Thanks for all the kind words about my mouth organ! There’s definitely something transformative about “firsts” and this is no different. I learned quite a bit from the experience so far:

  1. don’t underestimate the time required to stitch your design;
  2. don’t wait until the last possible minute to find a frame;
  3. don’t buy a crappy frame, especially at the last possible minute;
  4. whew, thank goodness, find a nice frame at the very very very last minute;
  5. and don’t undervalue your time and your work.
  6. But do have fun and stay true to yourself.

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So let’s talk about stuff this week…

Here’s a true confession. In the past year, I decided that maybe I don’t want to make quilts anymore.
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Yeah.
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Okay, these thoughts would alternately send me into anxiety attacks or serious mojo-less blue funks. And so I knew this issue required some deep introspection. Coming out of the fog, it seems that I don’t want to make meaningless quilts anymore. Mind you, meaningless is merely a placeholder word only meant to convey my own judgement of my own quilts. Perhaps this visual will help?

My creation
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To begin to define what I mean by this—which I’m not sure we’ll totally define today since I still don’t know (that log cabin could go either way)—I thought that we’d start with a little about me. Have you ever learned about your personality type indicator? It’s tested by the MBTI (only administered by a trained professional) or the Keirsey sorter. You can take a simulated test online here at Human Metrics, get your 4-letter type, and then Google your type to read more. I’ve taken the professionally-administered MBTI twice: once as a senior in college and again several years later. The results were similar: INTP with my scores near the center of introvert/extrovert and the center of judging/perceiving. [Once, I took the online test after a glass or two of wine and it came up ISFJ, pretty much the opposite in all ways. This requires some thought.]
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If you read about INTPs, the descriptions go on at length about inwardly-focused creative analytic problem solvers. To quote from the page linked above: “the INTP is motivated to solve complex problems in an original, innovative way. [They] want to analyze systems and ideas thoroughly to create deep understanding, and enjoy designing creative solutions to highly abstract problems.”
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Anyway, this is a roundabout way to attempt an analogy with quilts here. Stick with me.
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I am super bad at small-talk. I tend to just hang around until conversations warm up and then I am excited to engage in non-small-talk. This is not a judgement, it’s just a statement of my skill-set, which is upheld by an assessment of my personality (see the aside at the end of the post below). So…here’s the connection. To me, meaningless quilts are like small-talk: I’m good at trying them out, getting some sense of their underlying structure and potential, but then I get want more of something and have to move on. But I seem always to finish quilts that have some deeper meaning to me like George and Todd’s No Baby Baby Quilt. Either they explore new ways to do traditional things or they explore non-quilterly things in a quilterly way.

meaningful
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These quilts are not small-talk; they are not meaningless to me.
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To be sure, I value all quilts (well, almost all quilts). But with the time constraints I am under, I need to make sure to maximize my time with projects that I’m sure to finish and love, rather than ones that will languish on the WIP pile and haunt me for years.
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As a quilter, if I’m going to continue, I want to do more that means more to me. That’s all. Does that make sense? Let’s see if this resolve cures what ails me.

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Here’s a big aside that I was glad to read because it’s so very true of me and my interactions with folks. So… for those who I might meet in RealLife someday, here’s more: “Logical and analytical, INTPs may appear detached or overly critical to others who are more sensitive. They are generally tolerant of others and opposing viewpoints, however, and simply strive for precise and efficient communication.” I have a pretty good filter on my mouth, but if my patience runs out, well,…sorry. Be assured, I’ll notice, apologize profusely, and feel terrible for days for losing it, though.