. Sounds weird, but it works (for me).

Maggey and Jim said...

I love finishing but sometimes it is a let down.. not often. It seems that it is on your mind and you are concentrating on it so much, your mind searches endlessly?? I know that doesn't make sense. I have never x stitched but my DD2 has and done a beautiful job. your raggedy is beautiful and quite an accomplishment.When I have so much on my mind, I start writing things down and that helps clear away the doubts.

Abby and Stephanie said...

I so enjoy the Civil War Bride progress. I feel a great sense of satisfaction when a project is complete. Sometimes the sewing mood just isn't there, though rare, and I just step back and do something else. As for ideas...my father has a saying about remembering things...it's better to have a short pencil than a long memory.

Darlene said...

Yes, yes and yes I have often felt 'betwixt & between' and I think that's what stole my Mojo a few months ago. Now I have discovered that if I have list of goals then I stay focused. Your motivation will get you through the 'betwixt & between' feeling.

Love, love your quilt - it's darling, Kaaren.

Karen said...

Been there, done that! Good that you have experienced this before and know that you will soon be back in the groove. How about a similar quilt with prim style angels?

I have never heard of the sock custom you wrote about. Be sure to take a picture of the dancer in his wild socks.

I had forgotten that you are doing the Civil War Bride quilt in wools. Such rich colors!

Linda - Behind My Red Door said...

I have way to many betweixt and between moments and more the older I get. Sometimes it bugs me, and I feel like I wam wasting time and or at least not making the BEST use of my time. But at other times I think I need to learn something from those times. Maybe I am not meant to be doing another project. Sometimes I think I think too much! LOL

I hope you feel inspired soon and your next path becomes clear!!

warm hugs, Linda

PS loved learning that sock tradition!!

Dorothy said...

Kaaren, these days I find myself constantly "betwixt and between", never being able to settle on just one thing! The dull grey skies don't help. lol
I'm sure you'll be back in the groove soon, and we'll all be admiring your next creation.

Jocelyn said...

Kaaren your CW Bride block is so beautiful! I am not an artist nor very creative, but it would seem to me that if you did not have some B & B you would burn out rather quickly. I look forward to seeing what beautiful new creations flow from your mind.

Joanne said...

When I get like that I think it is natures way of saying I need a break or a change of scene.
Love the socks! The wilder, the better in my books! ♥

paulette said...

I feel that way all the time!! Sometimes if I get too many projects on the go I put everything down and don't want to work on anything as I find it too overwhelming. Blogging has been good for me in that way...for instance, the Wool Crazy Quilt would be an overwhelming project...so much to stitch...one little block is like a whole quilt! But because of everyone encouraging me on, and me encouraging the others on... and I HAVE to have something to write about ;o)...I keep stitching. Thanks again for setting up our blog!!It is so helpful to everyone!! So whatever project you pick up it will be wonderful...and remember...it is OK to take a rest!!
Have a great day!!

Sherri said...

I've had that "betwixt and between" feeling before...it can be a little scary. Sometimes I need to take a couple days off, and sometimes just getting organized takes care of it...but I agree...it's never fun when you have that feeling.

Unknown said...

Karen your work is amazing!

Country Whispers said...

Betwixt & Between....That is for sure ME!
I seem to have so many crafting ideas and just never seem to settle on just one. I just kind of bounce around from one project to the next.

ranette said...

Kaaren...I feel very betwixt and between right now. Great way to put it actually...lol

Monica said...

When I've finished a big project I go through the same thing. What I've been finding lately that helps me is blog surfing. I see so many things on other people's blog (i.e. photography, embroidery, quilting, recipes, etc.) that it usually inspires me to get started on something new.

Before when the lull would happen I'd spend a few days around the house doing nothing except what HAD to be done. I'd spend the day watching Food Network...so not good for DH's waistline.

Blog surfing is definately better!

I look forward to seeing what you do when you come out of your lull...hugs.

Colleen said...

Kaaren, I understand your feeling of betwixt and between. For me after finishing my Folk Art Sampler, which was a big project with wool applique and scrappy pieced blocks 84 x 84, I kind of felt like I do after Christmas. A let down of sorts, after planning and looking forward to so much - then it is over so fast!
This time, when having that feeling I worked on a quick project, a kaleidescope quilt for my sister. Done in 3 days, instant gratification, now ready to machine quilt and mail.
I have decided to give my house a good cleaning before starting my Underground Railroad quilt. Starting it will be my reward for taking the time to clean!!!
I always enjoy seeing your projects, the CWBQ will be gorgeous! I will be following to see what is next.

Unknown said...

Hi Kaaren~
I am happy to "hear" you talk about that betwixt time~I think it is a common denominator with all of us and yes it is hard to describe....my husband notices it in me between projects and I just tell him,"No worries, I'll be back soon!" I think he wonders what just happened to all this energy (and I am thinking the same thing....) Its like letting the dust settle before we start again~ and the WATCH OUT!!! Kind of like re-fueling...

Annette said...

I have been there, and just recently, flitting from project to project trying to hone in on "the one" I absolutely love your Civil War block. This is going to be such a beautiful quilt.

Deb said...

Kaaren, I always get like that after I finish a large project. I enjoy the journey of completing the piece so much that I'm at a real loss afterwards and end up picking up one thing after another! It's almost like that great book you read, and you don't know what to put in it's place. I hope that your betwixt and between mood goes away soon.

