I Quilt: Balance


i quilt blog button

Can you believe it’s Thursday already?!  Welcome to your weekly quilty link-up here at Pretty Bobbins; I Quilt.  This link up is all about the quilting process, we want to learn and grow together and my goal is to give something back to the online quilting community.  Before I start to talk about my theme this week, I want to remind you to please visit a few other linkers and add the linky button and/or a link to my blog.

quilty habit improv mini in progress

Image by Quilty Habit, used with permission

This week I am featuring the very talented Jessica from Quilty Habit.  I always love visiting Jessica’s blog, it has a fun, fresh feel to it and her projects are always beautiful!  Her profile picture also features her in a scarf with one of my favourite prints, so I feel happy whenever I pop on over :)  Last week Jessica shared a beautiful improv curve mini that she was making for Valentine’s day.  If you follow me at all, you will know that I LOVE improv and I LOVE improv curves even more!

Quilty Habit improv curves heart mini

Image by Quilty Habit, used with permission

Jessica finished her Valentine’s mini (above) and it’s just gorgeous!  Seriously girl, you got everything just right!  The colours, the prints, the quilting, everything (even the photography)!  Well done, it’s beautiful!  I encourage you all to pop over and check it out.

Getting back to my theme this week of balance.  Now, this isn’t strictly quilting but it is integral to me as a quilter, if you know what I mean :)

As you know, I’ve recently been running around my new home town of Canberra asking the local quilting stores if they’d hand out my business cards for longarm quilting.  I also offered myself as a teacher.  Well, two stores, Addicted to Fabric and Hobby Sew, have signed me up for a number of classes including free motion quilting, piecing (with a focus on modern styles), foundation paper piecing, cushions, my starry skies quilt, table runners, and possibly a few other things.  (Details to follow, I’d love some local friendly faces to come along!)  At the same time I have had my first few customer quilts AND I have returned to my day job part time!

I’m super excited to be teaching, seriously, I can talk for hours and hours about quilting and I can’t wait to share my enthusiasm with students and offer some fresh, modern techniques and ideas.  My big dream is to be a full time longarmer and on my days at home I will working towards this as well as fitting in teaching and teaching preparations (samples people, I have samples coming out my ears!).  I then spend three days a week at the office (today was my first official day, I did go in about a month ago for a planning day).  Every day I drop my kids at school, and two days a week I collect them (from two different schools).

I am feeling overwhelmed, excited, overwhelmed, anxious, overwhelmed and…  Well you get the idea ;)  I feel like I’m over committed, I feel like I have too many equally important priorities pulling me in different directions.  I am living in chaos and I need to reign it all in and feel in control.  BUT, I am doing all of this so that I can live my dream of being a longarm quilter.  So I’m not complaining, I don’t resent the hard work.  I’m just sharing this journey :)  Balance is something that I am craving.  I want to quilt and piece.  I want to teach and quilt.  I want to be with my babies and have an income.  I don’t necessarily want to don a suit three days a week but I do want that income (and it’s kinda fun to dress up).

photo (39)

When I quilt I am pedantic about tension, I want that perfect balance between top and bobbin thread.  I take my time setting everything up, I test threads, I don’t let myself panic or worry.  I focus on getting the perfect balance and then I quilt knowing that my quilting will be beautiful, I will enjoy the process and I will feel relaxed and energised.  Right now there is no balance in my life.  It’s all GO GO GO!!!

How do you find balance?  Do you have any tips?  I would love to hear your advice.  This whole working mum, starting a business, teaching and quilting for others is new to me!  I feel comfortable and confident in each of these roles, but trying to do them all at once is a challenge!!  Share your wisdom lovely quilters :)  And I promise that next week there will be lots of quilty photos :)  Oh, and speaking of balance…  I’ve realised that I can no longer visit all the linkers, I just don’t have time, so I’m visiting half a dozen or so each week from now on.  Thanks so much for understanding, I just need to seek that balance :)

i quilt blog button

An InLinkz Link-up

10 Comments on I Quilt: Balance

  1. France
    February 14, 2014 at 12:07 am (2 months ago)

    Hi Gemma! I wish to thank you for your link party. I just love looking at quilts. I added your “I Quilt Thursdays” button to my blog home page but it has a rectangle shape instead of the square shape I see on your site. Why? I have no clue. Let me know if it bothers you or if you have a solution (maybe I’m not the only one to whom it happened?). Thanks and have a great thursday!

