Retreat

Last weekend I was lucky enough to spend several days with a great group of women at the annual retreat for the Dallas Modern Quilt Guild. My husband put on his Mr. Mom hat and took a couple days off work to take care of our girls (ages 5.5, 3.5 and 20 months) from Thursday morning to Sunday afternoon. And, when I got back home the house was clean. I think he is a better housewife than me! That doesn’t surprise me though because he’s a great dad and husband. I lucked out!

Seeing as how I haven’t been in the mood to quilt all.the.time. (which is generally my norm), I was very tempted to take non-quilty/-sewing projects to work on at the retreat.

Thankfully, I came to my senses and packed three QUILTING projects to work on. While there I completed two quilt tops (snippets of each shown above) and worked on more Liberty Stars. The best part of going to a retreat is getting to know my quilty friends even better. We laughed until we cried; stayed up way too late; ate too much; and collaborated to solve various quilting dilemmas. The next retreat can’t come soon enough!

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Funk

Quilting is my hobby-on-a-mission. I tend to make quilts for specific purposes, to fill gifting or other needs. “Other needs” range from making quilts for my immediate and extended family, for a good cause or on commission to earn a little money (to buy more fabric, of course!).

With that kind of mindset, I can mentally over-commit to what I want to accomplish and then I get overwhelmed with my to-dos. In turn, I do nothing. The thought of having a hobby that stresses me out is absolutely ridiculous when you consider the definition of hobby is:

an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation.

I have been in a sewing funk since mid-August. I have had no real desire to work on anything quilty or sewing related which is not a good thing when I am up to my eyeballs in projects that I need/want to get done:

  • silent auction quilt (due in November; I need to make ~8 more blocks)
  • baby quilt gift (baby already born; no quilt started, but I may finish an old UFO for it)
  • two large quilts that are more than half way quilted
  • “Little Apples” challenge quilt (see below)
  • three commission quilts (due before Christmas; fabric has been purchased and designs determined)
  • plus the list of WIPs/UFOs that continues to haunt me

WIP: Little Apples Challenge{ My Little Apples” DallasMQG challenge quilt – that I failed to finish – is shown above. We were allowed to add in solids. I added white, two yellows, two pinks, and two browns. I love how the addition of those solids changes the look of the collection. }

I think my funk started because of the WIPs looming over me. I feel like I should work on those first instead of other projects, even if the other projects have deadlines; most of my WIPs have no deadline. So, instead of working on anything, I work on nothing and avoid my sewing space as much as possible.

The last time I lost my quilting mojo, it took me ten months to find. I do hope this slump does not last that long.

How do I adjust my thinking and make my hobby pleasurable again? The logical thought would be to stop quilting with so many goals and just quilt for fun. However, I just cannot see myself quilting with no purpose; that does not fit my personality. I like fulfilling needs by making and gifting quilts.

I should also try to work past that pesky thing called guilt so I can enjoy whatever project I am working on at the moment.

With that last thought in mind, I started yet another project. I know, just what I need. At this point, I figure anything to get me sitting down at my sewing machine is a good thing.

Oh, and now when I sit down at my sewing machine, I am sitting down to my new Sew Perfect J table that I absolutely LOVE! You can kind of see the table in the photo below. I talked about my search for sewing tables here.

I have enlisted the help of my daughter and her classmates to make a quilt for their kindergarten teacher’s brand new baby girl (the gift will be a surprise for the teacher). My daughter’s teacher, who was only in the classroom three days before having her baby, is scheduled to be back in class at the end of October. That gives me a little less than a month to get this done.

For the baby quilt, I am using the Feather (pink/brown) colorway of Red Letter Day plus a mix of coordinating fabrics (prints and solids). I ironed freezer paper to pink and grey solid fabric and then cut that fabric into five inch squares. I went into the classroom yesterday to explain the project to the kids and had them write their first names on a fabric square with a Fabrico marker.

WIP: RLD baby quiltI am using a square-in-square design for the blocks. The quilt will be about half signature blocks and half RLD print blocks. I want the signature blocks to be secondary in the quilt design, but still easily visible. We’ll see if that works when I piece the top. I am already more than half way done making the blocks. Fingers crossed that the rest comes together quickly.

I have 22 five year olds counting on me to complete this quilt. Hopefully that is enough to get me through this slump and help me finish the quilt on time.

Until then, I am not sure what I will do about my other commitments…