This is a bit of a wordy post, but in the spirit of full disclosure, one I feel like I need to share with you-
Balance has always been an elusive thing for me. I have a history of having a one-track mind where certain things are concerned, and most times, that serves me well. It's why I only like to work on one project at a time, and finish it quickly before starting another one. It is something that I have learned to use to my advantage, but when it is a problem, it takes some effort for me to combat.
For the past few years, I have strictly been a hobby quilter. As a full time teacher, I felt completely comfortable and justified in only making projects that I wanted to make, taking only orders I wanted to take. When I quit teaching and decided to turn my quilting into a business, I knew that I was giving up some of that freedom. It is a tradeoff I am willing to take, though. I wish I had the luxury of not needing any second income whatsoever, but that just isn't the case. Sometimes, that means taking orders to make quilts that I would not ordinarily.
So, what does it mean to you? Well, it means that there may be some quilts that I make, but don't share in this space. For example, for the past several days, I have been working on four commissioned memory quilts from men's shirts. While I truly appreciate what a treasure these quilts are for the recipients (really, I do!), and recognize that having so many orders is a blessing for my finances, they do not fuel my creativity. Two years ago, when I made my first men's shirt quilts from my own grandfather's shirts, I put all four of them on here. I feel like that was different. The story of those shirts was my own family's, in other words, it was my own story to tell.
Since posting the memory quilts I made for a friend in May, I am having to work to find balance amidst a flood of orders for men's shirt memory quilts. I need to find a way to separate this kind of quilting from the things that got me hooked on quilting in the first place- playing with fabrics I love and pattern writing. I haven't really figured out exactly how to do that yet. Should I just do what I've always done and just alternate projects? Should I divide my day and work on two different projects each day? At this point, I just don't know what is going to work for me. The trick is finding a schedule that will allow me to still regularly post creative projects I love.
If you've hung with me this long, thank you. I do know this- I started this blog to express my creativity in quilting. I would like to keep it that way, and I hope you can appreciate that.