5 THINGS TO DO TO GET YOUR QUILTS FINISHED and then you won’t need a disguise at your next quilt guild meeting during show and tell!
Are you like me and make lots of tops but can’t seem to get them quilted and bound in the same calendar year, or two? Quilting is my favorite part of the process but sometimes I cannot seem to get those quilts in the stack from a WIP or work in progress to a FO, finished object. I have been reflecting why and there are several things that I discovered , That were stopping me. I needed to find those things so I could do something about it…. so I had the guilt off my mind regarding my UFO or unfinished objects. Completed quilts are bliss!!!
- Set aside 20 minutes a day for quilting. Really. The more you quilt the better you get. The more you quilt the better your muscle memory is . The more you quilt the more skills and the more confident you get! Then you will be so thrilled to get to the quilting part! Its really hard to set aside 20 minutes a day for anything, I know! As a working Mom who barely had time to sleep and cook meals when my kids were small, I get it. But when I spent 20 minutes being creative, I feel more balanced and productive. It is really no different from how I learned to play the violin as a child. It was what I did every day that added up to improved skills, confidence, and then learning a song for the violin recital! Plus, with practice I can really kick out lots of work in just 20 minutes!
- Be thinking about what you want to quilt on your top before you ever start cutting the first block out. A quilt with a plan always gets done faster. OK –another idea when formulating your plan is DON’T MAKE IT MORE COMPLICATED THAN IT NEEDS TO BE! Unless, you are making a show quilt, most quilts do not HAVE to be complicated. I like making complicated quilts from time to time but sometimes I need to streamline the whole process to a simpler, more joyous way to reach the end of the project. Now you have a game plan and you have a vision of how it should look in your mind. Way better than aimlessly whacking up fabric and sewing, isn’t it???
- Have a goal for a timeline to complete the project. If this is a wedding quilt, set the goal for finishing 3 weeks before the gift is to be given. Now we all know life happens. However, I have always applied this to my quilts destined for gifts and I have only been late on a quilt once due to illness on my part. A deadline makes me more productive! I need a wee bit of pressure or I get lazy.
- When you finish your 20 minutes of sewing or quilting each session, set up your plan for the next 20 minute session. We can lay out the fabrics, have the pattern ready, pull out the thread and be sure our gadgets are ready. Having everything you need makes a more pleasant and efficient time spent on our quilt. I have wasted more time looking for a specific ruler, scissors etc before I had a dedicated space for storing all of my quilting stuff. Always return the notions to these spaces and don’t deviate – unless you’re a getting a new quilting studio and are in a redo— then never deviate from returning everything to it’s proper dedicated space.
- Ask for help. No, really, I am serious, it could be professional! Sometimes we need help, and there is no shame in this. Hire a long armer to quilt your top if you don’t like quilting or are pressed for time. My friend and I trade work. She binds for me and I quilt for her. I ask for help all the time! Many hands make light work as my grand mother used to say! Have a party to have your friends help baste your quilt! Have a block making party and invite your best quilting friends over to help finish blocks or assembly. Best memories can be made by asking for help, and you know that returning the favor will only be the best of time… especially if cake or wine is involved!
Here are 5 things you can do to make your quilts FINISHED OBJECTS. I really dislike having UFO’s or WIPS and I like being a finisher. I currently have 8 tops to be quilted. I am going to get professional help for 3 of them and send them out to a long arming friend to finish. I have a daily structured time to quilt before work and they will get done by May 2018 implementing these tips! Looking forward to my next quilt group’s meeting for show and tell, I will have a quilt to share!