Saturday, August 01, 2009

the rest of the story

Thanks so much for the kind comments on the studio and for sharing your space with me. I'm still working through the links...but I will be sure to make the rounds.

A few of you asked, "Is it always so neat and tidy?" Well, I did clean up a little bit before shooting the photos, maybe 5-10 minutes. So not a lot. I try to keep it neat because it's much more enjoyable to work in a neat space. But here's the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey would say...


My closet.

It's never clean. There are layers of stuff in front of other stuff. The way it's set up now, it's not user friendly at all. I wasn't going to share this photo with you, but I am, because oftentimes when blogging it's too easy to edit out the dirty details. It can create the illusion that all things are rosy. I guess I'm just trying to do a little fair and balanced reporting here.

Which brings me to my next point...blogging has been making me feel grossly inadequate. And fiercely competitive. And a little bit crazy. I've been trying to keep up with it all, but I can't. I keep pushing myself to come up with more and more fabulous stuff and it's making me tired. So very tired. So for those that ask me, how do you do it all? Don't try to do it all. It takes all the fun out of it.

134 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love all you do, even the little things. And could you please stop doing soooooo many because my list of things to try is just way too long. I may have to live to be 100years old to complete them all. But I do love your ideas. Don't work too hard. I appreciate all you do.

Melanie

Chase said...

Your works have inspired me so much and encourage me lots, too! Thank you for every post you shared here ~
Chase

Michelle said...

I have been feeling the same way about blogging. It has definitely inspired me but at the same time I have felt a lot of pressure. I have been trying to get back to what I enjoy about quilting this week. I am glad to know that others feel the same way.

karen said...

i think you are fabulous!! Your quilts inspire & the fact that you have a family and still have time to accomplish what you do is a miracle. i am quilting along with the nine patch quilt & felt very intimidated until your blog..i think i can...i think i can...the most important thing is have fun & create! Keep up the good work & we will continue to enjoy the sharing that you do with us!

The Hershey Bryces said...

You are one of those people everyone really works hard (doing too much) to be like! Please slow down so the rest of us can :) LOVE all you do! SOO inspiring!

Melissa said...

AmandaJean,

You sound like in some ways you've hit the wall. I don't want to encourage you to stop, but girl you need a break! We'll all be here when and if you do! You need some time to regroup and get inspired for yourself! I hope you are encouraged to know that of all of the quilting blogs you were the first I found and my all time favorite! Thanks for your honesty :) It is a reminder for me to think about why I've adopted my hobby (and my blog)!

Colossians 3:23-24

Love in Christ,
Melissa

Anonymous said...

Hi Amanda!
I know exactly how you feel. I'm not a blogger (yet) but other areas of my life put pressure on me too! It's too bad because we really try too hard be always the best...but sometimes we just have to be ourselves. Don't work too hard, ok? I love ALL you do, even the thiny little things. So, slow down friend! I'll keep coming here, even there's only a cookie recipe to read... :)

Patricia (from Brazil)

Angie said...

I'm feeling a bit the same way right now, and I am not NEARLY as productive as you are. I just want to have fun quilting, and when I do too many, i think I take the fun away.

Cheryl said...

You don't HAVE to do anything -- in fact, if you start feeling that way, you won't enjoy doing what you WANT to do any more. When I haven't done much creative, I either post a photo of something I did a long time ago, or I post about something not related to sewing. Just to let people know I'm out there. I use the blog as incentive to get things done sometimes, but you shouldn't feel like you have to do it. The world has enough pressure already.

Thimbleanna said...

ARE YOU KIDDING Crazy Mom??? How could you feel inadequate with all your beautiful quilts? Don't let the fun be taken away -- slow down and smell the roses!

momawake said...

We all love your quilts, but no one (I hope) would ever want you to feel pressured to the point of not enjoying what you do. Sit back, take a break, whatever you've got to do. Come back refreshed. :) (No pressure!)

Candied Fabrics said...

"So for those that ask me, how do you do it all? Don't try to do it all. It takes all the fun out of it."
You said it all!

I'm sure we all feel inadequate to others, and I'll be we make other people feel inadequate too - it's great to talk about the messy little closets etc... so we keep it real!

Michaela said...

Sometimes we need a break. I just took long one myself or at least I call it that. I was so busy with all the other things life brings that sewing and quilting was put on hold. I continued to read blogs, but quickly I just got frustrated that everyone is creating and I just can't get there. It should be all about us having fun. I was worried about losing my readers and I probably did lose some, but I realized that's OK. Even though I love to see comments that is not the reason why I started to blog. I am taking it easy now, in fact, I will be traveling for while, so no blogging, but I will be sure soaking up some inspiration.
I love what you do, but I want you to love it too. Take it easy...

Soja said...

I haven't commented before, but I always check your blog, of course I love all the many wonderful and inspiring things you create, but more than that, I come back because you always seem so encouraging and welcoming, it doesn't matter if you have anything "new" to show or not. I hope you can find a balance that works for you and enjoy what you are doing and not feel pressured. I made my first quilt this time last year, and I'm only now about to start on my second. Not very productive :-) Very best wishes, another Amanda

beth said...

amandajean...so sorry you're feeling tired. You are an inspiration to a lot of people. take a break...step back and relax. try to enjoy quilting and then get back to us. just share what you're doing, don't try to come up with anything new. o.k.?
by the way...it was so-o-o nice of you to respond to my blog today..it made me really happy.:)

Jessica said...

