Monday, March 21, 2022

On a treadmill going nowhere FAST

Gosh  -- I'm so glad to hear I'm not alone -- well, sensing someone close by and needing clothing coverage! I don't know what it is, but sleeveless tops make me feel naked. And don't get me started on what some people wear to the gym! Skimpy little bra tops, with full coverage leggings, while I wear a t-shirt and shorts! It is what it is, and thankfully we can all wear what makes us feel comfortable! 

OK -- here's a somber topic to be discussing today. We are victims of our own success, and we are running on a treadmill at high speed. We choose to get on, and we're too afraid to get off, but we're going crazy.  I am NOT picking on anyone or trying to make anyone feel bad about their choices. This issue needs to be addressed because there are many of us in the same boat, and we don't want it to capsize! It's just something that occurred because of circumstances. 

I'm talking about taking on too much. YES -- I will not deny that I've taken on a bit too much. It's not that I'm not keeping up -- I'm behind, but not too far behind. But the bigger issue is -- am I enjoying myself? Do I have time for the things that I really want to do?

I have an assignment for you, so pay attention! Right now, there are two ways to enjoy quilt classes --- one where you pay for ONE specific class  - that should be easy -- you want to do that project, so you pay, and you do the homework. In other instances, we have the option to pay one price (class pass), which allows us to participate in many classes. 

It's like being a kid in the penny candy store. You have a quarter -- and you want it all! Some people have been smart and decided to audit the class -- they get to see the techniques but did not commit to making anything. Attending Zoom classes can be time-consuming and overwhelming, but at least those auditing never get behind! I struggle a little bit with that concept, but that's OK -- I must move on. 

But between the two options of Zoom classes, in-person classes, or the TONS of  FREE classes, videos, etc., that one can access online, we are virtually in OVERLOAD, and we are all experiencing FOMO -- fear of missing out!! We want to do it ALL, and we are failing! Myself included! And I feel like I'm an enabler, and I'm getting others into trouble. 

Some people are doing OK, but others are struggling and making things worse for themselves. I've always assigned homework in manageable chunks as we learn various techniques. Not let's be realistic, some people do NOT need the lessons -- they could go through the patterns on their own -- well, maybe not Jen Kingwell. But you know what I mean -- we are there to work and learn together. 

So can you tell me why someone has decided to work through one of the quilts to get all the blocks done and then falls behind on a class they really wanted to participate in? She said, she didn't have time to complete the assignment, but yet, she had time to do three months of extra work that had not been assigned? 

Sigh -----------  I will never understand the human mind or our motivations. I'm learning to let it go, but it's a struggle for me. My rule is -- if you work ahead, DO NOT show it in class (any of the classes) and do not post it to Facebook. We don't need to see it until it's time. 

So all of that to say that we are ALL in over our heads. I've been a quilt teacher for 20 years, and in all the time I taught, I put together class ideas and projects with the intention that I would have something for those that like to paper piece or the ones looking for a quick project, the ones looking for a longer project, and so on. The intent was NEVER for everyone to take all that I teach. That would be insane. 

But with the ways things are right now, that's what has happened, and people are OVERWHELMED. 

As our world gets back to normal, I've been noticing that some stores and individuals are taking stock of their situation and saying NO. They are evaluating what they offer for classes, guidelines for shopping, or whatever. And I've decided to do the same. Why? 

Last night, I sat for a few minutes and did some calculating. I figured out how much time I spend per week on various activities. 

There are 168 hours in a week. Of those hours, I try to get 8 hours of sleep a day -- it's sometimes less, but I aim for 8. That's 56 hours for sleeping. I walk about 18 hours a week, and 4 hours a week are spent getting to and from spin class. 

I AVERAGE about NINE hours a week on Zoom - that includes my four-hour sewing session on Monday, the Virtual Retreat, and all my sewing machine classes which are at an all-time low right now. Last fall, I taught up to 10 hours a week for my sewing machine educator job on top of all the quilt classes. Right now, I'm averaging about 2 hours. 

I spend an average of 16 hours prepping for those Zoom classes or doing the follow-up for the classes. And the last thing I calculated was an average of 12 hours a week writing. Hey -- it takes me at least one hour each day to write the blog. 

So if you do the math, I think that leaves 7 hours in my week for ME. That's ONE HOUR a day! And what should I do with that one hour? Don't worry -- the gym time, the walk time, and some of the Zoom time is spent on sewing my stuff, but what about the housework or the garden or visiting with friends. Oops -- there's no time for that! 

You need to do the same -- pick the main activities in your day/week and figure out how many hours you spend on each. We are spending way too much time trying to do it all!! Then figure out what you would like to be spending your time on. 

As a result, I'll be cutting back on things that enable others! I've got several months to work it out. I don't know what stays and what goes -- I don't know yet, but I don't want people to burn out. HEY -- don't get me wrong, I appreciate that people want to participate in the classes, and I love the social aspect of all the work, and the inspiration is superb, but we can't keep going at this rate! 

I think we all need to do the same thing the next time we sign up for classes. I'd be tempted to have a meeting (via Zoom) to help figure out the best way to offer classes or determine what will best suit people's needs - at least from me! We need support to get over our FOMO and if you have suggestions on how to achieve this, let me know. Do we need Zoom work sessions instead of classes? 

Tomorrow (if I can remember), we will have a serious goal-setting session. So start thinking about that -- what do you want to learn, what you want to finish, and more. You'll be making lists!

