**Note** I’m drawing the winner for Nancy Zieman’s “Sewing A to Z” book at Noon Eastern! Be sure to check back to find out who our winner is!
I love your questions! Answering them has given me pause to think and ponder and see things from a different perspective. Instead of just saying “I do it this way” I’m considering just WHY I do it this way….is there an explanation, or is that just the way I learned it, or have always done it? Am I the ONLY one doing it this way? Could there be a better way?
If a question comes in a comment, and I can reply by email directly to that commenter, I will….And then sometimes a question will come in the shape & form of an anonymous comment with no way to reply to it. What to do then?
Sometimes I’ll leave my reply in the comments section--- hoping, just hoping that the poster will come back and re-read the comments to find the answer to their question, but how often does that happen? Often when I am blog hopping I can’t even remember WHERE I’ve been or how I got there ;c) That’s the whole purpose of hopping, isn’t it? No blog left unturned?
So I’m considering adding a new feature. I’m not quite sure how to work it, if I want to do it regularly, or just now and then…but if you have a question for me on ANYTHING, just email me, and perhaps I can answer it here on the blog for you. Chances are, if YOU are asking it, someone else is also wanting to ask the same thing.
And then the comments section beneath each question could become a treasure trove of answers from all of YOU about the same topic…I’m anxious to learn how you do things too!
Just today Nell wrote:
Do you have a lot of works in progress? I mean outside of your book quilts/blocks; Do you start something and then lose interest or time or something and just shelve it?
How did you balance your own quilting with your customer quilts when you were long-arm quilting?
These are just my ponderings, no need for a quick response, I know you are getting ready to leave for your cruise.
OH gosh yes!! I have some big UFOs! I regret the time they are languishing. Some of them are big ones that I thought I wanted to hand quilt. I still want to hand quilt them. When? How? I don't know! And there they sit with the hand quilting partially started, and sitting. The Pink & Brown Dear Jane thing is one, and this random sampler is another..
I actually went and pulled this out because I couldn’t remember JUST how far I’d gotten on it! Farther than I thought. I’ve gone about 2 rounds of fans from the outside in toward the center…and yes, I can bind the outside edge if I am quilting from the outside in, but you have to be sure to baste really well first! Until then, I hauled this around with all it’s batting hanging out like a slip showing….like this:
I think this is at least 4 years ago? OY!! Those are Joan’s daughters helping me hold it up!
And I haven’t lived in Irmo, SC for 3.5 years…so we know it’s been at least that long since I finished the top! Doesn’t that make you wonder about all those quilts that you see dates pieced in, or appliqued on to? I think the quilting could have taken a lot longer AFTER that date was in place, don’t you?
The quilting nearly reaches the top of this picture…so I’ve made good progress on it, but it has sat for SO LONG NOW! Can you see the stitches? Click it to Biggie-Size if need be. I am quilting it in blue thread…it’s much more visible in person. Gotta get back to working on this! SERIOUSLY!
So back to the UFOs….
I've cleared out a lot of UFOs "needing to be pieced” in the past several years just BECAUSE I had deadlines! Or someone needed a baby quilt, or there was some “cause”...when making a gift quilt I find myself turning to my untouched and languishing UFOs and seeing if any of them can be completed to fit the bill. Nothing like a deadline and a need to fill to push you into finishing something. So the UFOs worth finishing have really whittled down to not much of anything left in the UFO pile worth mentioning!....
Off the top of my head...In the “Still Needs Piecing” department ---that "Nearly insane" Salinda Rupp Quilt thing is a BIG UFO. It's more than 1/2 pieced, but I have a hard time working on it when I'm more wanting to play with my own designs and ideas. The “Thinking” part of that one has already been thought through by someone else, and that is where I lose interest.
I have a smaller "Rocky Road To Kansas" block with scrappy chrome yellow backgrounds that I would LOVE to finish someday...but it's so similar to "Virginia Bound" (only a much smaller block) that I feel like....Why re-beat THAT horse?
This makes me really want to dig into my stuff and see what is there....I know there is more in the orphan box from things that people have sent me that I am dying to get in and do some funky sampler type quilts with. That would be fun. But no time for it.
There is a “Fungly Challenge” thing that I liked until I sashed it, and I don’t want to have to un-sash it to set it a way that I WILL like. UGH! You know what I mean?
What is the one big UFO that you would like to work on? Or....are you so pulled by more than one you can't decide which one to work on so you start another one? :c)
I honestly think that my time restraint for starting something new that doesn’t have a deadline has helped me from starting too many new things! Could this be good? Hmmmm!
For the burnt out long-arm quilters out there…..got any helpful advice for Nell?
As far as getting my own things quilted when I was quilting for others....that's not easy either. I scheduled 3 quilts a week for customers when I was long-arm quilting for the public. I didn't do a LOT of heavy heavy quilting, and if there was a quilt that needed more time, I'd only schedule 1 quilt that week or 2....but no more than three. I used that as an incentive to get those 3 cranked out because any empty days were MINE to quilt my own.
It's difficult when there are always more quilts waiting to be done...but I had to learn that if I didn't give MYSELF time to quilt for MYSELF...I wasn't going to be a very happy quilter, and my customers would find my creativity lacking in their quilts in the long run....avoid BURNOUT how ever you can. It's important! Even though I am no longer quilting for the public, I completely understand what you are going through!
I've got several tops that are yet to be quilted, but other quilts take the front of the line, so they sit as tops.
More thoughts --
Some of my projects, like Leader/Ender ones seem to stay back burner for a long time until I finally get the push to move on them as a primary project, and not just a between-the-lines thing....but you know, less and less and less am I able to start something just because I want to, and then allow myself to get side tracked by anything else. It seems everything has a deadline. And the hard part is keeping most things private due to an upcoming publication, when I was so used to sharing EVERYTHING in the past. I’m working on a ton of stuff I can’t show. And that is hard.
The thing that makes me feel left behind? When I post a leader/ender challenge, like for the cheddar bow ties...and people take off and run with it and are doing 100 of them a day...and I haven't been able to sit at them for weeks because they didn't work with the kind of piecing I was doing....I get all excited to play, and get left in the dust! LOL!
But it's not a race....set your own happy pace. Reward yourself for a job well done. Be sure to leave you some YOU time to feed your soul and your passion, and find balance!
Aren't we all perpetually in the search of balance? I know I am!
So how do YOU deal with your UFOs?Do you have any advice or comments for Nell? Are you a Long-arm quilter that has some advice for her on how to get some of her own quilts done?
Be sure to leave your comments in the comments section below! And if you have a question for me, perhaps I can answer it for you! Just email me!