Hurry Up or Wait

June 28, 2011

While reading an issue of Irish Quilting Magazine I came across a comment I spent some time contemplating: “never be in a hurry to finish a quilt”. Now, my first response was that it was good advice, but I soon discovered that there are times the opposite can be true. Let me explain :-).

The article went on to say that “most of the time when we’re in a hurry, mistakes happen”. This can certainly be true and I decided I agreed. A day or so later I realized it was time to do a bit of tidying up in my studio and ended up staring at one of my recent (I use the term loosely) projects. It is my version of a mariner’s compass on drugs. About a year ago I started drafting a bevy of amoeba shaped compasses that interconnected, and I was pleased with the design. I had it enlarged and then agonized over a color scheme. Once that problem was solved the piecing was great fun. It turned out so well I decided I needed a truly wonderful quilting design and began to ponder what I could do that would take the quilt over the top – I didn’t want to rush into anything.

The top has been hanging on my design wall since March :-(. I was telling myself it was marinating, but now its simply frustrating. No amazing quilt design has materialized and I’ve gone way past the stage of rushing into something!

So, while staring at this piece that used to make me smile I realized that there is a happy medium for everything and at that moment my own advice, which I often share in my Beyond Meandering class, resounded in my ear:

When choosing a quilting design don’t say to yourself “a judge would appreciate feathers”, but rather “what would be fun to do today?” I was looking for the perfect design and it wasn’t forthcoming…. so I made the decison at that moment that my favorite free mo design is spirals and they’d be more fun then cleaning so I set up the machine and had a ball! I’m not ready to show the whole thing – and there’s more quilting left to be done – but I’m back to excited again. Here’s a picture of some of the fun.











So, don’t rush, but don’t let the moss grow on your quilt either. The perfect quilting design is the one you are in the mood to do today!



  1. Chris,
    I love it!!! Beautiful design and wonderful colors :)

    Margo Egan

  2. I love that design and it is a fairly easy one to do, even thro mine does not quite look like yours. I have also been putting off quilting and will have to take your advice and just do it!

  3. Your marinated mariner’s star looks great in the photo! I hate quilting deadlines and don’t like to “hurry” quilt finishing–sometimes after getting stuck or bored with a project and putting it aside for awhile (or a long while, depending on circumstances), its fun to apply some technique or design which I have encountered in the meantime. Then the piece may get finished up relatively quickly–and very likely turns out better than if I had just made myself finish it, just to get it done. Sandy

  4. I love the spirals!!

  5. Many years ago I was terribly ill for a long period of time. Instead of worrying about anything others might consider important, I worried about the four quilt tops hanging in my sewing room closet! How would they get quilted? Who will know what to do with them or will anyone even care? As soon as I could function, I arranged to send them off to be machine quilted. I have since taken two of those apart and hand quilted them but, in any case, I am now a finisher. I have few projects going at any time and one of them is always a priority to finish. It’s a very satisfying and fulfilling feeling to see my ideas and work neatly sewn up and ready to use or display.

    • Your advice on being a “finisher” would probably take some of the stress out of our lives. Thanks Mary Beth!

  6. that is beautiful

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