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Thread: Enjoy the process or race to the finish line?

  1. #26
    Senior Member Hen3rietta's Avatar
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    For me it's all the process. If I'm not happy with my choices for the next step or if something just isn't clicking, I'll often let a project sit until I have an ah-ha! moment. Fine wine needs to mature and sometimes so does quilting. IMHO

  2. #27
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    I wouldn't call mine "race to the finish" quilts. I have made some "for me" difficult quilts and right now I am in the charity giving mode and don't feel it is necessary to make some difficult or fussy pattern. I like to "enjoy" the process of quilting and not have to keep reading and rereading directions. I love doing strippy and scrappy quilts using my large and growing stash. I am at that time in my life when it is time to just sit back and enjoy life moving around me, therefore I do quickie quilts which makes for fewer WIPs or UFOs.

  3. #28
    Super Member janRN's Avatar
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    What a great thread. I'm always amazed at posts that say "look what I did today" and it shows a completed quilt top. And it's lovely--I'm not criticizing. That's just not me. I worked for 40 years and in that time did a few quickie quilts but always, always wanted to just be a quilter. Now that I only work a few days a month, I'm doing those involved patterns. Just did the Farmers Wife Sampler quilt and it took 1 year; I enjoyed every single minute of it and look forward to the next Farmers Wife Pony quilt.
    I also hate repeating blocks; a 4-block table runner of the same block has me bored by the 3rd block. I think the quilts with lots of the same blocks are stunning, it's just not me.
    I guess we're alike but different. Each quilter is unique to their own style and preference and talent level.
    Thanks for this thread--it's so interesting to learn more about fellow quilters.

  4. #29
    Super Member May in Jersey's Avatar
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    Most of the time my quilts go slowly because I take time to coordinate the fabrics, sew the blocks correctly to make sure the quilts will look its best. There are times when I need a quick quilt so I use a simple pattern and machine stitch the binding down instead of handsewing it, usually these are baby or kid quilts or ones that I make for my guild's Giving Closet.

    Then there are times when I feel stressed so I get out my scrap stash and make a bunch of string blocks. They go so quickly that I can make 24 of them in a morning, just enough for a small quilt top that I most likely would donate to HeartStrings Project. Sometimes I just donate the blocks, 24 for a small quilt or 48 for a larger one. When I finish my stress is relieved, my scrap stash is reduced a bit and I feel good about donating to a group that makes Charity quilts.

  5. #30
    k3n
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    Thanks for all the comments - it is really so interesting to have a little peek into other quilters' though processes. I really identify with the comment about the moment when a quilt becomes a quilt - I love that too - when I start the quilting and the texture starts going into it, it really comes alive. I'd love a long arm one day but for now am enjoying FMQ on my Janome - at least then I actually handle the piece - though if it were on a long arm frame, I guess I could stroke it lots. :-D

    By the 'race to the finish'comment, I didn't necessarily mean that all of these would be easy or straightforward projects - my question was more about the attitude of mind while working. Even a complex project could be rushed and not enjoyed. I'm so happy to read that so many ppl DO actually enjoy the process - some comments I've read in other threads recently have made me think that too many see quilt-making as a chore. Hence my OP. :D

  6. #31
    k3n
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    Quote Originally Posted by janRN
    What a great thread. I'm always amazed at posts that say "look what I did today" and it shows a completed quilt top. And it's lovely--I'm not criticizing. That's just not me. I worked for 40 years and in that time did a few quickie quilts but always, always wanted to just be a quilter. Now that I only work a few days a month, I'm doing those involved patterns. Just did the Farmers Wife Sampler quilt and it took 1 year; I enjoyed every single minute of it and look forward to the next Farmers Wife Pony quilt.
    I also hate repeating blocks; a 4-block table runner of the same block has me bored by the 3rd block. I think the quilts with lots of the same blocks are stunning, it's just not me.
    I guess we're alike but different. Each quilter is unique to their own style and preference and talent level.
    Thanks for this thread--it's so interesting to learn more about fellow quilters.
    You're welcome - I'm nosy I guess, I'm just glad others find it interesting as well. :-D

  7. #32
    k3n
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    Quote Originally Posted by May in Jersey
    Then there are times when I feel stressed so I get out my scrap stash and make a bunch of string blocks.
    Now THIS I can relate to - quilting as therapy! If I'm wound up about something, I FMQ pebbles - acres of 'em if necessary! Once you've had a while of ONLY having to think what size, shape and where the next pebble is going, the worries of the world just melt away... :-D

  8. #33
    k3n
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrider
    For me, it's the process. I never do 'matching' blocks anymore, choosing instead to design and make quilts that are dimensional or optical patterns or are small art or mixed media quilts.

