Welcome to my blog. I was inspired by the book, "Blogging for Bliss" by Tara Frey.

Welcome to my blog. I was inspired by the book, "Blogging for Bliss" by Tara Frey. My goal is to share a little about my life, and a lot about my longarm quilting business, Lone Tree Designs.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Get Finished!

Urban Candy by Sew Kind of Wonderful
   If you are like me, you have a lot of unfinished projects.  I love the creativity of starting a new project!  Choosing the pattern, deciding on the fabrics, hunting through my stash and then through quilt shops to find the perfect choices, and the thrill of beginning.  I love it all!
  Things get a little iffy after that:)  I generally work on a project for a day or two before I have to get back to my "day job" of longarm quilting for customers.  It is rare that I have more than a couple of days a month to actually sew on my own projects.  I take time to babysit my three beautiful grandchildren, go to Kearney to work at my mom's quilt shop, go to quilt guild, take classes, and do lots of other necessities of life, so, too often, piecing and quilting my own projects takes a back seat.
  After awhile, though, I get to the point where I am close enough to finishing a project that I can smell it!  I know the end is in sight, and I have the motivation to put all other distractions aside and FINISH!  Quite often, that motivation is external in that I have a trunk show or a class coming that requires me to finish something new to show and tell.

 Urban Candy was a sample that I originally started for a
class that I was going to teach at the Quilters Cottage.  It is generally my practice to begin a sample, figure out all the ins and outs of the pattern, the new ruler, etc. and then teach the class while my sample is in process so that I can show the step by step process of making the quilt.  The problem with that for me is that once the class is over, there is no need to rush to finish the project because, more often than not, I am already on to the next sample for the next class.
  I taught the Urban Candy class as a part of a series of several classes using the Quick Curves Ruler by Sew Kind of Wonderful in 2015.  Each sample was partially finished when I taught the class.  I decided this year that I really do need to finish those samples and add them to my trunk shows because they are so pretty!  The one that was the closest to completion was Urban Candy, so I buckled down and got 'er done!  The next one to get completed is Metro Rings, and it is on my design wall right now.  I will share it when I get it done.  It is fabulous!
  Here's a tip for you...just like the idea of paying off debt by focusing on the smallest bill first, paying it off, and then moving on to the next smallest...I find that the most productive way to finish projects is to focus on the projects that are the closest to being finished.   Get one done, move on to the next.
Granted, we all have projects that are going to take us a long time to complete.  I took class with Bonnie Hunter last April for two different quilts.  I haven't touched either one since I left the class. Why?  I know they are going to be time consuming, and I am focusing on older projects that are closer to completion.  Those projects will be something that I will pack up and take to an all day sew or a retreat where I can just sew the day away on making blocks, and making some headway on a time consuming project.  
  Another way to be more productive is to focus on one project per month.  I have talked about this before on the blog, but for those of you that are new, here's how it works:  Choose 12 projects that you need to work on for the year.  Number them 1-12.  Each month, draw a number, and for that month you work on that number of project.  If you finish early, you can go back and work on a project from a previous month that you didn't get finished, or you can do like I do and have a secondary list of what I like to call "bonus" projects that you can work on once you finish your project for the month.  Many months, you will not finish that project.  Life gets in the way.  Projects are too big to finish.  At the beginning of the next month, you put that project away and work on the new project.  This really helps with burnout and keeps you excited about your sewing projects.  Sometimes, you may be so close to finish that you will continue on the next month.  That's okay, too.  It is just important that you get motivated, get working, and get FINISHED!