When I told a friend I was thinking of starting a blog, she asked me what the blog was going to be about–Quilting? Gardening? Sarcasm and wittiness? I said “yes”, and she said she’d read it. That was all the encouragement I needed. You can blame her. That’s not true. Like I said in my first post, a lot of big and little things conspired. This encouragement was just the last nudge I needed.
This post will be not knitting-centric. *gasp*
Most crafters have several projects going at any given time. There are a select few who have self-control… I’ve been told… I don’t know. I’ve never actually met one of these crafters. If you are part of a crafting community, either online, or IRL, you probably have heard cute phrases for some of the projects languishing away wherever you hide them…usually “UFO” as in UnFinished Object. A different friend wanted me to do something on my blog with regards to UFO’s. But alliteration!
While I can think of some cute things to do with aliens and UFO’s, nothing was really working for me. So, I figured I’d let the idea marinate in my head for a while. Eventually, I came across the term WIP, which stands for Work In Progress. How wonderful! A: it works with Wednesdays, and B: it sounds so much more intentional than UFO. A UFO is something foreign, over which we have no control; a work in progress is something we are working on. People also seem to use the term UFO to describe a project they’ve given up on: That’s not an afghan, that’s a UFO. WIP is just something that’s…in process.
Now, this isn’t to say that if you dug deep (or just glanced through, really) my projects “on the needle” so to speak, you wouldn’t find some items which would qualify as a UFO. I’m going to work on getting those back into a WIP state. That being said, what I’m currently working on is a gift (or three), so I’m not going to show or talk about them much yet.
This week, the WIP I’m wanting to talk about is a shop hop!
I know I’ve been mostly talking about knitting. That’s because knitting has been my go to for a long time. Like I said, though, knitting isn’t my only craft. Several years ago, L introduced me to shop hops. Shop hops are quilters’ trick or treating. You show up at a store and say you are shop hopping, and they give you the fabric and instructions to make a (usually) 6” completed block. Before you get too excited, you need to know that there needs to be a shop hop currently happening and the store needs to be participating in said shop hop. Showing up at random stores may lead to embarrassment and confusion (if done right all that will be on the owner, not you).
There are all sorts of different types of shop hops with all sorts of parameters, but they tell you all about them at the beginning–so don’t worry. It’s a great way for the shops to show off their “style” as well as get folks through the door. For the shop hoppers, it can be a fun day (or more) road tripping and seeing different areas. Sometimes, I can convince Poopie to be my chauffer.
Right now, there is a shop hop in my area, and I’m in the middle of doing that. Which is why I’m calling it a WIP. Full disclosure, the baggie full of goodies will likely end up on the shelf of my quilting table for a good long time before being pulled out and put together. (side glance to the left) So….doubly WIP.
Now, we can look at all the unfinished projects and despair. I mean, I often do. But, we can also look at how much extra enjoyment I am getting. I enjoy the process of shop hopping. Even when I do it alone, I enjoy the puzzle of getting the most bang for my driving. Then I get to see all the blocks, and side projects. I get reminded of awesome stores just outside my normal shopping zone. Then, later, when I pull out that particular shop hop’s bag, I get to re-enjoy the squares and techniques. I get reminded of why I love how this person writes their patterns and try out new techniques. Then, I get to figure out a setting fabric. *swoon*
Setting fabric is the “background” of the quilt. While there is often a theme, or feature fabric, for a shop hop, it can be difficult to find something to pull it all together. Or, if you are like me, 6” may or may not be 6” (insert NSFW joke here). The featured picture for this post is a blanket I made for my co-worker’s baby from a shop hop. As you can see, while there was a featured fabric line, the color schemes were not really compatible. Also, one block was NOT 6.5” (the size you need to get a finished 6”). Go on, guess which one. The setting fabric in this example is the grey and I chose a setting pattern that hid the miss-sized block. I’m not sure the picture does it justice, but there are glitter dots in the grey. Side note, after that quilt, grey became one of my favorite neutrals, it’s soooo much more versatile than I had thought.
I will be spotlighting different WIP’s as we go along. I’ll try to talk about why they fell by the wayside, and what I’ll do to get through whatever obstacle that is. More importantly, I will try to remember to find the fun that I can when I can. Taking pleasure in the little things, like finishing a shop hop. But, in the meantime, I have to get to 16 stores, and Madrona before next weekend. OMG MADRONA IS NEXT WEEK!!!