I can completely understand what you mean. I love blog hopping and oohing and ahing over everyone's creations, but it does sometimes make me ask myself "what is wrong with you? why can't you pound out quilts like that?" But then I remind myself that I'm just in a different stage in my life than a lot of these other people are. I work at my own pace and just try to remember that no one out there in blogland is judging me based on the number of quilts I produce, or whether or not they are "pretty enough" (and if they are judging me, I don't care!)
Take a break if you need to, we'll all still be here when you return : )

Alissa said...

Oh my gosh - I so know what you mean about blogging... I hope you know that your blog is amazing and inspiring and just generally wonderful. Since I'm freelance I go through periods of working and I feel so stressed about the lack of time I have to sew... NOT because I'm not sewing, but because I have nothing to blog about... so I completely understand how you're feeling. Hope it passes and you feel better!

badlandsquilts said...

If you new how motivating and inspiring you are, perhaps you would realize how much you have accomplished.

That said, don't do what is not fun. Those of us in the blogoverse will enjoy whatever you share, whenever you do. I read some blurb on a blog about blogging without obligations (icons say bwoo)... I have tried to keep that in mind as I start this venture.

Take this time before school & schedules start and take a few days alone to vacation... are you near the Kohler spa... isn't that the fancy smancy highly rated one in WI!?

Hugs, Karen

Andrea said...

amandajean, I was wondering when this would happen! I've been following you for awhile now, and it seems like your projects get more and more and more...I was wondering when you would start to feel the pressure! Remember the joy of creating, and just share when you can. If you can only post once in awhile, so be it! we'll still follow along. You have a been such a wonderful inspiration to me and my quilting, and no pressure meant by that at all. I just love to come by and look at your old and new works and get inspired.

Jensmom said...

Amandajean, I love reading about everything you make, but please do not feel pressured to get more done.I love your blog because of you, not what you get done.Life is too short to tire yourself out.Take a break, enjoy your wonderful family.If you only want to post a coloring picture you made with your daughter, we'd love to see it. LOL I am a SAHM and i have just recently made myself slow down. I was putting in 16 to 18 hour days.(trying to get too much done at once). Since doing that the thing I do get done are so much more enjoyable.Take a break. The rest of us will be here when you get back. Big Hugs!

Annie said...

a big hug from me, and I sincerely understand. You are an amazing quilter who continually inspirers me, but I like the bits you don't edit too. I will post my sewing space later today and share my room with you. Enjoy looking at everyone's space and just chill out a bit.

Leah said...

No need to feel pressure from this reader. I read quilting blogs so I can see what other quilters are up to and to inspire myself to get sewing, which I really needed to do, my fabric stash had been crying my name for months and when I finally opened the door to say hi, I don't think it even remembered what I looked like.
In my opinion, there is no competition among quilters, just different styles. Just keep posting your style. It doesn't matter if it is a stunning 5000 piece quilt or simple 4 patches. Matter of fact, if you want to keep making nine patches for the rest of your life and post pictures of that, I will still be a follower. So make what you feel like making and post what and when you feel like posting. You can post a couple times a week, or couple times a month, what ever. Either way, If you post it...I will come...

soggybottomflats said...

wow girl, I nearly fell out of my chair with your closet! I made me feel better about my sewing room, of which can never be shared for fear of incarceration, lol. Thank you for posting it, wish I could give you a hug for that one.

You have made a huge difference in lots of quilters lives but you need to take care of you too. Go spoil yourself for a while, spa, good book, mommy time baking with the kiddies. Then take a nap, you deserve it.

We'll be here when you get back. You know you could take some pics of favorite things you cherish. I love to view home town pics, lakes, flowers, vintage quilts, to name a few.

You take care Amandajean, Elaine

roylancemommy said...

Just want to say "ditto" to lots of what others have written. My "to-do" list is filled with wonderful quilts inspired by you, so Thank-you :) I know I will get to them eventually. I started a little sewing blog, but haven't gotten very far....it might make you feel better to look at it! www.ohsewfun.blogspot.com Really though, thank you for all that is already on your blog,...my son tested positive for Influenza A (probably swine flu) this morning, so I'm just decompressing by looking at my fav sewing blogs!

siwa said...

I'm working on my new sewing space too. Yours is so nice and neat. I wish my husband could have built anything for me. Nope ... he's willing to pay (not cutting or nailing a piece of wood). I found a series or interesting video clip in youtube 'how to build a cheap sewing and quilting table'. It's really easy to manage both by one gal's labor and $$$.

Love everything you share with us :-)

Vicki said...

Your stuff is great. I'm sorry blogging is stressing you out. Maybe you should slow down, just a bit. :)
I feel competitive about blogging too. I want to be good, and popular and noticed. But I've had to cut back on my sewing and computer and blogging time to try to achieve a better balance with my family, and the rest of my life. (And here I am online at 12:08 a.m.) Have a great Sunday!

Jodie said...

