July 18, 2017: 1. Self-induced stress 2. New England Quilt Museum pictures

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


8 thoughts on “July 18, 2017: 1. Self-induced stress 2. New England Quilt Museum pictures

  1. Pat in WNY

    You are so right regarding our self-induced stress over artificial deadlines! I was so happy to see your statement regarding the time frame you plan for completing hand quilting of a queen size quilt. I’ve always felt like the slowest hand quilter in the world with only one or two handquilted finishes a year. Still have hopes of finishing at least one of the two in progress now, a queen and a king size. Your quilt museum photos are fabulous, thanks for sharing them with us.

    1. gladiporsche Post author

      Hi Pat. Hand quilting is so time intensive! And I don’t think it’s wise physically to hand quilt for long stretches of time – the body needs more activity to stay healthy. I simply can’t sit for hours at a time, even with occasional short breaks. That’s a major reason it takes me so long to get these hand quilted quilts done. Even though the hand quilting is meditative, it can get boring after long stretches of time so I always have other appliqué and piecing projects to work on at the same time. Glad you enjoy the pictures I post. Good luck with your projects! Gladi

  2. Wendy C. Reed

    I can absolutely relate to the “self induced stress”. I am happy to hear that you have given yourself a reprieve! Perhaps you can finish it in time for VT entry in February. I am planning on going next year and would love to see it in person. NO pressure – wink! I cannot wait until January to see your quilts at NEQM! Cyndi and I will definitely be coming down. Thanks for sharing the wonderful images from the museum. I would love to see all of them in person, but may not make it before they come down. Have a great day.

    1. gladiporsche Post author

      Hi Wendy. I feel certain I’ll finish Stardust some time within the next several months but it sure feels good not to feel I have to have it done by October. I’ll definitely consider it for the Vermont show in 2018. I may even include it in the Quilt Museum exhibit, though I’m thinking I may need it on my bed this winter to keep my husband and me warm while my others are in Lowell!! Gladi

  3. Rose in VT

    Wow! Am looking at the calendar and wondering if I can get down to Lowell before month end. Your post really struck a chord, that self induced stress can wreak havoc with enjoyment of our projects. You brought back a memory of the one quilt I had to withdraw from a show. It was bed sized, hand quilted, and I ran a sewing machine needle into my index finger 3
    months before the deadline. The finger healed, but it took six months for the fingernail to not split vertically as it grew out.
    I kept thinking I could ‘get it done’ anyway, and withdrew less than 2 weeks before it was due, which horrified me so much I didn’t enter again for several years. I guess enough time has passed as I can almost smile as I type this…:)

    1. gladiporsche Post author

      I knew I couldn’t be the only one to deal with stress from “artificial” deadlines! That’s quite a story you share! I’m glad I don’t have to actually “withdraw” my quilt from our show – that would bother me more than not entering in the first place. We really should all be kinder to ourselves and just enjoy our passion for making quilts. Gladi


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