Wednesday, February 3, 2016

WIP Wednesday: Last One?

Okay you guys. Let's have a little truth this Wednesday morning.

My truth is: I'm burned out on WIP Wednesday. I've been doing this link-up week in and week out for five years now (gasp, where has the time gone??). And while I've loved having the link-up and it really put my blog (and business) on the map, in the last year or so I've felt like I've been phoning it in a bit. There was a time when my Wednesday deadline helped my stay on track to have something to post, but for whatever reason, it's just not motivating me anymore. Instead, lately it hangs over my head like a mid-week anvil over Wile E. Coyote. LOL.


Still, it's a scary thing to say, "I'm done with this." As I said, it's been a huge part of my life for more than five years now. Without it, will my blog traffic drop off? Will I lose pattern sales? Will I lose sponsors? Will my motivation drop even further? Am I crazy to walk away from the single most popular feature on my blog?

So here's my decision (at least for now): I am temporarily suspending WIP Wednesday after this week. I'm going to take two months off and see how things go. What I'm hoping is that not having WIP Wednesday to worry about will actually free me up to do more quality blog posts. I can post about what I want, when I'm ready to, instead of always posting these short, ineffective mid-week check-ins. So, no, I'm not going anywhere! There will continue to be content here on the blog (potentially even more content), so I hope you won't go anywhere either! I'm also hoping this will allow me to post more frequently on Instagram, now that I don't have to "save" progress photos for Wednesdays. LOL. So be sure to follow me on IG to supplement what you see here.


When the two months are up, if not having WIP Wednesday has been a success for me and I'm feeling good about my blog and my blogging habits without it, then I think I will be done with it permanently. But I selfishly want to see how I feel about not having this in my life anymore before I make a final decision. I hope you all will bear with me while I do that. I hope to have a final decision in early April about whether WIP Wednesday will be back on this blog.

Okay, whew. I'm glad we had this talk. : ) In closing, let me just say that I am so grateful to every one of you who has ever linked up, or clicked on any of the links in order to discover new blogs and projects—you have made WIP Wednesday what it is. And let's all have one more amazing Wednesday link-up before the hiatus begins! Just for fun, I'm going to leave this WIP Wednesday link-up open for a whole week, so you'll have plenty of time to add yours! Show us what you're working on by linking up below, and have a wonderful week!

(P.S. The photos in this post are my Scrappy Picnic Plaid pattern from Stephanie Palmer's Quilter's Planner. Full post on this quilt coming tomorrow!!)

LINK-UP RULES:
1. Link up any blog post or Instagram photo from the past week that features an unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. To link an Instagram photo, click the "Add Your Link" button below, then click on the Instagram icon at the bottom of the screen that pops up. You should then be able to select any of your recent Instagram photos. Where it says "Link," use the URL of your Instagram feed (for example, my URL is www.instagram.com/freshlypieced). Please hashtag your IG post #wipwednesday
3. If you are linking to a blog post, please link back here to my blog somewhere in your post.
4. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links, either IG or blog—commenting on the two or three links directly before yours works well to make sure everyone gets comments!


71 comments:

SewCraftyJenn said...

Goodness! How am I the first one to link up again? I am newer to blogging and newer to WIP Wednesday and can honestly say that I would miss it if it were gone. But I also understand where you are coming from. You need to do what's right and best for you and if WIP Wednesday is feeling only like something you have to do and not something you want to do, then stop! If it doesn't make your life better, you don't need it. If your decision is to retire WIP Wednesday, maybe you can find someone to take over instead. ??? At any rate, I love your blog and will still look forward to seeing what you create. Take care! :)

the momma said...

I can totally understand how you feel (I imagine that was a tough post to write, too)
That said, I would be very sad to see WIP go ~ I look forward to Wednesdays, whether or not I have something to post myself. I have found so many wonderful people through this link up ~ thank-you for that!!
I'm hoping that 2 months off will give you renewed zeal for WIP ;-)
~Tracy

Kathy@KayakQuilting said...

