Friday, January 17, 2014

Dealing with quilty temptation

I have been feeling overwhelmed lately by online quilting things. I can hardly believe I'm saying that, but I have found over the last year that the number of blogs has increased exponentially, as have the quilt-alongs, and link ups, the amazing tutorials, and other fun online events.  Did you ever hear someone complain about having too much fun?!?
From Juxtapost

Maybe I need to take some time to refocus and reflect on what makes me happiest, and what reflects my authentic self. Spreading myself too thin for sure does not make me happy at all. And the more time spent on the computer, the less sewing time there is. There are many things I would love to do if time was infinite. But it isn't. Time is a finite resource and I want to make the best decisions possible to maximize my use of time.

I am definitely going to do Barbara Brackman's new block of the month called Threads of Memory which starts later this month, but I am really going to try not to do any more quilt-alongs for a while. Famous last words?? They are great fun and I always make a wonderful quilt, but then I don't get the projects done that I really want finished.


Do you have any advice on how to handle this online temptation? Amy made me laugh with her attempts to resist with this post. How do you decide which quilt-alongs to do, which blogs to read, and how much time to spend on the computer? 

31 comments:

  1. I'm find myself in the same boat. There are so many quilt-alongs, free patterns, BOMs, etc I'm feeling overwhelmed. I'm trying very hard to limit myself but it's so hard with all the creativity and sharing with the blogs. Without the blogs, my life would be pretty boring. So keep up all the good work, you bloggers. I thank you for sharing!!

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  2. I made a conscious decision late last year to concentrate on finishing projects that I had started, as you said there are so many online quilting things that excite and stimulate the creative juices it is hard to know when to resist.

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  3. I made a vow last year after reading Julie's post (JulieKQuilts) about August last year, that I would finish a few UFOs. Been a good girl and done that, but not I just can't wait to get into a few new things. Not that I got everything ticked off mind you. You are right. There are an awful lot more quilt alongs and link ups that this time last year.

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  4. I definitely have too much computer time but I make time specifically for sewing in the morning before work and I only read blogs whilst I'm at work which gives me a free weekend. Joining a guild and going to meetings has kept me focused too. I've only once participated in a sew along because I like to make my own patterns up and that keeps me away from things like the Scrappy Trip Along and the current Economy Block thing. I tell myself I haven't got time for those things when I need to be producing new quilts from my own patterns for magazines as ultimately that will be paying for our wedding!

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  5. The computer is definitely a temptation. I try to limit my computer time to before work in the mornings and and hour in the evenings.

    I've tried to pick quilt alongs that help me reach other goals, like using up scraps. I make a quilt plan at the beginning of the year, it includes not only what UFOs I want to finish, but what I want to start for the year. Having that helps keep me focused. I usually leave space for one or two quilt alongs on that list so I don't feel deprived if there is one I really want to do.

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  6. I LOVE that saying...I just scribbled it on a post-it and stuck it to my computer monitor. Take care and do the things you want to do...life is short. I am always amazed at how much you get done...AND you have a beautiful blog. Lately, I've only been able to keep one ball in the air at a time...and I STILL drop it constantly! We are tempted by so much, aren't we? And as usual, I WANT TO DO IT ALL! (that[s my problem, LOL!)

    Teresa :o)

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  7. I hear you, my friend! What I wouldn't give to get more hours in the day! Maybe giving up sleep? Ha! I do try to limit my online time, but there's still not enough time in the day.

    I'm very seriously considering that QAL ... I've never done one and have always wanted to. As a new convert to CW quilts/fabrics, I'm intrigued by the prospect. But I'm in the middle of hand quilting a generously sized twin Storm at Sea and have two hexi projects that I'm working on. Plus I have two twin-sized quilts I need to make for my grandsons. I need more time!!!

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  8. It is comforting to know someone else struggles with inspiration overload. You are so talented and create such beautiful projects I can see you enjoy participating in all the lovely projects that come across our computer screen. I personally chose the word Selective for my word of the year and "try" tobe selective in what I commit to and how I use my time. I won't say I'm doing a good job but I am trying to use every spare minute wisely, An example was yesterday I had 7 minutes while something was heating in the microwave, so I headed to the studio and was able to sew together about 10 2 1/2" 4-patches. By the end of yesterday just by using bits of time I was able to complete 10 4-patch chain 12" blocks. Just remember you are not alone with this inspiration overload! Good Luck!

