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Thread: Need help unlearning childhood habit

  1. #1
    Member fluffynan's Avatar
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    I read often of how many of the people on this board have many projects on the go at one time. Wish I could be the same. I was raised to always finish what I started before starting something new, and it is now affecting my quilting. Sounds daft I know. I find that when I am getting bored or frustrated with my current project I am unable to start something new, much as I would love to, until the current project is finished. I am sure that this will eventually affect the quality of my work. How can I overcome this and enjoy having more than one thing on the go at a time?
    Do any on you have the same hang ups? It sounds so silly as I am in my 60s and should be able to pick up and put down without the idiotic feeling of guilt.
    Sue

  2. #2
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    I try to only have one project at a time. I don't want to be one who has LOT of half finished projects. The only time I have more than one project started at a time is if I need something for the current one that I have to go to Amarillo to get something for.

  3. #3
    saf
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    Can't wait to find the answer to this. I suffer from the same affliction....even reading a book....may not be enjoying it but can't start another until I finish it....you would think that by the time we reach our age (60+) we would be able to make our own rules. Go on I dare you....... :lol:

  4. #4
    Super Member Scrap Happy's Avatar
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    There is absolutely nothing wrong with finishing one quilt before starting another. We all have our own way of doing things that we are comfortable with. :-D

    EDIT: I just realized I mis-read this. Either way is good.

  5. #5
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    I have the opposite problem. Too much stuff started and never finished. Funny how early learning sticks with us forever. (I still can't go to the doctors wearing jeans!) I am in my 60s also.

  6. #6
    Super Member isnthatodd's Avatar
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    Take baby steps. While you are working on your current project, get out the pattern you plan to work on next. Then, in a day or so, start gathering the fabrics and playing with them just a little. Next, organize the prep materials-cutting board, rotary cutter, ruler, etc. Then, see if you can do the cutting on just one piece of fabric. This way, while you are working on something you may have grown tired of, you can dream and work toward the next project without actually having started sewing it.

    I realize this may not be realistic. I have the opposite problem, I can start and have 20 projects going at the same time and it doesn't bother me.

  7. #7
    Super Member leatheflea's Avatar
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    I wish I could stay that focused on one project. Be who you are and just enjoy your quilting experience.

  8. #8
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    I try very hard to finish the current project before starting another. It makes it easier to remember what I am doing and it doesn't get stuffed somewhere to be forgotten. I like the sense of accomplishment I get when I finish a quilt to the end and absolutely hate it when there are multiple projects waiting for me, half done (usually not my fault - I start something then somebody needs something different right now). It also keeps the clutter to a minimum in my sewing room. So no, I see not a thing wrong with finishing what you have started before a new project. :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

  9. #9
    Member fluffynan's Avatar
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    Thanks all. Saf strange as it may seem I don't have the same problem regarding books. If I am not enjoying a book, down it goes and up comes another one.
    Thanks Isntthatodd, sound advice that I will take on board.
    As you all say we are who we are. I am going to try preparing for the next project in future whilst still plowing on with the current one. I am able to put current one away for a few days when necessary but have not been able to do anything else cos it is on my mind. Isntthatodds idea seems a good one.
    Thanks all of you
    Sue

  10. #10
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    Ideally, I like to have two quilt projects going at the same time...a top to work on in front of the tv with DH, and something to quilt in the sewing room. I don't like the pressure of having more than two.

    Janet

  11. #11
    Senior Member shnnn's Avatar
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    What if instead of having a full second project you try something small just to get a bit of a break from your big project? Find a new pattern or technique you'd like to try and make one block, then turn it into a placemat or mini quilt. Something that can realistically be finished very quickly, then back to your quilt.

  12. #12
    Super Member Gramie bj's Avatar
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    I was raised the same way, I tryed to break the habit but found that I don't like to have more than one project going at a time. Some times it cann't be helped. when a emergency (QUILTING TYPE)comes up. I will have more than one going. Such finding out my niece baby shower is in 2 weeks then I stop what i'm doing and make baby gift. Some times it seems I have a lot of these emergencys!LOL but I hate the mess of having 2 or more projects going at one time. I always seem to misplacse something during the process and it takes me forever to find it again.

  13. #13
    Junior Member Lioness3xs's Avatar
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    There is nothing wrong with your thinking, in fact I wish I had more of that quality. I have way too many UFO's. But my projects are like friends, just because you have one means you don't have time and understanding for another. Sometime having more than 1 good friend is wonderful because each has a special quality that can fill a need in your heart for that day. Each of my friends are unique in their special way and color my world just because they're who they are. I want our friendships to go on and on for many years. I would never want to finish one friendship before contacting another friend.

  14. #14
    Super Member lauriejo's Avatar
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    I usually have lots of projects in various stages of construction, but most of them aren't quilting. Do you knit, or embroider, or crochet. Perhaps when you need a break from your current quilt project you could work on a different type of sewing.

  15. #15
    Senior Member SharBear's Avatar
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    I'm the same way - but it's not learned just how I was born!

    Having multiple unfinished projects stresses me out - have to keep them on my mind to remember what I was doing on each one!

    Relax. Just be who you are and enjoy!

