Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Trying Something Different

I have been giving a LOT of thought lately to my long list of WIPs.  Every January I say "this is the year I am going to finish them!"  While I do make progress in reducing their numbers, the list remains far too long.

So this year, I am trying something different!

One of the reasons I have so many projects going on is I enjoy a lot of different quilting techniques. And I like to have the option of being in the right mood to work on each. So I decided to break up my list by technique and see what happens.

Hand Quilting: I have not hand quilted for over 5 years! But I do have an antique family hexagon quilt top I was given and have it about halfway finished.  Thankfully I don't have any other project in this category. 

Hand Applique: There are currently three projects in this category. My Quilty 365 is the project I am working on right now. But I also have a bunch of previously made flower blocks and some birdhouse blocks that I need to get back to or choose to abandon.

English Paper Piecing: When I have the energy to hand sew in the evening, I have been working on these fun stars. Sadly, I seem to have lost interest in an older EPP project using 1" hexagons - hence the loss of interest!  So there are only two projects in this category.

Paper Piecing: I have two active projects here. I REALLY want to finish my Sew Kitschy wall hanging. But I also have my basketweave stars project that I work on occasionally.  Time to move my kitchen wallhanging back to the top of the list!

Bucket List Quilts: Currently, my Park Bench Quilt is the active project in this category. I have a long list and a big stack of fabrics already purchased for future quilts.  I have two projects in this category that have been started.

Scrap-A-Palooza Quilt: I just finished my 18th quilt of this series and have pulled scraps for the next one. I will be sharing my plans soon.  I can reveal I plan on using my low volume scraps and some odd shaped triangle scraps.

Rainbow Scrap Challenge Quilt. Somehow, this category got a bit out of control. I not only started the Column Along but I am making both Piglet and chain blocks each month.  I am happy to say I did finish the RSC15 quilts!

Sew my Stash or Leader/Ended Quilts: I am tempted too often by scraps, Orphan Blocks or ideas for sewing up my older stash. These tend to be impulsive and are finished quickly. Right now I am focused on sewing up this stack of fabrics that have been sitting on my coffee table since I pulled them many months ago.


Quilt Along or Modern Quilts: I enjoy working with new fabrics or joining in on Quilt Alongs.  Right now, I am not participating in any QALs so I am going to work on a project that I started cutting years ago when I belonged to a group that met at my LQS and made projects using Kaffe Fassett fabrics.  The group disbanded and I never finished my quilt.

Publications and Secret Sewing: These projects rarely get shared before they get published either in magazines or as patterns. Right now I have 4 in the works that fall in this category and I cannot share a single one right now.  So no pictures :(

Crafty Sewing or Commissions: I have three active projects in this category. My kitchen curtains, a quilt for my sister's camper and a Christmas tree skirt.  The oldest project is the curtains for my newly renovated kitchen - that is now 3 years old.

So what have I learned? I will ALWAYS have about a dozen  projects going on at any time. Now I realize I can not be so hard on myself when I see that I am starting the year out with 23.  What I do need to do is whittle down or abandon some projects in each category.  I think THAT I can work on!

So I am going to claim the projects pictured above for each category and actively work on it until it is finished. I will not start another project in a category until all the projects in that category are finished. We shall see how many projects I chose to abandon!

If you are still reading, thanks for sticking in there.  I needed to get all this down for my own sanity.  I have found in the past that setting goals through Finish Alongs have helped so I am going to participate in a few again this year.


I am going to make completing the Sew my Stash project pictured above my January One Monthly Goal with Red Letter Quilts.  I know I will want to move onto something else soon!

2016 FAL

And for my first quarter goals with the 2016 Finish A Long, I am going to list my Sew Kitschy wallhanging, my Park Bench quilt and my kitchen curtains.  That means I will have all three of these items finished by the end of March!

Now that I have a plan, all of these projects don't seem quite so daunting.  Rather than have a list of 23 items, I now have a smaller, achievable number in each category.  Now it is time to get sewing!

Linking Up:

Red Letter Quilts (OMG)
 A Quilter's Table (2016 FAL)


Linda @ kokaquilts said...

Yes, there is a plan... and a good idea too to separate things out a bit, I'm impressed! And lots of yummy projects! Look forward to following your progress over the year.

gayle said...

It looks a lot more manageable when you separate the categories, doesn't it? (And why on earth would you think 23 is way too many projects, anyway? )

Vroomans' Quilts said...

A workable plan as I see it. I like variety so things don't get boring.

scraphappy said...

Ongoing projects are a fact of life for people with a creative spirit. I think a workable number of UFOs so different for each of us. Good luck finding what will work for you.

Libby in TN said...

You DO like variety. Can't wait t see what you do with the Sew-my-stash fabrics.

Val's Creative Life said...

I know what ya mean...sometimes getting in all on paper and organized helps so much! I like variety too....and will find myself sorting through my WIP myself this weekend. I may just adopt your category idea....I do know I already have a project ready for "adoption". :)

Leanne Parsons said...

Great idea to divide the projects into different categories. I like to have several projects on the go too, some in different categories and some just in different stages so I can quilt or piece depending on my mood. Good luck finishing things up!

Jayne said...

You...have...a lot...of...projects! I love that you have divided them up in to categories and in order to start another you have to finish one first! Smart thinking! I want to make those EPP stars so bad! Will you tell me again what size they are? I have one EPP I'm working on now, but naturally I need to add to the list for later!

Linda said...

I love how you categorized your goals and your purposeful resolve about completing projects in each before starting another. I already shattered my resolve not to buy fabric in 2016, but I've justified it by the fact that two color groups in my stash are low. ;) The OMG linkup looks interesting...

Barb Neiwert said...

I'm so happy you've got the kitchen quilt at the top of your To Do List! I thought you'd finished it already and I just missed the post.
I also like your organization and thought processing. I should be so lucky to gather my thoughts, make a plan, and start marking off projects as Complete!

Alycia~Quiltygirl said...

Im just going to say GO YOu!! and sit back and watch you go!!! This may be the first year I have not made lists.... hmmm.....

Leanne said...

It's a great list for Q1, you should be able to do it for sure! Thank you for participating in the FAL, on behalf of the 2016 global FAL hosts.

Lois said...

What a list! I love the fabrics making up your antique hexagon quilt - I need to finish one I started over 30 years ago:)) Maybe this year.

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

Somehow I missed this post from last week, so I am enjoying getting caught up today. It's fun seeing all the different kinds of projects you have going! I am a big fan of your Sew Kitschy wall-hanging, so of course, I think you should make it a priority! Lol!

Maker Joy said...

You have some lovely projects in progress. How is organizing the projects by technique working for you?

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