Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Just Say NO!

Sometimes you have to face the truth. You know what I mean? The things we hide from ourselves, and don't like to talk about? Well, I have a problem (just one you ask!?!?)
From Tackk
Here's the truth:
I have thrown myself with wild abandon into way too many quilting projects that require more hours to complete than I will have in this life time.  I am efficient with time management, and never "waste" time, but here's the problem - my brain has too many tabs open.
I am starting to understand that I not magic, and possess no superhuman capabilities.  Even when you love every single minute of an activity, there is a limit to what can be accomplished with only 24 hours in the day.
Exhibit A - my fridge
Yes, I use a fridge to store some quilting projects. 
Doesn't everyone?!? 
In this fridge I can see parts for 8 quilting  projects:

**top shelf is Alamo Stars, Omigosh blocks at the back, a few single pumpkin seeds in the front, and the Carrie Nation blocks on the right
** middle shelf is completed pumpkin seeds on the left, Life is Beautiful in the middle, and Votes for Women on the right. 
** bottom shelf has some beading projects inside the blue bag, and on the right are civil war bowtie blocks for a swap, and the pink box has palm branch blocks.

Each of these projects was started with glorious enthusiasm and the intention to make a great quilt. The collection of blocks, fabrics, parts and plans makes me happy. All of it... I love looking in the fridge and seeing all of it.
But seriously, if I am facing the truth, this is getting out of hand. How many refrigerators and UFO closets can one quilter have?!?!

I must learn to say NO to all the fun that might be had in starting new projects.  I have turned down many many wonderful quilt projects this year that I would really enjoy making. I have said that difficult word... NO... to many adventures, classes, projects, and fun. I have faced up to the fact that I can't do it all. And trying to "do it all" is stressful.

Here are some examples from this past month:

Jen Kingwell QAL Badge** Juliann is hosting a Jen Kingwell Quilt Along I love Jen's patterns, especially Georgetown On My Mind. Jen's method of creating a quilt makes my heart sing. Check out her designs here.  Juliann posted some fun links to visit from the quilt along. How can I resist this?  


Purchase the Pattern**a unique opportunity to recreate an 1858 quilt called the Shenandoah Valley Botanical Album Quilt, and help raise funds for the Virginia Quilt Museum. Such a great opportunity, with an intriguing and challenging design. This would help to improve my applique skills. But it would be a very long term project. How can I start another long term project when I am already struggling with a too long list of UFO's?!?

Sew Fresh Quilts
**the Dog Gone Cute quilt along with Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts. I almost signed up to be part of the blog hop in October, which would mean that I had to finish the quilt by October *gulp*. I looked at my schedule, calculated time requirements, and said to myself "don't you even think about it"!!


**Lori is hosting another quiltalong, and I just can't say no to that! It's scrappy and small, and I love Lori's quiltalongs. Click for fabrics requirements and step #1, just in case your resolve is also wavering!

Do you share my overcommitment challenge? Do you also find the online quilting world to be a wonderful but  overwhelmingly stimulating place to be sometimes? Do you have any amazing insights or helpful tips you can share?

41 comments:

  1. Not a single helpful tip can i offer , but what i can say is that i know the feeling . To make it worse I dont just quilt..lol

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  2. You do have a lot of irons in the fire. I guess we each have our own thresholds for commitment though. Signing up for something with a serious deadline can start to suck the fun out of what is supposed to be a relaxing hobby. Sound like you are starting to close out some of those projects though, and putting some thought into the ones you want to keep going with. I can't imagine being one of those people who start a single quilt and finish it before starting another. Having a few options to play with keeps things fun. After all, fun is why we do this.

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  3. You have some very "cool" projects underway! (You keep them in a fridge???????). I have had to say no in a big way lately. My sewing machine has been put away while I deal with other more pressing family issues. I don't see any machine time in the foreseeable future. You don't want your hobby to become stressful...maybe a UFO sewing day or two would help....

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  4. Well done for saying 'no' just a little! It will be satisfying, I'm sure, to reach a conclusion for one or two of the projects that you already have on the go! I'm also trying to work through my WIP list before adding too many other projects!

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  5. Oh I saw all of these doggie blocks that Tanya Quilts in Colorado was making...and one looks just like my DIL's twin's new puppy. Tempted....I did sign up for the Shenandoah. I will most certainly have to revise a block or two. The sunflower one , even enlarged, would be impossible for me unless I embroidered the petals so I already know that I'll be making a different sort of sunflower. I enlarged five blocks to start with. I am not going to make all of the blocks; perhaps 3/4.

