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Thread: sewing obligations vs. what you really want to do

  1. #26
    Super Member Edie's Avatar
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    I guess maybe I sound horrible - I do not do anything for anyone who wants me to make something "I'll pay you for it". This is MY hobby that I do on MY time, when I feel like it. I have been under some stress lately and to be able to do for ME has been a Godsend! I am not under any pressure and if I feel like scrubbing the kitchen floor on my hands and knees I'll do it and if I feel like sitting down at the machine and make a bunch of HST's, I'll do it. Scrubbing floors - I am on my hands and knees already - where better can a person pray? Making HST's - I can see four squares of fabric become a gorgeous block. Besides which, I'm almost 74 and I can do just so much in a day and I want to do it when I want to do it! Also, if someone sees something I have made and says "I'd love something like that", I quick write it down and nine times out of ten, they will get it for Christmas or their birthday or for no reason at all. That's how I like to do it! Edie
    Home is where the rags of your life are turned into quilts, lemons become lemonade and a few extra pounds are simply welcomed as "more of you to love."
    I am so confused. I don't know if I found a rope or lost my horse."

    BELIEVE

  2. #27
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    Okay, so this is not at all uncommen to feel this way. thanks for all the feedback! Now that Im a sewer I feel for my MIL when people show up with a pile of pants to hem or a huge bag of tshirts for their son's quilt. She does not ask or even offer to do these things. It seems like its expected of her. Bless her heart, she never says no.

    Here is the only pic I took of the first purse. This is the one I carry and I keep telling people it will always be mine. I dont know about it being "all the rage" but I really love it.
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    Last edited by DawnA; 07-31-2012 at 05:46 AM.

  3. #28
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    I am currently making a series of 3 twin size quilts for my neighbors children that graduated in June from High School.

    When I am finished with these quilts, I am going to stop making for others and sew some quilts for my son who married over a year ago and my daughter who is getting married in August! kathleenq

  4. #29
    Senior Member sandybeach's Avatar
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    Maybe this is why I am in such a funk right now. I finished a "graduation" quilt for a guy I work with (for his son). It was a queen size. And while it was off at the LAQ's I used the leftovers to make a lap quilt which I also gave him. Then my son wanted me to replace a broken zipper in a pair of shorts, then my DDIL wanted me to make two baby quilts for two of her friends. I am currently in the middle of quilting the first baby quilt,and my short arm quilt machine is not working properly so I have to drive 90 miles one way to drop it off and then a week later to pick it up. DDIL also asked me if I would make her a quilt for her Walk for the Cure team (which I did last year and never even found out who won it or how much they made from the raffle). So I said no to that quilt. I may, if I have time and really want to, make a tote out of fabric with ladies with scarves on their heads. Plus I (and my son) remodeled my kitchen these past few months (new counter, backsplash, painted all the cabinets (me alone) and painted the walls (also me alone). So I guess I am just burned out right now.

  5. #30
    Super Member LynnVT's Avatar
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    Just last week a friend stopped by and I was showing her some things I'm making for our church craft sale in September, including a small purse.I've been using a bunch of fabrics I got at a yard sale and stuff from my stash. Well, she immediately said she would love if I'd make a coin purse for her to used as a gift. I said I could do that and she could give a donation to the church for it. Then somehow she wanted FIVE of them. Bags smaller than the one I showed her, and maybe different fabrics and....on and on. I was so taken aback I just went along with it, but now I'm getting kind of annoyed about it. She also wants some quilt lessons, which she would pay for. I have been thinking of giving some lessons, but who knows what that will turn into. Yeah, I think a lot us are in the same boat!
    Be strong. It's a lifelong journey for those of raised to "be a good little girl and do what you are told," to learn the words NO! and I WON'T.
    "The business of life is making memories. In the end, it is all we have." Butler Charlie Carson, Downton Abbey, season 4, episode 3, PBS.

