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Thread: Can't finish my quilts

  1. #1
    Super Member annesthreads's Avatar
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    Can't finish my quilts

    Ive been sitting here thinking about my inability to finish my quilts. My excuse used to be that I had a sewing machine that was very temperamental when it came to quilting, so tops would be put aside because I couldnt face the battle. Now I have a new machine that quilts beautifully and Ive quilted several of my projects but then theyve been put aside again rather than bound and finished. On Leah Days Quilt Along this week, the subject is finishing a quilt, using a little wholecloth quilt that weve just made and Im conscious of a real reluctance to do it, though the quilt has come out far better than I could ever have hoped, and Im thrilled with it.

    So why this reluctance to see the finished results of all my hard work on this and other quilts? Im puzzled, though I think it may lie somewhere in the past for over 40 years I firmly believed I was useless at anything creative. I was told as much by teachers and others, and was in the shadow of a very creatively talented sister. I was only rescued from that by a dear friend who, 8 years ago, patiently taught me to quilt, having a lot more confidence in me than I had in myself. Youd think that would make me eager to finish my work every completed project proves the critics wrong and underlines my creative abilities. But theres still this deep reluctance to get on and do it.

    Can anyone else relate to this? Has anyone dealt with similar issues? Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    I don't know about you, but for me, what I do is like my children and when I finish them completely it is difficult to let the 'go.' They are my precious ones and I really don't want others judging them. I was also told how I was lacking in soooo many skills, so now I have to rephrase those messages in order to move on. Not an easy task.

    I do finish all my charity projects and that is OK.

    Let me know what works for you. Maybe it will work for me too.

    ali
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.
    ali

  3. #3
    Super Member Becky Crafts's Avatar
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    When folks try to tell me I can't do something, I do it just to prove them wrong! When I first started quilting two yrs ago my DH told me the Dresden Star block was too far advanced for me. I got upset, so I put one together just to show him I could & I made a beautiful tote bag for my granddaughter out of it for Christmas that year! It's not about what others think of your skills, it's how you value yourself that counts!! Have fun with whatever you apply yourself to!! :-)
    Live Simply, Love Generously, Care Deeply,Speak Kindly, Leave the rest to GOD

  4. #4
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
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    If you post pictures of your near finished quilts, I am sure you will get a ton of compliments and then will feel ready to finish them. Instead of thinking about finishing them, think about the fun of binding them. Some people hate binding but I absolutely love doing the binding. It is one of my favorite steps. It is relaxing, not taxing and can be done in front of the television. Try to have fun with it.

  5. #5
    Super Member karenpatrick's Avatar
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    Perhaps you are suffering from clinical depression. The inability to finish anything is one the signs and symptoms of depression. I have suffered from depression for many years and have been on anti-depressants for years. Perhaps it's time to see your doctor.

  6. #6
    Senior Member CAJAMK's Avatar
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    Yes, I can relate! I have a "Super Sister" creative genius! Really! But the older I get the more I realize that we are 2 different people and so what if I am not as creative as she? This is what I enjoy doing. I also make quilts for sick children. I am sure they are not looking over how good or bad the quilt is. Knowing something I made beautiful or not is going to brighten someone's day keeps me finishing each quilt sooner (or sometimes) later.

  7. #7
    Super Member nanna-up-north's Avatar
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    Alas, I can relate. I love to put tops together but the quilting slows me down. I love hand quilting but that takes so long. I have one on the frame right now and I've been working on it every day but I leave for the summer cabin soon and it will sit till next fall..... still unfinished. And machine quilting??? It just never turns out as nice..... no matter what I do the squares aren't as straight and smooth as with the hand quilting. So, I understand your frustration. I have to make myself do the quilting..... love the pieceing.

    I do like hopetoquilt's idea though..... show us what you have and we'll encourage you.

