In an article on finding time for your quilting life amidst an already full life, I read a tip on managing one's quilting time. The person writing the article suggested that quilters work on more than one quilt at a time. The idea here is that you have several different tasks, which demand different levels of attention, care, and time. A busy quilter can pick whichever task makes the most sense for the time they have, and in that way make more progress. This makes sense on a logical level. If you set this up right, you end up doing more quilting because you have more things to choose from in terms of immediate tasks at hand. And this means you have the ability to find something that needs to be done that will fit into your current mood/time constraints.
I've been unconsciously trying this out bit by bit this year. Once I had the design and fabric for the Jacquelyn quilt (purple and blue), I've been fiddling with it off an on for about six months. But then, another quilt swoops in and takes a priority as I rush to finish it in time. As I write this, I have three quilts that I am actively working on, another design waiting in the wings, and countless ideas ruminating in my journal and mind.
The good thing about this is that I can recognize a chunk of time during the day when the sun is shining as a time when I really should be doing fabric painting. I can seize the opportunity when, at 9:00 at night I'm free to do a little work for a couple hours. But, as with everything in life, there is another side to the story. While I'm able to work on many things at once, and make slow and steady progress, it's hard to get the same sense of accomplishment, because it seems as though I'm never really finishing anything.
Take this past weekend, for instance. I did some sunprinting so that I have the blue fabric for the baby quilt. I treated some purple fabric for the Jacquelyn quilt so that it would be sparkly like the rest. I ironed all the sunprinted fabric to set in the color and prep it for cutting. And I finished piecing all the blue blocks for the Jacquelyn quilt. (This is the picture you see here, one such block, completed.)
But, at the end of the day, what did I have to show for all of this? I have a pile of blue blocks and a pile of fabric, but nothing more concrete than that. I'm hoping to change that. Mabye by the end of the weekend I'll have something more notable to show for my time.