Coping with the Pandemic - Annie Unrein

Annie Unrein

In late March, Utah authorities encouraged everyone to work from home, if possible, and told all high-risk individuals (including those over 60, me!) to "avoid contact with any other person." Having watched as my daughter-in-law's family in Spain dealt with hospitalizations and deaths, I was definitely ready to self-isolate. I was also confident that I would be SO much more productive and that I would really get ahead of the game. Assuming that we might be in isolation for about a month, I made a tentative schedule:

  • Week 1: Finalize all five new/updated patterns, making at least one model of each to ensure testing is complete.
  • Week 2: Write scripts for add-on and marketing videos for those five new patterns.
  • Week 3: Sew step-outs for filming for all videos.
  • Week 4: Begin filming (if allowed back to work) or begin work on new patterns for Fall Market.
It is now 10 weeks later and I am still working primarily from home. Progress on my schedule? I've mostly completed the Week 1 and Week 2 projects. We did begin filming a couple of weeks ago but are only about halfway through that process. Not only am I a very-overly-optimistic judge of how long something will take, but I was also surprised by how much time went to dealing with effects of the shutdown: reviewing regulations and programs, communicating with staff who were working in several places, trying to make sense of all the news, and working to make good decisions when everything was so unsettled around us. Fortunately, I also added a few fun things to my list. Most enjoyable was participating in several Facebook Live events with stores and companies who were also dealing with shutdowns. For example, I presented a five-week series with FreeSpirit Fabrics which focused on projects we've made using their fabrics. We shared tips and techniques for bag making, from choosing fabrics and coordinates to making smooth, wrinkle-free bindings. Preparing for those events each week took MUCH more time than I'd expected (no surprise there), but feedback and engagement made it all worthwhile. Being able to connect with makers around the world, even when we were all stuck at home, was definitely a highlight of the shutdown for me! If you can't wait to read the individual stories, you can view SCHMETZ Inspired to SEW #79 by CLICKING HERE.