Summer doldrums...

K8OrlandoJune 20, 2012

I have had a very busy quilting year and when I look back I feel like I've been unusually productive. But I can't seem to get myself to the machine lately. Between a beach vacation weekend and then a trip back to our hometown for my FIL's 90th birthday celebration, my mind has not been on sewing. I was planning to pick up one of my projects tonight, but a last minute invitation to a neighbor's house for dinner sidetracked me. By the end of the workday I've been feeling too weary to sew. "Too tired to sew"?!? That sounds crazy but it seems to be true. Maybe I'm just not motivated, but summer is usually a good time for sewing in Florida; it's already too warm to be outside for long.

What do you all do to get yourself started again when you've been in a slump? It's not that I lack projects or that I don't like the ones I have waiting. I'm thinking of a thorough cleaning and organizing of the sewing area. I'm certain once I get it neat I'll want to mess it up again! Or maybe I'll just hang out by the pool for a while...

(Lazy) Kate

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I think you ought to just hang out by the pool a while! These doldrums happen to me around November and December when I'm busy at work and trying to spread a little cheer in my own family. I figure if I say and do all the "holiday" things, then I'll find myself in a holiday mood. But with no time and no money, I don't actually feel full of holiday cheer.

But I digress..... after the winter holidays I find myself not sewing or creating at all and it bothers me. At some point you will notice a quilt magazine in the supermarket, or you will get a Keepsake Quilting or Connecting Threads in the mail and your interest will be peaked a little. Maybe take a UFO or two or three and drape them over the chairs one at a time so you will see them when you pass by. In a week or more, stop by your LQS just to "look." Go to your guild meeting, just to see your friends. And sooner (or later) you will be ready to dust off your machine and sit down and sew something. I would bet on it!

It probably happens to many of us - you and I are strong enough to admit it.

Take a vacation from quilting, my friend. It's o.k.


    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 10:46PM
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There is nothing like cleaning the sewing room to get the creative juices flowing!!

I cleaned my sewing room recently and it is great to work on uncluttered surfaces again.

My sewing room will be a mess after next week's daily sewing lessons for our 5 grandchildren, ages 8, 10, 11, 12, 14 (10 yr. old is a boy & loves to sew). I have enough sewing machines for each of them to sew on at the same time.

They love to "oochy-scootch" to match seams! Forgive me, I have no idea how to spell those made up words!


    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 10:55PM
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I say go with the flow. Summertime for me is gardening time, at least until the rainy season kicks in or I put my back out, which both are factors right now for me. I've found that if I don't have the urge to quilt it's not a good thing to force the issue. It's hard to think about handling warm snuggly fabrics when the humidity outside is like swimming in a pool of warm jello. It does help to neaten up the work area, though. A blank canvas in the sewing room is a good incentive for me to create a new project.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 5:57AM
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I have the same dry spell in the summer. I do yard work and the family dynamic is different when grandchildren are out of school. I still stop at a fabric store and fondle the fabric but it takes a kick to get something new started. Maybe I'll just take all those piles of "quilts to be" out and set them in my sewing room and see what jumps out at me. Even if I just start a bit of work on a UFO it seems to kick start my mind.

There's a nice quilt show in Reno this weekend. Maybe I'm in for a lovely drive.

Thanks for the new word, Krissie. I'll remember that.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 8:38AM
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My quilt desire is on much more of an ebb and flow than once a year. I'm probably more on a once every month or two sched. when the doldrums kick in for me. It is just part of my process and it will pass. I think the big thing is not to try and force it. Whenever something goes from a 'get-to-do' to a 'have-to-do', the joy is taken out. Sit by the pool and enjoy some other things you've been wanting to do but quilting got in the way, like reading or painting!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 8:51AM
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When you get especially prolific, I think it's pretty normal to have that reaction. It's sort of like you build up this creative it............then it takes awhile for it to build again. Kind of like neural synapse building up a charge again.
;-) I had four quilts going simultaneously last winter. Knocked two of them out, have the top to the third folded until I decide whether I'm going to FMQ or send it out, and am finishing up on the fourth, a little hand stitching at a time. Some days I can't wait to get up there and work on it, some days I leave the door to the sewing room closed. I promised myself I would not start a new one until this one is on the bed. Gives me time to play with patterns in my head and work up some enthusiam.

