Wednesday, June 06, 2007

It's all about having fun!

Or it should be - about having fun that is. Aren't hobbies supposed to be fun? So why do we impose so many "rules" on what should be a stress buster not a stress giver? We all do it - or at least most of us do. We play games with ourselves.

"I won't buy any fabric this month." But the first hours of the next month find us placing a large on-line order. And that's okay because it's a new month? If you have too much on May 1st and don't use a significant amount during the month then you STILL have too much on June 1st. So why should it be alright to practise indiscriminate buying 1 minute after midnight when it was "forbidden" 1 minute before. I don't know about you but the quickest way to get me to do something is to tell me I can't! So then we expand our games and say, "well I can buy borders/backings/binding/ backgrounds." So those 40 yards are okay to purchase but the odd FQ bought just because it's pretty is an illegal purchase! And when we do cave and buy the FQ we feel guilty? Guilty over buying a $2 FQ!!!! I don't know about you but there's lots more important things to stress over than a $2 impulse purchase!

"I'm only going to work on UFOs" Another game we play with ourselves. One that's guaranteed to make me want to work on ANYTHING but UFOS or will make me just work on nothing at all. I'm thinking what's the use in having a stash that you aren't "allowed" to use because you can only work on UFOs? Almost as bad is the "I must finish 2 UFOs before I can start a new quilt." Again guaranteed to make me just do nothing.

"I have to make X number of charity quilts before I can make one for myself" or "I have to make one for everyone I know before I can make one for myself." Why should everyone else be put before us? You know what? I DO NOT HAVE A QUILT FOR MY BED! Yes I have quilts I sleep under but not one to use as a pretty covering for my king-sized bed. And my DH slept under a RAG for the longest time before I made him a new quilt all his own. Now how sad is that? Which is why the rule around my house now is, "If David likes it - it's his!" Doesn't matter who it was originally intended for - it's his. Cause what could be more important than making a quilt for my love?

"Every quilt has to have a purpose." Why? Can't we just make a quilt for the fun of testing a new pattern or technique or just because we want to play with pretty fabric? The first thing David usually asks when I show him a finished top is "who is that for?" Well - nobody in particular! And that's okay. Every quilt DOESN'T have to have a purpose beyond the joy it gives the maker in the making. And if it's NOT giving you joy in the making then STOP MAKING IT! Which leads me to the next "rule".

"I have to finish everything I start". Even if it's a total screw-up that isn't turning out anything like we thought and is causing us a whole lot of stress. We still think we have to finish. And feel guilty when we put it aside to work on new, more fun, things. Why should it be so hard to accept that not everything needs to be finished. It's okay to give away, toss away, repurpose a quilt.

I could go on and on listing the rules we set for ourselves but then I'd be late for work. So what has this rant/ramble let to? My new resolution to only do what pleases me. No more rules. No more games with myself. I'll work on what I want, when I want. And this extends to my blog which is one reason I dropped from the rings. That's just a whole nother set of "rules" to have to follow. And as someone said in an email they sent yesterday, "I'm glad to see you've dropped out of the rings, "at our age" the only drummer we need to be following is our OWN, lol. The expectations we put on ourselves when we join these things is darn-right stressful." And she was 100% correct!

So from now on - it's all about having fun!

And as a PS if you're wondering how the first group of kittens is doing, as you can see they're doing just fine. :-)

30 comments:

Darlene said...

Wow, you've made some very good points, Nancy! I ask myself so many of these questions. When I go on a food diet then I think I'm starving and think I need to everything in sight. Therefore, if I were to go on a fabric diet then I would probably spend and buy far more than I would if I didn't go on a fabric diet. This is exactly why I refuse to go on a fabric diet - I use what I have on hand if I can and if not then I go buy it. It's definitely all a game we play with ourselves.

KCQuilter said...

Yay, Nancy!!! I love your new philosophy. I've never taken part in the fabric diet challenges going around on blogs because I know me too well. You made some excellent points! Love the kitties.

dot said...