  8. #8
    Super Member JenniePenny's Avatar
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    For me, I feel a profound sadness when I finish a quilt. It's very hard to even explain. I want to avoid that sadness, so I prolong finishing. The sadness is there even if the quilt is the best and prettiest I have made. I have been known to simply drop the quilt on the floor after the last stitch on the binding is done. Why? Because all the planning and preparation was what got my juices flowing. I think it's like having a child grow up and not need his parents anymore. The end result may be what you had hoped it would be all those years, but it hurts to have the process over.
    "He who masters the grey everyday is a hero."
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  9. #9
    Super Member 117becca's Avatar
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    I'm sorry you lose interest and don't get the quilts finished. PLEASE show them - we all love to look at folks' beautiful works. I hope you find the joy that comes from finishing the quilt...Or maybe you'll find someone who will finish them because they don't like to put tops together..
    my name is becca and i'm a quilt-a-holic :-)

  10. #10
    Senior Member pinkberrykay's Avatar
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    As I Coast Guard wive I have met a lot of women who worry about what others think. I always tell them it is none of their business. I know after 40 years its hard to put those negative words behind you, but remember you can do anything you set your mind to. You are your own person with a talent nothing like your sisters. Talents come in many shapes, sizes and ability. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The Quilters eye sees things that a non quilters eye doesn't see. Please share your quilts with us, let us praise you and build your confidence to finish them. Maybe you can dedicate a quilt to a needy family in your community, this commitment could be the kick in the bottom you need to finish it and give it to someone.

  11. #11
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    Making a quilt for someone is the lift you need. When that person sees it and holds it is all you will need. Quilters are talented and very creative workers. YOU are too. Give it a try.
    learn each and every day,memories or play.

  12. #12
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    Maybe you just need to ENJOY the process of the quiltmaking for itself. Do what you like & forget about quilt police. I had someone tell me that in the beginning & so I've gone with my own ideas & really liked the quilt. I don't have to make it to be perfect but to give myself joy & pleasure in the making of it. And if someone likes and enjoys it too then that's all the better.

  13. #13
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    I am slooowly working through my UFO's as my FMQ improves. When I get a few done, I am buying a quilt rack! I've always admired people's houses that have their finished quilts folded on a quilt rack but never had a nice selection to display. Maybe you need the same goal. Finish up enough to make a nice display on a rack and watch the compliments roll in when people come to visit. I always get lots of compliments when I show finished quilts but I am kind of shy of pulling them out if people/family are visiting.

  14. #14
    Super Member gramajo's Avatar
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    Annesthreads, I know you can do it. Please post pictures so we can all give you lots of encouragement.

  15. #15
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    I wish I could help...
    Penny aka PLS 1946

  16. #16
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    I don't have a place to store quilts but have room to store quilt tops. So I finish the top and when I need a quilt I have the top done and can get it long arm quilted and bound in a short time. If I am making a quilt for a certain person or reason I have no problem finishing them. I love to see them quilted and bound. It just makes something that was beautiful so much more beautiful and so fulfilling to see them done.
    Lorraine

  17. #17
    Junior Member judys's Avatar
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    As someone recently said, Dr. Phil I think, "We wouldn't worry so much about what others thought about us if we realized how seldom they do.". Love that quote!
    Quote Originally Posted by pinkberrykay View Post
    As I Coast Guard wive I have met a lot of women who worry about what others think. I always tell them it is none of their business. I know after 40 years its hard to put those negative words behind you, but remember you can do anything you set your mind to. You are your own person with a talent nothing like your sisters. Talents come in many shapes, sizes and ability. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The Quilters eye sees things that a non quilters eye doesn't see. Please share your quilts with us, let us praise you and build your confidence to finish them. Maybe you can dedicate a quilt to a needy family in your community, this commitment could be the kick in the bottom you need to finish it and give it to someone.

  18. #18
    Super Member Raggiemom's Avatar
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    I like to make the quilt tops but have to force myself to finish them. Usually I let a few tops pile up then finish a couple at a time. How about selecting one of your smaller quilts and just tell yourself you're going to do the first step of the finding today, then the next step tomorrow. If you have a plan, you might be able to get a few done that way. Good luck!
    Heather

  19. #19
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Some people like piecing, some like quilting, others like binding. It is normal for one person to prefer one part of the process over another. Can you find someone to finish them for you? Maybe you could barter.