    It's all about the journey and what I learn along the way. Sometimes the side roads are the best part. Sometimes it's even a dead end, but the lessons learned make those worthwhile just the same. It's never about getting to the end by the shortest route...you see so much more by bicycle than by jet plane. :D
    Absolutely! :-D

    Sorry to fill up the pages by quoting everyone but there's so much here that's ringing true for me. In fact, there's a lot more comments been made that I'd like to quote, but I fear you'll get fed up with me. :mrgreen:

  9. #34
    Super Member LindaR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by k3n
    I know this subject has been discussed before but then so have many others and we still always manage to find new things to say. :mrgreen:

    I see so many threads on here about 'mile a minute', '10 minute blocks', 'quilt in a day', 'fast and frenzied' (OK I made the last one up!) and I really don't get it. There are also a bazillion books on the same theme. To me quilting is my passion and I love doing it. So I enjoy the process, the actual journey of designing, selecting fabrics, piecing, quilting, embellishing and binding.

    If I just wanted to get something done quick then I could buy something cheap. Of course I sometimes have to work to deadlines, on a commission piece, a piece for a show or a gift for someone and I'm not referring to those kinds of occasions.

    But this is a serious question - can all you 'race to the finishers' explain to me what actual pleasure you get if any from the process? Or is it only the sense of achievement in the finished quilt? Or is it that boredom sets in and you just want to move on to the next project? I can relate to the last one which is why I operate a multi-WIP system, but everything gets worked on and finished in the end and with the exception of SOME of the occasions with deadlines mentioned above, I ALWAYS enjoy the process - otherwise, what's the point? :-)

    Just askin'...
    just about my 2nd year seriouslyquilting I decided that doing the production line "thing" was not working...I started picking more complicated patterns, applique, something that took a little more time and thought. Even hand quilted some pieces. The quilts meant more to me that something I just sat down, sewed, machine quilted, done and on to the next one. I "get" it completely and I think all quilters eventually get there.... :thumbup:

  10. #35
    k3n
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    It's difficult to word without appearing to be critical or arrogant but do you think that the process enjoyment comes with experience then? And the rushing thing is a newbie phenomena? Because if I look back a few years, I used to rush. Not in the beginning when I hand pieced and quilted but when I started using a machine. But I think I saw finished quilts on patterns, wanted the quilt and started in on it without thinking if it would be fun to make. Now I only work on things that I KNOW I will enjoy doing.

  11. #36
    Super Member JanTx's Avatar
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    With me it's an "age and stage" thing. I teach full time and have a piano studio with 22 students after school. My quilting time is very limited so the "get 'er done" style fits my life right now. I'm also working on a Farmer's Wife Sampler so that one will take a while, but I get a sense of accomplishment from just doing each block. Other than that it's quick projects, smaller projects, and easy ones!

  12. #37
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    I love the process. I started out doing quicker projects to get some experience but now I want something more. I want to be challenged. This has actually led me to different genres of quilting. Before I was doing more "modern" styles. Larger, wonky blocks, faux improv blocks and such. Now I'm moving more towards more traditional styles and some applique.

    I do a few other crafts as well but the ones that stick for me are the process rather than product crafts. Quilting is number 1 to my heart, number 2 is spinning and then knitting. I love the process.

  13. #38
    Super Member May in Jersey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by k3n
    Quote Originally Posted by May in Jersey
    Then there are times when I feel stressed so I get out my scrap stash and make a bunch of string blocks.
    Now THIS I can relate to - quilting as therapy! If I'm wound up about something, I FMQ pebbles - acres of 'em if necessary! Once you've had a while of ONLY having to think what size, shape and where the next pebble is going, the worries of the world just melt away... :-D
    You said it sister. Helps keep troubles/worries in perspective and not let them get blown out of proportion.

  14. #39
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by k3n
    It's difficult to word without appearing to be critical or arrogant but do you think that the process enjoyment comes with experience then? And the rushing thing is a newbie phenomena? Because if I look back a few years, I used to rush. Not in the beginning when I hand pieced and quilted but when I started using a machine. But I think I saw finished quilts on patterns, wanted the quilt and started in on it without thinking if it would be fun to make. Now I only work on things that I KNOW I will enjoy doing.
    Not necessarily. I've never been a 'get it done fast' person...with anything creative anyway. I grew up surrounded by artists...parents, grandparents, their friends, my friends...and, even with deadlines, there was never a rush for any of them to get things done just to get it done. The passion is in the doing and without passion the result is flat...it may still be very good, but it's flat and you really can see the difference.

    Perhaps for many the passion grows with experience...like love for another person grows the more time you spend with them, the more you learn about them? ;)

  15. #40
    Super Member tutt's Avatar
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    I'm a hybrid, but I try not to start anything new until I finish a project. I'm fighting the inherited "hording" disease, but don't know if I'm winning. I need fast finished projects or I lose interest, and since I'm still working my time is limited. I'm so stressed by the time I get home at night I don't do anything but veg so I only have the weekends and limited time. Doesn't leave much time for "fun" stuff.

