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.

So now it’s time for you to link up. You can link any blog post, Instagram or Flickr pic – here’s how:

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