  6. #31
    Super Member LynnVT's Avatar
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    I like your bag, by the way. Will you make one for me?? (Just kidding.)
    "The business of life is making memories. In the end, it is all we have." Butler Charlie Carson, Downton Abbey, season 4, episode 3, PBS.

  7. #32
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    Unless you rely in your tote sewing for an income, I would complete the orders you've taken to date and then do not take any other orders. It may not be forever, but tell folks that right now you are focusing on your quilting. Remember the line "Just Say No?" You can do it!

  8. #33
    Super Member Sierra's Avatar
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    I am making the first quilt I really don't want to do. It is a kind of a French braid and it's for people who are really important to me who won a family drawing of a quilt I made. Grapevine told me they didn't like the style of the quilt they won (they are a conservative couple) and, since they are family, I asked for it back, talked to them about what they would like. I don't "do" piecing which requires 90 blocks of one style. I'm more into meditating on the person for whom the quilt is for and going from there. I can't believe how much I dislike making this braid quilt which has at least a hundred strips and half that in blocks all the same. When I go into my quilting room I force myself to work an hour or so on that quilt... the same thing time after time!!! Need I say I'll never do that again. The warm fuzzy feeling I have, even when making a "charity" quilt, is not there. Only my love for them keeps me going.

  9. #34
    Super Member jeanharville's Avatar
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    I feel like most of you in that being obligated to work on a project takes away the joy and the freedom in a hobby. And I for one have spent a life time working on someone elses schedule and now that I'm retired,I'm living on my schedule.
    I do some sewing for charities, but its as I get it done--no set amount within a certain amount of time.
    jean

  10. #35
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    It seems like I'm the one that gets myself into projects that I want to do at the start then for one reason or another get bummed out over and don't get finished. I can't figure out why I can't get back to some of them. I guess it's the lure of the new project that beckons.
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  11. #36
    Super Member burchquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan in VA View Post
    When I take a commission it usually feels like a must-do work, too, and I struggle to get it out in a timely manner. Therefore I usually only allow myself 2 a year and I try not to start any other larger projects during that time, just to make myself keep with it. I also make a signed detailed contract with the buyer.

    When I retired I promised myself that the "got to's" were not going to get to me.

    Jan in VA
    I used to do commission quilts, too, but they just felt like work & so I quit. Life's too short!
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  12. #37
    Super Member burchquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HilaryK8 View Post
    How about all the housework and chores that are going unfinished this summer because I would rather have my nose in a book or at the sewing machine. Read, sew, eat, repeat.
    You mean it's only in the summer at your house? It's like that year-round around here! DH knew that when he married me so he doesn't complain. Besides, he's as bad as I am!
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  13. #38
    Super Member burchquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo View Post
    I don't obligate myself to sewing for others and if I plan a gift to sew I don't tell anyone. This way no one is asking me about it. And I don't ask for opinions about what I'm sewing. I have deadlines though. Guild show and tell, mystery quilt, project quilt, quilt show entry, these are enough to keep me jump started.
    You are a wise woman, Bella! I need to learn to keep my mouth shut re gifts. But when I find out (about my DD getting engaged, for example) I'm so amped that I blurt out "Great! I'll make you a quilt!!". And I want to... at that moment. But then it starts hanging over my head & I start to dread it.
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  14. #39
    Senior Member Swan Song's Avatar
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    LOL Rebecca that is so me! I blurt out I'll make you a quilt, a bag, a wallhanging and then I think you and your big mouth! My intentions are good but my motivation lags.

    I made a Bow Tuck bag and took it to work and someone asked what I would charge to make them one so I figured up cost and added some for my time and told her. Well then she walked in the next week with fabric and batting and said, "Now it won't cost me anything right?" I told her there is still my time. She told me no hurry just do it when I had free time. UGH! I knocked some off the price and told her if that wasn't ok I would tell her where to get a pattern. To my dismay she agreed. The fabric was...um...not my taste or quality. It was all I could do to force myself to work on that bag. Honestly they don't take long to put together but...this seemed like forever! Made longer by constant text messages about it's progress! She loved it and paid what I asked but NEVER AGAIN! Several other people asked if I could make them one but I suddenly became too busy with other projects. LOL

    So I feel your pain and it wasn't even a quilt!
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  15. #40
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swan Song View Post
    She told me no hurry just do it when I had free time. UGH!
    Ooooh this made steam come out of my ears when I read it - the NERVE of some people! You were much nicer than I would have been. I don't think I would have made the *@!$*# bag at all. My "free" time isn't free.

