MCM #82 – Cookie Cutter Wall Hanging

As someone who quilts for other people, one of the things I struggle with is finding balance between work quilting and my personal projects. I suspect this is something many quilters and other creatives struggle with, as there are many blog posts dedicated to this very topic.

Sometimes the quilting I am doing is not enough to feed and satisfy my creative side. I may believe a quilt needs a custom job but the customer may only want a quick and easy edge-to-edge design.

I find myself putting my own projects on hold and spending all my time working on customer jobs. It was getting to the point where I was losing my enthusiasm for quilting because every project was a “have to do it” job. I have so many quilts and projects I want to make and I don’t have time to work on any of them. Do you ever feel that way?

Then last week I had a lightbulb moment. (Sometimes it takes me a minute….)

When I had a full-time job in HR, I left the office every afternoon by 6:00 p.m. and I didn’t work weekends. Those evening and weekend hours were mine to do with as I pleased. You know where this is going, right? Yep. I’m going to set ‘office’ hours for my quilting business. Any sewing outside of those hours can be whatever I want. If I’m ‘in the zone’ and want to keep working on a customer quilt I can. But I’m going to give myself permission to walk away and work on personal projects. Hopefully this plan feeds my wallet *and* my creative side.

Giving permission to yourself is a powerful thing. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders!

This past weekend I put my new business practice to the test, and made this adorable wall hanging.

Cookie Cutter Mini quiltI was so happy to be able to work on this quilt! It makes me smile just to look at it. 🙂

You might remember I recently made  a store sample of the Cookie Cutter pattern by Jaybird Quilts. There were enough scraps leftover so I could make this wall hanging. Using scraps and a bit of stash makes this {almost} a freebie. Score!

The most fun part was doing the actual quilting.

Swirls & Pebbles FMQ designIt is a combination of swirls, pebbles, echos and matchstick quilting. I think it looks fantastic. I chose to leave all the colored pieces un-quilted. The batting is Quilter’s Dream Poly, which gives great definition in the quilting but keeps the quilt soft.

The quilting was done on my Sweet Sixteen and not the longarm. I have a quilt loaded so I couldn’t use Freddie, but I really enjoyed using my sit-down machine again.

Shop Hop Girls fabricThe backing is from my stash and is a piece I found while in Lancaster, PA earlier this year. It is called Shop Hop by Bonnie Krebs for Henry Glass & Co.  It’s fun, playful and whimsical and fits the overall tone of the quilt perfectly.

The solids are Bella fabrics. I don’t know the names of each color except for the binding – Nautical Blue. That one came from my stash and is not one of the colors used in the quilt.

FMQ designI have a special plan for this little quilt and am excited to give it to its new owner. I’m also looking forward to doing more personal sewing and quilting and having more projects to share with you.

My crush for this week’s Main Crush Monday is personal sewing time and, of course, this wall hanging. I’m looking forward to seeing what you’re working on and the projects that have you excited to be in your sewing space this week.

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About Beth

I'm a wife, mother of two, and lover of all things crafty. I love to cook up new things in the kitchen and in my craft room, and sometimes get "licking the spoon" mixed up with "licking the fabric"!!
This entry was posted in Main Crush Monday, Mini Quilts and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to MCM #82 – Cookie Cutter Wall Hanging

  1. Patricia says:

    Good for you! I hope you continue to enjoy this new schedule! So happy for you! Your quilting is stunning! Love those bright and cheerful projects! Thank you for sharing!

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  3. Preeti says:

    Love the quilt, Beth!!! The quilting is exquisite. Just perfect 🙂

  4. Dj says:

    Your Cookie Cutter quilt is so so so delightful! I love every inch of it from the colors, to the fabric, to the quilting. I am so glad you took time out for yourself.
    I completely understand the need for tme on your own projects. I don’t really quilt for a business, but I do charge people who ask me to quilt something. I just don’t have free time to donate. I always do a custom job which is ridiculous for the price I charge. I just can’t bear to do a pantograph across a beautifully pieced quilt. I want the quilting to enhance the piecing at any cost. Reading your post made me realize that, although I don’t really get paid for my time, I do still enjoy it. I realize there is no way I could do this if I were in business.

    Thanks for your thoughts today.

  5. Good way to establish boundaries for yourself and your own work. It’s important to honor the Creative Goddess as well as the worker bee we all have inside. Even the plan isn’t perfect, you can tweak it again. That’s the joy of self-employed. I’m hope you keep this wall hanging as a reminder. It’s loverly!

  6. Setting office hours is a perfect solution and something my husband and I talked about over the weekend as well, Beth! I hope it gives you the freedom to do your own creative work and sets healthy boundaries.

  7. Very, very smart to set strict business hours. Having been self employed for many years, I understand how important that boundary is. Your little rainbow quilt is just darling!

  8. I LOVE this rainbow, so happy, wallhanging and the quilting is stellar! (of course) You’ve raised the exact points that make me hesitate to ‘hang out my shingle’ as Julie puts it, and offer quilting services. I have mentioned it to one person… For my last few years of teaching I did that MOST weekends, not the evenings (don’t miss those demands AT ALL) and it was so revitalizing to have ‘me’ time.

