I am driven by deadlines. I have regular deadlines in my profession and I work hard to get everything submitted on time, or better yet, early. I have found that having a deadline for a quilting project helps me get it done. The projects without deadlines are the ones that turn into UFOs. This month I had multiple deadlines come together. I had a big project at work, papers to grade from my class, QuiltCon submissions due 11/30, my One Monthly Goal, and St. Nick’s gifts I was making for my (adult) kids.
I am used to juggling a lot of deadlines, but then I had one unexpected quilty deadline thrown in just before Thanksgiving. I can’t tell you more about it yet, but it meant pushing back my other quilting projects by 2-3 days. While that doesn’t sound like a lot, it was 2-3 days I planned on spending on other projects. I was committed to submitting to QuiltCon because I accepted the fabric packet for the Modern Quilt Guild Floral and Vine Fabric Challenge. By accepting the packet of these lovely fabrics, I agreed to submit a quilt. The rules were simple – I needed to use 3 of these 4 fabrics, could add any solid I wished and any size up to 440 inches in diameter.
Because this challenge involved a promise to someone else, I prioritized it over my One Monthly Goal, which is a promise to myself.
I cannot tell you how many times I tried to figure out what to do with these fabrics. I ordered coordinating solids and cut out a great Mariner’s Compass, then realized I cut the wrong pieces in the wrong colors. I was determined not to buy more fabric, so I redesigned the Compass with the fabrics I had. Then I tried to sew the Compass together, but I used templates that didn’t work well for me and it was not laying flat. So I cut it into pieces.
I tried to use the extra pieces I cut in improvisational blocks, but they didn’t work. I set it all aside and worked on a couple of other projects, and put time on my calendar to figure it out. I finally decided to work off of the compass idea and made some arrows and a kind of a road. Here is the final quilt, named “Which Way?”:
I can’t decide which way should be up on this one.
I spent the day after Thanksgiving on my St. Nick’s gifts, and the rest of the weekend on the Which Way? quilt. Which meant that my One Monthly Goal of finishing the quilting on this table runner didn’t happen.
I thought about working on the table runner, Monday after work, but I was very tired, and could not get the runner completed by midnight. So I decided to let it go. It is unusual for me to miss a deadline, but I am glad that I decided to take care of myself and get some rest. The table runner will get done (eventually) and I will be happy to use it next fall.
How are you with deadlines? Do they motivate you? Make you nervous? Or do you just avoid them?