Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Quilting Motivation

I was reading Jill's blog today where she was discussing different techniques of how to get, or stay, motivated while quilting.  I do sometimes get frustrated like Libby and find it hard to sew.

Sometimes when I have no desire to sew, I'll kind of "force" myself to sew a few pieces for a scrap quilt.  The scrap quilt I'm working on now is just random 2.5" squares throughout the entire thing, so I don't have to think at all.  I find that I sometimes lose the desire to sew when I've been working a long time on a quilt that is tedious or requires a lot of though.  Being able to just sew simple 2.5" squares lets my mind not think about what I'm doing and I can just relax and enjoy sewing.

I also make lists like Jill does.  I have a "sewing priority" list where I put my projects with deadlines on the top and those without deadlines on the bottom.  Each project gets 5 or 6 items to do on it.  I usually break things down into very simple steps so that I feel like I'm accomplishing things.  For a basic quilt, I'll have steps like: design quilt, determine fabric amounts, purchase fabric, wash & press fabric, cut fabric, sew blocks, press blocks, sew rows & press, sew rows into top, add borders, quilt, trim quilt, add binding by machine, hand stitch binding and photograph.  That way even if all I do is buy the fabric, I can cross off something on the list.

I don't usually "treat" myself to things when I finish up a project.  However, the "treat" that I do get is that I'm done with the project and I can add a new project to the list.  Usually its a project that I've been wanting to do for a little while, but haven't allowed myself to start until I finish something I'm not as enthusiastic about.  I find that if I have the motivation of starting a really fun project once I get the current one done, it keeps me sewing and finishing what I have started already.  This way, it also keeps my UFOs to a minimum.

I definitely agree with keeping multiple projects going at one time though.  However, the multiple projects have to vary in difficulty and there can only be 3 or 4 at most going at one time.  I try to have one difficult project, then maybe two easy projects going.  That way I can work on the difficult one for a while and when I get frustrated or annoyed, I can work on something easy.

I hope some of these tips help others who have a hard time being motivated or keeping motivated with quilting.  I think all of us go through phases where you "lose your mojo" and just don't feel like sewing.  When I truly don't feel like sewing, I'll do some needlepoint where I really can let my mind just wander and think about whatever it is that's bothering me.


YarnKettle said...

Ah quilting has UFOs also, I thought maybe it was a knitting thing.
I also have 3-7 projects on the needles. Usually a simple sock that I can do without thought or notes, more complicated sock that requires my attention and at least one larger goal project sweater/shawl that requires some intestinal fortitude and stick-to-it-iveness.
Seems we have more in common than we thought. Even our hobby style seem to mesh a bit.
Have fun quilting!

Hanswife said...

I make the list then forget it- now with the big white board and the design wall I keep those things in front of me maybe I will be more productive.

I do like the idea of having something that requires little thinking. maybe a scrap project?