Apparently I am in some sort of time denial. When that reality hit me this morning, I bailed out of work and spent the day baking deserts for our annual Winter Feast night . . . a grand tradition!
Shortly before Thanksgiving I had pulled out three UFO’s that I decided to finish and gift at Christmas. And I picked up one little pillow project to do as well. What an optimist. It looked so DOABLE! The fact that I have a hectic full-time job, my little grandson with me a couple of days every week, and that there are a few other things going on in my life, well I guess it all slipped my mind.
The reality this evening is that the little pillow is nearly done and will be finished my morning. Every other sewing project firmly remains it the UFO list. Good think my grandson is not hear to hear my reaction to that–I would be putting a few quarters in the swear jar!
I knwo it only matters to me. Everything else around the holiday is pretty set to move ahead, and its mostly about the time spent with friends and family anyway, right?
But we quilters are a compulsive group. We tend to obsess over projects, to plan rather unrealistically just how much time things will take, and to imagine that no laundry needs doing, housework needs to be done, or anything else when we dream of quilts.
So I decided to repost one on the nightmare of Christmas sewing from 2010 and share with with you. Forgive my repeating myself, b. While the timing of the post is off, the thought behind it remains.
Quiltblogdom, I think we have a problem. (There’s a song or something in there! wink wink)
[In November 2010,] I asked readers to mention some items they are trying to finish before the holidays pass. Being The Curious Quilter, I sat down and quantified, categorized, and analyzed the lists you shared. I had to use some judgement, and define a few terms for counting purposes. For instance, if you said “a couple of mug rugs,” I figured that was two of them. When a reader said “finish some ornaments,” I decided to assume that some was three. Those who bravely (or foolishly) said, “make a bunch of aprons,” well, a bunch became five in my counting. I suspect these estimates are leaning severely to the conservative side.
So just what nerve-racking quantity of crafted giftiness do the 192 quilters who shared lists actually have on their to-do lists for the next 39 days? It totals over 660 items, broken down as follows:
- 58 bed or lap quilts
- 26 baby quilts
- 21 wall hangings
- 41 aprons
- 82 table runners or placemat sets
- 32 napkins
- 18 stockings or tree skirts
- 75 mug rugs (see tutorial)
- 31 pillowcases
- 35+ ornaments
- 62 totes, bags, or purses
- 16 clothing items
- over 200 stray items like pot holders, soft books, lots more…
I headed to bed after reviewing the list, my mind boggled by its sheer magnitude. I hadn’t even included my own items in the madness, and of course no one mentioned all the other things they will be doing—the food, cleaning, partying, and daily living that needs to happen in those same 39 days. Apparently, I could not get it out of my mind, as my dream shows . . .
The Dream of the Mad Quilter’s Ball
My children were grown and all moved away,
Which left lots of time for their mama to play;
But then, in my dreamland, I heard a loud call,
Inviting me out to the Mad Quilter’s Ball!
The dust and the cobwebs were scattered about,
And a light through the crawlspace was just leaking out.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a room where some quilters were starting to cheer!
“Now, Singer! now, Brother! now, Janome and Elna!
On, Kenmore, Bernina, on Pfaff and Gammill!
Each machine in its place, Though we know it’s still Fall!
Just stitch away! stitch away! stitch away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
Soon up to the ceiling the threads, how they flew!
Each sewer turned out a wall hanging or two.
Our lists were still long, and our thoughts were less cheery.
We kept quilting on, but our eyelids were weary.
While stitching up aprons, some fingers got pricked,
For starting so late, all our rear ends we kicked!
“I can’t do it all,” someone cried in despair!
“I made this block wrong, I may pull out my hair!”
“Hush!” said another, “Just make something scrappy,
Your family won’t know, and will all be quite happy!”
Some stitched log cabins, and some made nine patches.
A few made some star quilts, with neat corner matches.
The quilt pile grew, but to all it was clear,
Fifty-eight quilts was a number to fear!
The thread piles rose and they started to shake.
They rolled up together and made us all quake!
Like little thread soldiers held tightly with lint,
They sorted themselves out by color and tint.
And what to our dry, tired eyes did take shape,
But a woman all clad in a thread and lint cape!
She laughed at us all as she looked through our lists,
Then she said, “Super Quilters are such optimists!”
She sprang to the roof, to us all gave a whistle,
And then flew away like the down of a thistle.
But I heard her exclaim, as she flew out of sight,
“Happy quilting to all, but don’t stay up all night.”