  16. #41
    Senior Member rj.neihart's Avatar
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    I actually gave thought to purchasing a quilting machine, but then I saw how it took away from the JOY of quilting. Instead of making a little money on the side, so to speak, I quilt because I WANT TO, not because I HAVE TO.

  17. #42
    Super Member Edie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandybeach View Post
    Maybe this is why I am in such a funk right now. I finished a "graduation" quilt for a guy I work with (for his son). It was a queen size. And while it was off at the LAQ's I used the leftovers to make a lap quilt which I also gave him. Then my son wanted me to replace a broken zipper in a pair of shorts, then my DDIL wanted me to make two baby quilts for two of her friends. I am currently in the middle of quilting the first baby quilt,and my short arm quilt machine is not working properly so I have to drive 90 miles one way to drop it off and then a week later to pick it up. DDIL also asked me if I would make her a quilt for her Walk for the Cure team (which I did last year and never even found out who won it or how much they made from the raffle). So I said no to that quilt. I may, if I have time and really want to, make a tote out of fabric with ladies with scarves on their heads. Plus I (and my son) remodeled my kitchen these past few months (new counter, backsplash, painted all the cabinets (me alone) and painted the walls (also me alone). So I guess I am just burned out right now.
    Rest assured that those quilts made lotsa money!!!! How do I know? Because I have made them and people love to buy raffle tickets for quilts. Mine went at $5.00 for one ticket or 5 for $20.00.

    They made a lot of money and I am just positive yours did too. Mine went for well over $2,000 each! See????? Edie
    Home is where the rags of your life are turned into quilts, lemons become lemonade and a few extra pounds are simply welcomed as "more of you to love."
    I am so confused. I don't know if I found a rope or lost my horse."

    BELIEVE

  18. #43
    Super Member damaquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat625 View Post
    How about when the fact that you quilt means you should also be available for everyone that wants clothes made, or something mended or hemmed??? I CAN do it all but DONT WANT to!! I also make purses for a change, but if someone wants one, they can pick from the ones I have done at the time...If I took orders and had to produce on a schedule, I wouldn't want to do it at all!
    Hear!Hear!
    If I see one more split pants seam or am asked to repair a cheaply made shirt or anything I will scream.. LOL Yes I make clothes for myself. No I DO NOT want to make clothes for anyone else now. No I do not want to make a wall hanging for that woman you like and I don't... LOL Sorry I actually had to do that and I hated every minute of it. I don't want to sew on buttons unless they are embellishments .
    I actually want to start making art quilts but it seems I have a lists of Have To's a mile long. Like I do need to make myself some more dresses for the summer, and repair a friends quilt I have had for almost 2 years, and make purses I promised for a dog rescue auction,and,and and,... well you get the idea. Isn't it hard to change a life time habit of doing "work" before "play"?

  19. #44
    Swap Hosts Krystyna's Avatar
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    I sew for a living, but I also sew for fun. Here's my solution. My "work" sewing is done during work hours. When the work day is done, so is the "work" sewing. After taking care of household chores ... and making time to take care of myself ... I'm free to sew for fun. It's not easy to discipline myself, but it's what I have to do.
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  20. #45
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    It's so hard to say no to long-time friends and relatives. I've been asked to do two t-shirt quilts. I've never made one. Some one suggested asking them to work along with me. We'll see.
    Peace is one of His greatest gifts.

