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

  1. #1
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    sewing obligations vs. what you really want to do

    When I first started sewing I made myself a tote bag. People were loving it and wanted more. So I started selling them. It was really fun. Then I tried quilting and fell in love, madly in love. Now I have all these tote/purses orders and I just want to quilt in my own little world. I cant do that though and sometimes it makes my head spin. Whew, I need an intervention! lol

  2. #2
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    Finish up what you've committed to - and don't take any more orders.

    They must have been nice to get so many orders for them -

    I hope you were asking enough for them to make them worth the effort -

  3. #3
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    I hope you were asking enough for them to make them worth the effort -
    Yes, that is part of the problem. I really wasnt at first. I increased the price since then and the orders have slowed down. My best friend wants one and i will do hers for price of material. She has meant so much to me

  4. #4
    Super Member Treasureit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
    Finish up what you've committed to - and don't take any more orders.

    They must have been nice to get so many orders for them -

    I hope you were asking enough for them to make them worth the effort -
    DITTO! If you want to keep selling...just limit it to one a week or every other week. When I take my quilts to the longarmer...I have to wait weeks and if I send them to Charisma (longarmer on this forum) it takes months to get them back. But if they like your work...they will wait.

  5. #5
    Super Member burchquilts's Avatar
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    I have this same problem, but different (if that makes any sense... LOL!). I have a bunch of quilts I feel "obligated" to do (for 2 neighbors, a co-worker of DH's, etc) & they're starting to feel like "work". I want to make what I want to make! I know in the general scheme of things this is a pretty good "problem" to have but it still frustrates me. Does anybody else find themselves in this situation?
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  6. #6
    Senior Member germanquilter's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, I have this dilemma right now with a king size quilt I had planned on making my brother for his wedding. He does not know about it but my mother does and she keeps asking me about it. My family lives in Germany and my parents will be visiting me the first two weeks in September. The quilt has to be pieced, long-arm quilted and bound by then because they will have to take it with them. Mailing the quilt to Germany would be outrageously expensive and I am unable to attend the wedding. When I first found out about my parents coming (April) and decided to make the quilt, time was still aplenty. I bought a new pattern and the material in May...and have barely started on this project! Summer has just been extremely busy with kids, company and hubby wanting to do stuff on the weekends. I finally had to put my foot down this weekend. Thankfully, both my hubby and oldest daughter will be gone this week and my LAQ is a dear friend who is willing to get the quilt back to me within a week squared up and binding attached as soon as I can get it pieced! The whole project has now turned into a "must-do" and it seems to suck the fun out of it for me :/

  7. #7
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    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.

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    Each month I need to come up with new ideas for the TV program and then sew/quilt. A lot of fun but some pressure.
    I now have a group of friends who are quilting examples each month. I give them the fabric, they make something, their project is shown on the TV program and then they get it back to keep for themselves. Takes some pressure off me and is fun for the group.
    http://www.oregonquilting.net
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DawnA View Post
    Yes, that is part of the problem. I really wasnt at first. I increased the price since then and the orders have slowed down. My best friend wants one and i will do hers for price of material. She has meant so much to me
    Learn and live, eh?

  10. #10
    Super Member Pat625's Avatar
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    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!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan in VA View Post

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

    Jan in VA
    I am going to remember that! Two years until retirement.........

    In the meantime, I have two pairs of curtains to hem for a niece, a perpetual calaendar to sew for another niece for school, a second one to sew for my daughter because she will want one too, a quilt for daughter's preschool, and now of course the same quilt for niece. Not to mention the quilt for my sister that looks to be neverending. Yes, I know - the word is NO!!!!!!!

  12. #12
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I got stuck in a similar situation once, I had to make something I absolutely hated. I learned from that experience and changed my MO. I still make quilts for other people, but I make what I like and let them pick their favorite out of my quilt collection. Everyone is happy this way.

  13. #13
    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    Many people are employed outside the home. They do their hours of work, then come home and (eventually after chores!) "play".
    The point being - could you "work" on the commissioned and "have-to" projects for a number of hours and then switch to one your really want to do for you! Works for me with a wedding King size and then my Dear Jane blocks for dessert!
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  14. #14
    Super Member Nanamoms's Avatar
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    I so know what everyone means. If I commit to sew or embroidery for someone else, I just can't get into it. BUT it will sit there and stop me from doing anything for myself because I feel guilty not getting their stuff done. I started doing embroidery for pay but soon realized that because I'm not a "shop", people expected me to charge them less, even though it takes the same amount of time/supplies (and I could even do it in less wait time than the local shop!) I now have about 25 aprons to do for the Garden Club and "they call to me" every time I pass the embroidery machine!

