Ask any quilter about their WIPs (works in progress) or UFOs (unfinished objects), and you'll likely sense a feeling of guilt surrounding their list of projects that aren't yet complete. I have definitely experienced this sense of shame and guilt when I think about the quilts I've started but haven't completed. Just look at my project list below. I currently have 20 quilt projects that are either started, or in the planning stages, which honestly gives me a bit of anxiety if I focus on the number. But it also makes me question why I feel this anxiety...these are all projects that I'm making for myself or my family, so there really are no hard deadlines (even though I sometimes like to assign deadlines to kick my booty in gear!). When I'm feeling this pressure and anxiety, it's a sign that I need to take a step back and remember what it is that I love about quilting. It's the process of creating that drew me to this hobby in the first place, not the need to achieve.
A message that came across for me recently is that I'm a human being, not a human doing. I think this is such an important message that applies to so many facets of our lives. The pressure to achieve and accomplish is deeply ingrained in our society as a whole. And it's not just work related either...it seeps into our hobbies, the things we choose to do purely for enjoyment and pleasure. We apply this pressure to ourselves subconsciously without even realizing that we're doing it. And that's why when quilters talk about their WIPs, even if they do so with humor, there's usually an underlying tone of guilt surrounding those unfinished projects. It's time to release this guilt...I give you permission!
It's equally important, when you do finish a project, to celebrate your achievement before moving on to the next goal. Too often when finishing a project we don't fully appreciate what we've accomplished, whether it's learning a new skill or creating something truly beautiful and amazing with our hands. You need to fully bask in this achievement before you jump into the next project.
So whenever you're feeling guilt or pressure to make more or do more, remember that achievement is not your goal. You chose to quilt because you love the process of creating, making something into existence that wasn't there before. There may be days when you don't feel like creating, and that's ok. Read a book, sit in nature, go for a walk, plan more quilt projects...whatever it is that you feel drawn to in the moment. Your WIPs and UFOs will still be there when you're ready. Trust me...they're not going anywhere.