Thank you Lee for all the work you have put into this weekly party! I know it has increased visits to my little blog and introduced me to some amazing other bloggers. I completely understand why you would move into this new direction! And I look forward to continuing to visit your lovely site! Thanks!

Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl said...

Revisiting the idea after 5 years seems more than appropriate! I hope that the 2 month break will offer some clarity on the topic, and regardless, I am so glad to be a follower and will continue to do so. :)

Myra @ Busy Hands Quilts said...

Breaks from the old and mundane are usually rejuvenating! I'll still check your content, no doubt!

the momma said...

p.s. I'm looking forward to seeing that whole quilt ~ it's beautiful and I love your fabric choices!!

Kat said...

As much I will miss your link up, I completely understand! You have to do what's best for you. Also, that quit you're showing glimpses of looks gorgeous! Lovely quilting choice. Best of luck going forward!

tubakk said...

Thank you for hosting this fun linky party for many years now. I'll certainly miss it. But I'll still come back to your blog to look at your beautiful quilts. Good luck with your "new life".

Go-Go Kim said...

Your WIP Wednesday has been FABULOUS!!!! You have been amazing for hosting it for so many years! Thank you :o)

Jennifer Fulton Inquiring Quilter said...

So sad to hear this! I'm going to miss your link up, but I thought something was wrong when the posts on Wednesday were getting later and later. Look, you love quilting because it makes you happy. Sometimes the business of quilting takes you away from the joy. So take this break with no guilt, and refresh yourself! If you want us back, we'll be here. If not, we'll see you at the other linkys. Thanks for hosting this one for so long! Wow, what an accomplishment.

✄ Erin @ Sew at Home Mummy ✄ said...

Really sad to hear this Lee, but I *totally* get it. And I'm amazed that you could stick with it so long - it's really a commitment!
Have you ever thought of sharing the hosting duties, much like M-R at Quilt Matters for TGIFF? Just a thought. But you deserve a break, girl!

Vicki Lou said...

Hey Lee,
I'm a follower who loves your blog but isn't partial to the WIP Wednesday post, so the change is NOT a problem for me. The possibility that it will free you up for new ideas and fresh material is pleasing to me. So, you go girl!

Debbie said...

You know I've loved w.i.p. Wednesday over the years, and in earlier days it was a standby for me and a huge encouragement. I'm behind you 100% - let it go for a bit and see how that feels. I'm totally confident we'll be more that pleased with what else you bring to your blog and Ig.

hydeeannsews said...

i hosted a monthly epp link party for several months, and i didn't last 5 years or even a full year. for various reasons, i decided it wasn't working for me even though it was actually starting to grow! this link party here is a lot bigger, but i understand your weariness. you have to do what works for you! there are other link parties out there, and i'm sure if you decide to drop this one, it'll get picked up by someone else. probably lots of someone-elses.

all that said, this has been a great place for me to share over the years. it's definitely what got me connected with the internet quilting community. so i thank you for that! wip wednesday has been iconic in this community. but maybe it's time for you to move on or change directions. a break to gauge your real feelings is a good idea.

Allison said...

On one hand, I'm a little sad about your not hosting a weekly link-up... I've joined in on the fun only within the last several months and have made so many connections here, that I otherwise would not have made. Several quilters here in Germany and I have even started a monthly quilt meeting because of such connections. On the other hand, I so totally get it. I joined in a weekly themed blog hop, and I felt the same restrictions that you just mentioned. For everything there is a season... and you often cannot embrace something new until you let the old thing go. Best wishes with your decision and thanks for five years of fun!

P.S. what about passing the buck?

Debra said...

Sorry to see the WIP go, but I totally understand. Finding content and time to blog is hard enough.. people who don't blog don't understand the time it takes. It is quite a time commitment, never mind having to host a link up every week!!!! You deserve a break to do what you want and blog about what you want and when you want. Thanks so much for this meeting place - it is one of my favorites. I look forward to continuing to follow you and see what you are up to! Enjoy!

