Where’s Mary?

Sometimes I can work on a project and it absorbs me. Whether it be the mood, or the way that particular project has grabbed my soul, all else around seems to dissolve away. The fact that I need to sleep or eat annoys me. Work? Family? Friends? Can’t they see that this is where I need to be focused right now? I love those moments, when the project fills me with energy and motivation. It seems to be creating itself, I am the tool it is using to come to life. These moments are rare and fleeting.

Postage stamp quilt.

Perhaps Mary is under the quilt!

I am working on my fourth postage stamp quilt, made of my now famed ‘two inch treasures.’ This one will be another big one, using 3,128 squares. I love these quilts, they are like hours of entertainment wrapped up in a hug. The few duplicates become a matching game, the novelties can be hunted, you can count how many squares have stripes or purple flowers, the possibilities are endless. One interesting thing about these quilts is that, when you let them be completely random, they all turn out looking pretty much just the same as the last one. But as every square foot evolves, each combination is totally different from the others. Usually that keeps me propelled. I have completed 57 of the 64 twelve inch blocks, the end is in sight! Seven left, finishing will be a piece of cake, right?

Definitely not! For the last three weeks I have been finding every possible excuse to NOT do them. I walk by them, thinking, “I am invisible, they cannot see me!” Maybe, if I stay really busy avoiding them, they will disappear (or a quilt fairy will finish them!) Like Waldo in his books, I can become lost! The waiting blocks will not notice me.

lupine in the garden.

Is Mary in her garden?

So, in my imaginary “Where’s Mary?” book, the pages grow. I work in my garden. After all, with our record heat, humidity, and rain the weeds have grown SO much faster than the flowers and vegetables. Surely I am needed here. The blocks will wait for a rainy day.

I walk around the lake. The exercise is certainly better for me than sitting at a sewing machine. There have been egrets again this year, here in the heart of town, and the wood ducks are so cute! Slather on the sunscreen, here I come!

There is so much else to be done, the dishes, the laundry, sweeping the stray threads off the floors. Surely these things need me more than the Last Seven Blocks. My mind flits about between countless things, as though it is generating a ‘to do’ list to fill every waking moment for the next twenty years. (The Last Seven Blocks do not appear to be on that list.)

Como Lake

Is Mary is walking around the lake?

Time passes quickly. Work to do. Scrabble with a friend. A movie with my son and his girlfriend. Dinner at my sister’s. The third Steig Larsson novel to read. A blog to write! More and more pages for the “Where’s Mary?” volume.

But there they sit, the makings of these Last Seven Blocks.  Four hundred and forty eight tiny fabric pieces feeling like miniature irritations. They are starting to weigh on me, silently nagging me the way the need to do your taxes or have a root canal nags. I know I am a grownup and should just sit down and do them. Avoidance is not helping. Denial is not working. I need a swift kick in the patoody!

So, my readers, please hold me accountable. I will  finish these blocks this week! By Saturday I will post them here. Perhaps even before, but, well, there are still a lot of weeds in that garden, and two more chapters to read.

Please tell me I am not alone in this self-distraction. Do you find yourself avoiding some projects while others call your name? How do you shake the “Last Seven Blocks Blues?” Let me know, but in the meantime, I think my refridgerator needs cleaning…

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About thecuriousquilter

Quilter, sewer, writer, gardener, mother, sister, friend, always learning, always curious.
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17 Responses to Where’s Mary?

  1. AliExi says:

    DO finish it! DO NOT let it sink into the UFO pile! I get stuck near the end sometimes too. Come clean my fridge, I will sew a block for ya!

