I don't know what possessed me to try to pick up something different this morning than the three projects I've been focused on. Maybe it was getting the shirt finished and the pattern packed away that made me think I should pick up some other project and try to move it forward, along with the rest.
So, I picked up my Jubilee quilt, because I'm feeling a tinge of guilt that I made a commitment to myself and now, my progress on that project is stopped. It's a few days more than half way through my Jubilee year and 20 of the 36 blocks I'd planned are finished. And, it will need quilting after that. And, I need to make two more baby quilts before year's end. Will I make that Jubilee deadline that is only being imposed by me?
So, I'm having a stern talking to myself and since I share just about everything else with you guys, there's no reason why I shouldn't share this conversation, too.
First thought is that this is my process (not sure whether to emphasize the "is" or the "my" there). I get into something all gung-ho, and then other things come up and I put it down and it might sit for a couple of years or more and then I get back in the mood and pick it back up and work on it some more and maybe I finish it and maybe I don't, and if I don't, then I put it back down again for a while, maybe more than a year, and eventually, by working on it when I want to and when I can, I finish it, just like I'm about to finish this incredibly long run-on sentence that any English teacher worth their salt would fail this blog post for.
But, I claim poetic license because that run-on sentence is the best way I know to illustrate why my quilts take years to be complete and why you might see a picture of one started and then not see the finish for a very long time. Maybe not until after the colors and fabrics have gone out of style.
It makes me very glad that I'm not one of the bloggers that will only post their finished work. If I did that, I'd never have anything to talk about. It's the process, not the finish, that I enjoy. I'll only finish so many quilts in my lifetime, but because I fit quilting in with working and parenting and keeping house and having a beautiful garden and all the other things that comprise a very full life, I can't afford to only celebrate the finishes. I have to celebrate each step in the race, just as much as crossing the finish line.
So, when I hear from someone that doesn't have unfinished projects, I celebrate that they are the kind of person that can do that. And, when I hear from someone that is beating themselves up because of their unfinished projects, I try to encourage them with empathy, while discouraging them from the self-beating.
Everybody does it different.
Diane Gaudynski said in her blog post yesterday that she doesn't have unfinished projects. That's her process. If you read her books, she plans out every step of the process and works them in order from start to finish. And, she's a famous quilter. It works for her. I celebrate that fact with her.
Bonnie Hunter seems to have a hundred different quilts in the works at any given time, and still has time to stop and make blocks from a quilt she saw in an antique store. And, she's a famous quilter. It works for her. I celebrate that fact with her.
And, just like there's room in the community for art quilters and modern quilters and traditional quilters and machine piecers and hand piecers and long arm quilters and domestic sewing machine quilters, and quilters from every race and country and size and shape, there's also room for quilters that can work a project from start to finish without getting distracted by something shiny they saw in a quilt magazine and for quilters that start every quilt they like and leave a trail of scraps behind them in every color of the rainbow.
As I write this, it occurs to me that the only kind of quilters that I don't want to celebrate quilting with are the quilters that want to be somebody other than who they are; the quilters that love to start a hundred quilts and never finish one and then talk about themselves as though they were somehow bad because of it. You guys all have heard me talk about how I'm changing. I'm an absolute believer that if you want to change, you can.
But, you know what? If you don't want to, you don't have to. It's a hobby. It's supposed to make you happy. It's not supposed to give you an(other) opportunity to beat yourself up.
Some of my quilts hang in the closet for years at a time, waiting until I have that perfect inspiration to finish them. So what? It's who I am. And, I'm quite happy with it. And, those "projects in waiting" aren't hurting anybody in the world. And, I know I can manage a project to completion because I do it at work, all the time.
But, I bet Rob wishes I'd hurry up and finish re-doing our kitchen. I'm not sure he gets as excited as I do about projects that last forever, waiting for me to be inspired. But, does the fact that I haven't finished make me a bad person?
Why, yes, it does. It makes me a very bad person, though Rob has never said so. And, you can see how much I regret all my bad behavior.
I'm so bad.
Bad, bad, really, really bad.
Wanna celebrate being bad with me?
Bad. Really bad.
Smack yourself on the nose with a rolled up newspaper bad?
Maybe. If you're into that.
Or, not, depending on what you like.