I Like Quilts, Not Guilt

Do you have a stack of unfinished quilting projects sitting around your house? (I know you do!) How do you feel about those projects?

I have been thinking about this a lot lately - when I am working on a project, I am usually pretty enamored with the fabrics and the process and the progress. But then when I set that project aside, I start to feel something different. Is it dread? Is it guilt? Is it frustration? I don't know, but it is leaking its negative energy all over my sewing room and I'm ready to be done with it.

Boo! Denyse Schmidt Halloween Quilt
This is the first project that I EVER left unfinished. I did finish it eventually.
Generally I am a finisher. I went YEARS without leaving a project unfinished. But lately my life is so busy (with both sewing-related and not sewing-related things) that I tend to flit a little more from project to project and sometimes those projects get set aside. Indefinitely.

Sure it is fun to start a shiny new project, especially if you are joining in on a quilt-a-long or if you want to make a new pattern, but wouldn't it be EVEN MORE fun if you didn't have all of those WIPs sitting around your sewing room.

Discover Unique Items

That is my goal. Do you want to join along with me? Are you ready to free your quilting life of guilt? I started talking about this topic last week on Instagram and I know that I'm not the only one. If you would like to join along, go make a comment on this post with your goal and then use the hashtag #septemberquiltfinishes when you post any progress photos. Let's support each other!

Sewing Room
The blocks on my design wall (from our house in San Diego THIS WAS PROBBALY 5 YEARS AGO) are my oldest WIP. They aren't on my agenda right now, but hopefully soon?
If you aren't on Instagram, I am will make a weekly post here and you can updated me in the comments. After September, if there is continued interest, I will make a couple posts a month just so we can check in on everyone. I don't have that many WIPs sitting around, but I am happy to support and encourage those of you that do.

new couch pillows
These pillows were more of a glacially slow project than a WIP. 
I am also working on a newsletter with a collection of links and tips for keeping the WIPs under control and will be sending that out this week so sign up here if you are interested in seeing that.

Starting in 2020 I am going to test out doing a quilt-a-long with one or two of my patterns. This is something that I have resisted (for a variety of reasons) because I feel like it tends to contribute to the WIP problem - when everyone else is joining in on the fun, it is easy to abandon our current projects. Let's finish up what we have on our shelves.

p.s. If you have a pattern you would be interested in quilt-a-longing with, let me know in the comments! I am planning to get everything set up in advance so that it can operate smoothly and I want to know what you want to make!

22 comments

  1. Hands down the Isabella Quilt as a sew along. Funny thing is I am staying off all social media due to this exact problem. Instagram is bad at just loads of pictures and inspiration but it can be overwhelming. I am currently enjoying reading blogs only once a day I hope I can still participate.

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    1. Oooo, I like the idea of doing Isabella. I totally understand about social media and will definitely try to make things available to everyone. I will post about it here and will probably do an email list just for the quilt along.

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  2. I'd join in a sew-alaong with your plaidish quilt!

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  3. I hopped on board with this idea when you mentioned it on IG. I have a number of "starts" that haven't made it to the flimsy stage yet so that's where I'm aiming for September. Thanks for the encouragement.

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    1. You're welcome, I hope it's helping! I think sometimes we feel like we have to try every different project out there but sometimes they don't quite get finished up!

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  4. I think a fabulous solution would be for someone to host a WIP swap or sale! Or maybe we could have an Instagram hashtag for the swaps? I know I have had projects that I happily gave away just to move them along to someone who might finish them. Just a thought... 😎
    Barbie

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    1. That's a great thought! I'm sure there would be others interested in something like this.

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  5. What a great idea. My problem with WIPs is that I get stuck at the basting and quilting phase. I have tons of finished tops. Part of it stems from wanting my own longarm so badly and not being able to block out enough time to rent one. Maybe one day....

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    1. That's exactly where I get stuck too. I am trying to power through a few of them!

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  6. Im happy to have a go. I do like the 'big blocks'. Have done a few of them and like the fact that you can get a large quilt with few blocks
    Keep up the great work
    G

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  7. I love this idea! I have been trying to get my Halloween WIPs done in time to enjoy them this year.

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    1. This time of year sneaks up on you so quickly, that sounds like a great plan!

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  8. For the past 20 years or so, I'd make a quilt top and promptly hang it in my sewing room walk-in closet! What was I thinking? A quilting fairy was going to finish them for me!? I am so in. I'm too embarrassed to say how many WIPs I have! I will definitely extend this idea. I think I need a year!

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    1. No confessions necessary! Sounds like you will have lots to choose from ;)

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  9. Hi there,
    I'd like a QAL with the Willow pattern...I especially like the version with grey alternate blocks you showed a pic of this week. Maybe a coupon code for those of us who sign up and commit? I'm in Canada and $10 for a PDF pattern is a bit $$ for me with the exchange rate so poor for us here.
    Thanks & Quilty Huggs!
    PS: Olivia is a second choice for me(I already own that pattern).

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    1. That's a great suggestion! I will definitely do some kind of coupon or sale to go along with it.

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  10. Today I was organizing in one of my quilt/fabric rooms and I am so so so embarrassed to say that most of my quilts made over the years have NO LABELS......even though I have info written down in my calendars about what I have made and when (for the most part). So this post has given me the idea of tackling the making of labels for all my quilts dating back as far as several decades and making that project my "septemberquiltfinishes".....would that be a fitting project to post to this site?

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    1. Absolutely! That sounds like a great project!

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  11. The Carol quilt of course because that is my name. Finishing UFO's is a priority.

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