Sunday, September 26, 2010

What worked for me....


Many of you know I was among the "missing" for several months this past summer. My struggle with inspiration,desire and love of quilt making was at an all time low. Took abit of pondering to figure out what and why. I don't claim to have all the answers, but I can tell you what finally worked for me. The following is part of a letter to wrote to a bogged down quilting friend recently."I had exactly the same feeling when I walked into my sewing room Angie. Overwhelmed...too much stuff begun, too many projects, too much mess. I shut the door and walked away. What I recently did was go in, select ONE project and bring it out to the dining room. I sorted it out,counted up needed blocks, etc. Then I put my sewing machine on the dining room table(or anywhere NOT in the sewing room) and sat down and worked on that chosen project. Only for awhile, not til it was done, etc, but for as long as the "OK" feeling lasted. then I put the project and the parts in a box and set it to one side.
The next day, I didn't sew, but I brought out another "begun" project, it's parts and sorted to see how many blocks were made and how many I still needed. I wrote down what I discovered, and pinned it to the pieces. If I felt inspired, I pulled the machine forward and sewed. If not, then I packed it up in a container or box and set it aside. And that's what finally gotten me sewing again. And... "if" you can accomplish a finish, like that simple Barbie quilt I showed, go for it. Any finish will do.
And maybe you have to be critical of the "beguns". In reality not all of them need to be finshed. They can be abandoned or donated, make someone else happy with them...LOL
The trick is to find the little part that will bring happiness to your heart and a smile to your face. Even a pillowcase is a great project, I have several waiting for me to choose them! Hugs, Finn
The picture is one of the "one at a time" projects I pulled out and worked on. Not to completion as more 2" strips are needed than I currently have. But progress was made and I feel optimistic about it.

15 comments:

belinda said...

OH what a great post! Thanks for sharing it! I must say...I think that is a VERY good idea!!!!

Here's to all of us staying inspired!!!

Kim said...

I agree and with working 2 jobs I start a project only to have it left unfinished. I am now getting a sewing room and my plan is when I am busy I can just shut the door and the project will be still waiting for me. The finish is important. It is a unique feeling I have when I finish a project or finish a book.

julieQ said...

Oh, dear Finn! I can sure empathize with these feelings...one lady recently asked me how many UFO's do I have...a conservative 20-25. Quite overwhelming! I like your idea...concentrate on one, sew if you want, don't if you don't. I love to see your imagination at work! Hugs to you!

Sara said...

Thanks, Finn, for sharing your "method" of returning to quilting. I certainly have times when working in the sewing room is just TOO MUCH.

And, yes, I get a lot more done on a retreat, just because I don't bring EVERYTHING with me. A limited number of projects, and not too much fabric. Then I HAVE to work on what I have with me.

I'll remember your method next time I get stuck.

Right now I MUST put hanging sleeves on the backs of a couple of quilts for our Guild show,

quiltmom said...

It sounds like a great strategy Finn- I sort of do the same thing in that I quilt in my sewing room and piece in my dining room . The dining room is on the main floor of the house and the sewing room in upstairs away from the rest of the house. Its not so much that my sewing room is overflowing( though its plenty stuffed) its that its out of the main action of the house and sometimes I need to be where other family members are in the house. I know when I don't know where to start, I have started to put projects in small boxes and I can pick up a box instead of getting lost in all the bigger boxes of fabric up there.
So nice to see you back quilting and enjoying the process. That really is the most important thing.
Regards,
Anna

AnnieO said...

Good work, Finn! "Overload" can be as stifling as a hot room with no air conditioning--no desire to stay in it! Those are good ideas. I currently need to inventory my "beguns" too. So glad you're back!

Dolores said...

A wonderful post and I'm glad you took the first step and chose 'just one.'

Elaine Adair said...

Good advice - glad you are trying it out and finding peace with it.

I also find the "overwhelmed" too much some days. I can never make all the quilts I want to make! Glad this works for you. Nice to have you "back".

Julie in the Barn said...

I sort of feel overwhelmed by all the partial projects in my sewing room, too. I'm so glad you have recovered some of your creative moo and are tackling some of your UFOs again. Sometimes we just need a break to find the muse again.

Stephanie D. said...

Glad you're getting your mojo back again. I understand about the overwhelmed feeling--so many ideas, so little time. But I have no problems tossing a project that isn't working for me--unless it's to the quilting stage. Then I figure I've gone too far to turn back.

paula, the quilter said...

Everyone seems to get this way now and then. I am currently re-evaluating what it is that I really want to work on: planned quilts, scrappy, strings. This is after I spent mindless hours sewing strings this past weekend. Glad to have you back and still mentoring those of us who need it.

YankeeQuilter said...

So glad you are back...so there can be too much of a good thing (for good thing read projects!)

Magpie Sue said...

I'm pleased to see that you are among those "high and dry" at the moment. Hope it stays that way for you. I'm also pleased you've found a way to get your mojo back. Looks like you're making good progress! I really have to make some time to deal with some of my older novelty prints (like your cowboys). Your strippy quilt is an inspiration.

Angie said...

You are such a wonderful friend, Finn! Thanks so much your sweet encouragement. :)

Lori said...

great idea. Sewing is supposed to be something you enjoy--not dread! Recently I ran out of scraps, and I never realized how much I LIKE scrap projects.