December 5, 2003
My quilting to do list just got longer because I got a commission to make two baby quilts. Now, calling it a “commission” is rather more high falutin’ than the situation merits, since I’ll only be getting the cost of the materials and I didn’t have any competition in getting the job, but I’ve decided that any time I get money to make a quilt, it’s a commission. In this case, it’s repeat business, too. I made a quilt for this woman’s granddaughter a few years ago, and she liked it so much that now that her niece is expecting she wants one for that baby, too, plus another for a mystery baby girl (well, a mystery only because I haven’t asked, being much too distracted by thinking of al the pretty fabric I’ll be able to use). I’m excited about this, especially since she’s giving me pretty much free reign to choose the colors and design.
Adding these two, I’ve now got an even dozen projects on my list. Three are in process right now: the baby quilt I intend to finish this weekend, the group baby quilt that will come back to me for finishing at some point, and another memory quilt as part of the United We Quilt project, which I’ll pick up again once the woman I’m making it for has decided which of her son’s things she’d like included. Next on the priority list there are three more baby quilts for people at work and a little thank you piece that’s so overdue the recipient might no longer remember the thing she did that I’m thanking her for. Then, finally, we get to the things I’m doing for me: the long-delayed calendar quilt, something with Dad’s railroad patches, and a new quilt for my office.
That seems a little crazy when I write it out like that. Twelve quilts? Sure, most of them are small, but still– twelve? And that’s just on the “actually plan to make these sooner rather than later” list, not the “future quilt ideas” one. In my planner, it seems more reasonable somehow. These twelve projects are nestled there along with the six that I’ve already finished since March and it seems perfectly sensible to think that that these will get checked off, too. And most of them will, eventually. Sure, some of them will be get preempted when I decide to do something that’s not on the list now, but I truly intend to finish all of them. I am beginning to wonder if that calendar quilt will ever get done, though. The woman who wrote the article that inspired me to start it never finished hers; maybe that was a sign.
I don’t really mind that the list is so long; that just means I’m not going to run out of fun things to do any time soon. When my task list as work gets too long, I start to feel discouraged and overwhelmed. When my quilt list gets long, I just look forward to the hours I’ll get to spend playing. Sure, there are times I get frustrated, like when a block won’t go together right or I quilt a whole line of stitches before I notice the tension is all out of whack, but those moments are fleeting. What lasts is the satisfaction of creating something that delights or entertains or comforts someone. I hope to keep doing that for years to come, so I need a long list.
A year ago, I wrote about writing our paragraph for the family Christmas letter. I could have written almost the same entry today, because last night, we wrote this year’s paragraph. We included mention of the giant potholder, which reminded me to find out where it was at these days. It looks like it will be spending the holidays in California before heading to Missouri in January. If its travel schedule holds, I’ll be able to see it in March at the show Erica and I were already planning to go to even before I knew the potholder was going, too.