The Free Motion Quilting Project: Not Going As Planned

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Not Going As Planned

So today is Wednesday and this is supposed to be the day that I share about the fantastic projects I'm working on in the studio.

Unfortunately, things are not exactly going as planned this week. Between the wonders of Labor Day throwing everything off by killing my Monday, James's cold which turned into my cold, and an entire afternoon of working on the revised quilt store page, let's just say the quilt studio ended up being the last thing on my list.

And I really can't stand that.

I've sworn from the start of my professional quilting life (which started only approximately 6 months ago!) that I would never get so busy, or travel so much, or get so distracted and stressed that I could not do the most important thing - actually make quilts!

But here I am, struggling to get into my studio long enough to clean it, let alone actually stitch anything in it.

Of course, reading that last sentence, many of you might think that I'm a super clean quilter who must dust before she sits down to sew.

That would certainly be a silly self imposed limitation to creativity!

free motion quilting | Leah DayWhat I truly mean is I must clean the stacks of design papers, piles of fabric, miscellaneous tools and notions, and a handful of kid toys off my table, sewing machine, and chair before I can even sit down to try to quilt something.

I'm a pack rat - a horribly unclean, unorganized person who somehow manages to exist with my desk cluttered with papers, my table covered in fabric and thread, and my general work day punctuated with the question "Why can't I be more clean?!"

But what can I say? I work well in organized chaos. I can find what I need, take notes daily, find the notes I took 3 weeks ago on a scrap of paper that might end up being a bill, remember the note as I pay the bill, and life goes on without a hitch.

But lately my unorganized work day has also been punctuated with pleas of "Why can't I go quilt?!"

I've sworn, time and time again, that I absolutely positively would not get so busy I couldn't actually quilt, and here I am struggling to find time to finish the show quilted quilt from the How Do I Quilt This? Series.

So Josh, in his wonderful new role of my partner in more than just marriage, but also business, has designated himself as my Time Management Instructor Extraordinaire.

Breaking up the day into blocks of time, listing my priorities (quilt first, ask questions later), and planning ahead for future projects will hopefully stop this kind of thing from happening again.

So while this week hasn't gone as planned, I know I'll get back to the studio soon, with time to spare between cleaning off the sewing machine and actually quilting a new quilt.

Now let's all go find our sewing machines again and go quilt!



  1. Leah - I am in awe of the amount of work you have produced/are producing - keep inspiring us out here & I'm looking forward to your new DVD

  2. This cartoon is sooooo much my week! I have so much clutter from our move that I can't be creative, plus our new couch is being delivered for our family room and those boxes of fabric have to get unpacked and onto the shelves so the couch can find its new home. Back to it. . .

  3. You may not think you are well organized, but you are amazingly productive. I think you have accomplished so much in a relatively short amount of time. Things will settle down, have patience and oh yes, I was SO Glad to hear I am not the only one who quilts surrounded by my self created chaos :) Bernie

  4. I think that truly creative people really benefit from having someone help them structure their time. You have achieved so much in such a short time-- but to get to the next level, it is a good idea to get help.

  5. Yes, it sounds like you're more of a multi-tasker, which is never a bad thing:) Many of us quilters I think work that way with piles here and there and everywhere! LOL

    I wish you could see my quilting room right now :/

  6. Oh, my dear! You have just described my sewing/computer room! Not to mention my complaints on my life!

  7. Just picking up your post now, Leah, and I had to laugh - I spent some time today putting away bits and pieces of projects and fabrics that I know I won't get to for awhile. I need Josh at my house to keep me on track - I'm always veering away from business to do other little things here and there. And it's not usually cleaning or cooking! Keep at it, girl, and don't be too hard on yourself.

  8. Tonight I looked at my giant table of mess and thought... didn't I clean this off yesterday? I got sewing and don't know how it got so bad again.

  9. You might consider joining Fly Lady Quilters - I've lessened the chaos with their simple steps.

    You do awesome work, so I hope you find more time to do what you do best--quilt.


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