It’s OK to CHANGE Your mind about completing a quilt project

You were so EXCITED when you learned that your favorite designer was coming out with a new fabric line, books, project, sew-a-long or [Fill in the Blank]. You dutifully bought all the supplies, printed out the pattern/sewing guide and waited in happy anticipation for the next project to start. Then, you lost your enthusiasm once it began.

What to do? Honestly, it’s okay to change your mind.

I felt this way about the Flea Market Flowers big quilt by Lori Holt. I was stoked after completing two online quilt-along projects last year. I’m still working on the last few appliqué blocks for the Granny’s Flower Garden quilt and planned to use those leftover fabrics (plus some others) for the Flea Market Flowers project. I ordered the pie and seed rulers. Then, while reading through the sew-along guide, I realized how large the flower blocks would actually be. Not my style for a big quilt. Instead, I opted to convert the flower blocks I love into pillows , a small wall hanging and a table runner. I merely made the project suit my preferences.

I’ll admit that I’ve actually tossed half-completed projects that I know I’ll never finish. They’re usually from a class I took at an AQS show or Quiltcon to try out a new technique and there was no way to convert the parts I’d completed into a smaller project that I’d actually like. The intention to finish was there, but after 3 years in the back of the closet…it’s time to rescue any usable fabrics and toss the rest.

Nowadays, I’m also a bit more selective when it comes to the projects that I choose to make. It’s no secret that I’m a big Lori Holt fan. You can find a number of online sew-a-longs featuring her work at Fat Quarter Shop, The Featherweight Shop and JK Quilts, plus Lori’s own blog and YouTube channel. Today, I learned she has a new fabric line/project coming out in January 2022 called Chicken Salad. The quilt is adorable, but it’s not a project I’m inspired to make. That’s perfectly okay. Some of the fabrics will likely find their way into my stash and I’ll enjoy checking out her blog/YouTube channel while the sew-a-long is underway.

I tell my students it’s okay to return a library book they don’t like. I merely gave myself permission to do the same when it comes to quilting/sewing projects.

Christmas in may?

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas on my cutting table!

Most of us like the convenience of precut quilt kits. One of the online quilting groups I follow highly encourages members to create your own project kits in advance so you can simply grab and go. This way you keep moving projects forward. In turn, this means said projects actually get done instead of languishing in the back of a closet somewhere. Very wise advise!

Early morning was spent cutting out a Twinkle Lights pillow kit using Lori Holt’s Vintage Christmas book while I listened in on a webinar for work. I thought I’d purchased a pillow kit from the local quilt shop last summer, but it must’ve been for a table runner, because I had a LOT of fabric left over.

Not to worry! Flipping through the book gave me ideas for Christmas presents – mainly potholders, placemats and small wall hangings. Potholders are the next projects to become DIY quilt kits.

I bookmarked a couple of potential layouts for my redwork Christmas sampler. I’m currently stitching block 11. Block 12 will be completed during my upcoming trip to Kansas City. The completed quilt will definitely be a two-color quilt with a vintage vibe. I plan to machine quilt this one myself. Hopefully, the ruler work class I’ve signed up for in KC will make it a bit easier.

It certainly felt like Christmas when I dumped out several storage bins of assorted STUFF. Sewing notions I’d been looking for were stashed in one of the boxes. I found several bits of red and white fabrics to add to my scrap bins for upcoming Christmas themed sewing projects. The rest will be donated to the SEQTM for summer sewing camps.

Getting lost for an hour this morning in my happy place was very therapeutic. Christmas is normally not one of my favorite holidays, so the fact I’m working on Christmas projects this far in advance and enjoying it – is a good thing, indeed.

Why you can’t keep giving everything away for free

iPad destroyed by student

I’ve made no secret that I work at a school in a very poor urban area. We bent over backwards to make sure students had devices and wifi access during remote learning this past year. Unlike neighboring school districts, parents were not required to pay a small fee for use of the device. BIG MISTAKE. This is what was returned to me this week. When asked, the student replied he tried to take the plastic cover off. He shrugged his shoulders when I asked why.

I have learned that people take better care of items when they have some skin in the game. My sewing students take better care of machines and supplies when a small user fee is tacked on to the class fee. Students tidy up the library before special treats or privileges are enjoyed.

When I was a kid, you didn’t admit that you received any type of government assistance. It was considered shameful. Now, it’s considered a badge of honor to get as much free stuff from the government as possible. It needs to stop.

Businesses can’t find workers because stimulus checks and unemployment benefits are far more lucrative. Now the federal government is starting to send out payments to parents based on the number of children in the family. Where’s the incentive to go to work?

Raise corporate taxes! Corporations are merely going to pass along the tax increases in the form of higher prices paid by the consumer (that would be you and me). This is also known as inflation.

Tax the rich! They don’t *need* the money! Perhaps not, but most of the more well-to-do folks that I know worked very, very hard for their money. They scrimped, saved and invested over the years. Why shouldn’t they be able to keep their money? If the government takes more via taxation, that’s usually less money they have to donate back to the local community. It may also mean the small business owner decides not to expand, not to raise wages, to decrease benefits or even close the doors because it’s no longer worth it due to all of the higher taxes. Again, no incentive to bust it every day.

That’s just wrong.

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