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

  1. #1
    k3n
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    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'...

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    Super Member quilterella's Avatar
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    I guess I'm one of those" Races to the Finish" girls. I enjoy the process of picking the fabrics and pattern, I enjoy seeing it come together, because I don't follow any pattern to the letter...but...then I start to think about my next project...current project is starting to get monotanous(sp)...okay, I've had enough of sewing this over and over and over again...I want this finished...okay, now I'm done but...I have to do the binding...UGH!!! My DH says my mind is always atleast two projects ahead of what I'm doing, so yes...I am a HurryUp person, but, I do not settle for mediocre work.

  3. #3
    Member brit_kitty's Avatar
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    I honestly enjoy every single minute of making a quilt. I get excited when I get new fabric and start to think about my design, then once everything is cut and set to go I'm excited to start sewing. I'm a total hand quilter and paper piecer so sometimes it's laborious. But I can't wait every day until I have to time to sit down and do some work on my quilt. I always finish one quilt before I start another project but then I only make quilts for myself and family and friends.

  4. #4
    Super Member DebbieJJ's Avatar
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    Most of the time, I enjoy the process. But right now, I'm trying to finish 2 quilts before the end of the month. They are Christmas presents for my dad & step-mom, and for my half-brother.....They are coming from out-of-state at the end of this month for a visit. So I thought I'd give them the gifts to open while they're here, so I can see their faces when they see the quilts. I got my gift from them in July (when we went to their house), but I haven't used it yet. It's a set of kitchen knives, and I already have some great ones that I use.

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    I'm still pretty new sO enjoy the process. I like seeing it unfold!

  6. #6
    k3n
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    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:

  7. #7
    k3n
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    Quote Originally Posted by Painiacs
    I'm still pretty new sO enjoy the process. I like seeing it unfold!
    Perhaps this is it - we should all review our quilting habits from time to time so we KEEP this enthusiasm. It makes me sad when I see folk on here really despondent with a project and forcing themselves to carry on. BIN IT and start something else - life's too short! :-D

  8. #8
    Super Member orangeroom's Avatar
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    I'm usually motivated by time. I enjoy meeting a deadline. I might start a project with plenty of time, but when it comes right down to it, I am motivated by procrastination.

  9. #9
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    When I was younger, and time was of the essence and I was making gifts, I would look for something I could do quickly but still have it look wonderful. Now I'm more relaxed, retired and more time (but not all of it at home at my sewing machine!) and I can do more leisurely sewing. I think for some of us it is the time and place we are at that dictates what pattern or how much time we have to get the project done. :)

  10. #10
    Senior Member stitchengramie's Avatar
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    I take my time when making a quilt. I want the quilt that I make look good.

  11. #11
    k3n
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    Quote Originally Posted by dakotamaid
    When I was younger, and time was of the essence and I was making gifts, I would look for something I could do quickly but still have it look wonderful. Now I'm more relaxed, retired and more time (but not all of it at home at my sewing machine!) and I can do more leisurely sewing. I think for some of us it is the time and place we are at that dictates what pattern or how much time we have to get the project done. :)
    Good point - I have the luxury that quilting is my job so I can guilt-free spend as much time as I like at it! :-D

  12. #12
    Super Member woody's Avatar
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    I love the whole process, especially hand sewing the binding down :mrgreen: such a feeling of accomplishment, but most of the time I'm not in any particular hurry, if life get's in the way, so be it. I'm finding it so relaxing to do some hand piecing while watching TV with the family in the evenings, I never thought I would enjoy hand work, but at the moment I am loving it.
    I love trying new techniques, some of which I have vowed not to repeat :wink: like a large quilt of identical blocks :mrgreen: But I am persistent and feel pleased with myself to have finished it. If I really hated something I think I would cut my losses and just not finish it.
    I'm not really interested in doing just a quick quilt, I want each quilt to teach me something new, to try a new colour combination, a different way of doing the traditional blocks so they look new again. I have only been quilting for 2 1/2 years and I don't think I will run out of new things to try any time soon. So far I have not made a repeat of a pattern except the OBW's (I think they each turn out different)
    DH is only starting to understand how I feel about quilting, he always used to ask, "who is that quilt for?" now I think he is realizing that it doesn't matter who it's for, but what I learn by making it :idea:
    I do enjoy making quilts for others that appreciate them, and they are not always to my taste, but they have all taught me something. :thumbup:

  13. #13
    Super Member hobo2000's Avatar
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    I like to challenge myself in order to grow as a Quilter, to learn new things. I did the "10 minute block" as a coffee quilt for my son and put coffee logos in each center. It was the perfect pattern for this idea. Everyone loves this quilt and it won a blue ribbon at the county fair HE put it in. I generally have three quilts working. One near to finish, one close to halfway and one still in planning or testing of pattern. This way I don't get bored. I never crash on a project. I may totally reorganize my plan and head off in a different direction but stil keep what I have done within the new plan. I like challenge.

