Reassessing the List of WIPs
Sometimes WIPs don't exactly align with our current priorities. Sometimes we fall out of love with a project. Sometimes a project was really about learning a skill and once that skill was learned, the project no longer seems relevant. Regardless of the reason, it makes sense to reassess the project list from time to time.
Maybe you've seen my gargantuan WIP list. It's crazy. It's overwhelming. But every time I looked at it, I was still interested in finishing the projects. Or, at least I wasn't uninterested in finishing them. However, as we approach the new year, I've been thinking about what my goals are and what's keeping me from those goals. I have some changes to the blog in the works, and I'm working on my first quilt pattern. Realizing I don't have time to do everything I "want" to do, I decided to once again take a hard look at my WIP list. I asked myself some questions:
- Have I already learned what I need to from it?
- Is it in the style I'd most like to be known for?
- Do I love it?
- Is it a priority?
Then I looked through my list again and considered my answers. There are 12 projects I hope to finish this quarter. (I recognize that this is a really big, crazy goal.) So far I've finished four quilts, so I'm technically kind of on track (though they were the four smallest projects!). I'm sending another one out to a long arm quilter. That still leaves many to choose from when looking to trim the fat in the 33 quilt WIP pile.
These three will be the first to go. All three of these projects will be donated to philanthropy at the Bay Area Modern Quilt Guild. They've already left the sewing room. Yay, progress! On the bottom of the pile is a Very Hungry Caterpillar quilt top that has been finished since January.
The two bagged projects are from the Little Letters tutorials from Temecula Quilt Company. The blocks are all made for both sets (one in bright colors, one in blues and greens) but neither project has a recipient. It should honestly be pretty quick to finish the quilt tops which is why I couldn't part with it previously, but there are just so many projects with a higher priority for me. And I'd much rather see these finished and donated. I included notes with each of these kits, as well as the link to the finishing page of the tutorial. It'll be up to the new makers whether they finish them as I had intended or reimagine the projects. I look forward to seeing how they turn out. Here's the current state of the blue and green project.
Also in the interest of cutting back, I've decided I won't be participating in any quilt bees in 2017. That leaves just this month in do. Good Stitches (where Jaime has chosen a rainbow variation of my Watermelon Plate block) and two months in The Bee Hive.
For October, Laura chose the Quatrefoil block in The Bee Hive swarm Tisha, and her inspiration was water lilies. The background of the block has become the water, with a center flower and leaves on the corners. The flowers are a variety of water lily colors (pink, purple, white, yellow). I love this variation with the blue background instead of white. I wonder if Laura will fill in with some solid blue blocks mixed in with the lily blocks like you would see open water between the flowers in nature.
Heather Ross Swap
Nothing like a deadline. This week is shipping week for the Heather Ross Mini Swap on IG, so I had to finish up my mini. Unfortunately I had a problem in the quilting stage. I pieced the backing from two pieces of fabric and then failed to double check that my top was placed correctly. This resulted in a 1/2" x 12" edge of the quilt that the backing didn't cover... and I didn't realize this until I'd already quilted half of the quilt. :-P
I was unwilling to rip out quilting stitches, so it was time to get creative. Sadly, it was too big to be covered by normal binding. So I decided to do a faced binding, a way of binding the quilt that doesn't show from the front. I've been wanting to learn this new technique for a while, and while I was considering a regular binding I couldn't decide what fabric to use. Faced binding was the perfect solution. My friend Mel pointed me to this tutorial by Victoria at The Silly BooDilly. It was easy to follow and I took Mel's advice to press the 1/4" seam before attaching the binding strips. (I ignored her advise to glue baste out of laziness. ;-)) The faced binding did involve hand stitching to sew down the binding on the back, but that step went pretty quickly. Here's a view of the back.
Full reveal of my swap package on Friday! ;-)
Thank you for visiting. What are you working on this week?
I'm linking up to Midweek Makers and Needle and Thread Thursday.
Anja @ Anja Quilts
I, too, have decided not to participate in bees next year. I need to re-evaluate my WIP list. There are already a few things I've scratched off (projects I hadn't even started). Good luck with decreasing the pile.
Good luck with your re-evaluation, Anja. I look forward to hearing about what doesn't make the cut.
I enjoyed reading your post Sarah. I like to revisit my own WIP's from time to time. It always amazes me that I can re-gain interest in a project that I previously considered a lost cause. Good luck with finishing your goals!
There are definitely many others that I get excited about when I revisit the list. Now I'll have more time for the ones I love the best! :-) Thanks for visiting, Deb.
Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl
I love the questions you asked yourself and think it is awesome you can donate your projects locally. And great solution to the backing being shy on your swap package!
Thanks, Yvonne. I'm so glad my backing fabric problem wasn't bigger. ;-)
Ooh, I love my block! And I hadn't thought about throwing in some blue squares but that's a great idea, I may have to play around on my design wall once I get the rest of them. I'm pretty torn on whether to participate in any bees next year - I love that it gets me using some stash and trying new things but I have such limited sewing time, it would be nice to get to use it on my own projects.
Yay! I'm glad you like it. You can't go wrong with Alison Glass fabric. I love that purple! :-) I look forward to seeing what you decide on for the quilt layout. I totally agree with you about the benefits of bees, but there is certainly a time cost as well. Thanks for visiting, Laura.
Congratulations on narrowing down your wip list to stuff you really want to work on. It can be tough to give up on projects sometime. I'm sure you'll enjoy seeing the finished creations that people make from your starts :)
Indeed. I have a couple others I intend to purge as well, but these three were easiest because there's a destination for them. :-) Bonus that I'll get to see them finished. :-) Thanks for visiting, Leanne.
That's a lot of projects - time to clear the list! Thanks for sharing your WIP's on Midweek Makers
You're right, Susan. There's just too much inspiration out there and not nearly enough sewing time. ;-)
I think it is always helpful to look at projects and re-think your goals. Life is short and with young kids at home, your time is not your own. Why work on something that just doesn't do it for you anymore? The letter quilt is just adorable tho - I am sure it will be finished up and donated to a child. :-)
I thought about passing the projects on to my kids to finish, but decided I'd rather them get to plan their own project and use their own fabric stash instead of feeling stuck with my WIP. ;-) So true that my time is not my own. When does that change? When they go to college? Thanks for visiting, Bernie!
FYI--the UFO exchange may be resurrected by another SCVQA member in the new year, in case you want to swap out for a new project?!? And your faced edge looks fantastic...glad the tutorial helped! Can't wait to see the front side!
Thanks! I have more that I could swap for a future exchange. I'm so pleased with the faced binding. Thanks for your help!
Hey Sarah, I've kept your post open in my browser since Wednesday because I wanted to take some time to comment, and I have finally have a minute. Like others who have commented, I really like the questions you've asked of yourself, and they resonate with me. I've been busy working on my grey and teal/turquoise/aqua Charming Plus baby quilt and also participating in Inquiring Quilter's Berry Cross QAL though I probably won't finish that project until next year.
Your projects are both such fun palettes. I think that's part of what gets me to start new projects... seeing a palette that I love and haven't used. I must resist. ;-) I hope the busy holidays aren't keeping you from having some sewing time. Thanks for visiting, Mary. I'm sorry your comment went unanswered for so long.