Saturday, January 9, 2010

Thinking about being "burned out"

On one of the lists today there has been quite a conversation about being burned out on doing customer quilting. It has been interesting to me and I can certainly understand. I don't like to use the words "burned out" to describe my own situations. I just see the hulk of a house all burned out and blackened inside when I hear those words and that is never how I feel. I never feel as bad as that image.

But, I do understand the lack of enthusiasm and/or drive to "get to work". I have been experiencing that since the end of October. I have not turned Miss Daisy on since before October 24th. I have 4 quilts from customers (I still keep a few good customers) who have been very caring, understanding people. They are nice quilts - the kind I usually love doing. They will require a combination of free hand and using Hoke. But, I just can't get going.

I have a few UFO's of my own to finish. I have two I would like to enter into local, regional and national shows, but they sit undone. I have done some piecing and that seems to be okay as long as it is mindless stuff - no creativity required. Just simple piecing following a pretty easy pattern. That I can do, but it is not very exciting. That is the kind of thing I am doing with "The Breakfast Club" I started going to the end of September. And, I have enjoyed going to the monthly classes - enjoyed the people and the sharing. But, I have not wanted to go to any other quilting related gatherings. I have not wanted to go to guild meetings, art group, quilt study or a planned retreat. Nothing!

There I have said it! I have thought maybe I should sell all of this stuff - the A1, the IQ, the sewing machines, the books, the fabric. And then I realize, no, I want to do this! I want to create beautiful quilts, traditional and art quilts. I just don't want to do it right now. So what gives. I am not burned out as I have never worked as hard at it as others. I have not had to make a living quilting as it has always been a supplement to my retirement and I want it to be again. But, right now I am standing still.

One thing I do know for sure. When big emotional things happen in my life, it can cause me to not be able to move forward. Sometimes it has been caused by the death of a loved one, serious a illness of my own or a loved one, a divorce, a job change, a major move, or an all consuming job. I have had some of those things cross my path again in the last few months and I know I will again in the future. That is the rhythm of my life. So, until I hear "the music" again, I will be thankful for knowing that it will return when the time is right. And the time will be right for me when it is right. Until then, I will work on other things, be happy with other aspects of my life and be grateful. I will not "fret" that I am not creating my quilts. I will enjoy!


Diana said...

Boy, I hear you there. I also have given serious thought to just selling it all and getting a fresh start but then....I love quilting and making quilts. I'm just having a hard time right now. It will be there when I am back to my old self and then I will create again...just like you. It is OK to not quilt and sew for awhile....GMTA!

vivian said...

This must be contagious! I have not felt like doing anything for a couple weeks! I blame it on the weather and the holidays. I would be happy if I could just curl up on the couch all day! I have had a small custom quilt on the machine for 4 days-it should have taken me 4 hours to do. I'm glad to know others go through it to-I am not alone!

Carol said...

It feels like trudging through heavy mud, but I am going to make myself trudge through it - once in while, it seems light and fun and I know those times will get more and last longer. Thanks you both for understanding.

Rebecka said...

I've just come across your quilting on, and wanted to let you know that it takes my breath away. I'm sorry to read of your loss, but wanted to let you know that your quilting is an inspiration to me! I began sewing patchwork & quilting less than two years ago, and am still working on straight lines :)

Carol said...

Thank you, Rebecka. I just looked at one of my show quilts today and decided I do need to get back into doing more. Your words are an inspiration to me! Thank you for letting me know!