Someone on one of the groups I read questioned whether I do anything but string quilts. I responded that of course I do but it does bring up something I’ve been struggling with over the last few months.

One of the reasons I don’t quilt for hire is that I enjoy working on my own quilts and projects. Between moving, traveling, HeartStrings, and a quilting a few tops for family this year, I haven’t had nearly the amount of time for piecing that I like to have. I also think that my blog tends to be less interesting when I’m not *creating* new quilts.

Even with lots of thought I haven’t stumbled upon a way to find a better balance. I don’t want to give up quilting the HeartStrings tops or those for family and I certainly don’t want to give up traveling. One thought I’ve had is that no matter how many tops I have here waiting that maybe I should take every other month and focus on my piecing and quilting…..after all, even machine quilters for hire have a backlog of tops that goes back months!

Of course, I could work longer hours and stay off the computer too….

Email me


  1. Are you living your life to make your blog interesting? I don’t think that would be a very good balance…You need to reserve enough time to work on your own projects so that you feel satisfied and not frustrated… otherwise that frustration will show in the quilting you do for others (hired or not).Just my perspective.

  2. this is the very same problem i developed soon after i got my long arm machine. i’m still trying to find that magical balance between personal fulfillment through the creative process and quilting for others.good luck finding your own balancing point, and if it turns out there’s a formula, do let me know what it is!

  3. I think as long as what you are doing is interesting, challenging, rewarding or just fun, the balance works itself out! When you need to piece quilts, stop and piece quilts. The quilting will wait.

  4. I know exactly how you feel. I have given away every quilt I have made over the last two and a half years. Some were for family and many were charity quilts. I finally told my husband it was time to make something for me!If you need to make yourself some quilts, DO IT! I’m sure your readers would enjoy seeing your works in progress and the final masterpieces. Once you have made some projects for yourself, I’m sure you will have a renewed spirit for your charitable work and will know better how to balance your personal and charitable cause. How great is that?

  5. Mary, people are going to complain no matter what you do. You need to pick the balance that works for you, and not worry about what others think. It’s your life and you only get to live it once.

  6. Mary – I love to read your blog! You seem to have balance in this crazy world we live in, but I only see a small part of you that you choose to reveal. I too struggle with Quilts of Valor, charity quilts, gift quilts and stuff for me. To balance this , I made a list in excel of things to do, who for, deadlines and COMPLETED dates. This has helped me tremedously! I can now prioritize my time. I have done this for 1 year: 40 projects done, 30 to do, and some stuff unchosen and given to Goodwill. Keep on blogging – I love to know what other MN quilters are doing.Karen

  7. I enjoy your blog. I enjoy your enjoyment of your husband and your little dog. It seems you have it all under control: however, I find that sometimes the more I do, the more I expect of myself and that causes my unbalance. Now, this won’t be popular, what I say next, but sometimes I think we become too obligated to the “charity” work and forget that we need to nourish ourselves as well. If we are nourished the other things will fall in place.Just my 2 cents worth…..:~}

  8. You know, when you feel like making a quilt for yourself, just do it without guilt. Anyone that makes comments on YOUR life must be totally unfullfilled and bored in their own. You know if the balance is off and it is none of anyone elses business. I think its magnificient that you do so much charity work. I do a bit but I’m not ready to devote more time to it. I think you are incredible!!

Leave a Reply