Enjoy your new found freedom. Just sew and enjoy and of course SHARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

QuiltingFitzy said...

All I have to do is say, "I hate Redwork(or any thing in particular)." Now look who's doing Bluework, lol. I am trying desperately to stay away from such self-condeming statements in the future!

We're learning about life despite our age, ain't it fun???

(love the tigery-striped gray kitten!)

Judy said...

Way to go Nancy! Did you feel that big ole guilt weight fall off your shoulders? I refuse to feel guilty any more about my fabric, my quilting or just about anything else I want in my life.

Love your blog and read it often. Thanks for your great posts.

The Calico Cat said...

precisely!, Well said & all that stuff!

Melzie said...

Good for you Nancy :) Quilting is definitely for fun. I think the original purpose of the rings was to get to know more quilters but I'm sure by now we all know plenty LOL. I'm glad to see you more relaxed hunny bun. Love the kitties awwww :) xoxo melzie

Anonymous said...

you go girl. Life is too short for would have, could have, should have. I know that you will still be the wonderful generous Nancy....just more relaxed and content.

Mary

QuiltyTrish from Material Girls said...

Welcome to my quilting world, Nancy!! I decided a long time ago that I've got so many rules in life that I HAVE to follow, that I don't want to impose rules on myself in what I do for pleasure. Just relax ... enjoy it ... that's why it's called a hobby and not a job.

Bonnie said...

Yes - I totally agree. Very well said.

paula, the quilter said...

Well said, Nancy, and I agree with you on all your points.

Tracey said...

I'll drink to that!!

I decided a while ago that I'm not going to make any rules for myself like "no more fabric" "I must finish a UFO", etc. I've resolved to work on the project that I want to work on and if I get tired of it, its okay to put
it away, trash it or whatever. And I'm not imposing any deadlines on myself anymore either...if I get the guild challenge done, thats great. If I don't feel like finishing it, thats okay too.

And you know what? I'm having a blast! I've been sewing more and having more fun. Believe it or not, I've been WAY more productive too! I'm whipping out UFOs like I can't believe because I'm having fun. I think I completed 5 tops last week, but I was under no pressure.

Pam said...

It certainly is about having fun - and it should not be all consuming, which sometimes it can become :))

Although -- after you talking about Google Reader, I have spent the morning rearranging my blogs. I like the format of Google Reader over Bloglines, but I have figured out a way to help me by using both. Thanks so much for the information :))

Quilt Memories said...

You go girl!!!!!! Life is toooooo short to stress over our fun hobbies. I'm soon to be 66 years of age, and I don't want anyone putting restrictions on me and won't allow myself to.
JUST HAVE A GOOD TIME!!

Melinda said...

Nancy - thank you for writing this post. So much of what you say has meaning to me. Why do we set up "rules" for ourselves?

At guild meetings we have to remind ourselves that we are just a bunch of people who make quilts - sometimes we get so hung up on process and rules that we forget to have fun!

Norma said...

All those rules you talk about remind me that yes there must still be quilt police out there!! These are the ones who make you feel guilty if you enjoy yourself while quilting.
If you are fortunate enough to be able to purchase the fabric you want and YOU are HAPPY.........GO FOR IT! If the UFO's stack in the corner and YOU are HAPPY.........LET THEM PILE UP! There are so many miserable things happening out there in the world and none of these rules apply so do what makes YOU HAPPY!

Norma

anne bebbington said...

In my house I have quilty ufo's - obvious from their description and 'other ufo's' which basically covers the mending pile and say some long sleeved shirts DH bought cheap but wants them short sleeved. He has christened this pile 'ufo's' and every time I show him something I've been stitching he asks how the pile of ufo's are coming along - of course there's nothing more guaranteed to make me stick my heels in the ground, ignore that pile and do some p&q. But then I am married to a guy who has endless lists and loves to tick things off them - I do love hime to bits but that is one of his most annoying traits :o) So go with the flow and don't stress on what doesn't get done!

Shelina said...