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  9. Too much quilting is never enough!!
    Although I get it too. But for me it is those "not often enough" trips to the quilt store. Then I see something and buy it and it gets put away because I have other things that should be done first. Example pin basted a quilt yesterday that was started in 2004. I think it has aged enough to finish!!!

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  10. I like to put up all those buttons - there is something for everyone, but that doesn't mean you have to do them all. I am sticking to just the one long term BOM (Threads of Memory) and any sew alongs or quilt alongs that are short term might appeal. But I have some 'old' that need finishing and have some 'new' that have been waiting on that shelf. I'm keeping it simple, but more importantly - FUN!

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  11. When you find the solution to this problem Please let me know. I am swamped with free quilt alongs.

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  12. Well, me too!!! WE are richly blessed, for sure. ON my days off, I get up early, do the housework that is required, and go right to sewing...no computer. I sew until time to get ready for lunch with dear husband...and then after lunch, I reward myself with computer time. A little bit!! Then it is to the business of the day again, usually no sewing in the afternoon, just concentrate on my errands and housework. For the BOM's, this year I was overwhelmed too, so I made a list...and I am sticking to it!! It is substantial, though. So how is that for no help, LOL!!?

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  13. Love your new blog header! I wish I had the solution... The thing that seems to work best for me is to just enjoy the many QALs vicariously. I love Bonnie's mystery quilts without sewing a stitch. Then I can keep my own projects going and feel good about that too.

    In the future I would love to join in... And that will be my reward when I can do it without guilt or feeling overwhelmed.

    I keep telling myself I need to trim my blog reading but that is a hard task. I guess in lieu of belonging to a guild or a quilting group my online time balances out somewhat!

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  14. Kathy, I sooooo hear you!!! I too have had evaluate my priorities!! I think you hit on the solution - what brings you the most joy and contentment. I asked myself what I really wanted to accomplish with my quilts this year - finish some UFOs is number one priority. Reestablish the friendships I've made in blog land and don't worry about the "followers" thing. Enjoy what I see, but really choose any extras in which to participate. I, too am doing the Threads of Memory - only one block a month and very doable with my other plans.

    Thanks for broaching this subject - hope you find the balance!

    Blessings and hugs!

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  15. I think we all come to this point eventually.
    I am focusing on UFOs this year, and hope to make great headway, but little gifts and things are taking up most of my time this month.
    I want to do that same BOM--and no more!!
    Blog reading gets time consuming. I have been reading but not always commenting. It all takes time--and like you pointed out, that is a finite resource!
    Good luck to you. Let's stay strong together!! : )

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  16. I spent a lot of time over the Christmas break thinking about what I wanted to do this year. Not what I should do, but what I wanted to do. Then I made a few lists, of UFO's that I want to finish, new quilts that I want to start, and a BOM I want to do, and then added in the Scraphappy colour challenge. Then I, very loosely, made a sort of schedule for getting all these things done, how I would spend what part of the day doing what. It always takes me quite a while to wake up in the mornings, so, while I wake up, I read my blog list. Afternoons are spent working on the long arm, evenings, until about 9 spent working on my quilting projects. After nine spent knitting. It seems to be working, so far. So, I can look at what I am doing now, and know that I can't fit anything else in, unless it is one of those fall in love, really want to do it. Thankfully, I'm retired, so don't have to add a job outside the home to it.

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  17. I'm new to blogging but followed a few blogs last year. Although I tempted to do a quilt along, the only one I tried was the Scrap Happy Saturday. I targeted one block a month and managed to finish a quilt top by year end. I checked out Celtic Solstice and the Civil War quilt along but only saved the instructions. The timing of the start up of the quilt-along doesn't always suit but the instructions are there if I ever have time to do it. Quilting should be fun and relieve stress not add to it.

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  18. Normally, I am a 'work on a quilt till finished' girl and I will alternate between one or two quilts but lately I have so many projects underway that it is feeling overwhelming to me. I have also decided to hold off on joining several new projects that interest me. I figure I can work on them later if they still interest me.

