When Life Gives You Lemons, Quilt!

Image courtesy of nuttakit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of nuttakit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Did you misread that the first time? Did you think I said “Quit”?

It’s “Quilt!” And believe it or not, that’s not a typo.  🙂

I have to admit, sometimes it seems easier to quit than to do something more constructive with those lemons. But today, when things started going south, I took a different approach. Somehow after the lemons stopped hitting, I had an idea about how to handle it.

It was frustrating to see the day slipping away from me as I tried to process a series of things. I knew that I could not do a reasonable job on the writing projects I had. It was just too much. But I figured out that quilting — or more accurately, piecing — was just the thing to relax me and help me smile again. It also required less conscious brain power–which I am sadly in short supply of right now.

It was the right thing to choose. The rhythm of the sewing machine is soothing. I have the pinning and sewing process set up so I easily move from one seam to the next to finish one block, and then move to the next set of pieces to sew the two seams that turn it into a finished block.

mystery quilt fabricRemember these fabrics from the Summer Mystery Quilt? Clues 1 and 2 have been completed, and it is time to complete the sewing for Clue 3. This sewing project has been on my mind since the clue arrived on August 1. So let’s just do it.

And it also works for my Building Rome project this week. Normally, I wouldn’t do the “fun” parts of the list until after some of the other things are done, but I DID have enough brain power to figure out that if quilting got me back on track and helped get something done from my list, it was a total WIN.

I also rescheduled an appointment I had for tomorrow. I can use that time to catch up on what I intended to do today. Which is a good thing, because I notice I’m starting to recover and feel like myself again. The quilting is working its magic.

So I’m going to go back to it. I finished 4 quilt blocks, and I only have 12 to go.  And I had an experience that proved this was the right thing to tackle tonight. I was sewing a seam and getting reading to put it in the finished pile. It was the fourth one. And I was surprised, because I had only remembered doing two. Yup, the PERFECT activity for tonight.  Even if I don’t finish the 16 blocks tonight, I’ll have a great start, and I’ll be MUCH further along toward getting them done than if I had quit.

AND I’ll have a mystery quilt update to post in a day or so.  🙂


270 days to 60!


12 comments on “When Life Gives You Lemons, Quilt!

    • Thanks, I will have all three sets of blocks finished very soon. But we don’t get the final “layout” until September 1. But no worries, I’ll be posting. There is a contest for those of us participating to send a photo of the arrangement we THINK it should be, so I might play with that. 🙂

    • I also knit and crochet at different times. But right now, I’m focused on quilting. But yeah, the counting stitches and watching the piece grow as you work is very relaxing as well. What I really like about knitting and crocheting the most is that unless your project is large and in that final stage, it’s very portable. 🙂

  1. What a good way to clear your mind! I love that you worked on the Summer Mystery quilt. I’ve got mine up to date-finally. I had to work on mine when I took breaks from unpacking my house!

  2. I keep Cake Mania 3 pinned to my task bar, and go to it often when I need to reset my brain. There’s something about the patterns and the need to be attentive that gets me in the place I need to be for more writing-centric projects. My subconscious is playing with the ideas for the writing, while the cognitive layers are playing with patterns, and it becomes a symbiosis….

    I will, one day, learn how to thread my sewing machine, and then I intend to quilt!

    I’ve learned, though, to listen to my impulses. Right now, for instance, I could be revising a complex resolution scene that’s highlighted, notated, and waiting for me. I could be getting my Sunday blog post started. I could be hometending, or working on the abundance of homeschool paperwork that needs to be turned in by 9/15. But what I have the acuity for, right now, is puttering. What I want is to connect with others for a while. So here I am, answering blog comments and making visits, because that’s what feels right, right now. It’s important, and, later, when I do get to the reporting, and more serious about hometending, and dive into the revision pass and the blog post setup ,I’ll do these things not as chores, but as pleasures – or, if I can’t manage that; the reporting is DULL, and nothing is likely to change the drudgery of turning rich and wonderful lives into schoolspeak, I’ll at least do it as a means to an end.

    My 12 year old and I were talking about the work ethic the other day. He said that he thought it was a good idea to do something well if you’re going to do it, but he doesn’t really understand people forcing themselves to do things. Your comment that you would usually put off the “fun” parts of your list until you’ve done some of the “work” reminds me of that. I’m wondering if turning that habit on its ear will have the effect of fortifying you in advance for the less engaging things on your list. It tends to, for me.

    Anyway, this was a wonderful post, and I am happy that you indulged yourself and your creativity! =D

    • Thanks for all the thoughts! I should clarify that the idea of not
      doing the fun things until the work is done is not a current issue.
      It’s how I used to be. I know that I’m more effective when I take “fun”
      breaks. In fact, my to-do lists include things that I find fun and
      wouldn’t be on the list at all if I were only doing things that HAD to
      be done.

      I’ve been doing a lot of fun things lately. What was the problem is
      having too much choice during my work time. If I have three or more
      projects that need my attention, I would think it didn’t matter what I
      really did as long as I did something. Which sounds good, BUT what
      happened is that I hem and haw about which one to work on, which one I
      ‘feel” like doing first, etc. etc. Leaving the options wide open is
      making me ineffective during my work time. I don’t have the same issues
      for playtime. I can choose which thing I’m going to work on and just
      jump in.

      Since the work projects don’t align themselves as easily as the fun
      ones do, I realized I need to set them up so that I use my work time
      more effectively. Not leave it so open to choice, which is really–at
      least in my case–leaving it to chance. Including the chance I might
      not get things done until the deadlines force me to “choose.”

      • I see what you mean, now. I have the same issue shopping in stores. Too many options leads to overwhelm and inability to decide…

        I hope you find a way to align those workish goals that lets you make the best use of that energy!

  3. I did read it as quilt. 😉 Don’t forget to keep doing fun stuff in between the “must do” stuff. Whenever I have too much “must do” stuff on my plate that I start to skip the fun, relaxing stuff, I actually get less productive on a whole.

    • I’ve been much better in the last couple of months about taking time for fun stuff. I’ve been practicing drawing (in spite of myself), and I just figured out the quilting layout for the mystery quilt (after finishing all the piecing). In addition, I even flew a kite last week — pictures forthcoming.

      It’s funny, because my next post was a stream of consciousness that explored my ineffective use of my work time. Playtime is getting much better. Now time to rethink they way I work. 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s