No problem exists if you are going through a little quilting R&R. Keeps the times you work on them special.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 10:03AM
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Ah, Kate - me, too! I'm not overly thrilled with my Quilt U class project (don't really know why) but I will finish the top this weekend then put it in the "to be quilted" pile. Then I have about 3 or 4 other projects that are saying, "Me first, me first!" and I'm not crazy about any of them, either. I think for me it's stress from my hubby being stressed as his job ends, plus looking forward to our cruise at the end of July...just making me feel like doing nothing.


    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 11:32AM
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When I feel like I should be sewing and I'm not I try and plan time in the sewing room at the machine. I set the timer and give myself and hour. After about a week of doing this if I'm not trying to do more then I just give in and go with the flow. More times than not it gets my creative juices going again.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 12:39PM
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"oochy-scootch" ..... looks spelled right to me. LOL

Kate, I think the doldrums attack all of us at one time or another. I consider it normal (a lot of things are 'normal' for me that aren't to others, though) so I don't worry about it and go on with life doing what I 'feel' like doing. Eventually, something comes along, stirs up the juices and I'm on a roll again! Just think October, October, October......

SharonG/FL-MN (on the road again this afternoon)

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 12:56PM
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Thank you, my wonderful quilting friends! Maybe I just needed your permission to kick back a little. I needed a reminder that quilting isn't a job, it's a pleasure. Ahhhhhhh.... I feel so much better.


    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 1:10PM
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Hi Kate, glad you are feeling better. When I get in a quilting slump I check out quilt books from the local library. This week I checked out 2 books by Carol Doak as I am trying to learn how to machine paper piece - well reading up on it anyway, I had surgery in May so can't lift my sewing machine until sometime in July. So I think I have figured out how to paper piece thinking that would be a great way to make a Crazy quilt. Well back to cutting out fabric for my parents' Card Tricks quilt blocks.

Best to you,

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 4:59PM
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LOL....I'm laughin' because I know it's NOT 'lazy' Kate! Perhaps more like 'needing a lil break Kate'!!! You have been UBER productive lately....those purses are still top drawer, IMHO...not to mention the beautiful quilt that went asa gift for charity! (you know...the mariner's compass one??) You probably DO need a break, but, mark my words, just as soon as you thumb through a magazine of see something online....ZZZooooooooooooooommmm!! There goes Kate...back at it!!!! (before I can even wink my eye!).

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 7:34PM
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Well said Beth!
Kate~Take a break - drink a Margarita or two ...... and just 'think' about quilting.....(or not)....sometimes that is very satisfying!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 8:36PM
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Margaritas by the pool - that sounds like a prescription I can follow. I've been careful not to make any plans for this weekend other than rest and relaxation. I sure I can find time for a 'rita or two!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 10:17AM
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Can I come over? :)

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 12:22PM
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LOL - Party at the pool!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 12:54PM
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Enjoy the pool, relax w/the cats, give buster a hug and read a fun book, before you know it you'll be sitting by the machine and won't even remember how you got there!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 9:59PM
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Buster (aka Scout) is too busy chewing on a dinosaur-sized bone to spare time for a hug. We bought this HUGE bone for him in North Dakota and had to take it in my carry on luggage because it was too large to fit in the suitcase. The airport security guy pulled the bag off the conveyor after it was screened and just looked at it then looked at me. "I have a big dog." was all I could say. I guess it could be used as a weapon...

I do have a fun book for this rainy weekend though: World War Z. What goes better with the summer doldrums and 'ritas than zombies?!!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 10:18PM
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Hi Kate,

I agree with everyone - chill out and allow yourself to breathe for a bit. You have an incredible sense of style and do beautiful work. At some point we all need to recoup. Let yourself off the hook and read your book! When the time is right there is no doubt you'll be belting out new stuff.

Telling people to allow themselves to chill out is something I've learned to do after "being told" and now I'm spreading that same words to many dear friends and family. We all need time to breathe.


    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 8:12PM
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