I taught a class on thread painting yesterday. It was a great class, the students were very clever and very creative. Now that they have the knowledge and the tools - they need to go home and practice.
Practice - to a quilter (or my daughter) that seems to be a four letter word. Have you ever noticed - we acquire the basic knowledge, then we expect ourselves to be able to sit down and create masterpieces with that technique. I think my daughter is finally getting it because she is practicing drawing (well I think she is getting it - there are still lots of areas - like sewing. She knows the basics so she is now an expert!)
But really - why do we do this to ourselves? There are so many different ways to do the same thing - how do we know that the methods taught by one teacher or written in one book is what will work for us? Should we not experiment with the technique and find what works best for us or maybe you will find that you HATE that technique?
Marian is always telling me that I need to mark X days in my calendar. Days when I make no commitments and have it just for me. Well I would take that even further - those days need to become PLAY dates with my stuff. I mean - I have so many intentions and so many ideas and so many dreams about what I would like to do and here I am working on stuff that I "have" to do that I feel my creative side is suffering. I am still creative, in that I am making something, but not something from my heart. I am just the technician when I sew someone else's pattern, I want to be the CREATOR. Do you understand the difference???
I have the resources - oh boy - do I have the resources!!!
Oh yes - one other thing that came out of the class yesterday - one of the students commented that if they only had the time to do this and all the other stuff they have to do. In order to become good at it - is what she meant. Again - why are we doing this to ourselves???? The masters of thread painting, or fabric painting or machine quilting or applique? I would bet that if you look at their life and what they do - they ONLY do applique or fabric painting or quilting. They do not have time (or the inclination) to spend their time doing other techniques.
I thought about this all the way home - the problem is that those masters are SO GOOD at enticing me, that I want to be a MASTER at it all. And I see my friends making stuff and I love it all and I think I can make what they are making. Well - let's get real - I can't do the work of 10 people!!!! I know - reality bites!!!!
And I am not getting any younger (OK - so I am not old). So the question is - what to do? Should I "retire" from doing work for others (mostly quilting), should I retire from teaching? should I refrain from joining guilds and other groups? I need to do a time study to find out what is consuming my time. And I have to STOP organizing things.
I happen to want to do other things than just quilting (like most people) and I want to make sure that I have time for reading, working at the gym, cycling and need way more time for the garden. Hmmmm - got some BIG decisions to make.
There are only three months left in the year (OK - so that is still ONE QUARTER of the year). As I look at my accomplishment book - I think I have done not so bad this year. But as I look at the 2012 shelf - yikes - feels like I did NOT make a dent. OK - I think a few things had not got put on the shelf at the beginning of the year and they got added as room was made. Oh yes - the saddest column in my accomplishment book is number of projects completed. Hardly any. But lots in the other categories.
I am already thinking ahead to 2013. What is going to go on that shelf????? I want to pick completely new projects even though I didn't finish these. They will go into the archives (the closet) and "new`ones will come out. I have two thoughts - work on all the $10 quilt projects I have started (and there are LOADS) or work on Halloween stuff (I know - how did all that accumulate?????? and do you really have enough Halloween to spend an entire year working on?????)
OK - not only is this blog therapeutic for the brain (helps all my thoughts escape), but I actually get work done while doing it. I was thinking about my BBB (border, binding, backing) projects and I had this SUDDEN urge to organize the stuff that is waiting to be quilted. OK - I bought an extra bucket at Wal-Mart yesterday. But I feel better (OK - actually I feel sick when I look at this)...............
|These are quilt tops of MINE (the backing is made as is the binding). They are WAITING to be quilted. Did you count them???? yep - there are NINE here.|
|Oh and let's not forget this rack. While I went through the quilts - I picked out (PRIORITIZED) the ones (OF MY OWN) that I want quilted ASAP|
And then you have those UFOs which we won't even go into at this point.
You see - there is a LOT of thinking that has to be done. How to manage these so they get done. I enjoy the process, I still like all the projects, so NO - don't ask or tell me to donate/give them away. Just got to figure out how to work smarter.
There are FIFTEEN quilts (that are NOT in the pictures) that are ready to be quilted. They belong to customers or guilds.
One of my BIGGEST problems is that when I have to work on a project that I don't want to do - it STOPS me cold. I don't get anything done while I fuss with that project. Case in point - I have a custom quilt to do - customer wants feathers. While I can do them just fine, MY BRAIN thinks I can't and so I delay doing it because I don't think I am good enough. Then I get NOTHING done. I mean - it is pathetic. So I must work on that as the end of the year approaches. I would really really like to get some of this stuff on the go. I am fast when I set my mind to do something (well for the most part).
So the quilt with feathers is on the machine and it is looking good. I must try to get a bit more done this morning before I am off to teach in the afternoon.
And that quilt I put on the design wall last week - well it has to be off by Tuesday AM so I am trying to get that pieced as well. That won't take long.
On that note - I better get out of here and hit the long arm and the sewing machine. I have LOTS to do.
But as you go shopping - take stock of what you already have - do you really really need to start that new project, buy that kit. Seeing what I have makes me sick that I went that crazy. A lot of them are the result of teaching a class, but still...........................
Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!