Sunday, July 25, 2010

Instead of Watching TV...

I finished my first quilt that I started over two years ago!  Letting go of TV has definitely given me more space for the things I never seem to find time for.  

Sure, you would think that 110 degree temperatures wouldn't really inspire the desire to quilt.  But the heat can't seem to stop my sudden creative momentum and the urge to complete what I've started.

Instead of hearing judges critique dancers, artists and chefs on their reality shows, I have enjoyed hearing the cicadas in the background, while playing with my needle and thread.  The stillness and rhythmic nature that comes from stitching has invited my mind to quiet some, much like meditation.

For this quilt, I used Amy Butler fabric and the pattern is known as a Wonky Scrap Quilt.  I learned the technique at a cool local quilt shop, but found an on-line tutorial for those of you interested in giving it a try.  It is so fun and easy.  (And hopefully won't take you two years!)

My quilt is complete.

It has been washed...

 and is ready to find its permanent home.

I walk into my bedroom room and smile.

Other things that are happening since giving up TV:

I'm getting more sleep.

I'm having great evening talks with my husband, rather than laying side-by-side while zoning out to some mindless show.

I've started the outline for my book.  I took a class recently on how to write, publish and market my first book.  The teacher offered great practical advice, like getting a calendar and putting down your start and completion dates.  I have to say that I'm not sure I'll stick to her guidelines on how to complete your book in 6-weeks,  considering I'm also switching gears to prepare for the birth of my second son, but I'm using my TV-less evenings to finally give this big dream some attention.

Rather than crashing on the couch to watch others accomplish their dreams, I'm feeling more creatively alive and inspired to do less, create more, and enjoy BEING in the space of the present moment.

And, that feels really good.

Your Personal Reflection:  What is one thing you've wanted to complete or try but just haven't had the time for?  Now think of some of the activities, like TV, that take up your time and energy.  What is one activity you can let go of so that you can find some much needed time to finish a creative project or start something new?  Can you start today?


  1. yum! what a gorgeous quilt.
    i haven't had tv in over 10 years. this past winter i did get one, and a wii, so that i could do wii fit which is awesome. once in a while i rent a movie which is nice too but for the most part tv is not really a positive influence.

  2. thanks, andrea! glad to hear you have enjoyed life without TV, too. i agree that having the option to rent a movie from time-to-time is nice. i'm am seeing the benefits from not having the TV influence - i haven't watched the news in years and it's the same thing - being away from it i realize how many negative images, stories and show are on it...just don't need that in my life! thanks for visiting.

  3. Yay...LOVE that quilt...really gorgeous!!!!

  4. The quilt is beautiful! I love reading about your tv-less journey. I haven't given mine up, but I've been making a concerted effort to keep it off. I'm excited to watch Mad Men tonight, but until then I hope to do other things. Work on my journal, read, etc. But tv still sucks me in sometimes... I definitely think my life would be richer without it. But I just can't give it up fully!

  5. We still have out TV but we have moved it to our basement. Now that it is out of our living room (the place that we hang out in the most) we hardly ever watch it. It has given me more time for reading and getting to other projects like de-cluttering.

    I do have a confession though - I think I need to put my laptop somewhere less accessible since I spend more time on it instead of watching TV!

    I love the colours in your quilt. It is beautiful!


  6. I spotted that Amy Butler from a mile away! I absolutely love your beautiful quilt! Did you hand sew it? I'll have to check out the tutorial. Making a quilt is a fantasy of mine. We are letting go of TV too. My antenna didn't work for a while and all we got was PBS and Creat (a pbs channel) which was fine. Now it's working again, and I haven't returned to watching. My life is much better without it and the news. I catch a little of the paper and online and that's more than enough-especially since all people seem to be doing on tv news is yelling, and turning serious issues into entertainment. I must confess I do enjoy my Project Runway on Netflix, but I can get through it at my pace and my terms. ;)
    Amazing post Shannon! It gives me a lot to think about as I try to organize my days.

  7. Kind of funny. I am in the midst of figuring out how I want to redesign my room and the quilt you made is EXACTLY the one I was hoping to find. Especially the mustard color. Beautiful work, love.

  8. What a beautiful quilt!! I've been wanting to try my hand at quilting, and I'm inspired anew. As far as TV, I didn't used to watch much at all - didn't have cable, and rarely turned it on to the free channels. Since meeting my guy 2 years ago though, I've fallen more into his pattern of watching, and now am trying to dig myself out! I miss the quiet time... He sometimes will follow my lead to get away from the couch/TV combo, so I'm going to try harder! Thanks for the reminder :)

  9. Hey Shannon--what a great quilt! Did you hand sew the whole thing or machine piece and hand quilt? It looks GREAT! I love the quilting pattern.

  10. hey everyone! thanks for all of your lovely comments. i'm excited to make another quilt. no, this is not hand-quilted. i machine quilted all the blocks and hand stitched the border. i can see, though, how hand stitching an entire quilt would be so rewarding. xoxo

  11. Well done for finishing a big project. You'll get to enjoy seeing it every day now!

    We've been living without TV for years. The best thing about it is not having to put up with noisy ads that I'm not interested in anyway. I've become so comfortable in my chosen stillness that even commercial radio sounds like too much noise clutter.

    The laptops are on a lot in the evenings though... Unless we watch a DVD, which gives me automatically time to get on with something crafty like knitting at the same time :)

    x Maria

  12. Good for you giving up the TV. I've tried reducing and having certain times when it is banned but not completely given up. I've found that limiting it with the kids is important and we've had many fun, creative experiences because the tv is not a constant feature. I know homes where the tv is continuosly on like a constant background and it does suck you in no matter what's showing.

    I LOVE your quilt, its beautiful. Sewing is therapeutic, I agree.

    Thanks for making me stop and think how I spend my time. I shall make it my goal this week to assess what truly enriches us as a family and ammend so that we can feel more fulfilled at the end of a day.

    Hugs, Kat X

  13. Shannon, it is beautiful!! I love the shot of you stitching the binding, that is one of my favorite parts of quilting. I, too, find it meditative. Looking forward to reading more about your book-writing journey! Hope your pregnancy is going well.

  14. Hi Shannon,

    this is great, you are so inspiring! I too finished an 'art' quilt for my show and it was longer and more work than I had thought, so not surprised it took you 2 years! I still have a crochet blanket to sew together from years ago too!

    I am desperately trying to declutter at the mo and although I have given up TV a long time ago, I think the computer is my biggest drain!!!! Need to cut back on that now.

    Your book idea is great. Wish I could go to that class. That is definitely a creative dream of mine, but not sure when I will fit it in right now . . . maybe over time when the it's right.



  15. LOVE this!!! That quilt is gorgeous!!! Wow. :)


Thanks for sharing!