My name is Charlotte, sometimes known as Ms Lottie, occasionally as The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady. This is my blog, where you'll find me writing a lot about my quilting and textile arts and a little about my family's life in a small seaside town in New Zealand. Haere mai!

Thursday, February 21, 2019

A side benefit of tidying up.

In my last post I talked about how I was using a paper planner to help me stay organised.  One of my sections in my planner is a quilts section and in it, I've listed my works in progress and some of the steps I need to move forward on them.

To list my WIPs, I had to know what WIPs I had, which meant laying hands on each one and tidying the pile.  I kept seeing references to Marie Kondo everywhere, so yes, I went and checked her out and, like many, I've developed an uneasy fascination with the tiny, bouncy, eternally optomistic woman.  I have not KonMari'd my whole house, but I did assess each WIP as to whether it 'sparked joy' in me.

For those of you who have ignored the Marie Kondo fad and don't know what the heck I'm talking about, basically I looked at each WIP while I was tidying and asked myself if I still liked it.  Did I want to carry this into the future with me?  Did I want to spend time finishing it?  If the answer was no, I then dealt with it, either binning it, putting it in the op shop pile, or if it was still in pieces, putting the fabric back in my stash.

I didn't let myself get caught up in any guilt.  Why should I finish something just because I 'should'?  My time is precious.  I'd rather spend it on something I'm excited about!

Working through my WIPs put me back in touch with my projects, a side benefit to tidying up.  I have a presentation that I do about how a little procrastination is good for us.  I believe that putting something away for a while lets the project 'ferment' in my mind, especially if I'm struggling with a problem.  Often, I'll pull out the project again and the solution will present itself.  But that method requires that I keep in touch with my WIPs, or the fermenting process bubbles out and I just forget about it entirely!

So I tidied up, got back in touch, and now I have a pile of things that I want to work on.

Of course I still want to start new things too....

'Heron Maiden' had been having a holiday in my WIP pile.  It was nice to see her again and realise that I wanted to finish her for the GNZQS.  So what was holding me back about finishing her?  I figured out that I didn't know how to quilt the big background hill and if I cracked that nut, I'd be away again.  So I printed out a colour photo and auditioned some quilting lines.  They looked good and I was inspired to continue.

You can see my quilting line design taped to the wall prior to starting to quilt.
So my long and rambling point is: don't get caught up in guilt about WIPs.  Go through your pile, keep in touch with your projects.  Look at WIPs with new eyes.  Is there something else you could turn it into that you would be excited about?  Is there a technique that was holding you back that you now have the skills to deal with?  Can you solve a quilting dilemma now that you couldn't before?

But if you pick up a WIP and truly wonder why you ever thought it would be a good idea, then just get rid of it!  You'll feel so much better.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts about your WIP pile!

Sunday, February 3, 2019

A goal without a plan is just a wish.

Goal setting.  I personally find that I can't do it early in January - no serious New Year's resolutions for me - I'm too busy holidaying.  But then, within a week or two, my mind naturally turns to what I want to achieve in the coming months.

I've been doing lots of work towards getting myself sorted, and then all of a sudden it's February!

This year I've gone back to a paper planner in a serious way.  I've dallied with digital, love the idea, but it's just not as tangible as paper, not as flickable through.  I still use my digital calendar because it goes across all my devices and it's quick to refer to.  But for planning out my days and weeks and months, my goals and progress, it's me and my planner.

When you flick through it, this is how it's organised:

  • A whole year-on-one-page calendar.
  • A master to-do list.
  • Months, each one having a month-on-one-page calendar, then a monthly overview planner, a monthly habit checker page and then a page-per-day daily plan.
  • After the months I have a tab for goals, with each major goal having a page where it's broken down into steps and dates etc.
  • I have a tab for midwifery work, with pages for booked locum dates, mileage, visit schedules etc.
  • Next is my quilts section.  In there I have a year over two pages with dates of speaking engagements, travel, quilt show deadlines etc.  I have also decided to list my WIP's and the steps I need to do to complete them (22 of them at this stage, and that's after doing a Marie Kondo on my pile and discarding a heap that 'didn't spark joy'!)
  • And lastly, notes pages, which are mainly blank pages for jotting down inspiration when it strikes.
I've used printables from Printed Pineapple, Elena's Papers, and Evy Draws, all found on Etsy.

I've also inserted a few inspirational quotes here and there to make it prettier and hopefully become part of my positive inner talk that I'm trying to nurture.  The quote you can almost make out in the picture above says,

"We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day."  
-Richard G. Scott

And I want to be an organised person that has a handle on what's happening today and also what's happening in two months time.

What organisational tools do you use?