|This baby quilt was a quick WIP to check off my list.|
Last November, I engaged in some self-inflicted accountability and made a list of my WIPs. Usually, working on 5 or 6 WIPs at a time provides the variety I need to maintain my interest and be productive, but the count last fall was a whopping 21 projects.
Some of the 21 were finished flimsies. Others were piles of fabric with an accompanying pattern. No matter what state each WIP was in, however, I had committed to finishing them all. And now, exactly six months after my initial count, my list is down to a respectable 12.
If your WIP list is unwieldy—and we each get to decide how many projects is too many projects for us as individual crafters—here are my suggestions for pruning it ...
Start with the Deadlines
Quilt deadlines tend to live in the gray. How many of us have, say, promised newlyweds a quilt only to present the finished gift on the couple’s third wedding anniversary?
Last fall, however, I had a hard-and-fast deadline: submitting to QuiltCon. After I finished the project I hoped would get juried into the show (and it did!), I moved on to two quilts that I needed for gifting at the end of January or beginning of February. Done, done, and done!
|Love Boldly was displayed at QuiltCon 2020, in Austin.|
Tackle the Low-Lying Fruit
From there, I focused on projects that were further along in the quilt-making process. I was all about culling that total number of WIPs down, so a quick baby-size quilt was an automatic priority, as were tops that were already pieced.
Call in the Reinforcements
I almost always quilt my projects myself, but I knew I would clear projects from my list faster if I enlisted the help of a longarmer or two. One project (finished but not yet unveiled here) was a twin, and I wasn’t interested in wrestling it through my machine. It was the top candidate for a little quilting by check. Then there were a few Christmas quilts I was making for family and friends. They merited some special quilting treatment, too.
Insert Some Fast Finishes
Along the way to a smaller WIP list, I took some breaks. I sewed some Christmas minis. I tried my hand at making vinyl zipper bags. I completed enough Popcorn Pouches for a small army. Trimming my WIP list was a fine objective, but a fast finish here and there helped keep things interesting for me.
|These minis went to the three paraeducators who work with my younger son.|
What is your plan of attack for WIPs? Are you a stickler for tracking your projects and your progress on them, or do you allow yourself the freedom to follow your creative whims? Or are you one of those quilty unicorns who works on one project at a time, not starting a second until the first is done?
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