Stacey said...

WIP Wednesday is definitely the place I found most new blogs and connections when I was starting out. It's one of the few things I've linked up with very regularly over the last two years. But I think everyone understands that five years of hosting is a long time! Thanks so much for all your work helping to build community.

Heidi Staples said...

Lee, you have brought the awesomeness every week for so long -- I admire you greatly for what you've done through this link-up. And I have to say, I admire you just as much for being honest enough to call it quits today because you need to. I am so excited to see what you'll be sharing with us in the next 2 months!

Sherry VF said...

Hats off to you! I agree that many bloggers post just to have face time with their followers. Personally, Fabric Friday, Tip Tuesday, and Sunday Stash type blogs really look like the blogger is trying too hard. Congrats on deciding to do what you want, not what social dictates. Make what you want, when you want and share when you can.

Kris said...

I think you have done a great thing over the last 5 years. Do you realize that you have been part of the quilting movement that has taken off since the mid to late 2000's? You should be proud. I totally get that you need a break or change. I am new to IG and really other than instant gratification of eye candy I do not see it as long lived or really all that informative. I hope that more permanent and easy to use platforms come along. I love to see linkies like yours in one place, tutorials and how to's and the things I can learn from. With that said I know I have lots to learn on IG. Maybe you can do a blog post on how to link things on IG or to organize a swap?One thing I have been seeing is reposting a pic and tagging friends for some of the fabric design companies running contests. Not a clue how to do that. Anyway, I will always prefer a blog over the other platforms we have now but that doesn't mean things won't change. Good luck and have fun with your much deserved break!(and or change)

JoanG said...

I'm so sad to hear this. Your link party has been the best of those out there. I have always found inspiration and new blogs to follow while cruising the links. I can however understand that this process takes an inordinate amount of time to produce. Perhaps a break will bring you back refreshed, but if not, I wish you the best and I will be checking back here to see what you are up to.

Molli Sparkles said...

I feel ya, Lee. I feel ya. I think what you're doing is absolutely the right thing. I do thank you for allowing me to take over WIP Wednesday way back when, as I still credit that to giving me a nice little leg up in the blogging community. Kisses and sparkles to you! For the record, I'll still be visiting Freshly Pieced!

CandyR said...

I will never stop reading your blog whatever you do. I'm not a linker or is it a linkee (? 😄) but a faithful follower of your blog who loves and is inspired by your work.

Katy Cameron said...

I totally understand, at the end of the year I did the Finish Along I felt somehow released from a straight jacket of fixed posts on fixed days! I'm sure you'll still have plenty of stuff to keep us entertained, and I'll keep doing my post because it keeps me accountable and on track (and allows my followers to give me a kick up the arse when necessary!)

Lisa C said...

I receive your blog entries via email and I rarely click on link-ups so the decision won't affect me. However, I cannot imagine doing anything for five years and staying enthusiastic about it! Kudos to you. Good luck. Enjoy the time off from this part of blogging. Can't wait to see this quilt in its entirety.

DianeLoves2Quilt said...

I will be sad to see WIP Wednesday go. My husband teases me it is my focus and my mini-deadlines to get things done. In fact I was about to scurry off to make a bit of progress to link up with but stopped to read this to be sure it was happening this week. When your children grow up you no longer have the school year as a time marker with milestones. I am retired and no longer have the typical work week as a structured routine. Your linkup party has been my time marker and weekly mini-goal setter. Thank you for working on it and hosting it as much as you have and for as long as you have. I still have you in my margin as a blog I follow and will continue to do so. I will investigate other link-up parties that I have been hesitant to do since I did not want to overcommit to more than one. (See I have loyalties.) You have been a great source for my blog traffic. Just my opinion and input for your future endeavors, but Instagram does not float my boat. I like to READ about what folks do and focus visually on how they do it. Instagram may be instant gratification but not enough info. I also prefer written tutorials to videos. If Fat Quarter Shop has a meaty post I read it. If they have a video I skip it. Good luck to your correction in coursedirection. Know that you will be missed on Wednesdays.
P.S. Thanks for keeping this week open longer!

peggysart said...

