Thursday, 28 April 2016

Taking inventory

Every now and then I feel the need to take inventory of where I am and make a plan for where I’ll be going next. For quite a while now, I have been starting lots of new projects, trying different things. Last year, for instance, when I was feeling not so well, I pieced tops. Sometimes piecing seems less challenging than actually finishing quilts, doesn’t it? All that wrestling of huge chunks of fabric and batting and all can be physically exhausting – or maybe that’s just me.

And all those scraps I have been piecing together just to get my mojo back or to get rid of some of those ever growing piles of scraps? They can be made into anything. Anything!
My design wall back in January; these are now stashed away in a shoe box but will soon be made into something colourful and fun.

Anyway, finished tops and works in progress have been piling up all over my studio, and I feel ready to get back to them. Quite a few have been finished already and sent off to my magazine editor, which feels great, but there are still many more just waiting for their turn in the limelight.
(My design wall got full back in January, so I taped a piece of fleece to the wall. Three months later and it's still hanging there..)

I always like to think of my ongoing projects in a positive light; they are treasures on which I can enjoy working when I feel like it. I have kept a Treasure box for years, which I posted about here, and have made lots of projects from its content over the years. Well, my current treasures won’t fit into a box, so I keep them on a desk in my studio. To get an easy overview, I decided to keep a record. I found an unused diary from 2011 and have been writing down all my projects, one page for each project. 

I write down ideas, plans, progress etc on each project, and when a project is ready to leave the studio (I stitch my bindings at home), I rip the page out and throw it away. That ripping sound is rather cathartic.

I’m not making promises which I not intend to keep, so I’ll not say that I won’t start any new projects until I have finished all of them, but working with my purple book has put forgotten treasures back in my mind. This is not a small task as things slip out of there way too soon as I move on to the next idea and the next and the next. Now I want to work on them, I get new ideas, and I have things ready to bring to guild meetings. No more throwing together a new project half an hour before the meeting starts; I’ll just take a look in my purple book to see what I would like to do today. Something small? Playing with blocks? Free motion quilting? Binding? Piecing? Well, I have got them all. Quilting large quilts is, by the way, the perfect task when I have company in my studio; chatting with someone makes time and miles of stitching fly.

How long I will keep my record – well that depends on how long it works for me. All I know is that for now, I’m gaining momentum.

How do you keep up with your projects? Do you work on only one project at the time, do you keep several at different stages, or are they ganging up on you and taking over your studio too?

1 comment:

  1. I agree it is good to step back, take inventory and plan out where you want to go. I do this periodically too. Right now, I'm trying hard to focus on UFOs as I have such little space that I feel I need to finish to be able to get them out of my sewing room. But I have come up with a plan for next year and trying to stay focused this year, to get ready.