October might have not gone as smoothly as I had hoped it would. I had a lot on my plate and a couple things came up that caught me off guard. So it is bittersweet that the month is over and I didn't get to all of my best intentions for Write 31 Days.
But today I'll share a few things I know to be true, and a new challenge that will keep me accountable for finishing a couple projects.
I am an early bird and often a wee-hours-of-the-morning quilter.
I like the quiet. I like the stillness.
I love working on something that doesn't require reading or following a pattern.
I make mistakes. I fall behind. I miss deadlines.
I am always working on the things I love.
I find confidence in the projects that are successful.
I learn lessons from the ones that I toss aside or hide in the waste bin under my desk.
Today was another early morning of thread and bobbins, a hot iron, and too many projects to successfully complete. I deal with a lot of physical pain that often makes it hard to sleep. It is amazing how long the hours take to tick away when all I want is a bit of sleep.
I put on my headphones and settle in.
I feel more contentment and competence than any other area in my life.
I can get lost in this place where I am the maker.
Every stitch is a moment of my time, energy, and life that I give away to another when I hand them (or mail them) their quilt. I give away a piece of me, but I gain so much in the process.
Often I make things I don't want to let go of.
Other times, I want to give every quilt away so I can see the love and appreciation in the eyes of another. Generosity is food for my soul.
I stitch to work past physical pain and try to pretend that it isn't really there. Distraction is a necessity.
Self-doubt can creep in quickly from fear, worry, and physical limitations.
I feel clumsy and my mind is sometimes slow from MS, but when I finish up a project, I feel in control of creating some beauty in a struggle-filled life.
I might overshare thoughts and feelings, like today.
I often have too many projects and need to get caught up, like today. But it all worked out well. I finished up a Christmas apron and a thread sketch, and worked on making binding for my daughter's graduation quilt. It's a queen-sized rail fence quilt with some solids and lots of bright Tula Pink prints. And, it's late. She graduated in June 2016. I have a bit more hand quilting and I need to get the binding done.
I'm going to try to get quite a bit done in November to get ready for Christmas, and to knock a few more unfinished projects off my to-do list. While I was off work today, I made a list of my WIPs (work in progress), UFOs, and Flimsies (I guess those could count as a WIP or UFO.) I'm sure I'll stumble across plenty more as I work my way through tidying up my sewing room.
Please note: I use the term sewing room very loosely, considering I have a Pfaff Passport 2.0 sewing machine set up in my bedroom, an Elna Lotus gracing the desk in my home office, and my dining room has no dining table and a Pfaff Hobby Grand Quilter on a Grace frame.
One of the best parts of Write 31 Days is stumbling across new blogs and websites. This month, I've enjoyed making a new quilty friend, also a Joy, and learning all about her unfinished projects. She wrote all month about her UFOs (unfinished objects...she's got 182 at last count) on Days Filled with Joy.
Joy offered up a little challenge as the holidays are quickly approaching. She suggested picking out two UFOs and getting them done before Christmas. Now I'm notorious for finishing up binding quilts on Christmas Eve, so this is something I need to start on now, in order to be a little more successful.
I'm waiting on some batting and backing to arrive, fingers crossed it gets here in the next day or two. I have several quilts that I need to work on before the holidays creep any closer. I don't think I'll be hand quilting any of these, as much as I would love to. Otherwise they won't be done until next Christmas.
I'll share pictures of my Christmas gift quilts over the next couple of weeks.
Today, I'll show you my picks for quilts to finish before Christmas:
The first has been languishing for 2 years. It is in desperate need of finishing. I am going to add it to my pile of donation quilts for homeless Veterans. The top went together in an afternoon and never got any more attention after that! The pattern is from Marti Michell and is called Spike's Pinwheel.
The second quilt I'd like to finish is a paper-pieced quilt based on one of Alyce Blyth's Bee Hive Quilting Bee blocks: Treasure Hunt. I was working on this as a throw quilt for someone and it was going to be colors reminiscent of Calgary Flames. I won't be able to give it away, but good thing I think it's a lot of fun, I enjoy the colorway, and I also really like hockey. I might tuck this one next to my chair for cold winter days and nights.
Are you working on finishing up anything before the holidays sneak up?