I appreciate that you have taken the time to explain what's about to happen. I, too, look forward to Wednesdays and your WIPs. I always go to the rest of your stuff from here. So many of us fully understand your logic and reasoning, and realize that you will not forget about those of us who have had a love affair with those posts!

Thank you for the Wednesdays. You have been a diligent woman to have done this. I will always be a fan, will always love your patterns, color choices and enthusiasm. If ending WIP enhances the rest of your life, I'm all for it. Hooray for you!!!

Daniela O'Connell said...

Wow. That is a bitter pill to swallow.... While I can totally understand your decision and what it must feel like and to have 'burnt out' on something you have so amazingly startet, I feel saddened by the possibility that WIP Wednesday might be no more... Since the second most clicks I get on my (relatively new) blog is from WIP Wednesdays. I always loved clicking through other blogs linked up as well and receiving such lovely, encouraging comments on my projects in the making.
But I respect your decision, to gain motivation again you need to change something, even if it means to give up something so great. Take all the time in the world! Without wanting to come across selfish, maybe come up with an irregular schedule or some other possibility for us to link up our blog posts. Thank you. Thank you for your great link up, which I only got to enjoy for a bit over a year or so. Wednesdays were certainly one of my favourite days in the week.

artistswriter said...

I haven't been part of WIP. I'm a full time caregiver and do not have time to do extensive blogging, but I ALWAYS check your posts, and have been inspired in many ways with your designs and color sense. I certainly will continue to check your posts.

Katy McCoy said...

I can certainly imagine how tired you are of having to do the same old thing each week too. But I hope you are able to move this to someone else. I've gotten tired of a lot of the blogs I regularly get so this has become my entrée to new blogs and new ideas. . and I'm not on Instagram and don't plan to be - just too many things to do to get started on something else.

Michele S. said...

Five years is so long to honor a weekly commitment! I write a weekly blog and do social media for our school, and it can be a real chore so I empathize. I visit your blog from IG or Bloglovin and came to know you through your book; WIPWednesday doesn't define your work for me. Follow your instincts - there are so many ways to connect with followers - blog hops, QALs, etc. Wishing you the best in your decision but for now enjoy the breather!

Carole @ From My Carolina Home said...

I totally get it, and you should take some time. When something no longer excites you or becomes a chore, it is time to shift gears, at least for a while. I follow your blog, so will look forward to seeing your creativity shine unrestrained by a set schedule.

Marsha Cooper said...

I know that I will miss you. I get off track when you take a week or 2 off LOL
I never had much luck with my link ups and getting people to regularly post, but still kept them all for a few years. I have none now.

Would you happen to know of any other WIP blog linkies? It really does inspire me to have something to post each week.

marsha.seiberling@gmail.com

Sel said...

I admit, WIP Wednesday has been one of the goads to keep me quilting and blogging for a while - I do have a desire to show off! :)

Thanks so much for the time you put in to do WIP Wednesdays these last couple of years; I've really appreciated the amount of work that goes into your quilting and your blogging.

Lucy @ Charm About You said...

Ahh Lee I totally get it! I too enjoyed guest hosting but despite the nice idea of passing the torch I sort of think that's more work for you (which defeats the point) and to be honest it is so 'you' that it would feel like cheating ;) Enjoy your time and reflection! Will happily join in again should it return and regardless Wednesdays will always be thought of as WIP Wednesday for me!

Ben said...

Keeping it going for five years is impressive. Do what is best for you!

helen said...

Have just added you on instagram, change is always a good thing.

Liz said...

