Sunday, April 21, 2013

Is it an unfinished progress or a work in progress?

UFO (unfinished object), WIP (work in progress), PHD (projects half done), PIGs (projects in grocery sacks---never heard THAT one before!!), WHIPs (works hopefully in progress), RABBITs (not an acronym, but means multiplying faster than you can finish), WIPES (works in progress....eventually), WHD  (work half-done) and, maybe my favorite, PITA (pain in the ass!!). 

What do you call them?  Do we really have to call them anything?  Do we call it something based on our progress?  Half done? Is it top?  Is it blocks?

Our January guild speaker, Cynthia Gentit, an expert in organizing all kinds of spaces,  talked about how we could organize our sewing rooms.  I went home & made a list of my projects in the works.  I'm not as bad as some, I discovered, but still have quite a few.  And did I actually go in the basement to find the rest, the older, the totally forgotten????  No....not so much.

Pat Sloan also does some on-line help towards organzing.  She says an important part is analyzing your work & making that important call "Do I REALLY want to finish this?"  Or have my tastes just changed, no longer interested in completing that project.  After all, life IS too short--sometimes we just need to move on.

So, I pulled things out, got out the label maker, made lists.  One is just a list of works in progress. That is a more positive term, don't you think?  It's more hopeful.....  They're not  'unfinished', which is cold, harsh, not optimistic.  They weren't abandoned; just  'unfinished'!!

Then, I made a list I could look at when I went into the sewing room.  What should I be doing?  I used to sometimes wait for inspiration to sew & would squander time.  If you have 15 minutes or a half hour, you don't want to have to think too much, you want to get that pedal to the metal!!  Put goals for a week----sew a border on this one, binding on that one, a few more blocks for another, baste, get ready for machine quilting. Keep a list of things you could do.

I found this works for me really well!  I don't have to think too much, don't have to 'be in the mood' already.  When you get moving, you ARE in the mood.  Make the most of your time.

I have a drying rack in my studio; its wonderful to see tops hanging there.  Once you start putting things together & iron them well, it's a shame to fold them up & put them in a box.  Plus, they're right there where you can see them.

Active sewing projects go on my design wall.  It's covered in a beige flannel & blocks stick to it without pins.  I can stand back, see how I like the arrangement.  A design wall is an absolute must!

 Other projects go into stacking boxes, with labels on the outside.

This all goes along with my 'chasing squirrels' theme.  There is nothing like the excitement of a new project that you NEED to do---pulling fabrics, piecing.  Sometimes once I can start to see the outcome,   my fire cools, work slows down.  If it's on a LIST, I will get back to it.  I'm also a prolific, motivated quilter, and want to finish things.

But, OMG, look at that new issue of Modern Patchwork 2013, look at that pattern!  I've GOT to make that!!  As my friend said, 'LOOK there's a squirrel.....

OFF I go! works for me!

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