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  19. It does seem like a lot to join up with this year. I've been reading through all the QALs, BOMs etc and it all looks so tempting, but I know that I have a long list of projects already started and more behind those that I really want to start! If the QAL doesn't mesh with any of those, then I have tried to resist. I'll follow along with others progress on-line I guess! Mostly I read (too many) blogs in the mornings and then some more late afternoons. I love all the inspiration, but you're right--we have to have our time to create too.

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  20. Will go back and read the other comments in a minute or two.

    I've spent way too much time this month PLANNING what I am going to stitch instead of STITCHING. And last night I made the decision to K.I.S.S. . . . I will continue with the RSC (have organized myself with five specific uses each month). And I am planning to do the Threads of Memories blocks. BUT NO MORE organized stuff. I need that space to work on what speaks to me the loudest and tugs and my heart. (thanks for the link to the other post - I adore her graphic). Hang in there!

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  21. Oh yes!!! I know exactly what you mean! My word this year is SIMPLIFY for that very reason. Computer time is taking over my world and I have to start disciplining myself to get off it and start getting my world around me more streamlined and organized. Too many things around me are being neglected while I play in fabrics and on the computer! It was bad enough when I just quilted 24/7, but now I also blog and read blogs, and Pinterest, and .... well you know how that goes, right? I'm setting myself some real limits on the computer and some reachable goals on cleaning up some stuff around here :*) Good luck on your own search for quilting peace too!

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  22. I try to keep the number to three that I am working on. It is hard with so much temptation out there. I used to work on one project till it was finished. How I long for those days, so I have chosen to do a wholecloth and that will be my reward for finishing everything I started. This will never work! I give up!

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  23. Balancing sewing time, blog writing, blog reading, a full time job, and spending time with family and friends, IS my life! I take it one day at a time... and resist to the best of my ability when it comes to sew alongs, etc!

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  24. I think most of us are in the same boat. The block a month aren't so bad for me, but there are several that are every week or you make two. So far I only have two I'm going to play with. I'm trying to resist, but it's really hard.

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  25. My blog is about various things so this is easy. I just do a sewing post once a week and hook up to YOU :)

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  26. Kathy, I understand exactly what you mean! I essentially took a year off blogging (well, I dropped from 300+ posts in 2012 to 80 posts in 2013) because I felt consumed. It was a great call for me and allowed me to be very excited this year to gear back up a little bit. Taking some breathing room is a healthy thing. As long as you don't guilt yourself into taking on more ... *or* if you do choose to do more, don't beat yourself up about that, either. Being comfortable with your decisions (and with deciding to change your mind about your decisions--LOL!) is the challenge! Looking forward to Barbara's first installment at the end of the month! :)

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  27. I understand what you mean. It's difficult limiting my number of sew alongs and BOM's. If I sew a lot, I can't spend as much time on the internet.

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  28. As a fairly new blogger, I have wondered how all the other bloggers manage to accomplish so much which was becoming intimidating. Now I feel better. Lol. It seems that we all struggle with wanting to do it all. Personally, I do not participant in quilt alongs as I have many ideas that are already on my list. Trust me I have been seriously tempted as there are some beautiful quilt alongs out there in blog land. Second, I am usually online when I'm tired or it is inconvenient to sew. Third, I use to read books. Now I read blogs. Great phrase "quilty temptation." Look forward to a posting with any kind of conclusion that you may find!

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  29. I was a single parent for most of my son's life (18 years), and that taught me about limitations. My feeling is that I can either live online or in real life, but not both. You have to choose what's important, and do that, and not allow the other stuff to make you feel guilty. All the QAL's can be fun, but they can also detract from what you really want to do.

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  30. You have really touched a chord with overdoing things. This year I have given up mystery quilts... I used to do several a year, including Quiltville some years. I finally realized I wasn't picking my own projects, I was doing mysteries. I have over 30 UFOs and I'm slowly making progress on them. Of course of the four or so I finished in 2013 I may have 4 new UFOs taking their places. My blogging had gone down to Mondays only. I'm going to continue to work on UFOs and try to up my blogging slightly. We'll see how that works. Good luck with your plans.

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  31. I'm another one who signed up for Threads of Memory whilst also taking pat in two other projects!
    I think it's great, makes me get on and achieve, but it is a temptation I agree. and I find, as others do also, that a lot of time is spent planning and pulling fabrics but other quilts seem to get left by the wayside. I won't join up to anything else this year for certain.

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