Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Still Love? Maybe? or Over It.

There is a really good article in the current issue of The Quilt Life by Claire O'Donohue called "Shifting Gears" (page 35).
In the article she talks about how her sewing room used to be her "happy place", but had become her "stocked-with-so-many-unifinished-projects-that-just-walking-in-the-room-made-me-feel-completely-overwhelmed place".  She said, "Making it worse, when I finally did get around to making one of the quilts on that list, so much time had passed between plan and execution that whatever excitement had drawn me to the project was gone.  Sewing the pieces together became more about getting it done than enjoying the journey."
Have you ever felt this way? I still have projects I am really excited about, but this article did make me think... a lot!
I really liked her solution.  She said one rainy day she went in her sewing room and gathered all the "UFOs, works in progress, planned projects, and kits, and sat down on the floor next to the pile" she had created.  She then made three piles:  "still love, maybe, and over it."  She said she forced herself to be ruthless, "to not feel guilt over whatever money I had spent or whomever I had once imagined gifting the quilt to.  If I was over the project, I added the fabric to my stash and gave away the pattern.  If I hated the fabric and couldn't even imagine using it for scrap quilts, then that went too."  As she started working on the "still love" quilts, she found her love of quilting and her happy place again, and found more time to quilt because she wanted to.
She said she also tore through books, patterns, tools, and embellishments with the same three pile system.  After she finished her "still love" pile, she started on her "maybe" pile and of the five quilts in that pile she finished two and ended up giving the other three projects away.
After nearly a year she was "quilting in the present moment, falling in love with an idea and making it without anything standing in the way."  She then goes on to say how she incorporated this three pile system into other areas in her life, books, plans, possessions etc., things that were "getting in the way of being here in this moment in my life."  As a result she said she found "a bit more peace, a lot less stress, and most importantly, the return of my love of quilting."
I found this article very inspiring and encourage you to get a copy of the magazine and read it!  There is much more to the article than my summary here.  I have a couple of friends who quilt and even live their lives this way. I like the idea of making something at the moment you are inspired to make it, rather than adding it to the long list of things you already have planned to make.  I have said I wanted 2014 to be a year of finishing projects, perhaps I first need to sort some piles:  still love, maybe and over it!
I watched a video on the TQS website about machine quilting by Paula Reid.  One interesting thing I found was that she has her quilting cabinet, which is a lot like mine, pushed all the way into the corner of her room.  She said that way large quilts push up against the wall, but don't fall off the table, causing pull and drag or even breaking needles.  Mine is pushed up against the wall in the back, but large quilts constantly are falling off the left side.  I may have to think of some furniture rearranging too, while I'm sorting through piles!


  1. I have culled the "what was I thinking" fabric and patterns, and while I am working on the UFO's I also find that if I can make a small project that gets done right away, like a small coin purse, tote or something else it keeps me feeling like I really am getting something finished and the UFO's are going down. Some UFO's take a while to complete......

  2. What a great guilt free way of cleaning out the studio! I must do this! I have already declared this year my de-clutter year, so now I'll use this plan for the studio. I've been quilting for 24 years, so there is a lot to move! I found your blog through The Inbox Jaunt.