  2. Meloney says:

    You are NOT alone. I have a class project hanging on the design board. All the flying geese are around it and I just need to sew them together. That’s all there is, but I am busy on the computer, cleaning house, organizing my suitcases (why?). I really want to get these quilts done, but…

  3. Marge says:

    Yes, I have a quilt like that right now sitting half done (I think) on my sewing table. Well some is on the sewing table, some is on the cutting table, and the finished blocks are still packed away in my sewing tote from when I brought them home in November from retreat. What draws me away were health issues since I didn’t sew for months and now that I am sewing again the desire to finish other quilt projects. I KNOW what that lingering one will look like, I want to finish others… BUT I will finish it, sooner or later, someday, maybe…

  4. Jennifer says:

    You can do it, says the girl with more WIP’s than finished projects for the year…laundry, kitchen, weeding, sweeping, boys room, dishes…my goal is not to start anymore WIP’s for a while…

  5. Trish L. says:

    How about if I finish your 7 blocks and you can have your pick of any one of a number of my projects that needs finished! Seriously, there are gobs to choose from!
    I think you are putting it off because you said it will be the last of them to make into a scrappy quilt? I think you need more scraps so you always have them on hand to work on.
    Hope you find the motivation bug cause I’d love to see the finished quilt photos.

    Hugs,
    Trish L.

  6. Meri says:

    Oh, I feel your pain! I not only have my own UFO’S, but I have many projects of my Mom’s that she never completed. Sad to say she’s been gone 10 years and I still haven’t finished hers. Even sadder to say my motto has become “Good intentions, lousy follow through”!
    I say let’s make a pact…baby steps here, but just 15 minutes at a time and before you know it, they’ll be done! Although I do kind of like that idea of “swapping” projects…what has become tedious to one person is a thrilling new project to another. Hmmmm….possibilities there…

  7. Note to self: Perhaps four postage stamp quilts in a row is enough. Time for something else!

    • Martin says:

      Ya know, most of us only THINK about ever really doing one of those… and you have done 4! How about a nice curvy drunkards path for a change of pace?

  8. jess says:

    You are SO not alone! I still have those blasted flower girl dresses with bodices sewn, linings and tulle attached, and silk skirts pinned…why oh why am I not finishing them? I will be so happy when they are done! In the meantime, why don’t I sew a couple of dresses for my first grader, buy a bunch of fabric for yet-to-be-determined projects, make some samples for the holiday sale I’m applying to…
    I’m so glad we’re all crazy in the same way!
    Go finish your quilt, Mary! I want to see it!

    • LOL, Thanks, Jess! (Jess is my neighbor who sews wonderful creations for her kids.) I will show you my finished top this weekend. Will you have a finished flower girl dress to show me?

  9. Sandra Davidson says:

    Hi I have a quilt I started about five years ago for a dear friend. Now it was a lot of applique and it was king sized, then I took it to church and had some lovely ladies help me hand quilt it. We finished it before Christmas all I have to do is binding but I just can’t seem to get it done. I promised my friend I would finish it this year so I bet all quilters face that from time to time.

  10. Martin says:

    CONGRATULATIONS TO MARY, THE CURIOUS QUILTER!!!!!!

    Look in the lower left hand corner of the screen, and see that this blog has reached

    10,000 HITS

    in only two months. Three cheers for The Curious Quilter Blog!!!!!!!

  11. karen says:

    Hi there Mary!
    Oh my you are so NOT ALONE in this. Ha. I do it with scrapbooking and sewing.
    But I love your description of the fun of this quilt in the 2nd paragraph. When I was small, I remember waking up early on Saturday mornings just so I could fold my quilt back and look at all the squares. My grandma had made both my sister and I twin quilts for our beds. And in those days, we made all of our clothes. And me being the youngest, also got all the hand me downs. So I knew more about my quilt than anybody – well, except my grandma. I’d play games with the different fabrics, remember what was made with what. Silly things for a 7 or 8 year old girl to do, but I remember doing it like it was yesterday.
    LOVED THIS POST!
    Thanks for the memories!
    Have a great week!
    Karen ~ Some days are diamonds
    (How is that fridge coming? 🙂 I think if I had a lake like that out my front door, I’d walk too!)

  12. It is Saturday, and the seven blocks are done, and can be seen in the post If Quilters Wrote Spam, coming out later today!

  13. Pingback: If Quilters Wrote Spam | The Curious Quilter

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