  15. #15
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    I understand your problem. I used to make the bunny doll with all the clothes and at first it was fun but after I can't remember how many and I know people don't understand when you have to raise a price because the fabric prices go up not to mention wanting to do something just for yourself. Show what you have left and sell that and then you can take orders if you feel like it. Good luck. Sue

  16. #16
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    I feel ya'. I always make a quilt for my dog club's extravagant Christmas party gift exchange, and afterwards there's no shortage of people asking me if I make quilts on commission, and how much would I charge. I always say that this is my hobby only, and I can't take the pressure of "having" to do something! (However, if it's a friend doing the asking, I just might "happen" to have a quilt for them sooner or later. But no pressure!)

    I don't even like being asked to fix up my own quilts when they're worn, though I have replaced a binding or two. But in general, it ruins it for me to have to do something on demand. Then it becomes work.

    I really learned my lesson from a particularly bizarre situation. Get this, and tell me if I was crazy or not.

    Made an online friend. We chatted a lot, visited the same places, wrote back and forth, just really got to know one another, became quite close as online friendships go. I was in a really hot quilting mode at the time, so I eventually told her I'd like to make her a wall hanging featuring her breed of dog, and asked her what colors she'd like.

    She asked if I would make a wall hanging for a good friend of hers instead.

    Huh?

    Now, this was years ago, and I didn't have the spine then that I do now, but I tried to gently say that I wanted to make something for HER, my friend, not some (to me) random person. She countered that I would be making it "for her," in a way, and if I was offering to make her a quilt, then I should be willing to do what she asked. She'd even send me the fabric.

    I wasn't very happy about it, but conceded. She did send me some very nice fabric, but became very demanding and picky about the whole thing, wanting to see pictures of the work in progress and critiquing it along the way. I did finish the piece (and it was very nice, if I do say so myself), but after receiving it and thanking me profusely (I'll give her that, she did appreciate it), the friend and I quickly lost touch, never to speak to one another again. I just never felt the same about her after that. I felt like I'd been taken advantage of, pressured up, used.

    So now I have no problem whatsoever saying no to any sort of work on demand.

    --Q

  17. #17
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    I did that in the 80's and 90's with counted cross stitch. I vowed when I started quilting that I would not do that. I do what I want when I want and love every minute of it. I just did 20 doll quilts for our guild for Head Start program and loved doing it.

  18. #18
    Junior Member HilaryK8's Avatar
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    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.

  19. #19
    Super Member 117becca's Avatar
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    I approach the stuff that I've been paid for differently - I get my "fix" of quilting while making money to fund my next "wanna-do"

    Hilary - you sound like me!!! While, I tackled my "must-do" projects for the summer, I didn't do quite as much since I'd rather spend my time quilting!! LOL!!
    my name is becca and i'm a quilt-a-holic :-)

  20. #20
    Super Member GingerK's Avatar
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    Pat625, I know exactly what you mean. I feel obligated to mend and alter for my DD and family, and cannot really refuse my neighbour because they do so much for us, but oh how I resent the time it takes away from what I really want to do.
    Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down the their level and beat you with experience.

  21. #21
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    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.
    Got fabric?

  22. #22
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
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    When I started quilting, it was almost exclusively for Project Linus -- simple quilts that provided me with much practice. As my skills have increased, I enjoy taking on more challenging projects, and now most of the quilts that are time consuming go to a different annual charity quilt auction with a few going to family. I also like to make quilts for the fair before donating them, and I work hard on reaching high standards on those.

    What I don't enjoy doing now is the "mending" and the "getting ready" projects for Linus and guild charity. I know that the time spent on this is well worth it, because it moves the process along. But now I want to work on my next challenging quilt and am planning the one after that. These other little things get in the way.

    Dayle

  23. #23
    Super Member Latrinka's Avatar
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    That's exactly why I very seldom take orders or make promises!
    If a woman's work is never done....why start?

  24. #24
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I do a few shows a year , and very quickly figured out that I do not like to take orders for anything. It becomes something I have to do rather than something I want to do.
    My advise back down on the projects for others... do stuff you want to do... then after awhile if you feel like it do some but on a limited basis. My guess is you probably aren't making alot of $$$ and people are recognizing the bargain in your work. So just say you are booked up for awhile. Booked up can mean you are booked up with your own projects.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by DawnA View Post
    When I first started sewing I made myself a tote bag. People were loving it and wanted more. So I started selling them. It was really fun. Then I tried quilting and fell in love, madly in love. Now I have all these tote/purses orders and I just want to quilt in my own little world. I cant do that though and sometimes it makes my head spin. Whew, I need an intervention! lol
    Post a pic of them! We'd love to see what it is they you've created such a rage over!

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