Tuesday, January 15, 2019

How to finish those Works In Progress

It seems that at the beginning of a new year we all tell ourselves that this is the year we are going to finish all our old projects before starting anything new. Now this sounds good but it can also be intimidating. Where to start, which project to work on  than it can be almost depressing as you start going through and seeing what is all left to finish.
There a few different ways to get some projects finished, and still enjoy the process.
I like to focus on a few select projects rather than all of them. It is a little less daunting, and feels doable. Than I write down what each project is as well as how far I currently am on the project. I must at this time admit that I have an addiction to fun and pretty notebooks, and so I will set a new one aside for this.
I will also shop for a new project that I can look forward to and use as motivation to finish the others.
Than I tidy up my sewing area so that I can focus solely on my project and not spend time searching for tools or moving other projects out of the way.
I always choose the project that is furthest along to finish first. That may sound like cheating but it gets me on a role to finish the next one, I'm sure I am not the only one who loves the "this project is done!" feeling.
Once I have finished a couple projects I can open the new one with no regrets and simply enjoy it rather than trying to ignore the niggling voice in my head telling me I have too many other projects to work on first.
I normally will do this a couple times a year, and dedicate a full week to sewing on unfinished projects. Don't laugh when I say a week, I sew a lot, usually a full two hours every night, so I can get a lot done in one week.
Another option is to choose 12 projects, write them down and complete one each month. If you have many projects to complete this may be a good route to take. All People Quilt is doing a fun challenge based on this. You make a list of 12 projects and at the beginning of each month they choose a number, and that is which project you work on. Click here for more information on that as well as a printable sheet to fill in.
For those who are thinking that's all fine and dandy, but what about my Block of the Month and Quilt Alongs that I am participating in, I don't want to fall behind on those while finishing other projects.
I have several of these as well, and I dedicate Wednesday's to working on my Quilt Along and BOM projects. If I am all caught up, I can work on something else, but it is the day of the week that works for me to focus on getting caught up each week.
A great way, however you choose to go about finishing, is to set time aside, or get together with friends to work on old projects. You can get a lot done when you have a dedicated time period allotted for it. We have open sew days at the shop, which allows for you to come and use our classroom to sew for the day. We have pressing stations with iron set up for you to use.
I have 3 projects that have been works in progress for at least a year now and by the end of the year I would really like to say that they are all finished, they are all large projects and will take some dedication to finish. I also have a few other projects that are a lot closer to completions that I will work on getting off my table in the next few weeks as well.
My 3 major projects to completer are the Awesome Ocean Quilt, a pattern by Elizabeth Hartman, Elephant Abstractions, a paper pieced quilt by Violet Craft, and Garden Party, a collage quilt from Laura Heine.
I have 16 of the 72 blocks from my Awesome Ocean Quilt finished, this is a time consuming project and it may get pushed to the end of my list.
For my Elephant Abstractions Quilt, I have 60 of the 97 sections complete. I think I will do this one first, it will just take a couple days or evenings of dedicated work and than I should have the sections finished and ready to put together.
On Garden Party I have 5 blocks done, 1 block just needs the small fiddly pieces added, and than I have 6 more to make.
Just writing about these projects is making me want to go work on them and be able to move them from the in progress section of my sewing room to the walls of the quilt shop.
My motivation project is the Sunnyside Sampler Quilt by Coriander Quilts. This one came to Chicken Feed as a Moda Kit, and I really want to get started it but need to finish at least one of my big projects first. If you like this project, (pictured at the top) we still have some kits available in store.
Did you make some finishing goals for yourself this year, or are you not even going to go there?

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