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Thread: Overwhelmed with it all

  1. #1
    Senior Member Missi's Avatar
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    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?

  2. #2
    Super Member Treasureit's Avatar
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    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.

  3. #3
    Super Member busy fingers's Avatar
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    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.

    Good luck.

  4. #4
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    Baby steps, with new job do not be so hard on yourself!!!!

  5. #5
    Senior Member petthefabric's Avatar
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    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.

  6. #6
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    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?

  7. #7
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    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
    Jan in VA
    Living in the foothills
    peacefully colors my world.
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/members...bums19552.html

  8. #8
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    ...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.
    ~Laura

  9. #9
    Senior Member RonieM's Avatar
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    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!

  10. #10
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    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.

    The only way I'll drop 10 pounds is to go shopping in England. - Maxine-

  11. #11
    Power Poster gabeway's Avatar
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    Dedicate one or two hours on days off and set an easy goal to reach - like organize reds in stash - or get quilt kits organized. We made up a card file of projects to do and when we have time and energy draw one out to complete.
    Wayne & Gabriele, the married quilters.

  12. #12
    Super Member Gramie bj's Avatar
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    Just 15 min a day does wonders! I set a timer for 15 min start in one corner of the room, only big enough that you can reach without taking a step, if something doesn't belong there put it in the general area it does belong in. Yes at some point you will look at an area and say that's worse than I started! LOL but you only worry about the 1-2 foot section you are working on. At the end of the 15 min. you stop. The first few times you do this you may have to stay in the same place until you get to the bottom of your mess, It took me almost 30 min, to finish my first 2 foot section. LOL I usually tackle my 15 min just before bed. Oh ya if you find things that belong where you have already picked up, put them away where they belong. Before you know it you will be squeezing in another 15 min, hear and there, waiting for water to boil, in between loads of laundry, just remember you can do anything for 15 min. than walk away.

  13. #13
    Super Member owlvamp's Avatar
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    Wow sorry ladies I don't feel this way. All my fabric will fit in a tub. I am on such a tight budget I usually buy just for the project I'm working on. I am lucky if I have a grocery bag of scraps. Then I do,have some people who give for charity's that I am working on. But they get finished and out the door they go. I'll give you all my address and you can send me your scraps or fabric you dont want. And just maybe one day I would have the same problem. I think it would be a blessing if I did. LOL let me know if you want my address.
    Sandra
    Treat people the way you want to be treated!!

  14. #14
    Senior Member Missi's Avatar
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    Everyone thank you for your wonderful words of advice. I am prioritizing just as recommended and saying NO to a few requests by others. I did say yes to a cry for help and helped my secretaries daughter today with her home ec quilting project. Poor kid is a perfectionist and their teacher gave them NO direction with their projects. All her squares were different sizes and they were told to just sew the squares together. No direction about seam allowances, pressing, etc. What a mess. We worked all afternoon and have a wonderful project almost done. She is thrilled and I was so happy I had the knowledge to help her.

  15. #15
    Super Member Mitch's mom's Avatar
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    Close the door until you are adapted to your new job and to working full time. None of the stuff in your sewing room is eating anything so it isn't like it will cost you money to close the door.
    It was very nice of you to help the girl with her project.

  16. #16
    QM
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    Power Poster QM's Avatar
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    I am in agreement with Jan. Quilting is for pleasure and relaxation. Give yourself a break. Starting a new job is quite enough stress. Don't stress over quilting.

  17. #17
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    When I worked full time I claimed Sunday afternoon as all mine. I stayed in my sewing room all afternoon. When you work full time you have to have a some hours as your own not doing what DH and the kids (if older) thinks you should be doing for them.
    Got fabric?

  18. #18
    Super Member pumpkinpatchquilter's Avatar
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    Aww you sound stressed. I know when things get really busy and really cluttered I feel overwhelmed and sort of like things will just never get better. I can relate to your situation, I don't work but I have three children and I just recently decided to launch a small long arm quilting business. The most important thing for me, is make sure you get sleep. It's not the end of the world if your clutter sits until a time when you feel like you can tackle it. You will get there. I like what the other ladies have said in, do a little at a time if it helps. Then at least you feel like you're doing something about it, but it's not all at once.

    Life is fluid and we won't always have time for our hobby. But just keep that in mind, right now is not forever. Soon you will adjust and find time to do fit in the things that you love to do.
    Valerie Smith - pumpkinpatchquilter
    Obsessed Quilter and APQS Long Arm Machine Quilter
    www.pumpkinpatchquilter.com

  19. #19
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
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    I've seen that quilt room...upstairs. About 6 years ago and the 15 years prior to that.
    The 15 minute timer was the method I chose. If I cared enough to buy it, then I cared enough to be a good steward of it. and being on the timer makes you work fast, no getting side tracked by catalogs, new ideas for wannamakeit...

