Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Setting Intentions





At our first yoga class of the new year our instructor mentioned intentions rather than resolutions.  We set an intention at the beginning of each class. Which is nothing new. The nuns always had us praying for some intention or other. If life was hard they told us to offer it up for the intention of --- the holy souls in purgatory, peace on earth, an end to world hunger, nuns and priests in the missions, one of the older nun's recovery from illness, that another would have a happy death, that God would bless the Pope, that we'd all be on our best behaviour, and not disgrace them, when Mother General of the order came to visit from Italy.......

There was no end to the intentions. I guess they were trying to toughen us up --- there was greater suffering in the world than our trivial problems.

Get over yourselves girls.

Pray for those less fortunate.

But, back to yoga. Angie suggested we keep our intentions for the new year positive. Not "I'm going to lose weight," but rather "I'm going to be fit." Not "I'm going to give up eating dessert," but rather "I'm going to eat healthily "...and so on.

My positive intention? Not "Do not darken the door of a quilt shop this year," but rather "Get thee to the sewing room woman and git 'em done!" Every year for at least a decade I've half-heartedly resolved to get a grip and finish all my half-done quilting projects. It never happens. I just end up feeling guilty. And who needs more guilt? The nuns made sure we had enough to last this lifetime and well into the next.

Last year I finished one major quilt that had been on the go for too many years. It felt so good to put in that final stitch.



 I want more of that! So this year I'm doing American Patchwork and Quilting magazine's UFO Challenge for 2017. And harassing all my quilting friends (want to join me?) to sign up too.  For those not familiar, UFOs are Unfinished Objects. In my case -- quilts, or similar sewing projects. Make a list of twelve, no excuses.  Twelve whole months. Fifty two weeks. Three hundred and sixty five days. Roughly eight thousand seven hundred and sixty five hours.

So what has been my problem??

No deadlines, no structure, no-one to answer to, the lure of shiny new projects, no focus.... But the sands of time are not slowing down. Structure! Death to procrastination! Determination! (says she optimistically.) I'm on it already. And you thought I was just blowing hot air. Since Christmas is coming again soon, only three hundred and sixty two days away, I decided to jump right in with a Christmas project that's been languishing for years. It's small, it's applique, it's do-able.....




And then I'll tackle layering, quilting and binding the quilt for my niece's baby (already four months old - Oy!)





And that's just my first intention. There are more --- but, another day. I have a feeling this blog is going to morph into a mostly-quilting blog this year, so --- you have been warned! Of course books, photos and random bits of other stuff will undoubtedly creep in among the stitches....

 I wish you all a very good year and, if the shoe fits, happy stitching!



12 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

If I knew where my guilt button was I would disconnect it. Permanently. It gives me nothing but grief.
Hooray for your intentions. I will be more than happy to admire them as the year progresses. I don't think my hands will allow needlework any longer, but my eyes can/do/will still appreciate.

Quinn-t-Essential Quilts said...

Just happened upon "Setting Intentions" and would most definitely like to join you in your challenge Molly Bawn~

Marigold Jam said...

It all goes with my Carpe Diem mantra - it is my intention to get going - and more importantly to keep going - on more of the stuff I love and no more procrastination! I think we all suffer from overuse of the guilt button, I certainly have this past year with my complaining when I know there are people in the world suffering far worse problems. Like Elephant's Child I wish there was a way to disconnect the guilt button especially when it is not warranted nor helpful which let's face it is almost always. I promised myself I wouldn't make any resolutions this new year as I would only suffer more guilt when I didn't achieve them but the Carpe Diem Mantra seems possible to stick with. I fully intend to do all sorts of things but my idea of intentions is perhaps not the same as the nuns'!

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

"Eight Thousand seven hundred and sixtyfive hours "... minus the hour I've just spent drinking coffee and counting seagulls ...

Thimbleanna said...

Happy New Year Molly! I'm very much looking forward to watching you complete all your projects this year -- I love a good project finish!

Colette said...

You inspire me! Why? Because you put it in the context of an intention instead of a resolution. It gives it meaning and some of that good, old fashioned, and totally motivating Catholic guilt. I might even put up my sewing table and place the sewing machine on it today. Thanks! I needed that.

dianne said...

i dunno ... guilt is a Powerful Motivator (when it isn't causing Paralysis)

Miss P's quilt is gorgeous and she will love it even more Now than she would have Then (did the nuns teach that there are no Coincidences and Everything Happens For A Reason?)...

anywho, here's to Quilts and their Beginnings, Progress, and Finishes!

p.s. - Melissa loves her roses - they were worth every second that i used making them...

Molly Bon said...


EC --- Ah yes. Guilt. The nuns were not stingy, they handed out lashings of it!

Quinn t --- Found your blog but it has an abandoned look about it. Maybe you'll breathe new life into it recording your achievements on the UFU challenge?

MJ --- I've been working on finding that disconnect button too, but it's a struggle. Habits learned so young are difficult to change (but not impossible, I hope!
I like your seize the day mantra... might help me stay on course. Good luck carping your own diems!

S&S --- Well it goes without saying we must also leave time for drinking coffee and counting seagulls.

Anna-Banana --- I expect I'll be drawing inspiration in my finishing efforts from you!

Colette --- Be sure to take a picture and post the proof when that sewing machine's up and humming! The nuns were also thrifty. Little did they know we'd still be motivated by all that guilt so many decades later!

Dianne --- I always get a laugh from you --- I have experienced plenty of quilt paralysis. Were you a stand-up comedienne in another life? 'Cause vestiges of it are leaking through into this one....
As for that thing about coincidences --- I didn't learn it from the nuns but from my youngest daughter who firmly believes that everything happens for a reason.

Secret Agent Woman said...

I have used that intention instead of resolution idea for a while, trying to frame them in a positive way.

I like the looks of your quilting projects - hope those go well!

ganching said...

I started knitting the very small scarf I finished last week just before Christmas, that is Christmas 2015. I am so pleased I completed it.

Molly Bon said...


SAW --- I guess it depends on how we phrase it to ourselves! I'm on a constant mission to outrun my Inner Procrastinator....

Ganching --- Go you.I saw that very small scarf and it was a thing of beauty! I choose a small project to start with also in hopes that I'll finish it soon and feel a similar sense of acomplishment.

Pauline said...

Oy - there's a whole shelf of unfinished sewing projects in my tiny closet. Mice will be making there nests there if I don't get sewing... you will be my inspiration :) (Maybe)