  14. #14
    k3n
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    Quote Originally Posted by woody
    I love the whole process, especially hand sewing the binding down :mrgreen: such a feeling of accomplishment, but most of the time I'm not in any particular hurry, if life get's in the way, so be it. I'm finding it so relaxing to do some hand piecing while watching TV with the family in the evenings, I never thought I would enjoy hand work, but at the moment I am loving it.
    I love trying new techniques, some of which I have vowed not to repeat :wink: like a large quilt of identical blocks :mrgreen: But I am persistent and feel pleased with myself to have finished it. If I really hated something I think I would cut my losses and just not finish it.
    I'm not really interested in doing just a quick quilt, I want each quilt to teach me something new, to try a new colour combination, a different way of doing the traditional blocks so they look new again. I have only been quilting for 2 1/2 years and I don't think I will run out of new things to try any time soon. So far I have not made a repeat of a pattern except the OBW's (I think they each turn out different)
    DH is only starting to understand how I feel about quilting, he always used to ask, "who is that quilt for?" now I think he is realizing that it doesn't matter who it's for, but what I learn by making it :idea:
    I do enjoy making quilts for others that appreciate them, and they are not always to my taste, but they have all taught me something. :thumbup:
    I think we're twins separated at birth. :mrgreen: And I think I know by 'twin ESP' the large quilt of identical blocks you're referring to. :lol:

  15. #15
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i like you are an (enjoy the process) kind of gal- i love the process- and it's ok if a quilt takes a year to finally come together- i always have a number of them going on in various stages and sometimes 2 or 3 will *suddenly* come together- which is exciting- but they may have been in the works for months.
    sometimes i have a deadline to meet- but i start projects and sometime later may decide- (i want to give this one to...for their birthday) then i have to concentrate on getting it done on time- but it has always been the process- not the finished project for me-...maybe that's why i have a few that may never be done- it's not the finished project that's important- and for what ever reason-the pleasure of the process has faded...
    i tend to look at the (done in 4 hour) type quilts and think...why would i bother? what a waste of time---but that's just me- i've seen some made that are very nice...just not my cup of tea :)

  16. #16
    k3n
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    Quote Originally Posted by hobo2000
    I like to challenge myself in order to grow as a Quilter, to learn new things. I did the "10 minute block" as a coffee quilt for my son and put coffee logos in each center. It was the perfect pattern for this idea. Everyone loves this quilt and it won a blue ribbon at the county fair HE put it in. I generally have three quilts working. One near to finish, one close to halfway and one still in planning or testing of pattern. This way I don't get bored. I never crash on a project. I may totally reorganize my plan and head off in a different direction but stil keep what I have done within the new plan. I like challenge.
    Or perhaps we're triplets? :wink:

  17. #17
    Super Member Anael's Avatar
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    I love the process but get bored very quickly also. It's hard to make so many identical blocks! So I have lots of projects, small ones and large quilts. If I would have to finish before I could start a new one I would give up on quilting.

  18. #18
    Super Member Murphy's Avatar
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    I want to learn from each quilt I make. I love the whole process so fast is not necessary for me.

  19. #19
    Super Member woody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by k3n
    I think we're twins separated at birth. :mrgreen: And I think I know by 'twin ESP' the large quilt of identical blocks you're referring to. :lol:
    :lol: :lol: :lol:

    Or is it great minds think alike :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  20. #20
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by orangeroom
    I'm usually motivated by time. I enjoy meeting a deadline. I might start a project with plenty of time, but when it comes right down to it, I am motivated by procrastination.
    this describes me as well

  21. #21
    Super Member jillaine's Avatar
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    I'm a hybrid.

    I love the process, too, but there are some things that are too tedious for me, so for those reasons, I will do as much strip-piecing and time-saving as possible. That said, you'll probably find it ironic that I *love* hand-sewing the binding at the end. And I also take the time to do Sharon Shambers' hand-basting of the sandwich. (The results are SO much better when I do this.)

    I've started doing more hand-quilting. I also love this, too, but it's taking too long. I love the control and the look it provides, but it really slows down the completion of the quilt (and therefore getting started on another project!).

    I've started teaching myself FMQ because the other thing I find tedious is standard machine quilting. Mostly because I've never been super satisfied with the results. (They've gotten better since doing Shambers' hand basting, though.)

  22. #22
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    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

  23. #23
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    I like everything but seem to avoid the patterns that are geared towards a super fast quilt. I am definitely not aposed to simplifying techniques. Where I get bogged down is the actual quilting. Maybe if I had a long arm? I also avoid projects that would keep me tied down for years on the same quilt. I just simply have too many quilts too make. So does that put me some where in the middle?

  24. #24
    Senior Member lfletcher's Avatar
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    I do a little of both. If I spend a lot of time on a quilt, I generally want to do something quick the next time.

  25. #25
    Super Member sparkys_mom's Avatar
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    Well, I'm a 3 year old quilter (that is to say I've been quilting 3 years) and I have yet to achieve anything "wonderful" but I do enjoy the whole process. So far, I have always used patterns, but I've chosen my own fabrics rather than use kits. Exception being a few kits supplied by Quilts For Kids.
    I enjoy choosing the fabrics, piecing, even pin basting the sandwich, and I love the feel of the quilt as it becomes a quilt. I'll never forget the first one I made and what a delightful experience that was when the top, batting, and back suddenly started to feel like a real quilt.
    I've started looking at patterns now with an eye to modifying them. As fall and winter approach, I'm looking forward to having more time to do just that.

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