    I've maintained a lovely room since then by putting things away after I was finished with them.
    If something comes in something has to go out (flylady rule)
    Went on the fabric wagon (that was back in 2001)
    Leave my project when finished for the day in a way that I can come in, sit down, and go to work on it.
    teach myself a finished top is ok, people won't send finished tops to the dump, but they will send UFO's by the dozens.

    I love my quilt room, I wish the same for you.

  20. #20
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    hey, owl vamp. I can send you some scrap fabric. I have some I don't need or probably won't be using anytime soon. My sis and I bought out a lady who closed her quilting store and we split the works. A lot of it is baby fabric for quilt kits etc but we did receive other things as well like ribbons, embroidery threads on large cones, loads of lace, solids for backings, some thin, some thicker etc. I have some boxes of squares already cut out. She sewed while she was in the shop and made quilt kits etc. If you are serious all you have to pay is postage.

  21. #21
    Super Member kateyb's Avatar
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    One of the things that helped me was to put UFO's, kits, uncut projects together in tubs which I labeled numerically (1. 2. 3, etc.) wrote down what was in each one and typed out on a master list of each tubs contents and where I stored the tub if not in my sewing room. Then when I want to work on a project I can find it quickly without wasting the time to go through all of them. When I finish that project I mark it off the list. Seeing all those crossed of projects makes me feel good. If I need a gift for someone I read my master list to find something to make before going to the store to buy something I may already have that would work. I used to keep my fat quarters on shelves that I had to keep moving around to find a color I wanted. After a car accident and hurting my ribs it was painful to keep moving those stacks. Now they are in drawers standing up in one level, sorted by color, two to three colors to a drawer. I can open the drawer, find a color I want quickly and easily. I don NOT allow myself to buy anymore FQ's unless there is room in the drawer for that color. I also have a drawer system for scraps by color. When I need a small amout of fabric for a BOM I go to the scraps first, then FQ's. Yardage is stored on shelves standing up like books; easy to see, easy to get to.
    I did all this in half hour increments starting in one section of the room at a time. I started by the door and worked to the right.
    Good luck. It is easier to feel like working when the space isn't overwhelming.

  22. #22
    Super Member JulieR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Missi View Post
    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?
    Let yourself off the hook! There's no law that says your space has to be clean. It doesn't HAVE to be organized. You don't HAVE to sew a stitch. Breathe!

    I'm in a horrible place with work right now and I have no energy and no time for anything, it seems. So of course I've started a new project, which is ridiculous...BUT, it's one that I can do little bits at a time, some in and some out of the sewing room. I can take bits to work to entice me away from my desk at lunch. The process is very grounding for me. However, on days when I just can't do it, I DON'T -- and I don't feel one bit bad about it.

    I guess what I mean is if it feels good, do it. If not, so what? Your projects are patient. They can party in the closet while you rest up.

  23. #23
    Junior Member Jennifer's Avatar
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    I recently went through the same thing. I really want to go on a quilting retreat, but I haven't search one out yet. My mother in law started topping late last year and I have quilted three for her so far. I gave her lots of my stash and I gave the rest to a 14 year old that has taken a liking to sewing anything she can get her hands on. So now I am left with enough fabric to make 8 tops and I love it. Having a stash may sound great, but I found it overwhelming. So if I had not touch that fabric in two years or there was nothing planned for it, I gave it to one of the two mentioned above. My 8 projects fit into my 30 gallon rubber maid tub and all I have to buy is backing and batting when I get to quilting these tops. My plan is to sew and quilt them this year and quilt four tops I have left to quilt from last year. Sounds a little organized, but I go through stages of sewing nothing but tops and then I go through stages of doing nothing but quilting. I also have three little quilts that need binding. My goal is to stay focused enough to put together an Affair of the heart quilt or get busy on my dear jane, but I like the tops that I can cut and piece together within a few weeks.

  24. #24
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    If you are so exhausted, you might need to put quilting time on a back burner right now. At least on the days you work a job outside the home. Otherwise why don't you work on it for a set amount of time every day, say 15 minutes. You would be surprised how much improvement you can make on cleaning up your sewing room in just one week working at it 15 minutes a day. Good luck, and remember our jobs and families come first. Hugs!

    Kat

  25. #25
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    When I get to a point where I'm overwhelmed with the mess of it all I stop working on projects and concentrate on cleaning it up. I don't do it all at once mind you!! I do the 15 to 20 minutes at a time and in a week or two it's all organized and clean and I can find things again. When you do one project after another without much cleaning between it can really get to be a huge wreck. Most of the time I don't mind the clutter and stacks of stuff but every so often I hit a point where it's just really a huge mess and has to be cleaned.

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