Pat said...

OMGosh Kaaren! We are in the same place. It is getting better though!!

RG said...

Kaaren, every time I finish a project... I feel this way!!
Every time... it's like a letting go and especially if you're giving away.
Robyn xx

Annie Bee said...

Love your post. I absolutely adore huge projects and always feel a sense of loss when they are finished. Love the block for the Civil War Bride QUilt - just gorgeous. THose sock colours are vibrant to say the least.

Candace said...

Oh how I know that feeling, Kaaren! I've had it with our Squash House for some time now - so many ideas, so much to do!
Your first quilt design is stunning to say the least! You must be so proud!

Allie said...

I feel that way every time I finish a big project! Not a small one, just a big one. It does pass. I try to take my time and enjoy it though - especially since I usually have a big project going.

Julia said...

Oh Kaaren, see how we all feel a bit 'betwixt & between' now and again..I do when there's too much happening, and when a project is finished...I think "What now"..
There are days when the inspiration just flows and days when I'm numb, nothing!..
Julia ♥

Jane's Fabrics and Quilts said...

Oh Kaaren, That is how I feel right now too! I think we all have that at one time or another. And the cold and snow do not help. I long for hot and humid. Ideas flow for me when it is warm and sunny. I have not put a post on my blog for over a week! Not sure what to say, sooo I know how you feel and I know it will pass for me and for you as well.

PS Love the socks!! That is a fun custom.

Carrie P. said...

Yes, I have felt that many times.
Love your wool picks for the new block.
What a great tradition with the socks.

Julie said...

hi kaaren, it's almost an anti climax isn't it? a bit of a let down similar to when you finish reading a good book. one tends to feel a little lost and not know what to do next. i'm sure you'll be back in the saddle very soon. your CWBQ block is looking stunning!
big hugs,
julie xox

Brenda said...

I hear ya! It sounds like post partum depression...like you just had that wonderful baby (quilt) and now that it's over nothing seems to be quite as exciting.
I wouldn't worry if I were you, you just can't help being creative so it will come back.
Your quilt block is lovely, your socks are great; I'd say you're moving right along there. Slow and steady is always good. Can't wait to see your Xstitch! B=)

Vivian said...

Most of the time I think. Great post.

Sew Create It - Jane said...

Interesting fact about the socks...I grew up in a English/French house with my step mother being French Canadian and I never knew that about married and unmarried siblings...my youngest sister is getting married this summer...I'll have to get her older and unmarried sister some socks! LOL

Siobhán said...

Kaaren, I hope you can settle down! You have such lovely projects going, but I know how you feel. I always get betwixt and between when I finish something big, especially if I've really enjoyed working on it. Flit between projects and eventually you'll get into the groove again.

Cindy said...

Beautiful quilt, Kaaren, just beautiful.

I love the sock story..how fun.

I think several of us have that "Betwixt and Between" sort of thing going on occasionally.

Robin C said...

I have felt betwixt and between most all the time. To tell the truth I think I am a planner, starter and dreamer but not much of a finisher.

love your quilt. And all your freebies. Thanks for every one.

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

You have so many lovely things going on Kaaren! Just do what feels right.

Cathi said...

I've had that feeling -- it usually begins as I'm finishing the binding on a project.
That's usually when I get out some of my favourite quilt books and just start leafing through to get ideas.

Nadine said...

Oh no, we have the same disease! We just love too many things, that's all! And our brains are just so thrilled with all there is to do in life that our neurons keep spinning around....we're little flitting butterflies, we are. I smiled at the socks... the first pair I made (& the last!) cost me $43 US. I think I'd rather quilt...and stitch...maybe paint a little...make cards...crochet....and knit OTHER things like scarfs and sweaters! What else shall I try?????

Rumi said...

I'm in quite the lull also--although your lull is much, much more productive than mine! I'm starting to pick up steam again and you will too. Love the socks. Perfect for dancing in!

Micki said...

You have been a busy lady! I love that CWBQ block! It is darling!

Karen from Sew Many Ways... said...

Hi Kaaren,
I think we all feel that way from time to time. I always have a million projects going on, but when I finish one you'd think I would go on to the next ufo...oh no, let's start another new one!!
Love your finished quilt, it's so beautiful. Your work is always an inspiration to me!
Have a great rest of the weekend,

Beertje Zonn said...

The quilt is beautiful!
Bear regards,

Beertje Zonn

Darlee said...

I love your projects, they do inspire!! I think the best remedy for that inbetween mood is to do a cleanup of the sewing area that way it's ready for that next project. And if one doesn't have a projects wishlist, to go and write one... then there is never a lack of direction when something gets checked off.

Calamity Jane's Cottage, Bonnie said...

Hi Kaaren, the aswer to your question is all the time...
Love the quilt and all your Betwixt and Between projects. Maybe that needs to be a new button on the sidebar.
It's so good to read and see all your designs youv'e worked on, so much talent.
Keep Stitchen'

Nanette Merrill said...

I can totally relate to your thoughts. Sometimes I'm excited to finish and sometimes I wish I could start again. I'm the same with new ideas too. If I don't immediately write them down, poof!

Rose Marie said...

I had a chuckle when I read about your wedding socks .... I also made a pair and jazzed them up quite a bit. Go here to see them