    As for the WHY - I watched Oprah the other day when she had Tony Robbinson on. Not that I am a big fan, but the subject interested me. They talked about the story WE TELL OURSELVES. For example, part of my story (I had to admit) is that nothing matters because I don't matter. At a conscious level I know that is not true, but subconsiously...that's another story. You need to find out what you are telling yourself. Trust me, you'll know whether you are speaking the truth. (You can only kid yourself for so long) Once you figure out what the negative story is, then you can change it to a more positive approach. Try it and see.
    Martina
    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric!

  20. #20
    Power Poster RedGarnet222's Avatar
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    For whatever reason that you have allowed this to be the case in the past, remember that you are you and your sibling is your sibling. Just shine from your own candle.

    Everyone has talent in my family too, great talent. But, we have all different styles and mediums. Just be kind to yourself and do it. Enjoy the process and finish those quilts. Then spend some time staring and enjoying your work. Most of the "cure" is recognizing that there was a problem and addressing it positivly!

    There are videos at youtube on binding. I suggest that maybe if you watch a few, you would get motivated and feel confident to finish them up. There are also great books out on the process of machine quilting now. They are inspiring and informative and might help with the finishing. I think once you finish one, you will see how artsy and fun it is.

    You are a individual. Remember that and value your work and talent.
    Last edited by RedGarnet222; 04-06-2012 at 08:37 AM.
    RedGarnet222

    "Take your needle, my child, and work at your pattern ... It will come out a rose by and by. Life is like that ...one stitch at a time, taken patiently."
    *Oliver Wendell Holms

  21. #21
    Super Member nena's Avatar
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    God gave us all different gifts. Your sister may have many talents and yours may just be making other people happy by a smile or just helping out someone. We are all special in our own way. My one daughter can do anything crafty and do it great. My other daughter can't do decorating or crafts at all, but she is a great person at paper work and now is going into nursing. She is a great people person. So different. Just remember you are a SPECIAL person to all of us and you go get to binding those quilts and we want to see them when they are finished. OK I'm done. lol

  22. #22
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    It could be low self esteem. I find it hard sometimes to finish or start something because I doubt myself. It is a lot harder when you've been told you can't do something all your life, those little voices are hard to ignore. Just keep pushing forward, even small steps move you forward. Don't talk yourself out of finishing your quilts, they'll turn out just fine. Right now I'm looking at a quilt that I need to finish the binding, scary stuff, I hid it in my cabinet months ago, but today I will finish it. (Or as soon as I get sick of looking at it laying on by sewing table.)

  23. #23
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    My Mom went to her grave thinking she was dumb because her parents wouldn't let her and her older sister go to high school, but let her other sisters go! She was 2nd oldest and they lived on a farm and her parents needed her to help out at home. She left home at 15 and made her way in the world.

    She helped me with college, but then seemed to resent anything I said to her, and would often follow a comment with, "You think you're so smart!". It was hard for me to talk with her because if she didn't like what I said, I always got that back in my face. Finally had to say to her that she brought me up to think and helped me get an education, so why did she expect that I would agree with her 100% on everything? That improved things for a long time.

    When she was deep in Altzheimer territory, she brought up her resentment about not going to college, and said, she was just as smart as the other girls, and her parents could have afforded to send her, why didn't they? Then she said it always made her feel dumb! My response, and this was honest, was that she was one of the smartest women I know, that she could do many things that I could never hope to do and do them well! Then I listed a number of things she'd done and told her how much I admired her for her achievements. Her response, "You think I'm smart?" She smiled and we dropped the subject.

    Don't let the script others programmed into you ruin your life. Write another script, one where you are what you want to be, and follow that script.

  24. #24
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hopetoquilt View Post
    If you post pictures of your near finished quilts, I am sure you will get a ton of compliments and then will feel ready to finish them. Instead of thinking about finishing them, think about the fun of binding them. Some people hate binding but I absolutely love doing the binding. It is one of my favorite steps. It is relaxing, not taxing and can be done in front of the television. Try to have fun with it.
    I wish I were like you. I dislike binding. I have quilts that are 5 years old that need binding. And I have a binding machine and a roller to roll up the finished binding and I still haven't used them.
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
    "Remember that your instincts are more important than rules"

  25. #25
    Senior Member omaluvs2quilt's Avatar
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    I only like binding because then the quilt is finished and I can wash it and give it away!

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