A Place of No

If you are a Real Housewives fan, you will probably get my reference to Bethenny Frankel and her “I come from a place of yes” mentality. I decided last week that I need to come from a place of “no” for a while when it comes to sewing.

Many quilters seem to thrive on project-oriented quilting. They work on one quilt from start to finish and they always have a recipient in mind. I don’t sew like that, and I don’t imagine that I ever will. The real enjoyment of the hobby for me comes from the process. Choosing the fabric, cutting, piecing, and even dreaming about a new quilt design are all equally enjoyable to me. I like the freedom to sew what I please when the mood strikes me. Sewing with obligation – for an Etsy shop, a craft show, a bee, a gift – takes away a lot of the joy for me. It makes my therapeutic hobby into something that I have to do, rather than something that I do to relax.  That point has really been driven home for me since I had my son and my sewing time has been greatly reduced. I feel like I need to be more selfish with my free time now. So I decided this week that I am only sewing for myself for the rest of this year.  This doesn’t mean that everything I make will be for me, but it does mean no deadlines and no obligations.  Just making that decision has already been freeing. I’m working on projects I put aside years ago and I even whipped up a simple rag quilt in a couple of hours yesterday (I’ll share it once it comes out of the dryer).

I’m so enjoying my new freedom that maybe I’ll change my blog name to The Selfish Quilter with the tag line “Yes, I Made That and No, I Won’t Make One for You.” Ha.



6 thoughts on “A Place of No

  1. ardmorescrapbasket says:

    i’m with you! That’s why I don’t like making quilts “to order”. Either they buy what I have or…well…do without! or make it themselves! I DO give them that choice with lessons & even rental time on the Gammill. We’re not manufacturers, after all. Power to you!

  2. sillyandrea says:

    I could not agree more. 🙂 Sure, this leaves me with piles and piles of unfinished projects, but I am getting closer to the finish line with some.

    It also means I can sew different things when the mood strikes me. And since I am also the same as you – focusing on the process – when the quilt is finished I just gift it to someone, or sell it in my etsy shop.

  3. Bettepat says:

    It’s simply amazing how having a child forces you to start valuing your “free” time….good that you have wrapped your brain around this concept….make sure you practice this mentality when Sweet Ben starts to school too! SAH moms are magnets for all the “volunteer” opportunities that other folks won’t/can’t do…be very choosy in the projects you take on!

  4. Amber W says:

    Im with you Lisa. I enjoy the process of thinking and planning out, but once I get about halfway through the actual sewing part and the tedious nature of sewing starts coming to the forefront, I get bored and start daydreaming of my next project. Ive had to come to the same realization lately also. I really don’t enjoy commissioned quilts. It totally kills the fun. Since being diagnosed with cancer, Ive had to be very careful about how I spend the small amount of free time that I have. Ive actually had a great time thinking and dreaming about three quilts that have been on the back burner because of other more “important” projects, and it’s been so fun to actually work on what I want to work on.

  5. Jamie says:

    I love this idea and your new tag line! You’re SO SELFISH! 🙂 Even though I’ve agreed to three commission quilts over the next several months (no set deadlines), they are ones that I want to do, so it’s half and half this concept. I had such a great time over the weekend sewing exactly what I wanted to – three are gifts, one for me, and I cut out a second one for me. I’ve got a few quilts started over the last 4-5 years that I want to finish up, too. Maybe they are next on the list… but I’m going to go more with your motto than not.

  6. TxGal says:

    Agreed ! I have been quilting for 20+ yrs and I have always been amazed by those who can work on and complete just one quilt or project at a time ! I am much more about the planning, the process, seeing the construction come together … veering off and trying something different than first intended. I usually have at least 5-6 quilts plus other small projects going at any one time. I made commissioned quilts about 10 yrs ago but soon felt smothered by it … the time and the $$ was just not worth it. I don’t do repeats either …

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