15 Minutes Of Play

You know the saying about all work and no play.
Publish date:
January 4, 2015
weekend, play, The Importance Of Play, Victoria Findlay Wolfe, 15 Minutes Of Play

I love taking classes and learning new skills -- not just because it's fun to add to my craft knowledge but because learning from different teachers is fascinating. They've all got such different processes and stories of how they came to what they make.

The most recent class I got to attend was called 15 Minutes Of Play and it was taught by Victoria Findlay Wolfe, a quilter who specializes in making traditional designs in a modern style. Her signature, at least at the moment, is the double wedding ring quilt.

She also has a book, by the same title, that focuses on what you can accomplish at the sewing machine in 15 minutes -- especially if you are playing with her method of assembling "made fabric," which is where you sew together a bunch of scraps and then use the new cloth to cut out pieces for your patchwork.

Her work is GORGEOUS. And her class, which involved both a lot of discussions of technique and a lot of time with us at our individual sewing machines, was a ton of fun. (If you get a chance to take her class, seriously, I think it's worth it.) At least it was for me -- my friend who was there didn't really enjoy the process of improvisational piecing; she confessed that she is way too into precision for it to be a good time. (Which is why it's awesome that there's something for everyone -- she does awesome paper piecing, which is too fiddly for me.)

Playing is definitely one of those things I didn't really value when I was growing up. It's been an effort to reclaim it as an adult and I think I've mostly succeeded when it comes to art-supplish stuff. But I love that, as the idea of what being a grown up looks like has shifted, it's become more okay (at least as far as I have seen) for people to play in more general ways. We don't always have to be doing useful grownup things, right?

For some people that means singing or playing in a band. I knew a dude that played on a local dodgeball team. It's all good times.

NPR has even concluded, in classic NPR fashion that:

In other words, all work and no play makes everyone a whole lot duller.

Ed and I have been lucky enough to table top game with some friends on a regular basis -- we've played Apocalypse World and Pandemic and a Fate hack of D&D and Fiasco (one of my favorites if you are into collaborative roleplay without a lot of rules or a GM). There have been other games and we've enjoyed them all to varying degrees -- and different degrees, since I'm not much of a dungeon crawler.

But they've all served the same purpose: to hang out with friends and let ourselves pretend and imagine without the usual strictures of worrying about winning or "doing it right." You've got to be willing to put aside a little bit of dignity to tabletop game. (Which is probably a good thing for everyone involved to practice as well.)

We're going to start this whole space adventure as soon as we've finished looting a wizard's tower in a different game.

What are you playing? Do you make time for play in your daily routine?