Tuesday, June 3, 2014
The Ellie Program
You may notice from the slightly lopsided picture that this is not Jackie's Pocket of Posies needlecase. Instead, it is Morning Has Broken and the beginning of the big flowers on either side of the bee skep.
And this is because I am trying out the Ellie program.
I met Ellie almost thirty years ago when she took a knitting class from me. (In an earlier life, I taught knitting classes at my local yarn shop.) Ellie is a phenomenal quilter. She is also one of the most prolific quilters I have ever met. And I do mean prolific. She finishes anywhere from 20 to 35 quilts a year. She makes at least two Baltimore Album quilts every single year, usually given as wedding presents. This does not include things like stuffed animals and tote bags and place mats and wall hangings. And she works full time.
So I sat down and emailed her after she sent me a picture of her latest project, a wall hanging of the periodic table for her husband the chemistry professor. I simply wanted to know how she did it, assuming of course that her husband had not enlisted the biology department and cloned her.
Ellie picks out about four or five projects she wants to work on and assigns them one evening a week. She works only one evening per project. She makes sure she has at least two hours an evening free to sew, and she has each project in a basket or bag with all the bits and pieces ready to go. Then, on the week-ends, she plays with whatever project she feels like. She did tell me that she has a travel project that is small and portable for the trips she and her husband take.
She has one definite rule. No matter how excited she is about a project, it only gets its assigned evening during the week. She says that keeps the interest high. If she absolutely loves it, she plays with it on the week-end.
She also varies the type of project from one night to the next. At the moment, she is appliquéing the blocks for another Baltimore Album on Monday. On Tuesday, she is cutting out and sewing together the squares for a cathedral window quilt. Wednesday she is constructing a stuffed animal for a grandchild due in August. Thursday she is working on a quilt for that same baby. Then the week-end officially starts on Friday evening.
So I'm going to give it a shot. I'm going to vary mine a bit and use my week-ends for projects that I want to finish sooner rather than later or pre work for workshops or things that need a long, long period of concentration.
I will let you know how it works!