Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Day 26 of 31 Days of Un-Collections: An Interruption

In a heroic effort to score some awesome charm packs a couple of days ago, I was commenting to Meg about how this time of year is generally when I take a hard look at my unfinished projects. I take stock of what's there, what's left to do to finish them, and I try to assess which projects will be easiest to finish before the end of the year, so I can add more pictures to my end of the year mosaic. That way, I can end the year with as much closure as possible.

NCSU quilt in progress 

Though you'd never guess it by the looks of things around here, I've been in (silent) closure mode the past couple of weeks now. In addition to the mad quilting I've been doing on the husbatron's NCSU quilt, I have a stack of 4 quilt tops with their pieced battings and 2 basted quilt sandwiches, all of various sizes (crib-sized to almost king), sitting in the corner of my sewing room. I desperately want to finish those quilts, if only to declutter them and get them up off the floor.

To do clutter 

I also have a list of 14 charm pack projects/tutorials I blithely scribbled down back through April and May, and I assumed it wouldn't be a problem at all to crank out the quilts and their accompanying tutorials by the end of this year (Denial anyone?). I desperately want to finish those projects, because I can't wait to see if the reality matches my vision for them. And because I keep buying charm packs and need to do something with them.

After revising my October - December 2011 Craftiness To Do List for the umpteenth time in the past week, I stopped for a minute, wondering. "Why do I even care how many quilts I finish before the end of the year?" If you pulled out any given quilt in my cabinet o' quilts and asked me "When did you make this?" I wouldn't reply, "Oh, I started that in September 2009 and finished it in May 2011."

Wedding - Officially hitched IMG_2425-e

Instead, I'd say, "Hmm, let's see, I started that the week I got married to deal with all the stress of last-minute wedding planning so I didn't kill my mother, and I finished it right after we planted tomatoes for the first time on our back porch a few years later." (Note the fledgling tomato plant photobomb action to the left  of the finished quilt.)

Or I'd say, "Well, I started that right after my parents moved far, far away because I was sad, and then I finished the binding while sitting on the couch in their new house almost a year later."


Takeaway: I tend to associate quilts with other things going on in my life at the time I worked on them, not by arbitrary start and end points on the Gregorian calendar. (Apparently, I also tend to start new projects under great emotional duress.) I guess it makes sense. Quilting isn't my life. I happily devote a lot of my spare time and mental space to it, but it's still part of my small, but full life. I guess all I'm saying with this blathering introspection is that deep down, I don't want 2011 to necessarily be the year where I got a lot of quilting sh*t done and had an awesome mosaic to show for it at the end of the year mosaic-fest in blogland. When I do look at my mosaic for the end of the year, I don't want to feel guilty about all the WIPs sitting in the corner, untouched for months. I don't want to let myself get all anxious, looking at all the items that haven't been crossed off the To Do Lists I've set up for my hobby. I want to be excited about the stash I still have to use and eager to try new patterns with fun fabrics.

Here's to the last couple of months of 2011. I hope you find lots of joy in your sewing time, even if your seams are all crooked like mine.

Sorry for the angsty post. I just needed to get it out of my system and preach to myself more than anything else. I'll be back tomorrow with another color palette.

Oh, but if you're interested in any of my closure thus far, I forgot to mention that I set up a "Finished Quilts" page last week.


  1. I hear ya! I want to keep up with all the other bloggers who crank out a quilt a week and wipe out my UFO list, but that isn't my life. I do not sew a top together quickly but enjoy slowing down and taking my time to get it right, not perfect, just right. I do not quilt tops quickly and I hate sandwiching.

    Sew, I am constantly reassessing my UFO list and assigning priorities. I have one queen size top that is ready to start quilting. I really wanted to get it onto our bed before the family arrives for the holidays. Not sure that's going to happen. There are other duties that demand my time and a few other activities/hobbies that I choose to do, like keeping myself sane and fit with yoga and trips to the gym. It's all about balance....

  2. Wow! Having checked out your "Finished Quilts" page, I am impressed! You've done some beautiful work this year, and certainly shouldn't be obsessed with adding to all that yummy goodness...

    And I'm also reminded that you sent us some of your UFO's that should be added to that finished page of yours - because you started them so beautifully!!

  3. Found your blog through PW. Awesome stuff! So feel you on the craziness of feeling guilty about unfinished hobbies! It's like the wonderful reminders my mom gives me about why she doesn't want to sell any quilts... because then it'd be work!