  16. #16
    Senior Member sarahrachel's Avatar
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    I'll give you some of my ability to start new ones if you give me some of your finish what you start :) I have 11 going right now and am determined not to start anymore as I have at least one in every stage.

    My suggestion, is there a pattern you want to do? if not, find one and start cutting and just do it, no matter how much that other one is calling you. Maybe start with a small wall hanging or baby quilt. Or do something different than you're doing or have been doing. Go through your stash or go buy a fabric that you wouldn't normally use and try something different. It helps expand the mind. Maybe too much for me...

  17. #17
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    It seems to me you would need to adjust your goal. If your goal is to finish your current project, then you might have difficulty interrupting the flow. If, on the other hand, your goal is to work on different multiple projects, and to enjoy them more, then your goal changes. You have more freedom. It really is about freedom from being enslaved by old habits.

    When I started quilting, I finished each project before starting on the next. Then I made my son and DIL each the same quilt from different fabrics. Then I added two more projects until now, I'm working on anywhwere between 5-8 projects at any given time. A block or a row here and a block or a row there. I enjoy it more when I have lots of variety. At any given time, I'm working on a bed quilt, a table runner, a charity quilt, an applique project, a BOM, etc. I don't finish any one project as quickly as I used to, but I enjoy the process more. Enjoyment is my goal, not completion.

  18. #18
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    Hi Sue, it sounds to me that you'd like to work on more than one thing at once but you were trained to finish one thing first. Those old tapes that play in our heads are hard to change! But they CAN change! :)
    I hope you find a way to let go and do things the way you really want to!! :D
    I would sneak in something small for starters, and then if you get comfortable with it you can branch out.
    Not daft at all! Just training and that's not easy to change.

  19. #19
    mim
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    The most important my deceased husband told me was that if the author didn't care enough to write an interesting book then I didn't have to honor him with plowing thru it. That freed me from a lot of dull books.

    I was taught by my grandmother to always look at the person I was listening to and be alert to the sunday morning sermon speaker. (Granddad was the minister) What freedom to know that just because I started something that wasn't what I had in mind, I could defer it to later (or just leave it). I have walked out of a lot of programs at intermission time. At least I am polite enough to wait til then.

    Mim



    Quote Originally Posted by saf
    Can't wait to find the answer to this. I suffer from the same affliction....even reading a book....may not be enjoying it but can't start another until I finish it....you would think that by the time we reach our age (60+) we would be able to make our own rules. Go on I dare you....... :lol:

  20. #20
    Super Member Glassquilt's Avatar
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    You could start little. How about a take-along project that you can leave in the car.

    I'll bet you multitask at somethings outside of quilting.
    Can you think of different projects as another way of multitasking?


    I have a GFG that I can carry with me.
    I have a quilt on a frame that I am hand quilting.
    I know that I can't finish either one quickly so I keep working on both.

  21. #21
    Super Member Amythyst02's Avatar
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    Oh my I am the exact same way. I have to finish what I am working on before I will allow myself to start another. But even worse is I feel the house has to be nice and clean before I can start working on anything too! Of course then I do not clean alot until I finish my project. I wish I could break myself of these old habits. Maybe its our ages?? Something that was instilled in us as children?

  22. #22
    bj
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    I try to finish each project before I move on to the next. I don't have a lot of storage for WIP's. However, that being said, I do keep a box of sampler blocks that I play with when I'm between projects or when I just need a break from a current project. When I get enough blocks, I make a quilt. I also participate in a BOM club at my LQS. So I have a little variety in my life.

  23. #23
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    I'm really the same way. But, I have found that I do a better job if I have a 2nd project to work on when I get tired/bored/frustrated with the current project. If I just plow on with the 1st project, I start to hurry, and my work shows it. I do limit myself to 2 (maybe 3) projects. More causes stress.

  24. #24
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    You have one big advantage with that mind set. You don't have a lot of unfinished objects taking up your precious storage space. Me, I have some. I would say just do what make you are comfortable with.

  25. #25
    Super Member justflyingin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catrancher
    It seems to me you would need to adjust your goal. If your goal is to finish your current project, then you might have difficulty interrupting the flow. If, on the other hand, your goal is to work on different multiple projects, and to enjoy them more, then your goal changes. You have more freedom. It really is about freedom from being enslaved by old

    I enjoy the process more. Enjoyment is my goal, not completion.
    I think this IS the Answer. Why are you quilting? Is it because you actually enjoy sewing and handling the fabric? If so (ha ha), then multiple projects is not a stresser--it is joy, because multiple projects means many different experiences, chances to touch and handle fabrics, designs, etc. I'm like this. The by-product of my enjoyment of sewing is a finished product. In the meantime, I get great relief/relaxation, and plain old stress-busting out of creating something at the sewing machine or just playing with my fabric. I am PROCESS oriented.

    If however, the end goal of your quilting is to produce a finished product...then one at a time is pretty much all you can handle. Your reason for sewing is different. You are PROJECT oriented.

    A long time ago I read an article about this about a boy who was making a model train set. His family/friends couldn't understand why he wasn't more compelled to finish it...however, he just enjoyed making it. He wrote in the article, that truth was, he didn't care if he ever finished it--he just loved making it--to him it was pure delight. I'm not that bad--but I definitely enjoy the sewing aspect. The finished product is a byproduct of my enjoyment.

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