I read, in several other blogs, about a SWAP contest that ended recently. The contest was well underway when I learned about it and I'm not at all sure what the rules of the contest were. I surmised the participants had to complete several items, all related to a theme, by a deadline in early April. Everyone seemed to have fun completing their pieces and there was much encouragement floating around in the sewing blogosphere. I enjoyed seeing the pieces in progress and reading about the sewer's decision making processes, challenges and solutions. The camaraderie of the common goal was evident. I almost wished I were taking part in the SWAP. Notice, I said "almost."
A deadline will keep me out of any SWAP or contest. To me, deadlines are a necessary evil. I have no choice but to deal with deadlines at work, but I don't want them in my leisure. My sewing would be a different kind of activity if I gave myself deadlines. It would be too much like work. I guess I'm a zen-existential-gestalt kind of seamstress. I enjoy the process as much as the finished product. I sew to relax and I like taking my time while I sew. I might stop at anytime during a project and start looking through patterns and BWOFs to plan a future project. I've stopped in the middle of tracing-off to listen to an interesting piece on the radio. I've sat with hand sewing in my lap while a watch a movie. That is not the way to complete a SWAP. I make no demands on myself while I'm in my sewing room. If I'm lucky enough to have a few hours to spend sewing, I don't want any self-imposed pressure to take away my joy.
Of course, I do finish my projects. After all, I expect to have something to wear at the end of the relaxing, blissful process. My deadlines are seasonal; as in "finish the outfit while it is still warm (or cold) enough to wear it." I admit, I've even missed deadlines as broad as that! But, I've spent the time indulging myself and working at my desired pace. To me, that's more important than meeting any deadline.