Amandajean ,
What an honest post. It is so hard to walk away from the hungry blog monster isn't it....always wanting more and more....
How crazy is it that you feel inadequate when your fantastic work makes me feel that way ! I will never be a quilter and when I see your work, I feel that I am just wasting crafting space.
Maybe you could schedule a non-crafty post each week, you are still blogging but it can be about anything at all......

How about reality Wednesdays - at my place it might be a photo of the washing pile!

dotti white said...

Amandajean...Take care of yourself, first of all, so that you can do what pleases you! I also wish that I could do more and show more, but I only can do what I can do. Your work is always amazing! Thanks for sharing with us!

Holly said...

Oh, you know what? No hobby should ever make one feel as you are feeling now! You have a fabulous blog along with tons of inspiration to give to others. However, you need to go at a pace that works for YOU and not us! If, it's fewer posts and projects that you need to do to find that balance with yourself, then so be it! Make quilting work the way it needs to work for you. =)

PS- Ty for showing us where all those wonderful quilts that you post originate from. I agree that a neat space is much more enjoyable to work in. But, for some reason mine is still never even remotely neat??? LOL

Chara Michele said...

Thanks for sharing the closet :) That made me smile, because my closet is pretty much the same way. (And if I took photos of my studio I guarantee I would pick it up a bit first :)

Oh I know what you mean about blogging... Sometimes it is just so easy to only share the good, and only want to share the good because that is what everyone else is doing. It is a tough balance, but I think the best thing to do is just take a deep breath remember why you blog & try to focus on that. At least that is what I try to do... (Sometimes I think I should just turn the comments off for a week, because that tends to make me a bit more like that...) I guess I just try to remember that I blog for me first & foremost :)

Anina said...

This post echoes my feelings in so many ways.
I sometimes think it's time to get back to the basic reasons I started blogging in the first place.

DIDI said...

Hello! I think you need a break, a small one though, you know I learnt so much from your blog! Sometimes I take a few days break from my blog, I pretend maybe to be away for a week, but I don't usually need that long and I'm back in 4 or 5 days. I just write a post one day and say "I'm a bit tired and 'll be back in a few days" or "gosh, I had children and fogotten all about it! I'm taking a few days to get to know them.." or any ather silly thing..
Thanks for so much!

Catherine Watts said...

Thanks for sharing your space and your thoughts on blogging. I am feeling exactly the same but thought it was just because I was new to the blogging world. I am enjoying what I'm doing but do feel that pressure of trying to do everything. It's hard trying to get balance in our lives especilly being a Mum/Mom. Just so you know, your blog is always inspiring.

Amy said...

Here's my two cents: don't try to impress or keep up with the fabulous stuff. Share the reality everyone will relate. You're impressive just the way you are dear.

nicolette said...

I think you rock! I can’t even start to imagine how you cope with looking after your family and making so many lovely stuff! You’re an inspiration to many of us! Maybe you should take a break from blogging and come back when you’re up to it again. No strings attached and no obligations, that’s what blogging should be about.

I’ve been there, wanting to do it all. It made me crazy and I even considered to stop blogging.

So, take a deep breath and take care!

Amy Jo said...

It's such a catch 22 isn't it?? We've had that discussion about craft shows, too, I believe. It's not so much fun when the pressure is there - it makes it feel too much like work.

You always have such amazing projects, my friend. You are incredible with your craft... and you are inspiring. Just sayin'...

Miss you....I know - maybe you need a vacation...to MI...that will help!!! :-) Please!!!

Theresa said...

AJ (I hope you don't mind me calling you that). Please don't forget how much you inspire. I went to my first machine quilting session today - it was fabulous and I learnt so much. Do you know who I wanted to tell? YOU! Because you advised to take as many lessons as you can. I've taught myself how to quilt, I'm not even a year into it. I've learnt everything I know from books and your blog. Dear Amanda Jean, I don't know you but I know you. Find your happy place. Pop in and say hi to me. I'd love it (and my friends would be SO envious!). Take care. Tx

Linda said...

First and foremost, I love your blog. It is one of two blogs that I follow faithfully. I am grateful you share your creativity and I love your work. I am new to blogland, have set up a blog, but have only one post. The whole blog thing is intimidating. I think it's because I can't believe how much people pack into a day and then also blog about it all so elegantly. So I applaud you for stepping back and keeping it real. By the way, I think your closet looks pretty darn organized! It reflects that things are happening in your sewing room. So take care of yourself and enjoy what you do! Thanks for sharing the things you do.

Sipiweske Quilts said...

I love popping over to your blog whenever I get a chance and I also love to blog myself when I get a chance. Unfortunately I don't get by to visit, post comments or blog as much as I would like, but we have to realize that life - outside of blogging - does exist and it would be a lonely and unsatisfying existence without our "real" life interactions. Good luck with the balance of life! and keep up the good work too. - Marlene

heather said...

i haven't been blogging as long as you at all but i totally know what you mean!!! i know we talked about keeping up with the jones and its crazy!! that's why breaks are always helpful.:) plus when i'm not working towards something i tell myself i don't have to blog. (not that that always works) just in theory. :)

angela said...

I know what you mean! And honstly, I would do better myself with a few less hours spent at the computer each week trying to keep up! I think I need an egg timer. Thank you for all that you share, it is much appreciated.

kat @ Taylor Made designs said...

sorry to hear you are so tired Amandajean! It makes me sad to hear you say it :( Take a break. We all know you are awesome, so no worries. Enjoy + have fun :) I know I've been on a blogging break for a while. And it works.

Lina said...

Hey Amanda Jean - I love your quilts and tutorials and I can certainly understand the pressure. However, please put yourself first and have a break...don't take the fun out of something you evidently love so much. Your readers will understand. Take good care.

Lina xxxx

beanie g said...

I'm so glad you're human!!! Enjoy it!

Muddling Through said...

Good advice, my friend (I call you that even though I usually only lurk). Quilting (or whatever you enjoy doing) SHOULD be fun. And if you mess up a bit here and there - so what!

You really ARE an inspiration to us all. Your quilts are beautiful. Keep up the good work, and have FUN!

jannza said...

I really appreciate this post. First of all, I think all of your work is amazing and inspiring. I'm just so relieved to hear you talk about actually having a messy closet or a tired moment.

I have enjoyed the idea of blogging but sometimes it seems to me that the many blogger posts I read are so amazingly put together (and darn cute!) that I feel so inadequate. Next thing I know, my drive is gone. If everything has to be cute and a play on words, what makes me think I can do such a great job??

I also have tons of real-life things going on....all the time. I'm just so happy to have this summer to work on some of my (great) projects. They're great to me because I can FINALLY get to them. : ) (We're a homeschooling family and I do take the education part of my children's lives very seriously....thus less time for me.)

I wanted to post a bit about my sewing space and still may but I just had to take a minute to thank you for being so real with us. Your work will continue to awe me, I'm sure. Now I'm awed by you too!

pwl said...

Yikes! Blogging makes *you* feel inadequate? And you're such an inspiration to so many of us? Maybe I should just quit while I'm not so far behind....

Joking. Sort of.

Anonymous said...

I've been following your blog for about 6 weeks and I am so impressed with your work, not only the quality but the type of quilts you do. You have done what I never thought would happen - inspire me to quilt.I finished my first tiny one last night. But the number of quilts you finish each each is kind of daunting so it would be a kindness to me if you slowed down so I wouldn't feel like a slacker!! LOL. Please, please, please don't stop blogging, just know that no one expects miracles! If you stopped blogging you would be missed by SOOOO many people!!

Connie in Georgia

Lynn said...

Maybe you should go back and read your first blog posts when you started your blog and that will help you remember that you started blogging for yourself. I think that your readers have become too dependent on you - Your ideas, your creativity - the simple approach you offer to your readers. Maybe we need to be more innovative and try more on our own without turning to your blog so much. So why don't we all offer a tutorial everyonce in a while or pledge to finish more projects, instead of emailing Crazy mom with a question try to figure out on your own or blog for help. Let's give Amandajean a break.

Sara said...

You defnitely hit a big point for me when saying we often try to do too much. Thank you for the reminder. I just heard Ben Stein say something profound on CBS Sunday Morning - his dad used to tell him "one thing at a time and use both hands". That may be a great line for all of us frantic quilters.

rockgranny said...

If you need to slow down, please do it.But please, do not stop blogging,we'll (some hundreds of not so productive quilters and bloggers) miss you.
Thanks for all the good moments you gave us
Simona

jaybird said...

aj i know how you feel.. i've only been at blogging for 2 months but i see already it cutting into my sewing time.. and so does visiting blogs.. i've got over 450 unread posts in my reader right now.. eek! but today i promised myself is 95% sewing and 5% computer... just enough time to take a break here and there.. but that is it!!

Linda said...

Permission to slow down a bit. I don't like to think that the pressure has taken the joy out of what you love to do. We are happy with little bits at a time. Then maybe we can try to keep up :-)
Have a blessed, restful sunday.

mandy said...

Thank you so much for this post! I feel like I've been granted permission to just chill. Now I can let go of all the guilt I feel for never getting anything creative done, and for having such a lousy blog! You've been a great inspiration to all of us - and this very well may be the greatest lesson you've ever taught: just be real!

Jackie said...

It's OKAY to slow down. I've always been amazed at how much you crank out. You don't have to do it all. I think sometimes as mom's/women our expectations are so outlandish and need to be readjusted.

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Amen to that!

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

So we all have to remember that we don't have to do it all. Limit it to the things we like must and have the most fun doing...then stop.

RosaMaría said...

Hi Amanda!!! thanks for sharing and be honest!! I have been feeling the same way about blogging, i had a conversation about it with my hubby. I'm glad to know that others feel the same way.

Brenda@Spareminute cottage said...

Your blog is very popular many quilter use it for inspiration.Maybe you should take a break from blogging and come back later refreshed.We would all miss you but you must take care of yourself.
Brenda

Betty Crocker Ass said...

hey- at least you can close the doors on the closet and pretend it's not there!

that's what i would do anyway.

Ann said...

Hey Amanda-

Sewing and Quilting is a time comsuming hobbie. Try to remember it is the journey, not the destination that really matters. Please slow your pace so you can enjoy yourself again, and or a longer time. Speaking of journey - when are we ever going to meet? I may need to take a road trip to Hudson, or if you ever feel like coming over to the EC, you let me know. Kids, or no kids --either way.

Take care,
Ann

jlk said...

Ha! Us do it all? I am in awe at the number of quilts you finish. I have no less than 3 tops completed and ready to quilt, and I even have a quilting machine on a large frame!

Kristen in OK said...

You go girl -- do what is best for you & your family FIRST!!

I think we can all relate -- when the joy or fun is gone, it is more like work and that ain't fun at all!

Yay you - do what you gotta do first. All us over-achieving types will understand.....

Renee said...

You, your quilts and blog are fabulous~ You set the bar very high for yourself and when the pressure takes away the joy ~ maybe posting less often would help?
Mojos are hard to keep a handle on! Mine slips away every so often. I wait it out and see if it'll return or not.
Be well and take whatever break or change you feel you need. :)

JG said...

This past spring after clicks here and clicks there, I discovered your blog. Your hints and ideas are great! Last week I went back to the sewing center where I purchased my new Janome machine and bought the stippling attachment. Now, my quilt (that has been resting patiently for about 20 years, waiting) will be completed! I knew that I would get back to it, someday. Other things needed to be done.

We all enjoy our hobbies, because they are fun. And they need to stay in the fun category. Have fun!

Bluebell said...

You do lots of wonderful things that I always enjoy seeing and I love reading your posts but, please don't think you have to produce something every time you post because thats impossible just enjoy what you do and sometimes share a little with us all. I began to feel a little inadequate seeing everyone's beautiful work but I just do not work that fast so I do what I can and hope people stick with me.

imquilternity said...

I just want to say a huge THANK YOU for being real. I've been feeling the same way...somewhat inadequate and certainly not as prolific as most bloggers. I keep reminding myself that blogging doesn't really represent a "real" life...it only shows the pretty/creative/organized, etc. side of our lives! Even my sister told me she thinks I have a wonderful life after reading my blog and yet she ---knows--- that I've got a messy life, just like everyone else.

I'm getting the sashing done on my 9-patch quilt-along blocks and again I want to say "thank you." It's felt good to feel connected to a group and get a quilt made in the process.

Please know that you've made a difference to many of us - whether you're perfect or not!

G'G'ma said...

Ditto, Ditto, Ditto!! There are many words of thanks, praise and encouragement on the comments above me. No one wants to put pressure on you but we all probably do from from the excitement you generate from all your wonderful quilts and other. projects. Your top priority was being a wife and mother before you became the quilting teacher and mentor!!! Everyone will still look for your posts but it won't hurt us at all to wait even a week between posts. We'll live! Pull the plug on your sewing machine, maybe even the computer if you are really brave. Run under the sprinkler with your kids, have a hot date with your husband, read a good book....anything that sounds great to you.
Blessings, Lois

lera said...

Friend, I'm home from vacation. We need to chat soon.

(Love your "the rest of the story" and "fair and balanced." Made me giggle. Well ... until I just scratched my leg until it stung from sunburn.)

Clodagh a.k.a. Isra said...

OK I am not the "keep up with the Jones" type so from this neck of the woods (sometimes very messy woods) I say AJ there are some people who don't have to "try to hard" they just seem to get it right and you are (no matter what you think) one of those gals. Your blog comes from the heart. I have been inspired, learned so much and just enjoy reading so don't try hard just be you because man o man we do love CMQ out here in blog land.

Anonymous said...

Just read your very moving blog.

Creative work (and I include bringing up children in that) is hard, without having to blog about it as well.

I'm a follower of your blog and am currently working on a quilt directly inspired by your Vintage Kitchen. And like all the rest of the comments, say please don't feel obliged to keep up the intensity.

But do keep on creating your wonderful quilts even if you dont get as many done or even if you don't share them with us.

As it is, you've given me enough inspiration for more quilts than I will have time for.

Philigry said...

hey there, you. please know that i love and read each and every post. there is no way i would have started quilting without you, but i get it. i really do.

Sandy said...

Sounds like you need a break! I have been taking one lately, and I am finding it quite rewarding.

And, I agree with the rest of the comments here. You are awesome, and I appreciate everything you share with us. I understand the competitiveness that can rear its head with this type of sharing, and just know that you rock!

Elisabeth said...

I have been reading your blog for a few months now, & I really enjoy it. I actually like it better when you post the simpler stuff...makes me feel like I can accomplish one of your projects too. =). Take a break if you need to, but don't forget us. It doesn't matter to me how complicated you can get - just seeing your work is good enough for me. =)

AMD said...

You know, you are on the first page of results when one does a Google search of quilt blogs. From the standpoint of search engine optimization, you've arrived.

DailyFamily said...

Thank you for your last paragraph...I can relate. Blogging can be one-sided sometimes.

sewinginthegap said...

My 2 cents is that the pressure is sadly self inflicted, if you keep the focus of your blog/achievements etc on what YOU want, then you will have achieved something. Keeping up with others is never going to work, and we will always burn out. Be who you are and keep to what you want, and you won't struggle or stop enjoying what you're doing.

It is always a source of amazement to me, at how much you do, because trying to balance kids/husbands/no husbands/work/family/house/etc etc I can't figure out how you can do it when I don't seem to be able to!

Prayers and best wishes as you find your new balance!

Lynette

Duyvken said...

You know, I started my blog as a way to participate in all the quilting activity online and to maintain momentum on my very slow moving projects but because I am such a slow quilter the blog was starting to feel like a chore. Each time I'd post I felt like it was yet another post without a quilt update and it did get me down a little. I have found that adding a couple of other little aspects to my posting has made a big difference. I post photos (usually colour-themed) pretty regularly and it keeps me in the blogging loop and I can quilt in a way and a time that suits me and my family.
Best of luck!

Suzanne said...

Thank you for being human and genuine.

Catherine said...

Please, please don't quit. You inspire so very much and I am getting things done. I love your blog. You have given me so very much.

Rhonda said...

Hi AmandaJean,
I came from Bee Square Blog and want to said what a great zig zag tutorial you did! Thank you so much for sharing... it simply genius.
Also, love your blog! I will be back for more visits. So sorry to hear that you're going thru tough time with the whole blogging thing. It sounds like you need a little break... so that way I can catch up too. LOL Just remember, your family and you should come first, and blogging should be for your enjoyment.
Take care, Rhonda

mariarrosa said...

I love your blog! Thank you very much for everythig.

Wanda said...

I see the "method to your madness" in the closet as well!!! Things don't fall out when you open the door...that's clean enough!

Laura said...

I love reading your blog and seeing your work, but I don't think any of your readers would want you to wear yourself out doing projects and posting on the blog. I hope you get some time to unwind or relax this week, without having to worry about all that you do. Thanks for sharing everything with us.

tropicalsoup said...

sorry you're feeling the blog pressure. I know I'm not alone in saying how much I love your blog and your fabulous quilts...but it would all be a whole lotta nothing without *you*. So take care of you!

sulu-design said...

Another example of why you rock. Good for you for exposing the not-so-lovely side of blogging. I never hear anyone discuss the unsavory emotional issues that blogging causes, but I think most of us experience them. It's refreshing to hear them, especially coming from a blogger who so many people admire.

Grandma Ciffer said...

I have recently had to "get real" with my sewing stash. My closet was overflowing with pieces of fabric that I could not live without. The sad part is, that instead of it giving me pleasure, the more, more, more was stressing me out. My daughter has recently become a stay at home mom and starting sewing. She adopted a huge portion of my stash and has been sewing things I never would have thought of! It has brought me such joy to let go and admitt that you can never do everything you want to.
You are an awesome lady! Your faithful blog readers want you to be happy and content with your sewing.
God's Peace,
Cathy

Rebekah said...

my closet looks pretty much the same as yours...closets are a great way to hide the mess :)

I agree...don't try to do it all...it sucks all the fun out of things (and I should try to take my advice more often)

Di~ said...

Hey You! don't feel pressure! only blog when you feel like it..enjoy your accomplishments and three cute kids! You've got my admiration no matter what!

Kelli said...

Amandajean,
I see you've got plenty of positive comments already, but I just wanted to let you know that many of us love your blog for you, not the latest and greatest of what you've accomplished (though we love that too), but the way you show us what inspires you, what drives you to keep quilting, how you manage to fit it all in...I read your blog because it inspires me to be creative and it makes me happy...simple as that. And when/if you take a break from blogging, we'll miss you, but I think all of us understand that life runs in cycles...you can't always be at your best in all areas. Sometimes one thing has to slow down so that others can catch up. Heaven knows my husband would be thrilled to see my housekeeping catch up with my creative affairs and blog-reading!
--Kelli
kellbell_6@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

You have inspired me at age 64 to make my first quilt, an experience I thoroughly enjoyed. I have also learned following a scary health crisis to stop multi-tasking. Now it is only one project at a time. Take care of yourself and your wonderful family and everything else will take care of itself. God bless. Loretta

Cheryl Arkison said...

Okay, here is my three step program to quilting/blogging burnout.

1. Either blog without obligation or commit to only once a week posting. You don't need to post everyday, people will still come (especially to see you and your work).
2. Stay away from bees, swaps, and block showers. Yes it will give you a chance to try new things. But it also adds deadlines and pressure to something that should be for pure enjoyment.
3. Remember that we never see the ugly stuff behind everyone's work - the messy house, the take-out dinners, the neglected partners, or the whining kids. People only share the pretty stuff, but we all have skeletons in our closet.

I'm here when you need me, we all are.

pricklypearbloom said...

I agree with you, wholeheartedly. blogging makes me feel that way quite often too. It sucks. When I remember that I can only do what I do, I feel pretty good. But it's hard not to succumb to the competitiveness and inadequacy sometimes. I know we aren't the only ones to feel this way.

Clair said...

Brave of you to post such a picture on your blog.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for your honesty. I don't blog (write) myself but thoroughly enjoy reading many different blogs. After I go blogging I often shut my computer down and wonder how you all do everything. It truly makes me feel inadequate...so I do appreciate your comments today! Take the pressure off yourself and get back to enjoying what you do do!!

Amy - Park City Girl said...

Well, I figured the closet doors were closed for a reason - my chest o'fabric is a dumping ground, there's never time to organize when I'm putting stuff away!

About blogging - I've had to be very intentional lately, and rethink things a bit. Finding that balance is a challenge. I firmly believe that you should enjoy your quilting, and if you don't, put down what you are working on and find something that you do enjoy! hugs :)

Ordinary Life said...

Take care of yourself. I would suggest a quarterly blogcation.

mr_monkeysuit said...

Amandajean I feel for you! Blogging is a double edged sword for me so I totally relate to how you are feeling. Your blog and your quilting is fabulous, step back relax, have a cup of tea, enjoy all the beautiful things you have made and take pride in your many, many accomplishments.

carole ann said...

I do know what you mean about blogging, I get so much inspiration but sometimes I wonder how others do so much. But I have caught myself and just do what I can. I work full time, have a family who I have spoiled, doing everything for them. I now just take my time and enjoy what I am doing.
Keep up the good work, as I have said before you are inspiring.

Lauren said...

I LOVE looking at your beautiful quilts. Thanks for adding some creativity, inspiration and hope to my evenings (when I fianlly take some time to sit down at the computer!). You make me wake up each morning and say, "I can do it!"

Karen Annette said...

You blog is the first quilting blog that I started reading and you have inspired me a whole lot!! Put your faith and family first and the rest will take care of itself. Rest and find the joy in quilting again!! We'll all still be here!

jacquie said...

i can relate...that blogging without obligation thing is easy to write, hard to do...then there are the emails, the questions, the requests, the demands....and we have a life with dirty dishes, grocery shopping, troubles with kids...etc. it is hard not to get sucked in and swallowed up by it all. take care of you!

V and Co. said...

i think we all go through that. and it's nice to see one of the top ladies in our field be so humble enough to actually put it in words.

i think you are neat.

Jessica Christensen said...

I've found that blogging and seeing other people's blogs has done the same thing to me. I now feel that I have to do every fabulous thing everyone else is doing as well as my own stuff. That's why my UFO number is so high. = ) We love your stuff, but we want it to be fun for you as well as us. ALL your stuff is wonderful, so you don't have to kill yourself to impress us. We're impressed already. Believe me. We're impressed.

tasha said...

I agree with the whole blogging thing...it can be very inspiring, but there is a point where it can be damaging. I believe in moderation in all things so that we can stay balanced in all areas of our lives. I have made a couple of quilts based off of your tutorials. You are very inspiring and talented, but you need to take care of you and your family before you take care of "US" out here in blog/quilt land. We will still love to come see what you are up to even if you only make half of the amount of quilts! Only do as much as you love doing or have time and energy for. We understand! :)

Brynn said...

Yours was the first quilting blog I'd ever read, having stumbled across it from a friend's blog. You have inspired me to develop a love of quilting, and to be honest, it's from the simple quilts you make. The fancy ones are so far beyond my skills (and budget!) that I admire and move on. But I love your honesty and your creativity. Balance is sooo important, and I wish you the best in finding the balance that works for you and your family!

Cathy said...

Thank you for your balanced and honest post. I really hope you do feel appreciated, I have been reading your blog for some time now, even though I didn't comment until recently, and I love it!! I am so inspired by your 9patch quiltalong I have finally joined in the second run. You need to do what blesses you most, but do know I am blessed by your blog. xo

Monica said...

Slow down...I think seeing the process is just as interesting as seeing the final result. You're awesome, no doubt about it. We all want you to have fun while your being awesome!

gena said...

I hear you, sister! I've recently come to terms with this myself. But you, you are awesome and you have a great blog. Even when you expose the ugly truth. I used to wonder how others did it. And then realized that isn't who I am. I *am* the ugly truth or the Ugly Betty. Some of us have to be the grease without which nothing would likely get done right.

P.S. I'll trade you closets. :o)

Linda said...

My sweet friend, PLEASE take some time for yourself and relax. Remember, the world will not come crashing down if you slow down. Take a break, make yourself some tea, play with the kids, take a walk. Just do something that you enjoy. Do we need to have a Mario Partay until 3:00 am?

I am Arizona; a person, not a place. said...

I can understand why looking at all the beautiful quilts online makes you feel competitive. There are SO many beautiful ones out there! Your quilts are beautiful, too. Very beautiful. You seem to love quilting, so remind yourself why you do it when you start to feel competitive. Other people's quilts are inspiration, not competition. They help us grow as quilters. I love that about the internet! Sheesh, I hope this doesn't sound like a lecture! But, what I wrote is what I do when I start to feel inadequate because it takes me forever to finish a quilt or when I feel like a quilt I made is just ho-hum. It's all a process. It's zen. The zen of quilting. :)

Margaret said...

I know you are busy, like the rest of us (or more) but will you post the question of what everyone considers the size of a scrap?

for me a scrap is 3/4' by 3/4" then it is no longer large enough to fit in the machine and i can still see it.

I am curious. I'd also like to know how i can attach that post and it's comments to my blog.

thanks in advance!!!

deb said...

I don't know if it matters, adding to the love here.
It might sound corny, but if the quilts are for comfort and made without love , seems the threads and fabric don't weave our lives together in goodness.
And that is the point.
Do what your heart calls you to.
We appreciate you,
but you must receive the gift of that or the whole thing will fray.

Threeundertwo said...

I say Amen to not trying to do it all. I've cut way back on my blogging and it's given me a break and some renewed energy.

I second the idea of "blogcations."

2doublestitched.bloggerspot.com/ said...

I love your blog, and your beautiful quilts. Hope you get the chance to slow down a little. At least a little time to catch your breath. Your blog is very inspirering, thank you for sharing.

nettie said...

i totally know how you feel, I have since given up blogging for others and just blog when I finish a project, being pregnant with the two kids at home has contributed to this. I just don't have the time, and as much as I wish I spent more time sewing, if it causes the kids to whine at me, it's just not worth it. good luck. i love your stuff, but don't worry about us, do what you enjoy.

rabbitstylenews said...

I'm sorry you feel overwhelmed and inadequate. As everyone else said, I love what you've done and you inspire me. If you want to keep blogging, you could try posting on a regular schedule, maybe once a week. If you felt like putting something together on a non-scheduled day, you could always create it and just not publish it until the appropriate day. Good luck!

Alia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shawn said...

Try not to put so much pressure on yourself Amanda, life is too short. Blogging is harder in the summer too, enjoy what you love doing for a while and come back when you feel like it.
Take good care of yourself and have fun.

Tammy in Ontario, Canada said...

I do so love reading your blog and go to it so often for inspiration. I find your quilts "simple and inspirational". This sounds kind of like a insult when I say simple but it's not meant to be. Sometimes the simplest things are the hardest to come up with and I love the way you sometimes only work with a couple of colours and yet they scream at me to try it. I love everything you do. Keep up the good work but don't do it so much that you don't enjoy it anymore.

Ann said...

I just found your blog... how do you DO so much!? I've listed you in my Blog List. Thank you, Ann.

Anonymous said...

you know that is what my friend and I are always saying to each other. It does seem like people who blog do it all. I can barely keep up. I have always wondered how people do it and you know, they probably don't. I do think all your quilts are beautiful and I read your blog weekly. And you are the reason I took up quilting, with your instructions on one of your quilts. I tackled it and loved it. Made it for a friends grandbaby. So I am thankful for your blog. Just be yourself.. Jeanie

Valerie said...

I remember years ago when my daughter showed me how to eBay. We were so excited and made extra money that we needed. Then we decided to eBay together and split the profits and we finally made a real business out of it. Then it became a JOB. It was not fun anymore. We ended up closing the business. Now we ebay for the fun of it. You may need to limit yourself to doing a project for us once a month or so. Just take your time. We are here and looking forward to anything that you teach us. Thank you for all you do. Don't quit, just slow down and enjoy the process. Only do what you can do.

Neicee said...

I know it is overwhelming. Take a break come back to it. I strive for perfection on everything and I get myself crazy also.
You still are my hero! Denise in Fla

Miaou said...

What a wonderful, inspiring workspace you have. Thank you for sharing. And I totally understand about competitive perfection - it's a hard act to keep going! I hope you cut yourself some slack this summer and take a well-earned rest.

Nanci said...

Well Amandajean...you surely deserve to sit back enjoy the summer and recoup. we all have you on readers, so will see when you come back.
Rest girl, you surely deserve it. I don't feel bad that you stated you are tired, and feeling the pressure...Geez even Moda is knocking for goodness sake!
We are here all of us are friends that share the love...

NanaKaren said...

Dear Amandajean ~ Just a quick post to let you know I'm thinking of you. So sorry that you're feeling down...maybe just try taking things a day at a time. Don't worry about projects or blogging. Doing something fun with the kids and hubby may cheer you.

Take care!

Hugs, Karen

Anonymous said...

Are you okay? You've been gone for too long, :( Take care of yourself.

==P

mamasew said...

All your stuff is fab! Remember that your talent is a gift from God and that you should take pleasure in using it. I saw this verse recently on a blog and thought that it summed me up! Hopefully it will help you too. 'Prov 31v13 She works with her hands in delight.'
Also your craft room is incredily organised in relation to mine! Relax and enjoy the chaos!
God Bless
Shirlie

Anonymous said...

AmandaJean,
We all have those feelings of not being able to do it all. Try not to get down about it - you have done so much amazing work. I finished my first quilt ever this year and I never, ever could have finished it without your binding tutorial. Virtual hugs to you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your very down-to-earth post. I don't blog but I thoroughly enjoy and appreciate the blogs that I follow for the inspiration and ideas that I get. Do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself, do what makes you happy. If you want to blog about it, do it because it makes you happy, and know that those of us who don't blog enjoy reading about it. Take care!!!

Kerri said...

I think many of us feel the same way with blogging. We start it so we can share and have fun, and then it turns into something we didn't expect. The oh, no, I better hurry and finish something, or work on something today so I have something to blog about, so my followers won't be disappointed. When really there are other things we may be needing to do like taking care of family duties.

I've really been trying hard to post only once or sometimes twice a week if I can, and not let it get to me if I can't, but it still does at times. And doing smaller projects.

Thanks for sharing your feelings. I'm glad we are all in this together with a lot of the same challenges.

Chéz Waldon said...

HAHA...yah, I like that, don't try to do it all. I wish I would take your advice.

And my own.

I might be back, alot.

Bravos Grandkid said...

thank you so much for this honest and heart felt posting. I am with you 100%. I closed my blog for 6 months because I couldn't 'do it all' - I was so tired of trying.

I actually had a tear in my eye as I read your post because often we think we're the only ones feeling a certain way.

Thanks. I love your blog and read it often. Your quilts are awesome!!

Cheers, Adele