  21. #46
    Junior Member chatonne40's Avatar
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    My husband keeps asking me who is this one for? The last time I just told him for somebody special. I don't want to feel obligated or rushed anymore because I am losing interest and do not have fun doing it. Now I am having the best time ever working on a quilt because I just feel so relaxed no pressure of any kind, I do have somebody in mind, if it is ready when I leave for my holiday, it's coming and if I am not finished, I will send it for Christmas....may be ..or next summer.... :-D.
    When I have a deadline, I always manage to have a bunch of stuff to do at the last minute. This year and for now on, I am having fun, and I will give away what is already done OR do not expect what you ordered anytime soon. You will get it when it's finish that's it that's all :P
    Last edited by chatonne40; 08-01-2012 at 05:08 AM.

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeanharville View Post
    I feel like most of you in that being obligated to work on a project takes away the joy and the freedom in a hobby. And I for one have spent a life time working on someone elses schedule and now that I'm retired,I'm living on my schedule.
    I do some sewing for charities, but its as I get it done--no set amount within a certain amount of time.
    Amen! I am a longtime wife, mother and grandmother and was a senior administrative assistant to an academic administrator, so "demands r us" ruled me for years. I've also sewed a lot of clothes and other things for others, both because I was asked to and/or because I wanted to. When I began quiltmaking (and made some small bags), friends and family suggested I could make money thru Etsy, etc. I'm far from rich but I have zero interest in doing that. In retirement I want to do what I want when I want to do it. Sometimes that feels selfish to me and of course I'm always available for family needs and emergencies. But I don't want to turn what I've discovered is a therapeutic hobby into a "have to" grind. Been there, done that.

    Marilyn

  23. #48
    Super Member #1piecemaker's Avatar
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    I have this problem right now!! I have 3 quilts to handquilt for other people. I am not getting to work on my own stuff and it is just bugging me to death. So, I have decided that I will work for a while on the ones I have to do and allow a little time for my own stuff as sort of a reward for doing the others. Then I keep promising myself that I won't take in anymore hand work to do. (yea, I know).
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  24. #49
    Super Member Caswews's Avatar
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    I used to make Rabbits and they were so adorable with their expressive faces. Each rabbit was 24 inches long for Mom & Dad the babies varied in sizes, each rabbit had clothing and a hat to special order. I would charge 50.00 for a adult rabbit pair (24" size) and add 10.00 on for each child. A aunt in law took a famliy of 5 to sell to a friend of hers. When she brought me back the 25.00 as she told me that wasn't worth the money I was charging and that is what she took from the woman, I was floored. I have not made anything to sell since then, my daughter asked me to make some for the granddaughters; and she asked if she can start selling them-would I make families again? I will just make for the grands -and maybe a friend of theirs .. Too much time and material involved I think ..
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  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swan Song View Post
    LOL Rebecca that is so me! I blurt out I'll make you a quilt, a bag, a wallhanging and then I think you and your big mouth! My intentions are good but my motivation lags.

    I made a Bow Tuck bag and took it to work and someone asked what I would charge to make them one so I figured up cost and added some for my time and told her. Well then she walked in the next week with fabric and batting and said, "Now it won't cost me anything right?" I told her there is still my time. She told me no hurry just do it when I had free time. UGH! I knocked some off the price and told her if that wasn't ok I would tell her where to get a pattern. To my dismay she agreed. The fabric was...um...not my taste or quality. It was all I could do to force myself to work on that bag. Honestly they don't take long to put together but...this seemed like forever! Made longer by constant text messages about it's progress! She loved it and paid what I asked but NEVER AGAIN! Several other people asked if I could make them one but I suddenly became too busy with other projects. LOL

    So I feel your pain and it wasn't even a quilt!
    I feel you!!! Only ONE time have I let someone bring me fabric that they pick up (for me to make them some thing), I did it - and YES it sucked big time. It was for a dress for a wedding, it fit like a glove. She didn't like how it felt, etc..... (all the problems came down to the FABRIC). NEVER AGAIN!!! When someone says they will bring the fabric! - I say "NO", if they don't understand they I UP-CHARGE by 3 times what the price was.

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