Thursday, May 31, 2012

I Must Ask . . . Can YOU Tell Me How to Get to Sesame Street?

We women have a lot to learn about simplifying our lives. We have to decide what is important and then move along at a pace that is comfortable for us. We have to develop the maturity to stop trying to prove something. We have to learn to be content with what we are. –Marjorie Hinckley

Thank you to everyone who voted in last week's poll about how often you cook. I am a bit surprised and really impressed by how many of you cook most of the time! Do any of you have your favorite recipes on your blogs? I did a little makeover of my menu planning & grocery list procedure. I had scratches and scribblings of our favorite meals on slips of paper and keep a running grocery list and menu, but decided I wanted everything neat and tidy and in one place, so I put it all in a spreadsheet. I have quite a good collection of meals that we eat regularly, but it would be fun to rotate a few new things in, so if you have favorite recipes on your blogs, let me know. While I was at it, I organized a template for my grocery list by departments and aisles in the order I shop them. I'll write down the items that I need on my grocery list notepad as we run out of things during the week, and then before I go shopping I'll transfer the list to my spreadsheet, sorting everything into their area, and print the list out. Tonight was my trial run and it went really well and I think it saved time. Grocery shopping and meal planning are big chores, before the actual cooking begins, so, again, I'm super impressed by all you diligent chefs out there!

Today's subject has absolutely nothing to do with food. What is on my mind this week is the Sesame Street quilt. On Tuesday afternoon, there was a notice that the pattern designer had finished more characters. From that moment on, I was a little unsettled about how to proceed. In the layout I'd settled on, I'd opted to leave out several of the patterns that Michelle had released, choosing characters I remembered most from either my childhood or the days when the Little Bugs were little enough to watch. With this new wave of patterns, Michelle has designed quite a few more characters that are from my childhood, and I started wondering if I should expand my layout.

I hashed out the pros and cons to making the quilt bigger. In thinking things over in the last few days, the biggest “con” to changing the layout is that I will not have the quilt finished in time for the quilt shows this season. I started this quilt specifically with that goal in mind, and it made me a little bit panicky to not accomplish a goal that I'd publicly announced, although it wouldn't be the first time.

As it turns out, though, the biggest “pro” to expanding the layout also happens to be that I will not have the quilt finished in time for the quilt shows this season. That takes a huge amount of pressure off me. Trying to meet such a tight deadline it putting a lot of stress on me. If I didn't have work or kids or chores it would be a snap. I could crack out a block a day and be done in no time. But I have to balance, because all sewing and no work makes Lizzie a frazzled girl. {Sidebar: I am always wishing I had more time for sewing. I kind of took a break from reality last weekend and did nothing but sew. Not getting my weekend chores done has taken a toll. I think the beauty of having a hobby you love is that you value the time that you spend doing it more when you have to balance it out with real life.} I've come to the conclusion that whether I expand my layout or not, I'm not going to push myself harder than I should to get this quilt done in time for the quilt shows. If I miss one or two {or even all three} this year, then there is always next year. Running, flat out, to get it done at the expense of other important things, is just not worth it.

With that extra pressure out of the way, I'm still undecided. My motto is “Go Big or Go Home.” That doesn't mean that every project has to be brilliantly amazing or that I'm trying to out-do everyone. It just means that if doing something is worth my time, it is also worth doing right. And I guess I have to decide what “right” is for me in this situation. To do that, I probably have to figure out what the end game is for this quilt. When I decided to do this, I knew it would be a big attention grabber at the quilt shows, but that also means that the details have to be perfect {hence, the giving myself a break with the deadline; after the blocks, which are time-consuming but not too difficult, are done I can spend the time I need and want to do a really good quilting job instead of rushing through it to get it done}.

But after the shows, then what? I've considered several options, and would love to hear your opinion. I'm just spit-balling here, so kind and constructive comments are appreciated. The obvious answer is to keep it and hang it on display. It would definitely be a cheerful addition to the decor. Another idea I've been tossing around is donate it to The Children's Television Workshop/ Sesame Street people. I am not sure if I'd want them to keep it {i.e. display it} in their offices, or if I would suggest to them to sell/auction it off to raise money for their operations. I'd definitely want to check with Michelle to see how she felt about it first. And lastly, I've thought about selling it. Now, before you get your flaming pens out, I know this may not be an option. There are copyright issues and creative considerations involved here. Again, I would check with Michelle and if she agreed, I'd share the profit with her and possibly donate a portion of it to the CTW. The biggest question there is how do you put a price on it? And would anyone actually pay that sum? Secondary to that is if the amount made in the sale would be worth all the effort I've put into it.

Back to the most immediate dilemma; what to do about the layout. I'm kind of lost and I must ask . . . can YOU tell me how to get to Sesame Street? Whenever I can't decide what to do, I find that asking opinions helps me to figure out what I really want. For example, when I talked it over with Mr. Bug, he suggested that I finish the 12-block layout in time for the quilt shows and then make another quilt sometime in the future using the 20-block layout. My immediate reaction was NO WAY! This is a one-quilt wonder.

I've narrowed it down to three options, and I hope you'll help me out by voting for your favorite layout.

First up, is the Less-Is-More Layout 1. This is my original plan for the patterns, with the exception of Prairie Dawn, who is one of the new patterns. As soon as I saw she was available, I kicked Rosita out and Prairie Dawn took her spot. It finishes at 42” x 53”.

Option two is the Less-is-More Layout 2. In this version, both Telly Rosita didn't make the cut and Prairie Dawn and Kermit {who may or may not be available from a different designer; Michelle hasn't done a Kermit pattern} took those spots. It finishes at 42” x 53”.

And last, but not least, is the Go-big-or-go-home-everybody-gets-a-spot Layout 3, except, ironically, I'm going to have to choose between Guy Smiley and Barkley. It's a tough call, but I'm thinking that Guy is not going to make the cut {mostly because I'll be shopping for fabrics on the internet and it is really hard to choose two fabrics of the same color, but with the subtle variance in tone needed to carry out the definition between his nose and his face}. It finishes at 53” x 64”.

OK, so there you have it. Vote for your favorite layout, keeping in mind that I may or may not go with the majority vote. It will depend on if you all vote for what I really want. But I don't know that yet, which is why I'm asking you to vote.


Paulette said...

I like the idea of the pros/cons and poll to garner input. How big is each block, again? If they're only, like 12" square, the GBOGH layout #3 will still be a normal/workable size.

I would think, after all your hard work, you would want to keep this quilt, but your other options seem reasonable as well. The CTW may not be in the business of auctioning quilts, though (is the thought in my head), although your local public television station which airs Sesame Street indeed may be. At least ours has an auction to raise money for public television. I can see them being happy to take your quilt for auction...again, if you can bear to part with it. Not sure that I could!

Mary said...

After all that work I'd have a hard time parting with this fun quilt. I vote for the Whole big layout -go big or go pressure for the quilt shows idea!

Jill said...

I picked two because I like Kermit, and he was a part of Sesame back in the day. But (and I know Zoe is nearly finished) I would put Telly in place of Zoe, because I don't care for Zoe. Or, better yet, I'd do Herry Monster.

Or, if you did the bigger layout, do Barkley AND Guy Smiley and skip on Baby Bear. He is on my list of not-favorites.

So not helpful. I know.

Lee Ann L. said...

Go with what you want to go with. But, I'm one of those go big and go home type of gals. LOL. If I could have one of every character, I would. :-)