Lee, thank you so much for all your hard work in hosting WIP Wednesday. This was the first link-up I joined when I started my blog, and it was the first time I felt like someone cared about what I posted - it was a lovely intro to the online quilting community! I hope the next couple months are a refreshing time for you, with lots of inspiration and creative freedom. Thanks again for creating a space for connection and encouragement!

Karin said...

Fair enough Amy...linky parties are a lot of work and I am always amazed at the quilters who run them on a weekly basis. You deserve a break and the freedom to do your own thing. Also follow on Instagram and will continue to pop in to see what you are up to.

the zen quilter said...

Thanks so much for the idea - I really have met and made friends, and I admit I love to check out what everyone else is working on. It was a fabulous idea. Best of luck and I'll see you in cyber space!

Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation said...

I completely understand where you're coming from, Lee. I hope that the next two months bring some clarity to you, no matter the decision. Your patterns and your quilts are beautiful, and so I imagine that your blog and business will stay strong. Whether or not this is the last, thank you SO much for your diligence each and every week.

:) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

Sharon T said...

This had to be such a difficult decision to make. Know that all of your hard work and inspiration is much appreciated. I will miss WIP Wednesday, but that will not change my following you. Breathe!

Empress Charlotte Handmades said...

I've enjoyed participating in your link up so thank you! I hope your break works out the way you hope it will. I'll still be a follower and am looking forward to your future posts.

Remnant Quilter Kimberly said...

Thank you for the linkup. It is so understandable to want to bow out gracefully when you are feeling burned out on something; I congratulate you for knowing when to say when. You indeed are doing it gracefully. Best wishes.

Leanne said...

Now I really have to do a post to link up. I remember when there were just a few of us linking up and we would all read each other's posts every week. I have had a hard time getting my act together to post on Wednesdays for a long while too, but I will miss this if you stop. I totally get why you might, and that's ok too.

crossquilt said...

WIP Wednesday was my gateway into the world of quilt blogging and helped me become more confident in what I was posting about each week. Thank you for keeping it going as long as you have and maybe you can have a random link party every so often.

The Colorful Fabriholic said...

I think you have a wise plan for testing the future of WIP Wednesday, or lack thereof. I will miss the link up, so I selfishly hope you'll bring it back. Through it I've met some wonderful blogger friends. Thanks for hosting it for as long as you have, and I hope you get your blogging and quilting mojo back during the hiatus.

christinepaul said...

I get your posts through my bloglovin feed. I enjoy your designs and fabric choices.
It's always best to make conscious choices and not to feel obligated to do things. I think you are wise to give it the test. Your work will keep others coming back for more!

quiltytherapy said...

Good for you! It's not easy to walk away from something that has been a big driver for your blog. Since it feels like a chore or that anvil, give it a rest. I hope it opens up that creative process a little bit more for you.

Karen said...

I have to admit I will miss this linkup. I'm a "lurker" and enjoy seeing everyone's projects. Bit I also totally understand that feeling of a mid-week anvil. I hope that someone else picks up the linky. If you hear of another blog that is taking this concept, please let us know. I do also really look forward to your other content, and enjoy your style so you can expect to keep my traffic either way.

Karin Jordan said...

Hi! I've recently taken a few months off a few things that I'd been doing for a while (and enjoying) but that had started feeling like Anvils. I made the decision so that I could free up mental/creative space to enable me to go in new directions and follow new ideas and it's been the best thing I've done in a long time. Plus, you can always revisit it if you feel you miss it, or do it once a month instead of once a week! I look forward to seeing what you're up to sans anvil. :)

Anne / Springleaf Studios said...

I want to offer a great big Thank You for hosting this awesome linky party. It's the first one I ever participated in and have always enjoyed seeing the other links. I completely understand your burn out though. Wish you best as you try new things on the blog front. Hope WIP Wed doesn't end but totally understand if it does. There is a time for everything.

Andree G. Faubert said...

Good luck. Your linky party has been a real hit. I hope that what ever you decide will make you happy. It's sometimes as important to know when to quit as to when to start. Best wishes.

