Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Yes, I too have a huge pile of unfinished projects, quilt tops ready to be quilted, nearly finished costumes, and even projects I started that went wrong, and that I promised to put back on course when I had more time.

Well, I’m pretty convinced that time won’t come unless I insist.  And my recent move already ruthlessly cut back the pile of UFO’s.

So I’ve made the hard decision...do I want to spend lots of extra time on each project making it perfect, making every seam match just so, restitching that little overlap in the binding?  Putting myself further and further behind from the projects calling out to me on my worktable...

No.  I want it done.  I want to be free to move on to all the zillions of other projects I have waiting, the new fabrics I bought to propel me into the next baby quilt, tutorial, girlfriend gift, family memento.  I want it all and I want it now.  Haha.

So, within reason, I have spent the last two years giving up and giving in to the not so perfect corner on my binding, the faster method of piecing, and the pre-cut revolution of time-saving cutting.  (jelly rolls, charm packs, fat quarters and the like)  And I LOVE IT!!!  I’m getting lots more done by concentrating on smaller, more manageable projects (baby quilts, table toppers, lap rugs, table runners) and using these faster methods has increased my “finished” pile by a landslide!!

So I’d like to encourage you to give this some thought and save your perfect methods for heirlooms and very special quilts...and get the job done by relaxing with your quilting and doing good work in a shorter amount of time.  That doesn’t mean being sloppy.  It means being practical with the time you have to quilt, and the kind of technique that will you there, and the gratification of completing your alphabet quilt before the baby is in college.  Save the hand quilting for the family heirloom you can make on summer vacation.  Embrace the machine.  Use this as an excuse to take a “finish in a day” class at your local quilt shop, or use a YouTube/Internet tutorial to coach you through “make it in a weekend”.  Pick smaller projects and bigger blocks.  Learn about panels and fussy cuts that can be big impact centers for quilts and blocks.  I use machine embroidery to create focus and then panel quilt around them with complimentary colors and prints.  Learn chain piecing techniques that save loads of time, and pick projects that use cutting to reduce construction time like the disappearing nine patch.

I am adding some stash buster and pre-cuts projects on my YouTube Channel over the next few weeks, but there are already loads of great tutorials on the Internet to inspire you, and with winter winding down...there’s still plenty of time to quilt, and actually finish those projects for you and your family and friends to enjoy and admire.

Now let’s get cracking!!  We've got quilts to finish!

Friday, January 18, 2013

New Year Resolution:  Be Creative!!  Get it Done!!

As January speeds past, I find myself still lingering in the Holiday Season, tucking away the last of the decorations, and trying to catch up on all the things I thought I’d have time to tackle during the break.  Instead of finishing the last of my homemade gifts, I got sick, and farther behind, and the temptation now is to put off my quilting and sewing projects and to find every excuse to wait until spring.  Or worse, add them to my pile of UFO’s that may or may not ever be finished.  Am I alone?!  I sure hope not!!!

The weather has been cold but beautiful, so I have no help there...no rainy days to keep me indoors.  Demands of work, family, home, and pets (I got a new kitten just after Christmas), have left me with three Christmas projects unfinished and a mad rush to purchase something to replace them as the gifts I intended.

I’ve decided not to be disappointed and I will not feel guilty either.  I’m turning it around to this new spin:  finish all three projects and be that far ahead for next year’s Christmas List!!

So I’ve put aside an hour three times a week to work on the projects, more time if I can spare it.  First I’ll bind the two small quilts that are trimmed and waiting, and then do the detailed negative space quilting I’ve got left on the third table top square quilt.  

I’m making it a game.  Finish the two closest to done, so I feel like I’m making good progress.  Like paying off credit cards, or dieting, any positive accomplishment urges you on to keep up the good work!  We’re goal oriented beings for the most part.  Might as well use it.  Then I’ll do the more challenging job, and use the negative space quilting as a learning project to try a few new designs and expand my skill set.  I wouldn’t have had time for the extras if I had finished this quilt for Christmas.  I’m making the situation into a good thing.

Besides, January is the best month of the year to learn new things.  Your mind is fresh, resolutions are made, and with a new calendar in place, we feel up to the task.  Also, in most parts of the country, winter is still keeping us house-bound, and it’s good to have something new to learn to keep us sharp.

I would also like to suggest that if you don’t have any UFO’s lying around to finish, or any new learning project you’ve been dying to try, that instead you do a few simple and fast projects with immediate gratification.  I’ll have a few quick and easy project tutorials on my YouTube Channel over the next couple of weeks to give you some ideas.  But there’s nothing better than starting AND FINISHING a few small lovelies to get the year moving in the right direction.

Now...let’s get crafting!