Overwhelmed/Lack of Motivation/Direction--Just whining!

halcofamJuly 23, 2006

I'm just confessing, sometimes I can scan through this forum, filled with wonderful, highly productive quilters, and be overwhelmed with my inability to take time for my quilt projects. Tons of ideas, projects in various stages, but life keeps getting in the way of my quilting. Anyone else struggle with this, or am I just whining? (I know, if I got off the computer, I could sew!) Thanks for listening! Jill

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Yes. But as someone wise reminded me once or twice on this forum, some of the people on this forum are in a different stage than others of us. I teach and am in grad. school so my prime time is pretty much spoken for. There's only one child left in the house and he is older but there is that too. I am most amazed when I read about the Moms with little ones and what they accomplish on a regular basis...

I am encouraged that I have found a 'hobby' that I love and that with the help of needle threaders and big eyed needles etc. I should be able to enjoy into my 'golden' years. Just be happy with what you can do, try to find 'hidden' time that you can squeeze a little project time into and recognize that time passes and demands change too. I am content with hand piecing a bunch of Grandmother's Flower Garden blocks right now while watching baseball with my guys in front of the t.v. and keeping my UFOs under five right too. At another time I might be able to accomplish more! (I am trying to find a way to incorporate story quilts into my 2nd grade curriculum so that I might be able to share my love of quilting with that generation....not easy with the emphasis on test scores and accountability, I know but I am hopeful)!
Hang in there!
:)Kelly - Lots2do (there was a reason I picked this name)...

    Bookmark   July 23, 2006 at 7:57PM
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I'm a much more profolific(sp?) crocheter/knitter, as those projects are portable for me. It's kind of hard to drag my sewing machine across the country with me, or to class.

I am first off a (young) student, before any sort of fibre artist (I've decided I really like that term). Life often gets in my way, too. It's been quite nice not going to school this summer semester so I can actually quilt, without thinking about the homework I need to do.

However, since the second week of May, I've finished two quilts, started two more (one is in the process of being quilted, the other is being cut out) and worked a little more on a third. I feel amazingly productive just thinking about them, but feel lazy when I look at everyone else's work.

Just gotta make some time to do what you enjoy, I s'pose.

~ Kit

    Bookmark   July 23, 2006 at 10:44PM
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I'm one of 'those moms'. LOL I am a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) to a (almost) 5yo DD and a 21 month old DS. I am also homeschooling DD, as well as all the normal household 'duties' of a SAHM. Many would say, I think, that I'm one of those productive young moms here. I'll explain why.

I love to quilt. It's probably the one single thing I do for myself, in my hectic world. It offers me mostly quiet time alone in my sewing room. My sewing room is now downstairs which is off limits to the littlest one, and I can escape down there. DD tends to come down and do things around me, but that's not always too distracting!LOL

My set up has not always been so secluded; I used to sew in the living room or my bedroom. But I always found time. Regardless of location, it has always been my 'escape' from the world...often just walking away and leaving DH to cope with the kids.

When people ask me how I get it all done, I say "No matter what your 'thing' is, you will always find time to do what you enjoy doing." be that bike riding, reading, tv watching, whatever. You too can find time to quilt. Don't get overwelmed with what you want to do, just look at what you are working on. If you need to, break your project down into manageable sections...then plan on each section in a given time. It's hard to get started, because you're learning and just want to be 'perfect' right from the start. Have patience with yourself, and enjoy the process.

(Did I tell you, my kids go to bed between 8:30-9:30 if I'm lucky....I tend to quilt after that!)

