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Working to Deadline October 10, 2010

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in Self-Development.
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a nod to marye2

For the last week and a half I have been working to fulfill a deadline. And if there is anything I have learned about myself it’s that I make my deadlines. That completion may come at the 11th hour but I do get there because I hate to miss deadlines.

This particular deadline is for a quilt that I am entering in my guild’s big biennial quilt show. Our registration forms had to be turned in at the August meeting but the quilt did not have to be completed at that time. In August I had finished piecing the top so I could take a picture of it to submit with my entry. However, the quilting had yet to be completed. In the past I have hired a longarm quilter to do this for me because I find quilting on a regular sewing machine to be a major pain in the  ****. However, since I purchased a longarm quilting machine in June, I of course elected to do the quilting myself.

Through a confluence of delaying events which include lower back problems, pieces falling out of my longarm machine and utter fear that I would screw it up, I found myself having to complete the quilt in a few days’ time. Last Monday I had a week and a day to get it done. Then my machine began to regurgitate crucial parts. I remained calm but whiny and got the darn thing back together again with the help of a very patient technician in Missouri.(Bless you, Aubrey.) Bottom line: the quilt is now less than one hour from being completed. See the lovely picture above.

Since quilting  and hand sewing are fairly repetitive it gives one time to reflect. So I reflected a little on deadlines. I often think that if I didn’t have them—or set them for myself—I’d never get a darn thing done. I think I’d be a lazy lout if not for deadlines—but then of course I reflect on who is setting the deadlines. That would be the overly ambitious (at times) but definitely not lazy me.

One thing about life on a deadline is that it really helps to sort out one’s priorities. In the last week and a half I have found it quite easy to say no to requests, to schedule the time I needed to finish the quilt, to cut out unnecessary dawdling. That’s been pretty cool. So cool, in fact that I am going to bring that practice forward to my non-deadline life. (Yes, that’s a very public declaration!)

My way-cool coach Jen Louden calls those things time monsters. And monsters they are. Here are some of my time monsters:

  • surfing the internet for no good reason
  • playing with fabric in my sewing studio
  • watching NCIS re-runs that I could recite from memory because I have seen them so often
  • re-writing stuff that is probably just fine
  • shopping

While I may not stop doing the things that I know are time-wasters (I love NCIS), I can at least make more conscious decisions about where I choose to spend my time. Emphasis on choose. We all make choices—that includes you, dear reader. If your choices are not getting you where you want to be then guess what. You can choose again.

Maybe you’ll get a quilt done ahead of deadline. Maybe I will too someday. Anything is possible.

—Amara

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Comments»

1. Karen Talavera - October 11, 2010

Your quilt is beautiful – I had no idea you were SO multi-talented. I hope it wins (if prizes are part of the show) or at least, inspires. Congratulations on sticking to your deadline despite the setbacks – I know the feelings all too well.

edgyangel - October 11, 2010

Thank you, Karen. Yes there are prizes involved but I will be shocked if it wins one–the competition is stiff. Lots of great and long-time quilters in my guild. But it’s my best effort and that’s all I can ask.

2. Jane S - October 11, 2010

Wow, what a great picture of your beautiful quilt. Gosh, I hope the Saturday shopping excursion wasn’t a waste of time:-) Had a fabulous day, thanks so much for inviting me along.

edgyangel - October 11, 2010

Thanks..I’m very happy it is complete though I’m sure if I really tried I could find something else to do on it. 🙂


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