t’s all about priorities
This week, setting priorities has been a major theme. In my quilting, personally and here at the store maintaining priorities has been a focal point. A few weeks back we had gotten in this great Christmas panel and a large portion of the collection to go with it. Of course I felt compelled to make the panel but I didn’t want to just layer and quilt as usual. I really wanted to DO something with it. In the course of my adventures at shows and online I had seen several panels sliced up and turned into Attic Windows blocks and this particular panel really seemed to fit the bill as something that work up like that beautifully. So I got to work slicing and dicing and piecing back together and before you knew it the thing was done and it was stunning.
Customers were drooling over it and everyone wanted to know how it was done. Of course I hadn’t set out to turn that quilt into a class so I didn’t write down any of my measurements or prepare a class in any way. But I figured, hey! Why not?! I’ll give it a go and try to teach this thing to the masses. I had to go back and take some measurements and jot some notes because of course I didn’t want to spoon feed this class measurements. I wanted to take them through my creative journey. I wanted to teach them the math. I wanted to show them how I came up with it. I wanted to show them where there were resources for them. I wanted them to be able to go home, dig out another panel in their stash and apply those principles that I taught them and make their own designs. Of course the first step in this quilt is the scariest one of all- cutting up the panel. While explaining how I measured and how I made decisions the theme of that first class was priorities. What elements I felt I needed to have in my finished quilt and what elements I didn’t want in my finished quilt and what I thought was important to the over all look. Of course the next question became how did I know the rest of it was going to work out so well?? And I had to be honest. I didn’t. I had set my priorities and was willing to let the rest of the chips fall into place. And if it worked out, awesome, and if not, I would figure it out from there. What I was not willing to do is spend hours and hours dwelling on what ifs and over thinking the whole thing. This is a seasonal quilt that’s supposed to bring me joy. Not remind me of all the aggravation I went through just trying to get the darn thing done. Once my priorities were set and I had figured out how to accomplish just that, I was free to enjoy the rest of the process. And wouldn’t you know it? Things just fell right into place!! The quilt came out great and now I’m in the process of teaching almost a dozen other people how to do what I did. And I’m not even angry about it!
Oddly enough, at the same time my father in law fell ill. Now we’re not talking life or death or anything crazy but he was sick. He was in and out of the doctors office, the emergency room and even spent a night in the hospital taking care of things. And while discussing what we were going to do about coverage for the store and who was going to come in and take care of things I realized that I needed to leave a few minutes early on Friday to take care of some things with my daughter. And there was no guarantee that my mother in law would be back in time to take care of the store. During the course of the discussion I finally just looked up at her and announced that I would just close the store a few minutes early if I needed to. It’s not something that I wanted to do, but all I could hear in my head is me harping on the girls in class about priorities. My mother in laws priority was her husband and my priority was my daughter. And once I really let that sink in for a minute, the decision was easy to make to close the store.
Later that very same day a customer came in with a beautiful yo yo quilt she had hand done and needed a backing. She needed a solid, didn’t want to piece it and would need something at least 90” wide. We didn’t have it. While going over ideas about colors, piecing vs. not piecing and what she really wanted her quilt to look like when it was done, I suggested getting a flat sheet. I told her how we usually don’t use sheets because of how they’re woven and can be difficult to work with. But if her priority was something solid in one piece and didn’t mind the extra effort she was going to have to put in to work with a sheet, then go for it!
And all I could think as she walked out the door is, there I go with those stinking priorities again!