Thursday, January 25, 2007

P.R.O.C.R.A.S.T.I.N.A.T.I.O.N.

Our monthly quilt guild meeting was today. After all the boring stuff, minutes of the last meeting, treasurer's report, etc., we had Show and Tell. Yup. Just like in kindergarten. And just as much fun, if you had anything to show, or anything to tell, which I did not.

"When do you sleep?" I whispered to one prolific quilter as she passed me on her way to the front of the room. She was staggering under the weight of four big, beautiful, finished quilts. She gave me a "duh" look, and replied "We've had two months!" [we took a break in December]. Yeah, I thought, that explains it. These women look well rested. They certainly don't look undernourished. So, where do they find the time to be so productive?

I oohed and aahed with the best of them, as quilt after beautiful quilt was held up for inspection. Mentally, I was taking a tally of my own dismal accomplishments in the needlework department since January first.

  1. I finished a sweater for little grandson, T, that I had started knitting in Ireland, two summers ago. Yes, I'm ashamed it took me so long, but I'm taking a bow anyway because it's finally finished!
  2. Mended torn out knees on two pairs of the YS's jeans. Torn out while doing BMX stunts, or rather after he had sailed through the air, independent of the bike, and crashed to earth, apparently on his knees.....shudder. He continues to strenuously resist all offers to teach him how to quilt---no adrenaline rush there, I guess.
  3. Resewed two seam sections that were coming undone on my all-time favourite, floaty cotton, around-the-house, dress. They were probably protesting the constant wear.

There is no number four. Hence the glumness. The problem appears to be procrastination. While those productive ladies are busily stitching, I'm busily rearranging my one thousand and one unfinished projects, so the groaning shelf on which they rest doesn't come crashing down. Maybe I can buy some time by redistributing their weight. But first I have to open each one out and stroke it so it knows I still love it and will get to it soon. After that it seems like a good idea to make a written list of these same projects, in order of 'urgency to finish', with side notations on what is done, and what remains to do. And let us not forget the time devoted to daydreaming about new projects to start. Arrggh! I can't believe my brain allows me to do that. If I worked steadily for two to three hours a day for five years I might make a good dent in the pile. So why would I even consider starting something new? Does familiarity really breed so much contempt? I love all my half-done projects......

Steps need to be taken. If I talk [or write] about my quilting projects, then I have to spend an equal or greater amount of time actually working on them. At the end of each month I will give an account of what I have finished in that month, here, so I can't weasel out of it. If I ever figure out how to put pictures on here, I can even provide pictorial evidence, for those who might be inclined towards skepticism.

So. In this spirit of renewed determination, I spent the afternoon working on a quilt top that I finished six years ago. The pattern is called Goose in the Pond. The fabrics are green and white with a little bit of yellow. I went on a digging expedition into the depths of the closet in my sewing room and emerged, triumphant, with a nice piece of batting of suitable size. Further digging produced the perfect backing fabric. I sandwiched all my layers in the prescribed manner, secured them with pins, proceeded to the sewing machine and stitched in the ditch. Now all that remains is to apply the binding. Before you break into wild applause I should add that this quilt is two feet square. With a little bit of luck, the friends I'm going to visit this weekend will still have that cute little table for which this topper was intended when I started it all those years ago. And if they don't, I'll still have the satisfaction of adding a number four to the list above.

12 comments:

Tracey Petersen said...

The quilting of many quilts begins with the first stitch!! Well done. I find that if I leave a project for too long I have a lot of trouble returning to it. They become steps in the learning process rather than UFOs ot WIP. It sounds much kinder.

mjd said...

My husband is the craft person in my family. He does a variety of things, but he does build models. Sometimes, he takes several years to build one model. He might work on several at a time. I am not especially crafty, but occasionally I will create and finish a project in a few days. My secret is that I pick short term projects that can be finished quickly. Quilting seems like a long term event. Besides, you have this great blog, which is another kind of creating.

I would love to see a picture of the Goose in the Pond project.

joyce said...

I'd love to see a picture of your quilt. I have a sewing room where everything is always set out so I only have to walk in and start. If I had to clean off the kitchen table and look for all my stuff a lot less would get done.
Also, thanks for all the encouraging comments on my blog. I couldn't find your email address to answer personally.

Isabelle said...

A sewing room - gosh. What an amazingly luxurious idea. Not that I sew, really. I'm waiting for my retirement.

To do photos - I haven't got the relevant screen in front of me, of course, but I think it's like this.

When you have your blogging screen - the one you write on - in front of you, look at the sort of tiny photo above the place you write, on the right. Click on this, and you get another screen. Click on Centre (this is best) and then Browse. This gives you your My Pictures (of course, you have to have the relevant picture saved there). Choose the photo you want and double click. You should then get a screen that says Load - click on this. Then, with my computer, go and do some washing or something while waiting several months for it to load. Then, eventually, click on Done. And with any luck, you have a photo at the top of your blog. Bewar - if putting on more than one, you have to do it in reverse order.

Catching up on blogreading tonight - you're keeping up to your excellent standard!

Isabelle said...

Bewar - now, that's an interesting word...

Please add an imaginary e.

Ali Honey said...

Wild Applause! Wild applause!

Molly said...

A sewing room is simply a room that has been vacated by a grown up child and taken over by a stitcher.

meggie said...

Nice post. I too have had the slack-slow-downs with my quilting. the heat is a great deterrant!
However I have started another quilt! haha, I only have 4 wips!

Julie's journey said...

If there was a guild for unfinished projects then I would be a charter member! Congratulations on completing your quilt - size does not matter. Inspiration from others is a good thing and you in turn have passed it on. Picture please.

Liz said...

Began the sweater, I can tell this is going to be a multi-year project. I will call it my $1000 sweater because after the time I put into it that's what I would charge if someone wanted to buy it! I think a "project update day" is a great idea for the blog.

nutmeg said...

Molly, do these ladies know the joy is in the doing not the finishing. The four quilt lady - did she actually experience joy or just a dire need to finish? I don't know the lady so I don't know for sure; but alot of the desire to "finish" stuff is just that. Desire not true joy. Do them as you see fit - a pause in a project is always good - the space created buy the passing of time can give you a new perspective on it. Now if I could only apply this to my reading! I'm getting there - slowly :-) Love reading your blog!

Tanya Brown said...

Molly, I have some bad news for you. The lady at your quilt guild who'd finished four quilts isn't human. Your quilt guild has been infiltrated by an alien. Since she's an alien, she probably has some unique time expansion technology that allows her to complete four quilts in the time required for the rest of us to oil our sewing machines. I would be cautious around her.

Regardless, it sounds like you got quite a lot done. I wouldn't call the rearranging of projects procrastination, so much, as it is allowing your brain some time to mull over future action. Brains need that. It definitely counts as a solid number four as far as accomplishments go. However, if you're still feeling guilty feel free to count each pair of jeans you repaired as a separate task. Better yet, why not count each knee as a separate task? It works for me!