I was up very late last night sewing. Actually, I was up pretty much all night and well into the early morning finishing a crib-sized quilt top. My husband got up at his customary early hour and came downstairs at 4:30 (after starting a pot of strong coffee) just as I was pressing my last seam. I don’t make a habit of being up at all hours anymore, especially now that my younger daughter is regularly going to bed at 8:00 p.m. and sleeping through the night (are those angels I hear singing?). However, I accepted an assignment on a very tight turnaround and the deadline is just around the corner. I have always been a night owl — planning to get up extra early to get stuff done has never worked for me — so I just settled in for a night of sewing and got done what I needed to do.
Sometime around, oh I don’t know, 2:00 a.m. or so, I must have broken through the quilter’s equivalent of the runner’s wall.
“This is easy,” I started to think. “I should do this staying-up-late thing more often. It’s so quiet, and I’m getting so much done!” And in typical quilter fashion, now that the challenge of design and piecing on this quilt was almost complete, my mind was already jumping ahead to the next quilt on my list. (Never mind that I still have to quilt this quilt before my deadline!) I began to wonder if I’d have time before I needed to get ready for work to start pulling fabric for the next quilt, or if I should pull out one of my old, not-so-interesting UFO’s instead and figure out how I wanted to finish it up.
I did neither. After turning off my iron, I laid down for a couple of hours to rest my back and my brain and to let go of Wednesday before dealing with Thursday. But the feeling of completing a quilt top I started less than two weeks ago, even a small one, was a rare experience for me. I tend to work at a fairly slow pace these days what with little kids in the house who want my attention. Last night, though, I got a feel for how the other half lives, the quilters who either can sew pedal to the metal and do a lot of piecing very quickly, or those who make easier or modern quilts that deliver a lot of instant gratification. As Liz Lemon says, I want to go to there. Or at least, I want to experience that sense of accomplishment more often.
As Gigi described in her recent blog post, in a few weeks our newest special issue, Best Weekend Quilts 2013, will go on sale. I had the bright idea that all of us on the QN staff who sew should choose a pattern we think we can make in a weekend and blog about it. So once I’m finished with my current assignment, I’ll be trying to shorten the time it takes me to complete a quilt top even further. And I don’t even think I’ll have to pull an all-nighter to do so. Stay tuned!