Greetings! I realized something recently – I have not been enjoying hand quilting “We Are Stardust.” I enjoyed the quilting when I started it in early March, but for probably the last month it has seemed a chore. I realized I was kind of tired of quilting Baptist Fans and outlining leaves and was even getting tired of looking at the same fabrics day after day. Summer is a particularly difficult time to have such a large quilt on one’s lap while quilting. With a deadline of early October for my guild’s annual show to finish the quilt, I’ve been feeling under pressure to keep going to get it done, even when I’m not in the mood for working on this quilt. I can’t be the only quilter out there who experiences this and I’m sure these types of feelings are responsible for plenty of UFO’s out there! Sometimes breaks from projects are needed – time away after which interest – that “spark” – returns and it’s then easier to make progress.
It finally occurred to me that my October deadline is completely self imposed and there is absolutely no reason that I have to stick to it!!!! I decided that if I don’t finish the quilt in time for our show, that is perfectly OK! I will be showing Spirit of Japan#3 and my 3 doll quilts and that’s enough! “We Are Stardust” could wait for next year’s show. It feels like a weight has been lifted. There is no danger that this quilt won’t eventually be finished, but I can now take may time and quilt when it is more relaxing and joyful. I don’t need to feel the process is “work” rather than play. And now I can happily indulge in spending time on other projects I am currently more drawn to such as my silk quilt and my pastel quilt. I started hand quilting the first of the 3 doll quilts. I also am very close to getting out “Twinkle” and finishing the border and I may even start a new project!
Here’s a picture of Stardust when I finished the top last November:
In hindsight, it was very ambitious of me to think I could get this hand quilted by October. The quilt is 91 inches by 91 inches – very large! It usually takes me at least 9-12 months to hand quilt something this large. Starting in March gave me only 7 months, 3 of those over the hot summer, and Al and I are going to be away on vacation for much of September. I’m not saying that all deadlines are bad (for some they are very motivating!) or that we shouldn’t honor our commitments (to others, in particular) when we make them. I just think we too often create stress for ourselves with unnecessary “artificial” deadlines. it’s important to recognize when this happens and realize you have the power to eliminate that stress. For the most part, quilting should be a joy not a chore!!
I recently went down to the New England Quilt Museum to meet with the curator Pam Weeks and look over the space in which my quilts are going to be exhibited starting in January. I am pretty sure I mentioned this honor a while back! The time is approaching to start planning which quilts I’m going to show, in what order, what I’m going to say about them, etc. While there I took time to see the current exhibits and will now share some pictures with you. The first pictures are of an exhibit of quilts by 2 sisters from the 19th century. One is a fabulous Baltimore Album and there are a couple of excellent broderie perse quilts. Each sister make a lone star – almost the same. Click on the pics for closeups!
The main exhibit was winners (not all Best of Shows; some were winners in specific categories) from AQS shows over the years, starting back in the 1980’s when the show began in Paducah. Selected winners over the years illustrate changes in the quilting world. This is a fabulous exhibit and is up until the end of this month – well worth going to if you can! I didn’t have time to linger since I was with family, but here are four of my favorites:
Debra Wagner’s fabulous “urns” quilt with wonderful early machine quilting:
Martha Skelton’s wonderful traditional New York Beauty with amazing hand quilting:
So happy to see Cheryl See’s hexagon masterpiece in person and love how she hand quilted and embellished it:
One of my Japanese quilting heroes and one of her most beautiful quilts!:
I have a few more Vermont Festival pictures and NEQM pictures to share in next few posts.
Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi