Welcome to scrappy Sundays! Today Cheryl and I wanted to talk about how we wrote the book while managing everything else. You know, running the house, the family, the normal chores. When you sign a book contract the whole world doesn't stop. The kids still need three meals a day, the husband still has to work out of town, the house certainly doesn't clean itself. Kids still get sick. So, how do you manage all that while meeting the deadlines? Not that I have it all together, mind you, (I sooooooooo don't!) but I do have a few thoughts to share about the experience.
When we were writing and quilting for the book there was always a lot to do, but it was easier in some ways than normal. The reason? Because we had very defined goals. We knew what we needed to do and we knew when it was due. Then we just did it. (Heh. That might be a gross understatement.) But, looking back, I see that having the focus really helped me. Normally the possibilities of the what I could work on blow my mind. Overwhelmed much? Yes, that's me. So having the defined list of what we had to do was actually a relief.
Having a co-author was a definite plus. It was great to write with Cheryl for several reasons. First off, she's a darn good writer and quilter. It was very helpful that we each made several of the quilts in the book. I can not imagine trying to make 15 scrap quilts in a 6 month time frame all on my own. (oh. my! scrap quilts can take a long time.) Our quilts were better because of our tag team efforts, too. We pushed and challenged each other in just the right way. I even added purple into the Gumdrops quilt, for crying out loud. That's big! (I'm so not a fan of purple.) It was great to have a friend that was always as interested in the book as I was. My husband still got an earful once in awhile, sure, but it sure saved him quite a bit of hassle.
As far as the day to day logistics....I normally quilt a lot. I know, what a surprise! But during the book process I did quilt more than normal. I squeezed in extra quilting time before the kids went to school, after the kids went to bed, for a few hours in the middle of the night when I wasn't sleeping anyway. (Thankfully that was only an occasional occurrence.) My youngest daughter was still at home because she hadn't started kindergarten yet, so she watched PBS kids on a daily basis. In fact, Cheryl and I often joked that when we were done we should probably send PBS a sizable donation for helping us through. Ha! Some days there was more TV watching than others, but we still limited it. Thankfully my daughter is pretty good at independent play. When she needed some company she would join me in the craft room and play with some scraps or design her own quilt. There were always plenty of scraps to go around. :) Having her at home during the day forced me to take more breaks than I would if she wasn't, but that's a good thing. Otherwise I tend to get so wrapped up in my work that I eat lunch at 3 in the afternoon. She helped me stick to a schedule.
I recall asking a friend once who had raised 5 kids (the youngest two are twins) how she managed it when they were younger. Her response was "you just do it". I feel like I would have the same answer with the book. Looking back on it, knowing all the crazy life situations that were going on in the midst of it, you look back and realize, we just did it. And that's that.
The photos shown throughout this post are mini quilts that I made to thank my wonderful pattern testers. Some are mini versions of quilts in the book and some of them were designs that I thought suited my friends' tastes. It only took me a year plus after writing the book to get them made, labeled and mailed. A great example of why I think deadlines and focus are so very helpful. :)