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Please don't remind me that I'm poor; I'm having too much fun pretending I'm simply "living green" like everyone else these days.


Friday, October 3, 2008

Bright red

This is today's finished quilt. They say the color red will make your heart pump faster. It sure did when I worked on this one. It's very bright! I love it.

I did a leafy design in all the areas. This one on the piano key border.

Another one on the sashing.

This one on the blocks.... taking advantage of the triangle piecing as a guide.

Just in case you can't see the block design well enough here it is from the back.

A couple of days ago my daughter commented to me.... "Mom, I thought you weren't going to work so hard this year". Then my friend Martha said... "I thought you weren't going to book so heavily this year". Then another friend said.... "You're always busy". These statements gave me reason to pause and reflect.

My waiting list for the next year is ususally half filled by December. I fully intended to not be so heavily booked this year. I even cut down the number of slots on the waiting list by half this year with the intention of having more time for a social life. I can't not schedule work to do. It's my living. It's what pays the bills.

Back in February when my grandaughter was born I got behind on my schedule by about 30 days. Days that can't be made up; so everything for the rest of the year is 30 days behind schedule. February quilts got moved back to March.... March moved back to April.... etc.

Then in March I got sick. It seems March is usually the time of year when someone with the flu will always come near me and I get the flu. I don't understand why some people feel the need to be around other people when they are sick. I'm alergic to the flu shots so the flu will always have me off my feet for several days. Once again the time I lost means work is pushed back.

Now I'm about 45 days behind schedule. So March quilts, which are really February quilts, are moved back to April. The quilts scheduled for March are moved back to May. The April quilts are moved back to June.... etc. Then there was the week Ike blew through here. Another week behind schedule.

It's like dominos lined up.... when the first one is pushed over the others fall too. Time lost cannot be gotten back.

I did stop putting names on my waiting list back in May or June because I knew everything would come down to the end of the year xmas rush being behind schedule. The trouble was that many slots were already filled with names.... commitments.

My grandkids in Alaska would like very much for me to visit them for awhile and see the sites of Alaska. One grandchild would like to take me on a hunting trip in the wilds. My kids here in Kentucky often ask me to visit with them for awhile and do things with their kids. My friend Martha would like for me to stay with her for awhile. The quilt shop owners would like for me to hang around there too. I see classes and retreats advertised all the time that I would love to do.

My sister in law would like for me to take her grocery shopping every week. My neighbors want me to get a car again and become their chauffer. Some friends would like for me to go to their house to give private quilting lessons. Some want me to go gambling everyday. Some want me to go to lunch and quilt shows. You see I do have lots of things I could do and that are much more fun to do.

So why don't I just take time off when I want to go have fun? Why don't I just stop quilting so much and have fun all the time? I do work at home and on my own schedule; so why not just take off when I want to? I have plenty of free time to be a chauffer or to visit every quilt show or take every class or go on every retreat or go horseback riding with my son and his kids every weekend or go on hunting trips in Alaska every summer... right? I mean really.... working at home gives me all kinds of free time, right?

Well.... without an income.... how would I pay for all these things? How would I pay for two burial policies? How would I pay for a headstone for my son's grave? How would I pay for a new water heater, furnace, and insulation? How would I pay for electricity? How would I give my 4 kids and 20 grandkids and 5 great-grandkids birthday and xmas presents? How would I pay the mortgage? How would I eat?

If I had an outside job at a factory or in an office I could just disappear all the time to go have fun....right? Every time my boss came to look for me I could be gone to a quilt show or on a quilt retreat or visiting with my kids.... right? Aw, come on.... how long would I keep a job if I'm never there to do the job?

Running a home business requires committment! No home business is going to stay operating very long if it isn't run.... as a business. A business can't stay in business if no one is there to do the work. Just like any factory or office; when the work gets behind schedule there will be overtime required of the employees to catch up.

Friends and family tend to think of machine quilting as an "interesting hobby". A hobby means it can be set aside in favor of more interesting and fun things. No one (except another machine quilter) sees machine quilting as a ligitimate business. A business that requires hard work and long hours and committment to doing a good job to stay in business.

When I went into the business of machine quilting; I gave up the luxury of paid days off and paid vacations and paid insurance that are enjoyed by those with outside jobs. I don't have a husband to work and pay bills for me either. For me; any day my machine is not moving is a day without pay. Speaking of which.... I best get the machine warmed up and earning today's paycheck.

1 comment:

kathi said...

Yes Anita,

"the others" will never understand what "working at home" is. They don't seem to understand the WORKING part, only the "at home" part. It can be most frustrating. My darling husband is my most frequent "pull me away from work" factor.

Yet we do need to make some time for the other important things in life. I get a huge smile on my face just thinking of you in Alaska.

Where do you find the happy medium? I don't know.. I also am struggling with the same issues you have.

If i ever find the solution, I'll let you know.