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  6. Oh I saw all of these doggie blocks that Tanya Quilts in Colorado was making...and one looks just like my DIL's twin's new puppy. Tempted....I did sign up for the Shenandoah. I will most certainly have to revise a block or two. The sunflower one , even enlarged, would be impossible for me unless I embroidered the petals so I already know that I'll be making a different sort of sunflower. I enlarged five blocks to start with. I am not going to make all of the blocks; perhaps 3/4.

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  7. I've been struggling all year to stay focused on finishing WIPs/UFOs. Like you, I have a lot of great projects that have gotten stalled for one reason or another. I find I have to constantly remind myself they exist in order to resist starting MORE new projects. Plus, I have several designs in my head that want to become quilts in their own right, but I need to make the time to get them started. I was soooo tempted by the Jen Kingwell QAL and the Shenandoah Valley Botanical Album quilt. (I might still do the SVBA, as I lived in that part of Virginia for 4 years and I need to improve my applique skills - good rationalization, right?)

    What has helped me stay focused this year was to have a list of UFOs and the actions I wanted to complete with them. I divided projects into categories: piecing/applique, quilting or binding. I picked 5 or six projects for each category, then posted the list in a prominent place in my sewing room. When I start to get "over-inspired" by projects that tempt me from Blogland, I go to the list and review my progress there. Sometimes I even go digging through my drawers and closets and fondle all the UFOs that haven't made it to the list yet. That usually does the trick! I figure there will always be new & wonderful projects coming along in the future, so as tempting as Jen Kingwell may be, I don't think I'll ever run out of inspiration!

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  8. I am totally with you on this one - I want to do it all! I have accumulated partially-finished and barely started projects to the point that I can barely fit into my sewing room! I have succeeded at mustering a slight bit of willpower to prevent myself from joining in on a couple of new projects this year, but for the most part am still losing the battle. You must tell us more about the fridge - is this a special sewing room accessory or have your projects overtaken the kitchen???

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  9. I feel your pain. Congratulations for staying focused. There will always be fun new patterns to start when you are ready for adding another project. What's the deal with the fridge???

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  10. Just thought I'd add another to the list.
    http://www.corasquilts.com/quilt-alongs/gypsy-queen/

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  11. OMG girl, I'm right there with you! I've had to cut back this year too. Fewer retreats and running around everywhere. More focus on finishing up than on starting new. I think we have to have new starts in order to stay energized and excited, but there has to be a limit, right? I've even abandoned some projects that had been languishing. Tomorrow a lot of my friends are going to AQS Chattanooga - not me, I'm keeping my little butt at home where I (hopefully) can stay out of trouble!

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  12. Oh my in the fridge?!?! Well at least we know you have a "fiber" filled diet!! haha
    But seriously yes it is hard to say NO!! We think and want or would like to do it all but we can't so we are forced to choose the ones we want to do the most or that we enjoy the most. Good luck finishing up some of those projects or emptying your fridge!! Are you going to join us in St.Mary's this weekend!!

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  13. You cracked me up with the fridge bit! So, have you started a new trend? Yes, is it hard to say "no" and I see myself being committed to doing some new ones with guild this year.

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  14. I feel your pain. But it's not just having too many WIPs and UFOs. I have too much fabric, but can't resist a quilt store sale. I spend way too many hours in the black hole that is quilt blogs. Fortunately, I don't Facebook or I'd never find time to actually quilt. And then there's the garden and the deck that needs sealing before the weather turns frosty. Even though I'm retired now, I'm more behind than ever. BTW I love your Alamo stars, but I think they are just too tiny for me.

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  15. Oh boy. The blogging world has added to my workload. As much as I love the friendships and what they have done for me to get back in to some normal life after 3 years of hell. I feel very overwhelmed and want to join in on everything. We all need to learn NO. I think I need to go through the UFO cupboard and work on them. They are not getting any smaller...... I need to so NO to swaps too

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  16. I have turned a blind eye - I might list them on my blog for others to enjoy - but I have skipped a lot this year. Kept this year simple and fun. You crack me up with the fridge storage.

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  17. I don't even join QALs because I have too much going on anyway! It is very hard to say no, I have more UFOs than I can keep track of and more ideas for more quilts without even the QALs.

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  18. I had to giggle as I read this. I have this conversation with myself quite often and quite often I don't listen. I couldn't pass up Lori's quilt along.
    It's hard to say no when so many fabulous projects are shown all the time. I love your storage fridge. What a great cabinet!

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  19. Oh...BS! You know you're going to do all of these new quilt alongs. That's one of the reasons I like your blog!

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    1. Ok, I checked them all out, I'm going to do the Lori mystery quilt. Here we go!

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  20. haha Now you're tempting US!! I've been trying to be very careful with what I join up with, but every now and then I just simply cave. Love your refrigerator storage.:)

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  21. LOL A fridge? !!
    Now Ive seen it all .............. youll simply HAVE to live longer, that's all there is to it!