  9. Good for you, Beth! Your wall hanging is adorable, and scheduling in time for your own creative stitching is a win for your customers as well. We’re always more willing to take risks, stretch, and grow our skill set with our own projects, so “selfishly” working on your own projects actually helps you to have more to offer your customers. It’s a bummer that you couldn’t use your longarm for the wallhanging. Have you considered using a couple sets of zippered leaders? That way you could quickly remove a customer quilt at the end of the day, work on your own project on your personal time, and get the customer quilt back on the frame quickly the next business day. Another idea would be to set a limit for how many hours a week you’ll spend working on customer quilts, and once you hit that limit for the week you switch to personal projects until Monday morning rolls around. Yet another idea would be to set yourself a 4-day work week with the goal of having nothing loaded onto your frame come Friday. That would give you a 3-day weekend to work on your own project, enough time to quilt a decent sized project start to finish (or a 2-1/2 day weekend if you needed a few hours on Friday to finish a customer quilt before taking it off the frame).

    It’s true that we risk losing our hobbies (and our sanity along with it!) once we turn a hobby into a business!

  10. Andrée says:

    Hi Beth, love your wall hanging! And I’m glad that your talk went well 🙂

  11. rl2b2017 says:

    Hi Beth,
    I think that is the perfect solution to easy your creative fix. You deserve “you” time. I would hate for you to get burned out just quilting customer’s quilts and not your own. {{Hugs}} I hope you feel at ease with your decision. ~smile~ Roseanne

  12. smilesfromkate says:

    I’m not surprised it makes you smile it is so bright and cheerful, I love the way the colours pop, it’s enough to brighten up any day.

  13. Your lesson is one I’ve learned a few times, and currently need to learn again. I’m feeling burned out because I’m letting my business take over my personal time. It’s tough to find balance!

    I love your new quilt! I’m so glad you took the time to make it. It’s gorgeous!

  14. Alison says:

    This is such a cute wall hanging!

  15. Bonnie in VA says:

    I have yet to get my business going after my move last year — but I’m starting. I don’t like having business take away from my personal quilting time either. My decision is to not accept tons of quilts. (It hasn’t been an issue ever but that is the plan.) I think yours will work well for you. Your Cookie Cutter quilt is fabulous. I may have to find that pattern so I can make one too.

  16. maggie says:

    beautiful quilting – I like your plan- that should help get the fun stuff into your time

  17. Kathleen McCormick says:

    What a great plan! We’re over some of the hump of our move/downsizing and I am at our Maine cottage where I think I have a runner to quilt. I so agree with splitting personal and business time. Morning here if for work, afternoon play (which for me today is quilting). I love your quilting and am thinking of a mid arm like the Sweet 16 as I don’t have room for a longarm.

  18. Alycia C says:

    That is adorable – and yes – I have a Maternity clothing business prior to my quilting business and I even had to add a door, take at least one day off and rest – its good for the soul 😉

  19. Sylvia says:

    Congratulations on putting your business plan into effect! Love the cookie cutter quilt!

  20. Debbie says:

    I do love your wall hanging, and I think you are so very wise to divide your time! Before we had a warehouse for our Amazon business we were ALWAYS at work. It was terrible. Now I leave at a certain time.

  21. Lisa says:

    I think it’s a great plan for your quilting business and I hope you can hold yourself to it. I love your mini…it’s so colourful.

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  23. karenfae says:

    I think that is the only way I would be able to do any work for someone else would be to set “office hours” – I never have made a business because I know it would cut into what I want to do so that is why I make for me and then later on if someone wants it I can sell it.

  24. While I don’t make as many quilts for others as you do, and I don’t long arm, I do feel the same way when I’m working on a larger project for others. I think you have a good plan for finding balance, Beth. Your little mini is so bright and colorful, and I love the quilting!

  25. Beth, sounds like great plan on finding balance! Just love the quilting on this piece!

  26. Vicki in MN says:

    So glad you got some time to sew what you wanted! And it is super cute, I can see you had lots of fun quilting it:) There are times I get really stressed without time to sew for me…craft shows take over about this time of year until Dec. 1st. But once in a while in there I just have to take a day or 2 for me. It can be very hard to do. Most longarmers who quilt for a business say the exact same thing as you-no time for your own stuff. They had to actually write in a day on their calendar for themselves.

  27. Beth, I love that you are making it a priority to make consistent time for your own creativity. And as a quilter who uses longarm services, it was interesting to read this post. One of the quilts I made last year had some custom longarm quilting, and that quilting made it extra special. And the custom quilting on your Cookie Cutter wall hanging looks perfect!!! Take care, Mary.

  28. Cindy says:

    I love your mini and am glad you are taking time for yourself.

  29. I have DEFINITELY felt that way! Love your wallhanging. Keep up the passion. And I’ll work on it, too.

  30. A beautiful little mini! Love those colors and the quilting is spectacular. Good luck with your new work schedule. It would be so sad if your quilting caused you to loose you passion for your own projects. I can see how that could easily happen.

  31. Liz W. says:

    Oh Beth, that is just so beautiful! I love that pattern … one day I might be brave enough to make it! How wonderful that you had leftover “freebie” blocks to make yourself something so gorgeous 😉 And that quilting is amazing! It compliments the stars so perfectly, the gorgeous swirls and pearls contrasting with the matchstick quilting. Just lovely.

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  33. Kathryn says:

    The wall hanging is beautiful, so happy looking. Great solution to making time for your own creativity, all you need to do is stick to it.

  34. shoshana says:

    so beautiful and alive, good for you, the hardest part about working for yourself, is sdetting that limit, keep up the great work!

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