Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Excuses Excuses

We designers love our fans. We love them because without them, we would not be allowed to call ourselves professional quilt designers and be able to write off all of our thread purchases, travel to ports unknown and get a little break from reality while spending time with adults, or consider the merits of finally getting a smartphone to make credit card transactions easier. We also never would know the joy of opening an email or meeting someone in person who wants to tell us they made a pattern of ours and it was the highlight of their life thusfar. Or something similar - I'm paraphrasing, but of course only slightly.

Our fans also keep us on our toes, and I dedicate this post to all of you, and some of you may know who you are, who have ever said to one of us "So.....when is your next pattern coming out?" Seven little words that we love and/or can be the scourge of our existence at the same time at any given moment.

Don't get me wrong. We want you to ask, because it means you enjoy our work and want more of it. We need you to ask, because it means we know we have a sure audience for the next one. However, we sometimes dread you asking, because it means we have to get our asses in gear.

I was asked this innocent question twice at my guild meeting last week. By the second time I was absolutely flattered of course, but absolutely sure Greta was on to something when she calls it my "Guilt Meeting". So by way of excuse as to why I do not have something almost ready to go at the moment, here is my top ten list of reasons I more often than not need little break between patterns:

10. Most patterns take me about 2-3 months from conception to bagging. I promise you no one under the age of 10 in this house got a decent haircut or new shoes or was able to have a moment where I wasn't engrossed in pattern crap during that time, so I figure they deserve a little time where I am not pattern obsessed.
9. The rest of my business doesn't stop during pattern production (PP). I still have bills to pay, shows to vend, lectures to give, newsletters and blogs to write so you don't forget I exist, patterns to submit to other media, etc. I'm a huge fan of keeping the rotisserie chicken industry in full swing during PP. After PP (oooh. That sounds a little dirty, but we'll keep it anyway) I now and then enjoy throwing together a gourmet meal or two a week. Call me Julia.
8. EQ is destined to kill me. So if I have used EQ in my pattern, as I did with Kickin' Stash, I need to give myself even more time off to erase all of the blue language that has accumulated in my brain.
7. If Diana Gabaldon has come out with a new installment of the Voyager epics, no quilting can be done until I immerse myself once again in the world of Claire and Jamie.
7a. You are welcome.
6. My sewing studio is a disaster after a pattern. If I can find the floor I am happy. In all honesty, the mess can be so overwhelming that sometimes I just shut the door and don't go down there for days on end. And I actually like it. To move on would mean having to clean it. Who wants to do that?
5. Many times, for whatever reason, no fabrics I can find, anywhere, appeal to me right after a pattern comes out. Fabric overload or something. I'm a "I see it in my head and then I create it" designer, so if I am not inspired by the fabrics, I find it hard to create something. And so I wait to find a good piece of inspiration. Such as a plaid kilt.
4. Sometimes, as in these last few weeks, I think I have a good idea. But I can't seem to make it work. You may recall this photo from my DaGMT days

And here's another of the same project:

 I'm trying, but I can't get a second colorway to go together the way I want to. Partially because I forgot to write down what I was doing when I made the first blocks and now can't recreate it. Details rock - sadly, I have none of them close at hand for this one.
3. My sister introduced me to this tumblr: http://mydaguerreotypeboyfriend.tumblr.com/. Who knew Almanzo Wilder was so good looking back in the day? These things take time to investigate fully.

3a. You are welcome again.
2. Sometimes I want to make something that WASN'T my design. I can't do that in the midst of a PP time so I have to save it for afterward. I'm loving this little block for another way to use up fabrics right now. (Four blocks shown made by Laurie Thompson.) It's a free pattern at http://piecebynumber.com/circleofgeese.htm.

1. Let's face it, I love to design, but I also love to sleep, read, cook, and be lazy now and then. So I let myself for a while. And then when I am ready and inspired, I can knock out another pattern in 2-3 months.

The good news is - I'm close to being inspired. I can feel it. In the meantime, I do have a new project for Quilter's World in the works, so I promise you, I am not just sitting around checking out photos of hot dead men.

Although I highly recommend it.


meg said...

I have been searching the net for the buckles/straps used for kilts and not one site had as wonderful a kilt illustration as your blog did. I do thank you.
Oh, the rest of what you said is cool, too.

heartsease54 said...

I'm right there with you on the Jamie & Claire thing. When a new book comes out-that's it-NOTHING gets done while I read it.

LInda Pearl said...

On behalf of your legions of fans - can I get a shout out for Confetti Toss, your red headed stepchild - thank you for 7A and 3A. You should put together a trunk show entitled The Best of Quilting Hottie Haven...it'd be a sell out!

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