I try to think of quilting rules more as guidelines - like the pirate code from Pirates of the Carribean. They can be discarded at a whim.
I agree that you shouldn't make rules that don't work with your style and hamper your freedom. As Norma said, do what makes you happy.

I do however, have UFOs, and they are UFOs only because there are so many projects I want to do, not because there is any problem with the project I started. So I will keep my guideline of finishing two quilts for every one I start. That gives me the freedom of choosing which two quilts I finish, and the incentive to finish so I can start new projects as often as I want. It's seeing the UFO stack that makes me feel guilty, so this guideline lets me off the hook, because I have a plan.

cher said...

welcome to your new world! You have found plenty of folks in agreement with what you posted-and more of us that figured that out at some point as well! Keep it up Nancy-a happy Nancy is a very good thing.

Suze said...

Aren't you so RIGHT....

I get annoyed when people say "What are you going to do with all those quilts"......

I never think about what I am going to DO with them, I just enjoy making them.

You are much kinder than I am. I do not part with my quilts except on rare occasions.........

mamaspark said...

Bravo, Nancy. I think we all go through stages in our lives and sometimes it is ok to want to impose rules on ourselves. That being said it is just as ok to change our minds. You certainly hit the nail on the head though, it it stops being fun it is time to stop doing it! I really enjoy your blog!!

Annie said...

YOU GO GIRL!!! That is why I don't join the no-buy and I don't make rules for me either. My joining stashbusters was to get me to use what I have and the make better decisions. I buy what I like and I have no guilt!!! I make what pleases me and I keep what I want. I make most of my projects because I want to either use the fabric or try a block/pattern!!! So I have lots of tops that if I need a gift I have them on hand. I'm so glad you have found a new FREEDOM!! and a toast to NO GUILT!!!

Sweet P said...

I've often wondered how many paintings Picasso painted before he finished one he liked or ended up becoming a collectible.

Isn't our quilting the same? We are fabric artists. Sometimes we finish what we start. Sometimes we are learning a new technique. Sometimes we are experimenting. There should be no guilt in what we are creating.

Have fun and enjoy the process.

atet said...

Well said! Of course, this is from a woman who has declared a no-buy month for herself. Although -- honestly -- that has more to do with I just bought a ton of fabric and I want to play with it for awhile before adding more into the mix.

There are times when I wonder at all the "rules" out there. For some of us, they are just ways to try and organize the chaos of our brains -- but if you become so rigid in following the rules it's no longer fun? Throw out the darned rules! Hmmn...quilts for ourselves -- that we just want to make? I have one of those I'm plotting right now. It's high on my priority list -- but I do need to finish one gift first! ;0)

Alycia said...

I like it - I am going to adopt the - I am only going to do things that please me!! My mantra has previously been - No Stress allowed - this fits right in. Thanks for sharing - and stay in the stashbuster ring - cuz I love reading yours and forget to look up individual ones sometimes!!

Have fun sewing what you want!

Mary said...

I understand your feelings but where you use the word *rules* I use the word *goals*. I find I accomplish more of what I want to get done when I establish goals and while I don't always meet my goals - I can focus on what I accomplished while working toward them rather than beating myself up over breaking a rule.

I'm sorry to hear that you are dropping out of the Stash Quilt blog ring - I feel a connection to all of the early members. I have your site on my bloglines so I'll continue to come by and see what you're working on.

computerpeach said...

I find that I like to set goals for myself. The "Fabric Diet" is a goal so I won't buy un-needed fabric and wonder why the heck I bought it in the first place - not to never buy fabric again. Other goals help keep me on track when necessary - but can be discarded if I want.

Vicki W said...

Amen!

Pam said...

You know I am right there with you! Do what you like, when you like, how you like...that is my sewing/quilting/crafting motto!

Pam @
www.pamgwillim.com

Helen in the UK said...

You made some excellent points. Quilting is my hobby and I want to enjoy it. If it starts becoming a chore I'll call it a job (or give it up altogether)!! Have fun :)