I am fairly certain that when we left the hustle and bustle of the city in Southern California (almost 4 years ago!) and moved to our cabin in the woods in rural Upstate NY and joined the “slow movement” that I did not intend for it to drastically affect my crafting life. Being that the nearest quilt/fabric shop or JoAnn Fabric is about an hour away, that is in good weather, and I would have to take my impatient 8-year old with me (weekends are family time and my Husband is worse than my daughter when it comes to patience at a fabric store), I typically do my craft shopping on-line and in my p.j.’s, sipping tea, at 5:00 a.m. while everyone is sleeping. On rare occasion, the stars do align, and a friend or two and I make the JoAnn trek sans kids or husbands and stock up, but that doesn’t seem to happen in winter…I think up here we are like bears and semi-hibernate after Christmas. At first it was really hard not being able to run up to the fabric store and grab what I needed, but now I actually prefer slowing down and really thinking about what I am going to make and what I will use to make it.
These days Etsy is my best friend. I love that I can get fabric and supplies from all over the world, the shipping is incredibly low — most of the time under $3 — and I certainly can’t drive to JoAnns and back in my little Subaru for that (plus I feel much better knowing my fabric and supplies get to carpool) and I can get exactly what I want. I have several patterns that are awaiting supplies to get started. So I find myself waiting with anticipation for the daily mail delivery…is today the day my beautiful Nani Iro fabric will arrive? Yes, I am waiting for that gorgeous fabric to make the “Dapper Day Bag” from Meg McElwee’s new book “Sew Liberated” (I am totally in love with just about every project in it). But even after it comes, I won’t be able to make it because I still have to order the charcoal twill from Near Sea Naturals (sustainable fabrics, notions, and yarns). We have made the choice to only use cash, if there is no cash there is no fabric. I do have a monthly craft budget, but with Christmas just over it is long gone.
I have two other projects that I am anxiously awaiting the funds to purchase beautiful linen for (yes they are picked out and ready to go when I press “check-out” on my shopping cart!) I could order cheap fabric and have instant gratification, but if I am going to take the time to lovingly make something I want it to be something I (or the person receiving it) is going to adore and use (in the case of a handbag) for many years to come. That in essence is what the slow movement is all about. I enjoy carefully selecting (alright, I admit it — totally obsessing over) each fabric or trim (have I mentioned how much I adore Japanese sewing tape???) that I use for all of my projects and then day dreaming about making it as I wait for the supplies to arrive. It is forcing me to be patient (those of you who know me know this is not my strong point) and hopefully teaching my daughter the value of saving up and waiting for something you really want.