Attention Quilters, Your ‘To-Do’ List Has Given Me Nightmares

Quiltblogdom, I think we have a problem. (There’s a song or something in there! wink wink)

For the November Scrappy Giveaway, now closed, next giveaway starts 12/31/2010, I asked readers to mention some items they are trying to finish before the holidays pass. Being The Curious Quilter, I satto do list 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 severly 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:


    Go Super Quilters All!!!

  • 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

Piles fo thread for piles of quilts.‘Twas a month before Christmas, and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The fabric was set by the iron with care
In hopes that some quilting time soon would be there.

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!

two hundred quilters in a dreamHigh up above me I heard such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Into the attic I flew like a bird,
Worried about all the noises I heard.

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!

How many pins to make 58 quilts?Two hundred strong, they were poised by their lists,
Ready to cut, sew, and quilt up their gifts.
They’d saved me a spot, I went straight to my chair,
And soon many voices were filling the air!

“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.

We cut, stitched and pressed as we all made mug rugs,
Thinking of friends who would soon give us hugs.
Mittens and bags began piling up high,
Dozens of baby quilts made us all sigh!

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.”

©2010, The Curious Quilter,,


About thecuriousquilter

Quilter, sewer, writer, gardener, mother, sister, friend, always learning, always curious.
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26 Responses to Attention Quilters, Your ‘To-Do’ List Has Given Me Nightmares

  1. Deborah says:

    OMG! Did you write that poem? How adorable. It deserves to be put on a fabric panel and made into a wall hanging. Oh goodness, here I am, wanting to add more to the list of items to be made before Christmas. I’m gonna scoot out of here so I can forward this to some friends. Awesome!!!

  2. Mariliz says:

    I love it! You made me laugh so loud I scared the dogs.

  3. Martin says:

    Your brain is wired in a most unusual way, Ms. Mary! Keep it up!

  4. Cindy says:

    Oh Mary, where do you find the time to do all that you do. Good luck to you on finishing your gifts. Thanks so much for giving me a chuckle.

  5. Lynda in Spokane says:

    This is MY HOUSE! You peeked!!

    Lynda in Spokane

  6. Shari says:

    You totally rock! This is just too funny… I’m going to post your link on my blog again – I know everyone should be reading this!

  7. Jackie Celestine says:

    Loved your poem!!

  8. Janice says:

    I would love to read your poem at our upcoming guild meeting. Do I have your permission, and will give you credit for writing it.


  9. Barbara says:

    you dear lady – I am laughing and crying at the same time … that is a Masterpiece !

    Please submit that NOW to every craft magazine for their 2011 holiday issue – you may have a new calling in Life ( and way to pay for more stash !)

    Thank you, thank you !

  10. AliExi says:

    Good point! I just knocked 5 items off my sewing ‘to-do” list for Christmas gifts! And it was EASY to do while chuckling along to the rhyme…

    My guild has enjoyed singing the CQ Glee Club tunes as well. You have a wildly interesting blog.

  11. P. says:

    That’s fantastic! I love it!

  12. wbotw39 says:

    What a GREAT Poem- I too am going to share a link to your blog that was FANTASTIC!!
    Thanks for the laugh – BTW -my list is long also!

  13. Pingback: The Dream of the Mad Quilter’s Ball « kj’sWeblog

  14. Poppyprint says:

    Stupendous! The lint and thread cape is my favorite image of your fantastic poem. You are right, we quilters are list-making crazies. Well done!!

  15. Charity says:

    This year I decided to not make any gifts. Or at least not for specific deadlines like Christmas. As much as I want to share the joy I find in creating. I just can’t manage it all. I feel sort of sad, knowing I have nothing handmade to give. I hope that everyone who knows me would understand all the reasons why.
    Your poem is fantastic, it could be in a magazine. It really does showcase all the dreams we each hope to fufil.

    • I am quite certain that everyone who cares about you will understand, and hope you just take time and breathe, instead of stressing over hand made gifts! Enjoy your friends and family over the holidays. – Mary

  16. Patti says:

    I’m tired already just reading this cute reworded poem. Patti

  17. Pingback: Christmas Tunes from The Curious Quilter Glee Club | The Curious Quilter

  18. Marilyn says:

    Love your poem!! I hope you don’t mind me publishing it on my new blog (with credit to you, of course)!!

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