    Bookmark   July 24, 2006 at 8:52AM
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I am not one of those moms. My girls are 20 and almost 23 and I only work 1 day a week. But there are the "can you baby sit from 2-6 today", MIL last minute doctor/rehab apointments or trips she forgot to tell me she needs to take, trips to my parents to help with great aunt's care, biking with DH (every morning now), and various other things that come up when you have folks to take care of (I know just how Red feels with her mom). I seem to be good at getting tops done, just can't seem to find time to quilt them. The sewing room is downstairs by MIL's apartment and she goes to bed at 8:30 and any little thing keeps her up. That makes it hard to get much done after DGS goes home. I have been thinking of trying my hand at hand quilting so I can work on it at night.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2006 at 2:59PM
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I agree with what Jennifer in va said - "No matter what your "thing" is you will always find time to do what you enjoy doing". I am recently retired, but even when I worked full time, I quilted. It was how I relaxed, recharged, kept my sanity. Lots of things didn't get done around the house, and I didn't ever watch much TV. I never could understand when friends commented they never could find time to do this, or that, and I just decided they made different choices than I did about how I spent my time. My advice is, I guess, choose one project that really appeals to you, and even if it is 15 minutes a day, claim that time as yours, and enjoy working on it. Don't get overwhelmed by what others seem to be accomplishing - we're all dealing with different time constraints, but the passion to do this drives us.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2006 at 4:22PM
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Thanks to all of you for sharing your thoughts, it's helping me keep things in perspective and work on carving out a little time for me! Jill

    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 6:58AM
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You think I'm going to post about all my 'down' time? No way! I'll talk about what I do get done. I'm with Grammyp in that my day is interrupted a lot - DH, phone calls regarding our stained glass work, etc. It's so much easier to sit in my chair and pick up my laptop and fall asleep. I started to reorganize my stash on July 15th - that's almost 2 weeks ago. I still not done.

I once read that work expands to fit the time available. I believe that. Personal motivation helps a lot. DH has enough for the two of us - he can't sit down.

Don't be "overwhelmed with my your inability to take time for my your quilt projects." You get done what you get done. Relax and enjoy what you do get time to do.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 9:23AM
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Sometimes we don't make time for the things we enjoy out of guilt or whatever...
I have this 'teacher' bag. So many times it comes home with me and sits by the front door giving me guilty vibes if I don't do school work. That bag is always full and gets a lot of travel time back and forth, back and forth even if I don't open it. Last year I started going home empty handed some days and oh, what a feeling of freedom! This year I am going to try to stay a little later some days and leave that bag at school more often if I can!
Well, that's my plan and I hope I can stick to it!
:)Kelly - Lots2do

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 7:48AM
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Another take on this:

If you are feeling bad because you don't seem to get as much done as some of the other quilters here, it could be that some of us use our hobby/passion to help generate income for ourselves and our families. There are several of us here who do quilts on commission - as in, people pay us to make them a quilt.

As a single woman with both my sons grown and out on their own, I often make quilts on commission or to sale at craft shows to supplement my income from my full time job. So, we have to be faster and more prolific. We get more done because we are getting paid to get a quilt done by a certain date, usually.

Most often I quilt almost all weekend, but then I don't have children, husband, or grandchildren needing my attention. If I am having a soft week at work, I can often sew for a few minutes when I come home for lunch or for maybe an hour while the light is still good after work and before I stop to fix dinner. If the work week is slammed, I'm too tired to quilt late in the day.

So, if you can find 15 minutes at least once during your day or two 10 minute times to do some sewing, you might see that you are making progress. Some quilters get up a half hour earlier in the morning to get some sewing done. Maybe that would work for you.

Just remember, you deserve some time for yourself and the things that you want to do. Don't let anyone tell you differently.


    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 10:30PM
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I think I may know how you feel. I recently had an epiphany though that has helped a lot. I don't know if my situation is at all like yours, but here is what I realized about myself:

I am self employed, and I think Glass hit the nail on the head when she said "work expands to fit the time." I was LITERALLY "working" from 9 AM to 10PM seven days a week. But there was always more to do. I don't have kids so I should have more time, but I am very disorganized, which I know about myself.

For some reason, one day I had a flashback to when I was in my 20's, in the Navy plus going to night school, plus sometimes having a moonlighting job. I remembered that no matter where I went with my friends, I always felt guilty, like I had homework or something else I "should" be doing. But when I stayed home I didn't actually DO those things. Just dragged a bag of books around with me.

