What I’ve been up to lately

Hi friends. What have you been up to lately? Any fun projects going on? I have things going on, but not a lot of big quilts. Or even small ones, really. Sometimes I ask myself, what am I getting up to?img_3071

The church where I’m a pastor is currently working on opening a community art center. It’s a community development effort, a chance for the church to be a better neighbor to our community by seeking its flourishing. Located just a few miles outside of Manhattan, our community has a lot of diversity, but not necessarily a lot of shared history. We’re hoping to make a  welcoming space for arts and crafts and learning and making together, where relationships can form and community be strengthened. Everyone benefits from feeling connected. An ethos of giving back to the community will be part of the concept — together, we can help each other and those in need with the things we make.fullsizerender

Pottery. Fabric. Paint. Artisans and enthusiasts. We’re taking the wide view toward arts and crafts of all kinds.img_3336

I’m in charge of getting this project started. It’s still in the funding and logistics phase, but it has been taking up a lot of my mental energy (a lot of that is just me on the see-saw, constantly thinking “this is going to be awesome!” and then “gah, is this a terrible idea?”). Most of the people I’ve talked to are enthusiastic about the concept, but I guess there is just a lot of uncertainty when you personally are doing something you haven’t done before.img_3406

Anyway, while we wait for adequate funds to begin the reno on the physical space, I’m trying to work on other things that need to be done, like publicity and getting the website together. I’m thinking about a nice clean website, cheap but easy to navigate. We also need some kind of online thing (within the website, I guess) for people to use to register for classes or seminars. I was thinking maybe some of you have some recommendations on this type of thing, or advice in general — if so, drop me a line.img_3168

The local elementary school PTO is hosting a holiday craft fair in December. I’m thinking about getting a table and making a spate of small, colorful items that people might like to pick up as holiday gifts (quick things with a low price-point). I myself am not really interested in selling stuff, but I’m thinking to do it as part of the publicity for the art center. Pouches and other small projects, simple baby blankets and whole-cloth quilts — these are some of the things we could be making together — and I think seeing them out and about helps generate interest. Yes?

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Meanwhile, my own creative time has taken a bit of hit. Pretty much all I’m making these days are these blocks! One a day, and we’re up to 66 today. At least there are a few minutes of making each day, right?

img_3374Although I love the fabrics I’m using, I’m not always wowed by my block of the day. Some of them are just not that exciting, are they? But you know what? They are looking pretty good together (see the first 49 below). In work or in life generally, it’s kind of this way, isn’t it? Not every day is amazing, but they add up to something pretty nice. This is good for us to remember every now and then, when we’re wondering why our days seem just so-so, wondering if we’re missing something. Every day doesn’t have to be amazing for something very special to be forming.img_3473

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3 thoughts on “What I’ve been up to lately

  1. Hi, reading about the planned arts center is very exciting. I haven’t used online class registration software but I’ll bet members of the Craft Industry Alliance can make recommendations.

  2. One word: Awesome!–for all your community idea/thinking/planning, kind and thoughtful approach, and for your wierd blocks making an strikingly lovely quilt. My humble advice: Bathe it all in prayer and action and watch the blessings come. Perhaps 20 years down the road at Memorial Reformed, someone will say, “Remember that great pastor we once had that started us on community outreach? Look where we’ve come!”

    On another note, I can’t wait to start my ‘block a day’ project, but I am certainly not striving for 100 blocks. I’m beginning to doubt if my prints can possible work out well altogether. You’ve given me hope anew. It’s on my ‘after January’ list; maybe in place of my running exercise..

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