  2. Lea
    February 14, 2014 at 2:57 am (2 months ago)

    Oh Gemma how exciting! I’m happy for you that everything is falling into place. There are so many new things happening for you right now, you are getting you’re footing. Getting a routine in order will be a big help, I think. And writing things down is helpful, to me. Right now it is all so new (and exciting!) and that in itself can be a bit overwhelming but in a wonderful kind of way. :) I have no doubt that things will happen as they should, fall into place and new doors will continue to open for you. Enjoy the ride.

  3. Christa Quilts
    February 14, 2014 at 2:59 am (2 months ago)

    That is wonderful! Congrats on the teaching! I’m sure you will love it. I don’t have balance. I just work all the time. But I love it!

  4. Jess @ Quilty Habit
    February 14, 2014 at 3:38 am (2 months ago)

    Gemma, I know how you feel! I have 4 different part time jobs, plus I’m now the president of my guild, so I feel like I’m being pulled in a million directions. My busy-ness seems to ebb and flow, though, so on days when I have down time, I focus on getting organized and sewing. There’s always something that suffers (right now that is exercise but I hope to change that when it finally stops snowing around here), but I’ve come to terms with it for now. Congrats on those wonderful opportunities you have – I can’t wait to read more about your classes! And thank you so much for the feature! My husband is proud because he did the photographs ;)

  5. Esther F.
    February 14, 2014 at 4:25 am (2 months ago)

    Even I struggle with this! And I do not have a husband and/ or children and just one job, very close to home. I would love to do more quilting, but my day job has to come first.
    We totally understand you can’t visit everyone!
    Have a wonderful Friday!!!

  6. Luann
    February 14, 2014 at 5:28 am (2 months ago)

    In my shop I sold note cards with this phrase: TAKE MY ADVISE, I’M NOT USING IT! That should give you a little giggle, and that would relieve some stress.
    My words of wisdom are: pick the top three things each day, get them taken care of, THEN decide on two more if there’s any time left in your day.
    Take care of you, take care of family, spend time with God. Those will always be the most important things in your life.
    One more thing, “No.” Is a complete sentence, it doesn’t require any reason, and we all should feel free to use it more often. You have the same 24 hours as I do, how we each chose to waste, spend, or invest them is up to us, and only us.

  7. Judy
    February 15, 2014 at 1:23 am (2 months ago)

    Hi Gemma, I read your blog and really empathised. I have been in just your situation – I started my own business when my children were small for just the same reasons. Some days I was so busy I used to wonder if I had dropped the right child at the right school! Looking back with two grown up children I would advise you to deal with the immediate and try not to worry too much about planning the future. If you look after the ‘now’ as best you can the future will sort itself. People will say take some ‘me’ time – but i never managed it – but I was happy, busy and fulfilled and so were my family. And when you look back you will see just how much you have achieved. Good luck!!

  8. Karen Miller
    February 15, 2014 at 3:34 am (2 months ago)

    Gemma you must be so very excited! Congratulations… Can’t wait to follow your progress and sending you positive vibes to maintain that balance. I can sue relate as I’m walking a parallel path with you only here in the states. I’m struggling to find the balance – thankfully our children are grown and I only have 2 more years of my “job” before I’m doing what I love full time! I hope we can share tips in the future. One tip is to be true to yourself… I think you’re there. Hugs, Karen

  9. Nurdan
    February 16, 2014 at 8:36 pm (2 months ago)

    Excellent news Gemma! When are the classes? Would like to attend and meet you too!

  10. Abby
    February 17, 2014 at 10:15 pm (2 months ago)

    So glad your settling back in here in Oz. I hope I will be able to take a class with you when I get to holiday in Canberra. (It’s probably a bit far to drive from Newcastle just for a class)
    I find when everything seems to be coming at you at once write a list. Crossing things off is cathartic and I list EVERYTHING. Like cooking dinner, paying bills, drinking water… Little steps make it easier.


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