Despite all that, I did take some time to lounge in the gazebo -- yep -- it's gazebo time again. Yes -- I gave up a bit of sleep time to get my work so I could enjoy the backyard after my walk. 

Sitting in the gazebo!

It looks pretty blah right now, but soon the greenery will be coming. I saw a heron flying over after dinner, so we need lily pads in the pond to protect the fish! However, there are enough leaves in the pond that they have a place to hide. And the backyard means the girls are in their glory. Mom's outside! Mom's outside!

"MOM -- I can get that leaf! I can jump! I can do this for you!"

Murphy -- DO NOT jump in the pond

"MOM -- I found the ball just like you asked. Mom -- can I drop it in the pond?"

Murphy - DO NOT drop the ball in the pond

"Mom -- where's my ball? I did NOT drop it in the pond; it just fell - I did NOT intentionally do that." 

Murphy -- you INTENTIONALLY dropped your ball in the pond

And so the summer fun with the dogs begins. Well, I'm guessing we're still going to have some cool weather and possibly more snow, but every minute I can be out to enjoy it, I'll be there. 

But look what the monsters did to the gazebo floor last fall in an attempt to chew and dig their way through to the silly rabbit below. 

The damage to the gazebo floor

I've always been interested in quilt history, and that's one thing that I never have time for -- researching and studying what's already been done. I've recently joined a group, which made me think of some older magazines that came up at a sale, and I acquired them. 

This is Canada Quilts from September 1990. I wasn't even quilting then!

Canada Quilts - September 1990

This one is from June 1980. 

Canada Quilts June 1980

And look --- this one is from November 1975!!!! I haven't read them, but I will someday!

Canada Quilts -- November 1975

And on my walk yesterday, I stopped by Diane's house and picked up more quilts that she has made for the community projects. Yikes -- I need to hit that long arm this week. 

More quilts for community projects

The major writing is almost done for this month, and all the homework is up-to-date. That leaves two more follow-up documents to write -- and hopefully, I can clear them this week. But I have FOUR classes to prep for this coming weekend and our UFO club, and my homework isn't completely done. You see why those goals need to be set and FAST. Most of the sew alongs will finish in June or July, and I need to figure out how to go forward!

Anyway -- I've blabbed on long enough about that. If anyone wants to discuss goal setting, how to do it, how to avoid being left out, let me know -- if there's enough interest, we can set up a one-hour discussion on Zoom to help us figure out how to prioritize. Trust me -- I don't think we can do this on our own! We need professional help, and since we don't want to pay, we will need to rely on each other to figure it out!! And we haven't even factored in travel time for any of that because it's all been on Zoom. Can we afford to meet in person? 

The Textile Show at the Gerrard Art Space (Toronto)  --- show runs until April 3!!!  (better hurry on that one!)

Colour with a U  -- a quilt show at the Orillia Museum of Art & History -- runs until April 9 

Common Thread Quilt Guild Ottawa) is hosting its show on May 6,7,8. 

Hamilton Quilt Guild -- June 3, 4

On that happy note, I'm off to spin class. 

Have a super day!!!



  1. I've taken very few classes in my quilting lifetime, maybe 6 total? And 2 of those are your Long Time Gone last year and Boho Heart this year. I cannot imagine signing up/paying for a class and then not doing the work to learn and complete a project. That is nonsensical to me. And I totally agree on not working ahead. I am taking the class from you to learn and I don't want to miss out on tips and tricks (not to mention the pattern errors you discover on our behalf ;-)

    You definitely have insufficient "me time" this year! Holy smokes you're a busy girl.

    I made 2 commitments for 2022: finish as many of my 26 UFOs as I can and have fun with new starts/finishes along the way through the calendar. I currently have 9 finished and 4 in flimsy stage. I broke the bobbin hook on my LA and who knows when the world will deliver the replacement part😭 I have completed 2 new quilts and have 9 new in flimsy stage.

    Just for fun my challenge this year is to "Use It Up!". I am tracking how many fabrics I've pulled from stash and completely used up. So far this year I'm at 23. Some are just 1/3y and some are 1.5y. It' been a fun challenge and has resulted in many kiddo size quilts as well as some twin size.

    I also committed to reading 50 books this year. Our library has a "Booknerd" challenge that gives 50 categories we have to read. It's been fun and so far I've earned 14 badges and have 3 in my library book pile here.

    Learning to set reasonable goals and stick with them is most definitely a learned skill. Being realistic is important. I learned long ago not to over commit. My work as an operating room manager was demanding and no 9-5 commitment. I learned to say NO decades ago.

    I wish you the best in your planning for fall and I know you'll make the most of your "time off" this summer. I'm sure you are relishing those days 🤗

  2. I'm absolutely with you! I think the individual classes are not the problem. But the pay-once get-everything for a year are a problem.
    I'm at two of these platforms at the moment. AND got (and took...) the offer the get all past issues of a learning magazine for a phantastic price.
    At that moment I reached exactly the point you described today: it's not a race. I don't have to read each issue within 4 weeks. They will wait for me. I don't have to learn everything within 6 months.
    So I set my goals and put everything else aside. It will wait. It felt liberating! One thing to do. Nothing overwhelming. I don't know if it will take 4 weeks or 8. It doesn't matter. When it's done I'll plan the next learning step. Only then. Now now.