Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Quilt Anxiety

Have you ever experienced Quilt Anxiety?  Well, if you haven't then I'm very impressed!  For me it's an everyday occurrence.  I'm constantly questioning everything I do, and when I can shut up that annoying chatterbox, I still have an underlying tummy rumbling, (not related to that beefy bean burrito!).

Anxiety can take many forms.  Some people get sweaty and clammy, (OK, that can be a hot flash as well!), some get fluttery tummies, some start to chatter and chatter and chatter, and others just throw up.   In my case I tend to get the tummy thing.  It's the same feeling I get when I go to the grocery store nowadays when I see the prices.  Yikes!

You wouldn't think that we'd be anxious about something we do for enjoyment.  However, I've discovered that those things we count on as enjoyment can also cause the greatest anxiety.  Our expectations are higher and then when we don't have as good of a time as we thought we would, we feel let down.

That's why I think it's important to look at how you approach quilting.  Is it fun or a chore?  Do you do it because you want to, or because you feel you need to because of all the money you've spent on materials? 

I enjoy parts of the process but hate other parts.  So, I try to do the parts I don't like when I'm in the mood to be busy.  When I'm in the mood to have fun I tackle the fun parts.  This way I don't feel as let down.  I can't imagine being in a fun mood and having to press fabric in preparation for cutting, (I hate that!).  I also don't want to waste a busy mood when it wouldn't bother me to press fabric, in order to so something I want to save for a fun mood.

When I was working in an office I used to keep a folder full of mindless tasks.  When I had spare time and needed to at least "look" busy I'd tackle that folder.  It was usually things like filing, updating contacts, data entry, you know, boring stuff.  But boy did it make my boss happy to see me working away.

I have a similar system for quilting.  Right now I have a stack of fabric I need to press to cut into strips.  Whenever I have a little spare time I tackle pressing a few pieces.  It's not a lot but over time it adds up.  At my current pace it'll take me a couple of weeks to get it done, but I won't feel dragged down by it.

Try being honest with yourself about what things you love and hate about quilting.  If you're like me and you hate pressing, set up your ironing station so when you have ten minutes to kill before picking the kids up from school you can press a few things.  If you hate cutting, keep your pieces on the cutting table and take a few minutes now and then to get it done.  For some reason it's not so overwhelming when you do it in bits and pieces.

Now, get busy!


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