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 quilt

I 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…

18 thoughts on “Funk

  1. I lost my mojo this summer as well. I had this quilt that needed to get finished but I just could not work on it. It sat on my kitchen table for months I tell you. At least 3. I have many many wips as well and I soooo want to start other projects but the rational side in me knows that I must finish some to at least have somethingto show for my sewing efforts. Just take it one commitment, one project, one stitch at a time and eventually most things will get done. That rush/high of finishing something is all worth it in the end.
    If all else fails go ahead and start something new at least you are doing something and not avoiding things all together. This last quilt looks darling!! I know you can finish it on time! You’re magnificent! 🙂

  2. I, too, have been in a sewing funk. I finished a quilt today that I started 2 months ago, only because today was the deadline! I have too many unfinished projects that I don’t *want* to finish, so I feel guilty starting new ones. I’m hoping Sewing Summit will provide me with the inspiration I need 🙂

  3. I think it happens to everyone once in a while. As you noted, a hobby should be a fun pasttime but I think if you have deadlines, that sounds more like an obligation. Maybe take a break every once in a while to look beyond the WIPS/deadlines, etc, to feel re-energized.


  4. Yep. it happens. Usually I get out of it by doing something really small, that can be completed in a couple of hours. For some reason, completing a project snaps me out of the funk.

  5. It sounds like you need to go on retreat…in November….with DMQG….oh wait, you are!!!!!

    You are one of my inspirations…I’m so glad to see you are also human!

  6. Not to worry—–You are a creative person; as a musician married to another musician I can tell you that you NEED these periods–they are called “fallow times”. Times when you need to re-charge and rest your mind. Just let it go and go with the flow; if you don’t “feel” like it, your results will not please you. Gently let everyone know that you cannot take on anything else–time out.

  7. Hey there!! Maybe you could shift your strategy a bit to both make progress on prior commitments and to have fun with your sewing. What if you set one day a week as the day for sewing on a WIP project, but left the other days open to sew on whatever the heck your heart wants to do? It’s not too terribly confusing to have a basket or box with the current WIP project nearby, to grab on Monday and do a bit of stitching on, then on Tuesday you’re free to play with the “real” project of the moment. So what if it takes forever to get that WIP done? At least it’s moving forward, and you can let go of the guilt because just like running for fitness, “Every step counts.”

  8. I can so totally relate to this Lucia, especially when you said… “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…” For me it extends to other projects that are home based as well like renovations. I feel like I can’t/shouldn’t sew until our current house project is finished. Bah! I don’t know the answer because I do feel like it is part personality and the way one is driven.

    I also feel like quilting for pleasure is a hard thing even though I too have oodles of quilts that need to be done I’m just not sure how to get my quilt on. Long explanation only to say that you are not alone!! If you figure it out… post it!

  9. You are not alone! I’ve learned that I work well from lists. I make a list of the next 3 steps-however small, that each WIP needs, and then allow myself to gradually work on them in any order. It spurs me’ on to mark things off the list 🙂 I’ve also learned to give myself permission to get rid of UFO’s, there is SUCH freedom in having them gone! Just a thought. And don’t torture yourself about starting new things, ‘we’ have to let the artist play!!!

  10. It seems that now everyone quilts. I’m starting to think that it’s a new kind of trend. From what I have seen your work is one of the best ones featured on most of the blogs. Keep up the good work!


  11. I dont know if this helps , but whenever I feel an obligation to finish a project or make quilts , like a “demand”, I loo my intrest…Anything for the wrong reason, or by force and Im outta there!

  12. Are you de-funk-a-sizing? I just signed up for an online tutorial and that is giving me a lot of energy. I seriously hope you are feeling better–you are such a talented quilter–hang in. Julierose

  13. Just catching up with my google reader blogs and want to offer my encouragement to you to push through your slump….your quilting is so wonderful! The little apples quilt design is fantastic – one of my favorites of late! Hang in there and do some sewing just for you – just for fun!

  14. I’m new to your blog (and enjoying it very much, BTW), so don’t know how long your not-quilting-funk lasted, but I think it happens to a lot of us. I lost my interest in sewing/quilting/crafting of any kind for at least 3 years. Thanks for sharing and for keeping it real for the rest of us.

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