Saturday, July 24, 2010

Quilter A.D.D.

As a person with a family member who has Attention Deficit Disorder, I do not write this post to make light of what can be a very frustrating condition.  That said, of late I've been a rather frustrated quilter because I can't seem to focus on only one or two projects.  It's not just that I feel like flitting between projects that I already have going (currently 10 WIPs), it's that I've got so many new ideas I want to try, and they also compete for my attention.  Ironically, the more successful I feel about whatever project I am working on, the more new ideas crop up.  Since I'm feeling extremely successful in regard to my free motion quilting endeavors this past week (the subject of a future post or two), my creativity is just flying.  However, there are only 24 hours in a day and most of those hours are filled up with other responsibilities, my shoulders can stand only so much free motion quilting, and there are those WIPs, which I'd dearly love to finish.

I've tried organizing by putting my WIP list on my blog where I can be reminded of them.  I've made a quilting bucket list that contains my priority projects for the future.  It currently sits at 12 projects and I'm loathe to add more because then it will simply devolve into a "maybe, someday, I hope to" do list--no prioritization.  However, I'm considering adding a "maybe, someday, hope to" list in hopes that if I record the ideas that are flitting through my brain, they'll quit bugging me.

Sheesh!  I can't believe I'm b*tching about having too many ideas.  Ridiculous!  Yet, I really do need to find a way to manage them. 

So tell me, how do you manage your Quilter A.D.D.?  Don't try to deny it.  I know most of you suffer too.

Okay, so that this post isn't a total whine, here is a picture of the latest NYB blocks.  It brings my total to 91.  At 98, I'll be at the halfway point.


  1. Lately, I try really hard to finish each project and not put it in a WIP stack. I may have several projects going at a time because of only being able to do certain things, like machine quilting, when my granddaughter is not at my house (she always wants to help!) but I find that things like Amy's Sew & Tell Friday helps a lot - I want to have something finished to post! Right now I've only got two WIPs left - both started before I started blogging. Hopefully I'll get them finished soon too!

  2. Love love love this post, Michelle! I think "quilting ADD" is a natural condition for creative people. I am the same way! :) And what do I do about it? I just accept it and not do anything to change it... I tend to have many irons in the fire, but I make sure I never leave a project unfinished. All my projects eventually get finished... :)

    Happy Quiltng.

    p.s. Thanks for your kind words on my Christmas Quilt.

  3. I will finally start to get my projects under control and the number down and then I find five more quilts to make! I too have a problem and don't know what to do about it :) I have 5 quilts that I am piecing or applique, one hand quilting on the hoop, one Christmas quilt on the big frame and one queen size top waiting for it's turn on the big frame as well. I have one more project that I am not counting as I'm not sure what I will do with it, 4 paper pieced pineapple blocks that are 6 1/2 inches big and I do not think I will make more of them - instead I will come up with a baby quilt to use them in or something like that. I have ideas and plans for many more - where will I find the time and how many more will I finish?
    If you ever come up with a reasonable way to get all the projects done let me know LOL. I do eventually finish all that I start.

  4. How do I manage my quilter ADD? Why, I kvetch to you about it, of course. :) As I have said in the past, there's nothing like being in the middle of a project for me to want to start something else.

    I was just thinking about this earlier today. For all the random ideas I've had over the past few months, if I only had a team to help me complete them, that would really be something! I think sometimes I get more stoked about the idea than its implementation to completion. Thus, I need a team! Oh, wouldn't that be a dream come true? Do you think there are people who just like the actual quilting part, not so much the conception of the idea or the cutting and piecing? Because I would definitely hire that person to be on my dream team. Then a cutter, a fabric buyer, a piecer, a finisher... And I'd roll up my sleeves and pitch in here and there as needed, as well as coordinate and conceptualize.

    Sorry, my quilter ADD took me on a tangent. Not much help, but I have empathy for your plight. :)

  5. I don't even try to manage it anymore. I just know I'll always have something to work on! Which is sometimes overwhelming. If only I didn't have to waste so much time sleeping!

    The NYB blocks are amazing! 98 blocks takes you to the half-way point! Wow! That is a lot of work. Nice job!

    xo -E

  6. I know exactly what you mean!! And alot of times I see a quilt I want to try just to see if I can actually do it! I love the challenge so I start so many quilts too! and I love free motion quilting. Now I completely understand the saying "crazy quilt ladies" Quilting can make you crazy! lol but it is so relaxing at the same time. But my ADD has gotten so bad that I can't even hold down a conversation sometimes? Like I will be telling a story and my mind will go blank! I think it's because it is so chucked full of ideas! And I so get what you are saying about the 24hours in a day. I am always up by 7-8am so I don't waste my day! Anywho, happy quilting!

  7. I have LOTS of projects started too. I try to make some of them into small items because I just wanted to try the technique. You are a process quilter at this point instead a of a project quilter. That changes off and on as you experiment with new ideas.

  8. My Myers-Briggs typology is ESFJ, which means that I like closure. For quilting, 'closure' is a flimsy (unquilted top)--assembled and bordered. I can (and do) live with flimsies that are years old. Too many projects being pieced are very uncomfortable for me. Heck, too many projects of any kind are uncomfortable.

  9. The NYB blocks are gorgeous!!! Well done on being so close to the half way point.

    Quilting ADD - yip, I have it. What keeps me "in line" is my limited stash (for now), so I can't start a new project, if I don't have enough materials. I have 3 current projects, and a fourth that is waiting to get attention. For the moment, that is all I can handle. However, there are a few projects in my "bucket list" that is also screeming for attention...

  10. Yep - another fan here of your NY blocks. Beautiful - just gorgeous. I;ve seen those quilts at shows here and thought "I will never be able to make one of those ".

    I am not very focused at the moment. I have WIP's all over the place( 6 quilts at last count) which may not be a problem if I didnt have so many other things on my plate as well. I need to finish SOMETHING...ANYTHING!

  11. Quilter A.D.D. - yes, I suffer - lol! I have lost count on how many WIP's I have at the moment, but most of them the top is done and ready to be finished. I have stash for a new quilt on my sewing table... I don't know if I will be able to finish any of the others before I start cutting for this quilt...
    Your NYB blocks are gorgeous! WOW! Almost 100! And I have done 4 only - lol! :))

  12. Super fun blocks! These will look amazing together.
    When I try out a new technique I try it on small wall quilts or other forms of sewing. As you can see the hexagons are becoming more common in my work.
    I have been a bit "ADD" with my fabric, but I love it and have plans for the cuts. I have bits everywhere and when I see something on sale I buy it.
    When I get an idea I go for it, and don't worry if life gets in the way and it takes longer than it should.
    I will purposely knock out something small and unfinished, if I am feeling too much guilt...


Your comments brighten my day. :-)