Julie said...

I will be sad to see this stop - this is the only linky I participate in regularly. Sometimes though, you just have to do what is right for you, and not worry about other people, this is one of those times. All the best.

Anja @ Anja Quilts said...

Good for you for realizing that you need a break and actually doing something about it. I hope you enjoy the break and get lots of sewing done.

Barbara Konkle said...

Completely understandable! I hope you enjoy the break and find the best option for you! Love your blog!! :)

greeneggs said...

Anything that enhances your enjoyment is good, anything that feels like a burden has to go, or at least be considered. I'll be reading your wonderful blog regardless.

OPQuilt said...

I've discontinued a few things on my blog that were repetitive in nature, so I totally understand this desire. It becomes less spontaneous, more of a slog, when you HAVE to do a blog post. You are to applauded for continuing on for FIVE years (impressive) and also to be applauded if you decide it's time to go, and then you do let go. There are lots of different opportunities that have arisen for you in the past five years, and it's been fun to watch you embrace the new (plus it was fun to meet you at Quiltcon). I look forward to the new directions you take (if you decide that's what you want to do).
Elizabeth

quiltmusings said...

Sorry to hear that you are ending WIP Wednesday, though I can understand. Five years is quite impressive! Just want to say I have really enjoyed being able to participate in them, and look forward to seeing what the extra freedom brings on your blog.

Beatrice said...

Hello, I, too, understand where you are coming from and would like to thank you for enabling us to discover and share so much via this linky.
I'll keep checking your blog, but no pressure!
Enjoy your new-found "me" time!

Alison Wood said...

Hi Lee, I don't think I can add much to what everyone else has said, but I did want to thank you for hosting this great link-up for so long. I have only known about it for a year or so but it has provided a wonderful spur to get on with a project and write a blogpost just so as not to miss the chance to link-up. I know, however, only too well, how some weeks aren't so easy on the domestic or work front and how it must be a real pressure always to have a post ready. As a linkee I can just decide not to post if it is all getting too much, but you don't have that option. Respect your decision, though i will miss WIP Weds. Now I need to learn how to use Instagram...

Melanie said...

Hey Lee, not much more to add...

Your WIP Wednesday is the linkup I met my new sewing friends on, it helped me stay or better: start a sewing routing. I am not linking up every Wednesday but it is always in my mind and I love clicking through the inspiration. Even when I don't link up. I loved leaving comments and some encouragement and of course I loved recieving them. Short, I will be sorry to see it gone but surely I will pop my nonetheless.

Loved the proposed ideas: Passing it along, sharing it... If you really decide on that track, feel free to contact me - not sure if I am up to the task... but too sad to see it totally gone.

Another idea: The linkup is such a social habit. Can't you do it without leaving your own project? You could post as you want and just still provide us with the platform that made the WIP Wednesday so succesful.

Love Melanie

EmileeHope said...

I would really miss WIP Wednesday, but I get it! I don't know how people find the time to blog at all-I am lucky to get an iPhone pic on IG each week! I have loved all the other blogs and IG accounts I have found thru this. Maybe you could do one a month instead of every week, or take turns hosting with other bloggers? I hope your break gives you clarity! Thanks for hosting as long as you have!

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a maidenhair fern said...

Thank you Lee, for pushing the rest of us as we rushed to get our projects in progress so we could post. It has been a great accomplishment for you. I hope someone else will pick up this linky party, because it's a great way to share. LOVE YOUR QUILT!!!

JOY @ http://joysjotsshots.blogspot.com/ said...

Sorry to hear the news, but I totally understand about the pressure. Thank-you for hosting. Enjoy your well deserved "vacation."

Jenn @ A Quarter Inch from the Edge said...

Thank you for hosting WIP Wednesday for all this time. I only host mine once a month and already I can see how much time and energy it takes. I can't imagine doing it weekly for 5 years!

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