And now, I spend all day at the computer wishing I was quilting or doing something else, but I wasn't really WORKING all that time. And I realized -- it's more my PERSONALITY that "I'm so busy, I'm so busy, see how hard I work." Than the reality that I'm truly WORKING all these hours I spend feeling miserable and stressed. I think I use "I'm so busy/stressed" as a way to avoid things.

I also realized that I'm 40 now so this IS my life. If my DH and I have kids there will only be less time, not more. This is IT until I retire.

So I started focusing more when I was working and trying to "let go" when I was not. I still have a ways to go in that I still feel guilty sometimes when I'm taking time for myself -- but I'm doing much better and I'm actually getting MORE work done in about 1/2 as many hours. (Using a task list for the organization challenge.)

Everyone's situation is different but if you truly love quilting and it is your escape, try planning some time just for that, and then try to savor it.

If, on the other hand, it's a hobby but not your life's obsession -- then you should not feel like you have to keep up with other quilters on here. The point of a hobby is to make your life richer, not to become one more chore/obligation!

Sorry so long winded...

    Bookmark   July 29, 2006 at 10:51PM
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Scheduling is the key word here. We all schedule our lives somewhat anyway, the trick is to treat your hobby like your job. Schedule it in. Act like if you don't get to your job you get fired. If your schedule for quilting is 8 to 9 PM, then drop EVERYTHING at 8:00 and GO QUILT.

Here's something interesting: everyone has read about how when you get older you get into a rut, or an unbreakable routine, and how old people hate change. Well, it's true. It's easier to develop a strong routine when you are older than when you are young.

I am retired...ha ha ha. I teach English in my home anywhere from 8 to 20 hours a week. Sometimes I have morning classes, usually I have late afternoon/evening classes. But my afternoons 12 to 4 are SACRED! I never permit anyone to talk me into a class during that time. Period. Never. That's my quilting, cross stitch time. I usually don't even go shopping during that time. And here's something even more pitiful. My stitching chair and TV is right next to my workroom. As I watch tv and cross stitch or applique, when a commercial comes on, I jump up and go into my workroom and cut fabric, or sew blocks, or in some manner work on a quilt. I could write a book called "Quilting in Three Minute Increments". LOL But it's amazing how much fabric you can cut, or how many pieces you can chain-sew for blocks during a commercial break.

You can beat yourself up over your lack of quilting time or lack of inclination, or you can do something about it. It's that simple. If I can quilt in commercial break increments, anyone can figure out a way to do some quilting in small time chunks.

Marti in Mexico

    Bookmark   July 31, 2006 at 11:47AM
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Sewing and quilting is truly my escape from reality. LOL! But there were many many years that I couldn't do something like this as I had to work and sometimes it was 3 jobs and 6 days a week. Now that I was able to retire I got very bored for a while and missed the workplace so I got busy with things I enjoy and discovered I could actually sew. I have come to realize that I deserve to have something in my life I enjoy and is mine alone and my family knows to leave me alone or else. This is my coping mechanism especially this past year and I protect it. I'm very thankful and glad I now can do this for myself as most of my life was centered around doing for everybody else first and foremost with nothing much left to give to myself. I earned it and won't let anyone or anything take it away now.

I guess it all boils down to how bad you want something. Take heart, Jill. Tell yourself you deserve this for you and you alone and make it happen.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 1:08PM
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I know exactly what you mean. I went thru a spell here last winter where it took me 4 months to make curtains for my DGD's bedroom. How outrageous is that!
I work 50 hrs a week, have DH to contend with, and am a "doer" and always busy. So, the more I could't/didn't focus on my quilting, the bluer I got.
Now I have my time set aside. Mondays are for meetings & being lazy. Tuesday I deep clean a room in the house. Wednesday I fix something or can something, thursday is my night out with the girls, fri & sat is for DH. Sunday afternoon/evening is ALL MINE! I always go to my sewing room at that time, even if I just sit and read. The secret is to give yourself permission to be selfish about your recharge time ( quilting recharges me) Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 1:56PM
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