Workshop envy (some thoughts on crafty FOMO)

I felt a pang of envy – an almost physical pain – when I heard about this hand quilting workshop by Felicia Semple (of The Craft Sessions fame) that is taking place soon in Victoria.  Like outside-of-Melbourne Victoria, i.e., a very long way from me.

In Australia, Sydney is arguably the cultural capital, followed closely by Melbourne, and then there are a bunch of next-tier cities:  Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra.  And while living in Brisbane has its advantage (namely:  blue skies, and er, being able to buy a house), one of the downsides is that it can often feel far, very far, from places where exciting and beautiful things are happening.  Exciting and beautiful things like this…


While I could potentially twist the household budget enough to fly to Melbourne and get to Lauriston and do the workshop, it’s not something the budget can extend to often, and I think my travel/crafty budget has probably already been exceeded this year.  Not to mention the fact that I’ve only ever spent one night away from my children.  And while I know that plenty of parents do leave their children regularly for a night or two, it’s not something that I feel very comfortable doing, at least not yet.  So there are some good reasons why I won’t be at the workshop, much as I would deeply love to be.

I’ve thought about it a lot this week and I think it boils down to a crafty version of FOMO, fear of missing out.  The oh-so-very-2016 fear that other people elsewhere are doing better, or more interesting, or more exciting things than you are.

The truth is, I would really love to know how to hand quilt, but I’m a bit afraid.  I’ve read about it, and I’ve watched Anna Maria Horner’s Creativebug class more than once(!), but I’ve never seen anyone do it in person.  When I look at pictures like this I have about a million questions.


Someone wise, I can’t remember who (and if you know, remind me!), once planted in my mind the idea that envy can be a very instructive emotion, in that it can point you in the direction of what it is you truly want, and what you want to change.  If I’m mindful and still, there are a few thoughts that this particular workshop FOMO raises for me:

(1)  I want to know how to hand quilt.  I love the look of the finished product so much, and even more than that, I am curious to try the slow pace of the stitching itself.  It appears soothing.  Old-fashioned in a good way.

(2)  I probably have everything that I need (and then some) to try hand quilting already.  If it’s really what I want to do, why haven’t I done it yet?  Fear, maybe?  In the form of perfectionism, and the desire to do everything right the first time?  Prioritising other things in my life that I feel I should do, rather than want to do?  All of the above?

(3)  I wish there were craft workshops like this in Brisbane.  Maybe I could organise one.

(4)  Quilting with Nani Iro fabric = sheer genius.  Why didn’t I think of it before??


(5)  I wonder what kind of other materials Felicia Semple uses (fabrics, needles, thread, batting)?  I would love to know.

Looking at these things written down, it doesn’t seem so frightening.  I’m going to email Felicia to ask what she uses (you never know your luck!), and, more importantly, it’s a long weekend this weekend, and I’m going to make a pact with myself to start a hand quilting project by the time Tuesday morning rolls around.  I’ll report back.


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