Friday, February 11, 2011

Follow Through

I might ramble a bit today. I'm having some thoughts about " follow through". You know...finishing what you start....commitment. Now, I have my share of UFO's, that's for sure....more than my share, truth be told. Here's one that I handed off to a fabulous machine quilter at KCMQG last night, Angela Walters. (I wanted to have her quilt something for me before she got SO famous that I'd have to wait years just to get on the list!)
No, I'm not talking about letting ourselves down by not following through, but rather letting others down when we sign up to do something....and then don't. That's a horse of a different color, I think. It's something rarely talked about among friendly Blogland. But it happens.

You sign up for a Bee or exchange on Flickr and are sooooo excited. You make your block, or whatever, send it off only to wait....and wait....and wait.... and then maybe never have the joy of recieving something in return. Fortunately, it doesn't happen often because most quilters are as good as their word, I've found. only has to happen once...or twice to make you consider NOT joining in another round of a  Quilting Bee again.

 Sometimes, there are good excuses, like illness or tragedy, that make life crazy and things have to be put on hold. But other times, over commitment is the real culprit............ overcommitment to joining too many sewing Bees that damages the reputation of a quilter and the whole fun Bee Exchange in general. Quilters need to step back and really decide if they have the time to "follow through" before joining every Bee that looks tempting!!
Okay, I'm done fuming! Thanks for listening!

On the positive side, I have been a part of a great flickr group called the 3x6 Bee for a year.  I worked with 24 different quilters during that time. Only during the last quarter of 2010 did just one quilter not follow through. One was 2 months late without explanation, but she finally sent her blocks. Here are the last 5 blocks that have been sent my way....the 6th one is still pending. The top left block was made by me as a sample.
Thank you Marlyn from UT, Jenifer from CO, Melinda from WI, Solidia from IN, and Julie from CA for "following through"! You keep me wanting to trust that quilters really can be depended on! I  do love the whole Block Party concept.

Speaking of Block Party............Our speaker for the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild last night was none other than Allissa, one of the founders of the whole MQG movement and author of a book called Block Party, due out in April. Her blog, Handmade by Alissa,  is very inspirational and her quilts were even better in person than in pictures (of course!).
 Alissa brought some of her first quilts and some new ones that couldn't be photographed because they are "top secret" until her latest book exploring minimalism is published.
 Solid fabrics and lovely color are some of Alissa's favorite themes at this point in her quilt journey.
Here's the cover quilt for the Block Party book!
 We had lots of fun hearing about her life in LA and her quilting experience. But, then, we always have a lot of fun at the Modern Quilt Guild in Kansas City!


  1. ooh, can't wait to see that Hope Valley quilt when Angela is done with it!

  2. It's good that you brought up a touchy subject. I've been in only one on-line swap, and that was for an embroidered wall hanging. I had such high expectations and was completely disappointed. I won't again sign up for a one-on-one swap. Now a bee... it remains to be seen how this one goes in 2011. I'm sorry for you to have been let down. You've been admirably discreet in your comments about it.

  3. My first type of "group effort" was a quilt for the ALS foundation with my in-laws. As soon as I agreed to do a certain # of blocks my machine broke and had to be shipped out of state to be fixed under the warranty. I was a nervous wreck. I did make it in time, but never again will I put myself under that much stress. To top it off, the quilt was never donated to an ALS was auctioned off for research money. That's fine I guess but we made the quilt hoping it would go to a patient since my husband's aunt had just died with was our tribute to her to help another patient. Anyway, I don't sign up for things because I'm always scared something would happen and I'd be "that person."

  4. This is always a hard topic to discuss, and you did it well. I have been really happy with my first attempt at the 3x6 bee, and I've already gotten an amazing block from this quarter. But I have decided that is the only thing I'm doing this year that requires me to be responsible to someone else. I am starting a bunch of quilt-alongs, but if they don't get done on time, the only one affected, really, is me. I just ready a great post from The Sometimes Crafter whose word of the year this year is permission. For me that means permission to do what I want to do, and not feel bad about letting go of the other things. Sorry to ramble...

  5. Interesting read about following through, Carla! It is very easy to take on too much. The joy of creating and sewing quickly disappears when I take on too much. But the joy of participating in a group exchange or group effort is so appealing. A delicate balance....
    I like your Hope Valley top sooo much. Look forward to the next step!

    ; )

  6. love the hexagon quilt... and i think it's awesome that you are having angela quilt it... she does amazing work! for following through i personally have been bad when it comes to bees... i have a pile of blocks i need to catch up on & i'm not proud of it. i didn't sign up for any bees this year since i knew it was something i just can't keep up with.