The Reality of Quilting

Let’s face it—as quilters, we can be easily distracted. Now, not all quilters fit into this box, but if we’re honest with ourselves, many of us probably find ourselves with multiple projects, all in various stages of completion.

As creative people, we are often guilty of starting a project, and before completing it, we jump to another. What do we do? How do we make a plan and prioritize our projects?

Here are some helpful tips that will get you back on the right track!

1. Be honest and make a list of all your UFOs (unfinished objects).

2. Are there any projects on your list that you have no desire to finish? Perhaps you started on a project and have fallen out of love with it, losing the enthusiasm to complete it? Make the decision now to either finish the project or donate it to a guild, quilt club, or Goodwill.

part of a quilt with red pieces

3. What is your top priority? Do you have items that will be gifted? What are the dates those items should be completed on in order to be ready for gifting? Use a calendar to note the date you hope to complete the item.

Realistically, estimate how many days you need to complete the item and make a note so that you visually see when you should be starting to work on that particular project. It would be good to add a bit of extra time just to cover any “hiccups” that may occur during the piecing, quilting, and binding process.

4. Next, how about that pile of quilt tops? Do they just need to be delivered to your favorite longarm quilter? Do you have backing material? Does the backing need to be pieced? Do you have binding fabric and can the binding be cut and pieced while the quilt is out for quilting?

Make sure to store the binding in a location that you will remember. If you need backing, place that on your next shopping list. These small steps will get you closer to the finish line!

folded quilts in different colors

5. Select one more project from your UFO list that you would like to finish in 2023. Make a commitment to work on this project 3–4 days each month. You could also take this project with you as your main project on your next quilt retreat or open sew day with quilt friends.

folded quilt pieces

6. Let’s move on to those projects that only need binding and labels to complete. Consider this your reminder to create the binding and the label. Stitch the binding on by machine so that you can complete the handwork without delay. If the style of label is stitched into the binding, this too can be partially attached.

Now, make an effort to fit these projects into your evenings, weekends, and free time. Perhaps you can complete them on a long drive where you’re the passenger. These are times when having something to keep you busy makes the miles go by faster.

small quilted projects

These simple guidelines will help you to:
– Have a visual list of your UFOs.
– Prioritize your projects and create a plan.
– Find a place for your unwanted projects.
– Complete your gifts in a timely fashion.
– Deliver your quilts to a longarm quilter and purchase your backings.
– Finish the projects that only needing binding and labels.
– Enjoy your finished quilts as they were meant to be!

Keep in mind that quilting tastes and interests change over the years. The projects and techniques you once enjoyed might not be something you’re interested in finishing anymore. If you find a project to be more work than you would like, consider gifting it to a fellow quilter who might enjoy it or repurpose the fabrics for an entirely different quilt project. Quilting should bring us joy and a sense of creativity! Life is too short to be buried in UFOs.

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One Response to “The Reality of Quilting”

  1. Brenda Browning

    Would like the pattern in the top picture