I need to apologize for the long delays lately in the Test Your Skills Sampler posts. Things have been crazy busy at work, and I just haven’t had the time, energy, or focus to do the posts justice. We have a quilting day coming up this Saturday and the basement/sewing area is a mess thanks to our new toy which, by the way, still hasn’t even had a practice piece loaded! Last weekend I was able to “relax” by working on the basement, and it’s almost in shape for company. I hope that I’ll do better with the sampler posts, but realistically, it may still be slower than I would like. My original schedule (fortunately, not shared publicly!) would have had the quilt finished before Christmas. I don’t see that happening, unfortunately. Most of the blocks so far already have the guts of the instructions written. After a couple more posts, Jeanne and I will have to get back into Skill Builder mode and those posts take much, much longer.

Also, I feel like lately most of my posts have been about the sampler or the Skill Builder Series, and I feel like the blog is getting impersonal. I don’t want that.

I once read that there are three kinds of perfectionists: those who expect themselves to be perfect, those who expect others to be perfect, and those who think others expect them to be perfect. I’m all three. It leads to some really stupid behavior on my part. When I don’t feel that I can accomplish what I want as well as I want, I shut down, walk away, and worry about it. I work that (often very small) thing into a giant problem. It’s a cycle – I worry about it so I avoid it so I worry more because I’m avoiding it and that makes me worry MORE…

Sometimes it’s like a big curtain comes down in my brain and I literally cannot think. I spin my wheels and get more and more frustrated and angry. The healthy thing to do would be to pick up a sewing project and focus on that for a while instead. Unfortunately I’m more likely to plunk down in front of the television and watch whatever is on the DVR for a few hours.

I generally try to keep my posts here positive and quilt-focused. I’m trying to get back to that, but I just wanted to explain a little why the blog has been lifeless lately. Thank you for your patience.



  1. Sorry to hear you’re feeling overwhelmed – I know that feeling only too well. Rest assured that we’ll wait patiently until you’re feeling better, your health and well-being is far more important than your blog. Take care and be sure that you’re in my thoughts x

  2. I completely agree with the other comments, Sandi. You take care of yourself first, and we, your loyal TYSS-ers will be here and ready to go again whenever you are!

  3. You do such a wonderful job on the skill builder posts, Sandi. I haven’t been making the quilt, but I like reading your posts because they are so well put together and detailed. Thank you for doing them. And I know what you mean about shutting down, but I actually think it’s probably pretty healthy to just do something “mindless” when you get to that point, and give things a chance to sort themselves out. I do the avoiding thing too, but I try not to worry too much while I’m avoiding, at least consciously. I think, subconsciously, things work themselves through pretty well enough sometimes. Then again, that could just be my justification for procrastination that’s talking, lol. Take care and be gentle with yourself.

  4. I haven’t been on your blog for while, WOW, You could pull all these skill builder posts and sell a fabulous resource book. Your directions are so precise, I love that. I know many are into free, liberated piecing, but when you make a star, it needs points, on all sides! I’m sure many newer piecers are benefiting from your time and effort, job well done.

  5. Ever see that little tag I have that says “Blogging Without Obligation”? You might need one. Sandy, you are painstaking and generous in your posts. Anybody who expects perfection from you simply must be ignored. Take care of YOU first. xx

  6. don’t be so hard on yourself. You are doing a great job. Very good skill builders posts
    Thank you

  7. I think your posts are wonderful and, while I have not physically taken part in the TYSS QAL, I have enjoyed every post that both you and Jeanne have written. I appreciate your generosity in sharing what you know with novices like myself and your willingness to answer questions. Please, don’t beat yourself up, life is what it is and this perfectionist has learnt the hard way, to go with the flow and not fight against it.

    Thank you for your generosity.

  8. Oh my goodness, don’t you even think of apologizing!!!

    I have been utterly amazed at the generosity of your posts. You have taught me so much — for nothing in return. Your posts are incredibly detailed and clear and must take FOREVER to write. Thanks to you I am learning how to piece and experiencing some success.

    I appreciated your comments about perfectionism and procrastination, because they are big issues for me and I sympathize only too well. I forget who it was that said, Don’t let the best be the enemy of the good, but it is a phrase that has often helped me.

    My hope for you is that you take care of yourself with the same enthusiasm and concern that you’ve put into your posts. You have got to be at least as important as a quilting lesson!!

  9. Don’t worry. I don’t think anyone is anxious about the sampler – if you go slowly enough I might clear off my to do list enough to add this to it. 🙂 I am looking forward to the feathered star block though. I think that one will be hand quilted and find a place of honor as a pillow on my couch.

    When I get overwhelmed I shut down too. I find that if I break things down into simple steps and just start it isn’t as bad as I thought. But it can take a few days of stress to get to that point. 🙂

  10. Oh do I know what you are talking about, I will sweat the issue for weeks. When in fact if I would just go do it it would be some much easier. Or when I finally do get up and do what I have been worrying about it only takes a short time. This usually happens when I am stretched way to thin.

    So I hear you and I totally understand you, But please take the time for yourself. You obviously need it.

    We will all be here when you are rested and not so stressed. God bless

  11. Sandi

    I completely understand your post. Without the perfectionist that expects others to be perfect, I completely fall into the other two perfectionist categories that you describe here.

    While I agree with the others about ‘not worrying’, or ‘take your time’, I totally know the feeling of not meeting a schedule that you have set up in your head. Making other people understand that feeling is a little hard sometimes. So is trying to overcome that feeling.

    Just remember, that the level of detail in the post, and instruction & all the pictures, organization DOES TAKE TIME (as I continuously learn over and over). You do an amazing job over here which should not be taken lightly.

    It was great getting in contact with you over on flickr. Take care,

    – Darla

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