  16. #41
    k3n
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrider
    Perhaps for many the passion grows with experience...like love for another person grows the more time you spend with them, the more you learn about them? ;)
    Or not depending on the person! :mrgreen: :lol:

    But that is a good analogy. :-D

  17. #42
    Super Member Gramie bj's Avatar
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    I only quilt because I enjoy it. That being said, there are times I use the fast and frenzied patterns, unexpectd gifts needed, my donated quilts when I want to get several ready to go in a short period. I have even been known to birth and tie a quilt. LOL

  18. #43
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    I work fulltime also and can relate to that "too tired to quilt at night".

    I an driven by procrastination also and only hurry when a deadline is approaching. I also tend to underestimate how long something is going to take me! (The quick and simple wall hanging for Halloween was started end of September and through resewings and weekend commitments is not done yet!)

    I too do not understand the rush to finish a quilt in four hours phenomena either. If I am going to put time into a quilt I want to enjoy the making.

  19. #44
    k3n
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewmary

    I too do not understand the rush to finish a quilt in four hours phenomena either. If I am going to put time into a quilt I want to enjoy the making.
    The vast majority of us seem to be saying this - so WHO is buying all those dang books and patterns? :?

  20. #45
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    I am very ADD, so I love the idea and buying the fabrics, but I get bored easily, so by the time I am piecing it all together, I am looking to the next one. I find table runners are about my speed - they are mostly done before I get itchy!!

    Also, I am still a beginner, so the process is difficult for me, still. It does not yet come naturally, sewing difficult seams, etc.

    Nancy

  21. #46
    Super Member Mad Mimm's Avatar
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    I would also say I am a hybrid in the sense that sometimes I like to work on shorter projects (Placemats, table runners, baby quilts) so I can have that sense of accomplishment that comes with a finished project. That being said, I am a VERY SLOW quilter. I don't quilt that often and it takes me a while to blow the dust off my skills and re-engage them after long stints away from my sewing room. I am currently trying to get over that habit, and replacing TV time with quilting time.

    I do enjoy the process - there is something special in the evolution of a quilt from pattern to finish that I really cherish. But there are also times when I don't want to be too challenged. Sometimes I get bogged down by my own perfectionist tendencies so it is nice to have a "no-brainer" project to unwind with. It gets me back in touch with that enjoyment and process that inspires me in the first place. That is when I turn to "quick" quilts. Simple strip piecing, block patterns, etc., are perfect for blowing off the dust, winding down after or in between working on a really challenging quilt, or helping to overcome a quilting block on another project.

    I do not rush though. I am simply not capable of rushing. I have been quilting for 4 years and have barely gone beyond basic piecing techniques because I labor over the process and nitpick my work to death. That being said, I LOVE the process and find it very liberating!

  22. #47
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    Quilt in a day sounds really nice but what size quilt are they talking about? 10 minute block - I've heard on here where that has taken a lot longer than 10 minutes. I think these titles are named this way to try to entice you to try them. I'm not fast by any means. I usually make large bed size quilts (only 1 baby quilt) - the repetition doesn't bother me too much as I learned in my factory job to play mind games while doing repetitious jobs. I guess I'm not too worried about speed as right now they're all for me and hopefully someday (when I'm gone) my kids and grandkids if my kids ever give me any. I do sometimes have more than 1 quilt going because I like a pattern and want to start it. Setting a record for the most quilts in a lifetime is not my goal but rather to enjoy what I do make.

  23. #48
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    Depends on the pattern and whether I like the fabric...

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by k3n
    Thank you for your replies - they all make perfect sense! quilterella, I can understand what you're saying - perhaps the patterns and techniques you are choosing could be reviewed? Perhaps you could look at techniques that will hold your interest throughout the project? I can't make for example a large quilt from loads of identical blocks - I'd get bored very quickly and give up! I stopped beating myself up about leaving something half finished a looooong time ago. I have around 6 tops waiting to be quilted and a couple of other WIPs at different stages. If something has really lost my interest, or isn't turning out as I envisaged. I refuse to MAKE myself finish things I've come to hate - I've even cut things back up to salvage what fabric I can and binned the rest if I know it's a dead horse I'm flogging. I DO leave them to one side for a while first though to see if I come back later with fresh eyes I can fall back in love!

    Brit kitty (great name!) I admire your dedication - I really do. :-D

    Debbie, those are DEADLINES so I'll forgive you! :lol:

  25. #50
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    Thank you k3n I'm a Brit and love cats so I figured it fit me LOL. As for the dedication sometimes it wavers and I am tempted to start something else but I do love the process of finishing a quilt. I have 2 nieces who I'm waiting patiently to start having babies so that I can start a whole new range of quilting ideas, :D

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