Thursday, January 5, 2017

Next . . . .!

Last year I decided to take a slightly different spin on New Years Resolutions, and instead of setting an unrealistic expectation (complete all unfinished projects this year) I decided to focus on a more reasonable goal. One personal project per month—12 for the year.

I started with a target list that included:

 - Complete the hand quilting on a Patriotic quilt
 - Complete a wall-hanging incorporating cross stitching panels and facing instead of binding
 - two sets of curtains
 - a couple more quilt tops to be sandwiched and hand quilted

But I left a good portion of that original list incomplete. It was important that my target list be flexible, open to make adjustments, to drop or add projects, or to start something new or work on something from the stack of started project.

The key to success would be to focus on one project at a time until it was done, or until it was time to put it down (for whatever reason - and ANY reason was okay, including being bored with the project). Working on one project one evening, then another the next evening and yet another on the next evening, meant everything was moving forward, but nothing was moving forward with any kind of focused energy. Seeing progress is important to keep me motivated.

It was important that the process be joyful and fun. It’s awfully hard to get motivated to work on something that has become tired in one way or another. And for me, it doesn't work if what I'm working on is based on a lottery or an obligation.

The projects in my target list were only the personal sewing stuff, not work-related quilts or quilted projects.

And so, the results are in:

In 2016 I finished 11 personal projects included two hand-quilted quilts, scads of mug mats (many of these featured panel fabrics I’ve had in my stash for years - it REALLY felt good to move those out), a set of curtains, two table toppers, a pillow, and a couple of wall-hanging quilts.

Some items I pulled out of my stack of unfinished items and finished them, some items I started cold turkey, and finished them. Many were gifts made for someone else. But to make the completion list, they had to be finished, labeled, bound, ready to use.

This small lap quilt made from leftover 4-patches and a fresh and fun birdy print just barely made the deadline as it was finished on December 31, . . .

. . . hand quilted, . . .

. . . bound and labeled (with an embroidery pattern from Urban Threads).

I missed my mark by one. And I’m good with it.

For 2017, I’m upping my goal to 14 for the year. I’ve targeted six projects so far, and have even made some good progress on one of them! (and it's only the 5th of January!)

And this project, Snow Days by Crabapple Hill might be the most ambitious project on my 2017 target list. I started this years ago. I'll be happy if I can report some progress, not necessarily completion, on it this year.

How about you? Do you have a quilty project plan for 2017?

Happy Stitching!

Joan Ford


  1. Like dieting and everything else, I no longer make resolutions but I do keep lists: Future projects and In Progress. The "In Progress" list is detailed i.e., cut pieces, piecing, sandwich, quilt, binding, label and anything in between. The "Future Projects" might include where to buy the pattern if I don't have it already and color theme, etc. I bought the Snow Days pattern but it's been tucked away for a couple years. I am very slow. I have her "Over the River" pattern. One winter I embroidered one panel, the next winter I did the 2nd, then next winter the 3rd panel. Last winter (the 4th winter mind you) I pieced it all together and just love it done in all blues. Now it will sit who knows how long until I decide how I want it quilted. I think I might have to buy her "Twas the Night before Christmas" pattern with all it's pinwheels to keep Snow Days company in it's box.

    1. I just love Meg's stuff, but that Snow Days one is pretty intense. I like your plan to spread things out while keeping a list. This quilting stuff is supposed to be fun, not stressful!

  2. My goal this year is to finish the 20 works in process that I have while limiting the new projects that I start. Making my goals realistic this year will make them achievable. Happy New Year!