My secret to quilt finishes - lists!

>> Saturday, September 10, 2016

Manage your Focus, not your Time

 This quote from Robin Sharma scrolled by in my facebook feed recently. Needless to say it worked! I stopped scrolling and got behind my sewing machine instead. This post will share a few of the tools (read - lists!) I use to keep me focused and quilting!

Fall feels like a new beginning for me, a time to take a big breath of fresh, crisp air and figure out what I still want to accomplish before the New Year. This can be overwhelming - there are always so many things! Trying to squeeze them all in means I don't really enjoy any of it. With everyone else's schedule filling up too (my daughter started Gr. 11, my son Gr. 4, and a husband a new job!), finding the time is also tricky.

Visual Project List board

 For a couple of years now I have been using a Visual Project list board to help me stay focused on the quilt projects I want to do.  I go over in a bit of detail how I use it  in this blog post to keep myself from joining too many new quilt alongs or block of the months or any other of the kazillion new quilty things that pop up - especially this time of year.

Here's a photo of what my current VP list board looks like:

Visual Project list board is a mini quilt

I'm using the crazy patch potholder I made over at QUILTsocial as my current board. I like to switch it up as a different mini quilt to keep me inspired and looking at it;)
Right now my board has very few items on it - which is good because I'm just starting to plan my quilting for Fall.

One Quilt a Month

In addition to this board, I've added a QUILT Focus list this year. It's been working out really well. I wrote down each month of the year on a small piece of paper I keep by my computer, and picked ONE quilt that I wanted to complete that month. There are several groups out there doing this as an accountability exercise - some are really fun where you number your UFOs to work on and whichever number gets picked for the month is the project you work on. Fun, right! For me I chose mostly seasonal quilts or special occasion quilts so I needed a bit more control of when they would be worked on and finished.

The results - I have finished quilts this year!

Halloween 1904 designed by Blackbird Designs

 I finished my Halloween 1904,

Churn, Baby, Churn by

 created and finished my Churn, Baby, Churn Baby quilt,

Northcott Gradations Brights quilt

 created and finished Wish Upon a Star for Spring quilt using Northcott Fabrics for QUILTsocial,

Trains at Night quilt from kit

quilt designed for my anniversary

I figured out what I wanted to do with the cottage blocks
 for my anniversary quilt and got the top completed in time too!

All this while supply teaching and working on some more of my own designs, plus keeping up with the projects on my VP list! Notice that it's September and I don't have 8 finished quilts; I started with February and left one month open to give myself some breathing room on a deadline quilt and I'm glad I did. I had some health issues in April and was able to recuperate without feeling stressed about my quilting. So 5 quilts in 6 months - not including some behind the scenes (aka secret sewing) quilts too;)

progress on Four Patch Work from Temecula Quilt Co

With the help of the Visual Project list board and the One Quilt a Month list I've kept on track with two great benefits - completed quilts and wiggle room to join in on a few projects as they popped up - like Temecula Quilt Company's Four Patch Work during the Olympics.

 Perhaps the greatest benefit is knowing what to work on when I have time to quilt.

Are you feeling overwhelmed with quilting projects? Share in the comments and let's see if we can help each other ENJOY the process:)

With Joy,

Sarah V.

p.s. here's the link for my newsletter signup again. Try out the Visual Project list board and see if it helps you focus too.


Deb Fox-McHugh September 11, 2016 at 8:59 AM  

Wow Sarah! All your finishes look great. You inspire me to get my UFO list in order!

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