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  22. I have been feeling exactly the same way--it's stressful to have so many "works in progress"! At least you have yours in cold storage to prolong freshness!

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  23. I had to chuckle at the refrigerator! It's very organized though.

    I have learned to just say no recently. There are two charitable events happening that I would love to contribute to but I simply do not have time right now.

    With all the fun and interesting quilt alongs in blogland, there is no shortage of inspiration and temptation!

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  24. I assume that you have more than one refrigerator in your house......or no food!

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  25. I did two years ago--BUT then I got very irritable and felt like a "factory" sewer! SO, I have tried very hard to put on the brakes and just bookmark the ones I like (OH SO MANY) and try to finish up one quilt per SEASON--Fall will be my Scrappy blocks I didn't like--all it needs is a backing and tying....(I find myself saying ..."all it needs..." so often!!) Anyhoo, a maximum of 2-3 projects at one time: one knit, one embroidery and one quilt....so far so good, but you never know when the bug will bite to ADD...hugs, Julierose

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  26. I can empathise, as I too have my fingers in too many pies. I'm trying to learn to say NO, but that is easier said than done. Good Luck xx

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  27. We've just started a group Bible study at church called, "The Best Yes"! It works will quilt projects too . . . LOL! :)

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  28. I feel your pain! Every project I start is for a good reason, a project for every situation is my catch cry. I'm seriously trying to get myself better organised so that projects get finished but do love the joy of exploring new ideas or fabric or joining in with the love that is bloggyland!! Good luck with your dilemma!

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  29. Before reading this post I had never heard of Jen Kingwell. Now I must join her QAL. I'll clear room in the fridge

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  30. The answers are yes, yes, and no! (Sorry about the last one.) I am as guilty as sin. And I too said EnuFF!! in September. It is time to get back to the routine and refocus on just a few projects, a few UFO projects. So, with my list in hand, I draw a plan and (pray for me soul) I'll keep to it. This week, I've only started a little project but it's a quick one so ... you know? Lol. Good luck !! ♥

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  31. I considered the blog hop for Dog Gone as well but then I realized I'm barely home this month so there was no way. I am quilting along though...and quilting along with Meadow Mist Quilts (you don't have to look at that Kathy if you don't know what it is) and participating in Kaja's improv exploration and I have lots of wips that have nothing to do with the internet. i think I've caught your desease.

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  32. I took part in Vicki Welsh's UFO challenge this year. The daunting list accompanied by the realization that I kept adding faster than I was finishing has definitely helped. I like the monthly check in with a finished project or two, and eventually I'll get it whittled down enough that I can start a few new things, but not right now.

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  33. LOL, I love that I''m not alone in the quest to resist some NEW projects. I'm selective and also NOT on the QM Scrap Squad so I don't feel quite so overwhelmed. I gotta get some of my BOM's done so I can start Bonnie Mystery in November. One Block at a time is how I look at it...

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  34. Oh I went thru that overwhelmed feeling. I have spent the last year trying to catch up. I have decided that the new starts need to be things that really really speak to me. Unfortunately those are also the quilts that take so much time, but I am ok with that! I prefer one great quilt over shoe boxes full of ufo's. Lately I am thankful I have said no those temptations cause it helps me really think about what I want to do next.

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  35. I plan to finish all my UFO's before I die. I plan to live until I'm 125!

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  36. I copy and print the BOM's, but, usually don't start them, at least not when everyone else does. I also have way too many projects going (mine are stored in plastic bins, not the fridge;). It is hard to say NO. Good luck.

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  37. Oh, the fridge is too funny!
    This sounds like even you have a breaking point. I was really beginning to believe that you were Super Quilter and just kept happily joining and stitching on every SAL in sight. : )
    I've been quite stern with myself on SALs--only joined 2 this year. Lori's will be three, and that is where it ends (I think).

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  38. I'm of the opinion of whatever works for quilting related storage is fair game. I love the fridge idea, definitely a different one.

    I gave into one mystery quilt two months ago, but I've finished two quilts this year, so I'm breaking even in terms of projects in the works. I really, really wanted to make the doggies, but I passed on that one.

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  39. Oh I love the fridge idea..too funny!! I feel exactly the same way and there are times I just gaze at all my UFOs and wonder if ever I will get them all done.. But I keep on stitching... One stitch at a time...seems like we all have the same issues...we are blessed!!! Hugs Mary

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  40. ha! I just keep starting things, and miracles happen and some get finished. It's all fun especially the starting and joining. Who can we leave all these blocks and projects to I wonder.... when the time comes which isn't now hopefully and yours are on ice so you're safe. LeeAnna

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