Resolutions

A little early for New Year’s resolutions, I know. But I tend to organize my mind pretty rigidly into weeks, months, years… So I’ve already been thinking quite a bit about “2014 quilts.”

When I think about 2014 quilts, I think about how much I don’t want to finish (most of) my WIPs.

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(Click the images to go to the posts about these quilts)

I’m trying to figure out why I don’t want to finish these quilts and what to do about it.

2014 will be my 3rd year of intense, obsessive quilting. I can’t believe how far I’ve come, especially this year.  I have learned so much and worked so hard and had so much fun getting here!

But once in a while it’s good to reassess how things are going:

  • Are you making quilts you like?
  • Are you still having fun?

After my reassessment I’ve made 2 decisions about 2014:

I’m going to finish most of my WIPs by making them into baby quilts. I will finish the green and white Christmas quilt as planned because it’s almost done. I’m not going to do the red and white one at all. (Anyone need any 2.5 by 6.5 inch solid red?) I’m definitely not throwing anything away. Some cut pieces will go into my scrap bin. At this point I don’t think I’ll have to scrap anything already sewn together, which is good. I’m just going to scale back the size of some projects and call them finished.

When all (ALL) of my WIPs are off my list, I’m going to try a new 2-part strategy:

  1. I want to try to focus on just one quilt at a time. I’ve realized that I get more and more tired of projects the longer they hang around. Probably you more-experienced quilters have realized this lesson long ago! I won’t be too strict with myself if it’s in my best interest or the quilt’s best interest to have a break. But I definitely think having 5, 6, 7… 10 quilts going at once is making me unhappy. I want the freedom to join quilt-alongs and start exciting new projects without WIP guilt.
  2. I’m going to use the fabric, patterns, and ideas I’m excited about right now because that can change so fast. I want to use my fabrics with reckless abandon, knowing that the next great fabric line is always around the corner. Have you seen this or this?

I’ve also been thinking about quick quilts vs. true modern heirlooms. But I think that probably deserves its own post.

How many WIPs do you? Do they bug you late at night?

21 thoughts on “Resolutions

  1. You are very brave not to start something new until all the WIPs are done! But I can understand you. Too much WIPs at once tend to confuse me, and in the end I make no progress at all.
    I have a few UFOs that are so old that I really don’t care how long it takes to finish them.
    Apart from that I like to have one or two quilts in the piecing stage (one as a leader/ender) and one that I hand quilt. Hand quilting is my evening work while watching (or listening to the) TV.

  2. I can really relate to what you said–I suddenly have too many WIPs and more that I want to start–and it drives me crazy. I really like having one or two at a time so I can control the mess, the mental focus, and get them finished in a timely manner. My current quilt I’ve been working on since March (the design phase took a LOT of time though). I pretty much have everything planned through the end of the year already…just need more time.

  3. I know the feeling, I have several things going at the moment…I am counting 5 quilts started at various stages and then have 2 more that needs to be done by December. I think I will be there with you on the same resolution 🙂

  4. I totally understand what you’re saying. I hate WIPS and realised this quite early on so always try to finish a quilt before starting a new one. I do allow myself to have a few things going on at the same time and may be thinking of a lot more but don’t start until I have the time (or money!). I know I can be the victim of serious procrastination and very fickle in my tastes. Half the time I haven’t even got round to buying the fabrics before I’ve gone off them!!

  5. Um. My middle name is WIP. I have way too many. But I think this is how my mind operates. I think in 2014 I want to just have a certain number of finishes each month, but I’m ok with also having a lot of wips bc you guys inspire me so much. What’s the red project you speak of? And I love your idea of turning them into baby quilts! So smart.

  6. I’m defnitiely bugged by my WIPs. I have quite a few that I started piecing when I started quilting and since in that past 18-24 months my experience has grown and I feel like I’m better at even just piecing, I’m really off put by finishing my WIPs. I have one that all I need to do to finish the top is sew about 3 more rows together but I’m struggling to do that because nothing lines up and my seams are a mess and not 1/4″ and it kind of feels like a waste of time to make it into anything! But then I also think it’s a waste of fabric to not make it into something?! I’m trying to talk myself into finishing these things to use as more practice pieces — to get a batter handling on basting to reduce puckering on the back and fr different quilting styles with different patterns… but in my head I have so many other projects I want to work on eep! Maybe I’ll make myself do something similar and finish my WIPs for the end of the year so I can start fresh in 2014!

