One of the most frequent questions I’m asked about my work is “how much time does it take to make one of your quilts?” I know some quilters keep logs of the time spent. They might set a timer both to keep track of the time, but also as incentive. In other words they plan on working a specific time, such as 30 minutes or several hours. This isn’t my way of keeping track. Instead I commit to three studio days each week. I work hard, although not always successfully, to not allow other things such as emails, meetings, and phone calls to encroach on this time. Instead I devote other days to non-studio activity. Even so, during a good studio day I’m lucky to spend six hours actually working on my art.
In the past I’ve only had a vague notion about time spent. I decided to do things a little differently with Turbulence. I’m 10 weeks in. I’ve finished the piecing of the top. I know it has 2,645 pieces. This means I averaged 88 pieces seamed together per studio day. That is 2,645 pieces, divided by 10 weeks, divided by 3 days. Turbulence is more time consuming than much of my other work, because it is 100% paper pieced AND the individual pieces aren’t simple squares, rectangles and half square triangles. Nor are they pieces that can be easily cut with a ruler and rotary cutter. I suspected this project would take longer than others because of its difficulty. I know from past experience, once I get cranking, I can seam 120 pieces in a studio day. I estimated, because of the complexity of this artwork I could piece 100 in day.
I once read we tend to over estimate the time it will take to do a task we don’t want to do, but under estimate the time it will take to do something we enjoy. I’ve been creating quilts for 35 years and began to transitioning to art quilts three years after I started. Yet, I still can’t accurately estimate how long it will take to do my next piece. Could that be why contractors have a reputation for running over budget and behind schedule?
I am linking up with Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Fridays.