Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Finishing Quilts before the 31st!

I set a goal for myself this year, a very big goal... finish at least 10 quilts before January 1, 2011.  Surprisingly enough, I managed to finish not 10 but 14 quilts <insert applause here>.  Being a quilt teacher at my favorite LQS (local quilt shop for all you newbies), it's almost impossible not to have a list of quilts needing to be finished.  It's like being a carpenter, everyone else's work gets done but your own sit around half finished.

I couldn't stand looking at what I call my "Chair of Shame" any longer.  Believe it or not, it looks much better now than it did.  It had so many UFO's piled on, it was threatening to tip over.  At least some of what's pictured below either have the binding on and just needs to be tacked down or it's waiting for a binding.

One day I decided I was going to list out all of my projects in their various stages and place them into an Excel spreadsheet.  The thought of it was very scary to say the least - I mean, I've been holding onto some projects for years!  Any way, I sat down and started listing them out. 

The list finally stopped at 79.  Yes, I've finally said it out loud legibly.  Many are class samples but some are 2, 3 and even 4 years old.  And, I hate to admit this, the list doesn't even include projects that I've bought, packed and put away.  In order for the UFO to make the list, it had to be at least in its cutting stage.

On my spreadsheet, I listed the project name to the left and also included the year that it was started, just to increase the shame factor.  The columns at the top were listed as "Quilt Name", "Finish Top", "Finish Borders", "Layer", "Quilt", "Bind", "Have Backing", "Notes".  I put an "X" in the appropriate column to indicate that stage had been completed.  

I also listed out which backs I had on hand, which made it much easier for me when it came time to bring a quilt to have it quilted.  I use the "Notes" column to indicate if the quilt has a home, has an appointment to be quilted, etc.  

You might think the list could finally prove that you need that nice, quilted, room without a view but I actually found the list to be inspiring.  After I listed them all out (alphabetically, of course!), I realized that most of them just needed to be quilted - not too bad.  The next category that needed the most attention was those quilts that needed borders.  I don't know about you but I HATE putting on borders, don't know why, just HATE it!  The last category needing attention were the tops that needed to be completed.  

On January 1st, I'll take the completed projects off and keep hacking away at my list.  So far I completed a 4 year old project and five 2 year old projects. <insert golf clap here>.  I think I'll increase my goal and try for 15 completed quilts for 2011.  The trick here is I'll be trying my hand at long-arm quilting.  I'll blog about that at a later date, when I actually get to complete my lesson!


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