  7. I have to tell you that I have been thinking the same thing lateley. I am typically a one-quilt-at-a-time girl. But this summer I went all crazy and now have several UFOs, and they are weighing on me. So last night, after I finished a comission, I decided that I am not starting anything new until I get caught up. I don’t want to be stressed about what I make and want to enjoy what I am making at the time without WiPs hanging over me. I basically have layed out what I want to do for 2014 based on my Library Project (I have picked projects out of my extysing quilting library to do since I am notorious for buying books and then never using them), so once I get these pesky WiPs out of the way I should be good to go. Good luck with your resolutions!

  8. Good plan! I would love to finish my WIPs too… my quilting pace is so glacial compared to a lot of other bloggers I read, so it will take me a year to finish one, lol. Also, why did you have to share that new AMH fabric, lol? I’ve been so good this month not buying fabric (mostly because I haven’t had time to browse… but still :p)

  9. Someone once gave me the advice that you should always have three quilts in process. One: a short term, “easy” project to satisfy your need for instant gratification; two: a medium range project to give you a more of a challenge; and three: a long range “heirloom” project–a work of art that needs months if not years to finish. I always thought that was great advice… now if I could just whittle my 50 or so projects down to three…

  10. I LOVE this topic. I’m with the WIP-lovers. Some days I need to create; I need to do something fresh and new. Some days, I need put my head down, turn the trashy tv on (Covert Affairs? Scandal? Once Upon a Time?), and just power through some sketch stitching – aka my 80 dogwood blossom petals. Some days, I really need a finish. I need to feel like something is complete. Having a big basket of WIP’s in various stages helps me out with all those times! By the way, that patchwork piece at the top is awesome. Don’t scrap it! Maybe there should be a WIP trade forum where you can swap the WIP’s that you’re bored of for someone’s WIP’s that inspire you. 🙂

  11. I totally here you Sarah! It is hard to go back. I have knocked out a few this year, so that is good. I have realized the quilting holds me up. So I need to just do it and get it over with. I like to do all at once, but the piecing I can do when I have the time so I put it off. If I ever get it caught up I will not let it get so out of control:)

  12. Something hangs around for me if I’m just not that fussed about it, or if I’m stuck on something – for example I want to include a paper-pieced block on the back of Ruby’s quilt, but it’s not a beginner’s block, and when I tried paper piecing recently I really wasn’t that into it so I have just this minute decided to not include the block (thanks to your post) and get the back pieced.
    I think you will really benefit from your strategy because you will get more churn in your stash, which will keep it interesting, and get the satisfaction of finishing things and not have quilts unfinished. I’m going to stick to simple, small things for a while.

  13. This post totally resonated with me. This is supposed to be fun and enjoyable and I think it’s so important to make sure we are creating in a way that inspires us to grow and create more. I love the idea of turning these into baby quilts to get them behind you. They will all be super cute too. I have yet to buy any AMH fabric yet, but that link inspired some wallet emptying 🙂

  14. Great post Sarah. When I started quilting, I promised myself I would always finish what I was working on before starting something new. Because I have never been great at finishing things. And I have a terrible memory. If I have to lay something aside and come back to it much later, I forget what I was doing, what the mental math behind it was. I like to keep my hands working on the one project on the table while dreaming up the next quilt in the queue. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. And bravo to your for resolving to make yourself a happy quilter!

  15. I keep to having just a couple of WIPs at any given time. Partly because my process is hand sewing, and projects take months, and partly because it keeps me organized.

    As far as starting new projects, I won’t start piecing a new quilt until my last top is basted and on to the quilting stage though I’ll sometimes do test blocks or work on small projects like pillow covers. Sometimes I do get a little tired of seeing the same fabric for three months on end, but I love seeing it all come together. On the other hand, I’m much fonder of piecing than quilting, so I’ll often start piecing my next blocks as a relief from the time spent quilting.

  16. Fantastic post Sarah! I’m in the way too many wip’s category! But i find i work better that way. That being said i think it’s also time for me to get some of these wip’s out the door!
    And as for AMH new line… squeee! Yeah, i’ll be picking that up for sure. An all AMH Swoon quilt is in my very near future… you know, after i finish off some of these quilts 😉

  17. Pingback: My favorite finish so far | Sarah Quilts

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