Overwhelmed with it all
Can anyone relate?
I had quilt retreat this weekend and had a great time. It was the first time I have touched my machine in months. I got home tonight and told myself I would put my stuff away not just throw it in the quilting room. This got me to picking some stuff up and putting other stuff away. My stash is overflowing its shelves, unmade kits are stacked all over the place in bags and plastic containers. There isn't any more room on the shelves for containers, the magazine holders are full, the scrap bin won't close.
I don't know where to begin. I've taken a new job and find myself exhausted when I get home and can't find the energy to turn on the machine let alone find what I need in the quilt room. Does anyone have advice?
Just plan to do a little at a time. Take one box or type thing and sort or fold...or only allow yourself a certain amount of time each day...maybe every other day....in no time it will get done. Sometimes, once I start I keep going. I started setting aside scraps or fabric I don't think I will use and then sell it on here when I get a group gathered up. Once it is gone ...I don't mind at all.
Working full-time myself I know what you mean about not sewing of a night. I make sure that I set aside a couple of hours on the weekend as sewing time.
Do not look at the room as a whole. That can turn you off even more. Was there a project that you were working on previously that you could take aside and work on during your own time and speed. Once you have finished off one item it will spur you on the tackle another.
Baby steps, with new job do not be so hard on yourself!!!!
If it's serious and you're "overwhelmed" is really "I have no control", Go to therapy.
Have a glass of wine.
Ask a friend over to quilt with you.
Walk out and close the door.
Go to "Fabriholics Annymous.
Take out 1 project you'd really LIKE to work on. When I was working, quilting was my therapy, so I stress LIKE, not MUST. Give yourself permission to say NO to pressure to work on something else. Then bag up or box up other projects that are overwhelming and store somewhere else (attic, garage, basement). Put sheets over the fabric stash. Out of sight, out of mind.
When you finish one project, go onto another you'd LIKE to do. If you find something that no longer holds you're interest, get rid of it, sell it or give it away. Many guilds have auctions or swap nights.
Let quilting rejeuvenate you, not drain you. When you're happy to be in there again, maybe you'll feel like straightening.
Be nice to yourself.
Oh, yeah, I can relate. DH and I cleaned out my older daughters' home last summer. Figuring out where to start was the biggest job of all! Pack rat mentality combined with 'I don't like to clean' mentality' housekeeping. They were moving, her DH was in crisis mode at work, my daughter chose to have an elective but very big surgery right then, so we got very little help from them. The two kids were as helpful as they could be though, and, of course, we got to spend time with our 'grands', so it wasn't all bad!
Tackle every big job through a series of small jobs.
1) Take a small box with you into your sewing room.
2) Fill it with some of the 'overflowing' fabrics from your stash.
3) Go sit in front of the TV and fold the fabrics. (Bonus: If you have fabrics that you look at and think "What was I thinking when I bought that?", set them aside to give to a guild for charity quilts.)
4) Before you go to bed, go into your sewing room and clear a space on a shelf that is big enough for the folded fabric.
5) Put the folded fabric in the space you cleared.
6) Pick up the fabrics you swept to the floor (that's how I would clear the space! (LOL)) and put it in the now empty box.
7) The next night, repeat from folding to refilling the box for the next night.
That'll be relaxing and will let you 'shop' your stash at the same time. And who doesn't like to fabric shop?
If you're overwhelmed enough to not really want to quilt right now, take a break! Walk away from it for however long you need, set aside the guilt, look at it as a sabbatical, and know that when you do get back to the quilting when life has settled down, you will jump right in with no problem.
I have done this at least once a decade (3 times) in my quilty 'career' -- twice for 2 years duration. I still considered myself a quilter, didn't give away my stash or tools, kept my 'in progress' works in good shape, and found I was even better at the craft when I returned to it. I was refreshed and it showed.
Hopefully you will be too. :)
Jan in VA
...may your bobbin always be full. I heard a lady at a quilt shop say one time, that she would make a list of things she needed to clean in her quilting room. When she marked an item off that "to clean or straighten" list, she would rest by winding a bobbin. When she got her room completely straightened up and could sit down and quilt, she had enough bobbins to quilt for days without ever having to stop and wind one! I've tried to do this, and I must say that when I get into cleaning mode, it sure is nice to sit for a couple of minutes and rest while I fill a bobbin.
I know where you are coming from. I work a full time job, belong to two quilt guilds and take martial arts 3-4 times a week. That doesn't leave a lot of time for quilting in the evenings, plus sometimes I am just too tired. I try to save Sundays as MY day - to do anything I want - not need to do. I usually spend it in my sewing room. Sometimes I sew, sometimes I clean and sometimes I just putter around.
Don't make yourself feel like there is this giant, looming project in your sewing room. Just go in there and decide what you would ENJOY doing and have fun with it. Maybe you spend 15 minutes before you start sewing to do some cleaning. If you do this each time, your room will be cleaned up and organized before you know it. That's what I am going to do, as I have been trying to go through all my fabric and get it bolted up and organized for a while now.
Best of luck to you!
If you are coming home from so tired as all that, then serious consider your priorities. Do you need a little sewing time to relax? Do you need to use your remaining energy to clean house and do family things? Is there a husband to consider? Having guilt over not quilting should be at the bottom of anyone's list. Maybe you need some exercise when you get home instead of some sewing.