quilts

How to: Turning WIPs into FOs

It’s hard making time to make.

Often, it seems like our pile of WIPs (Works in Progress) far outweighs our FOs (Finished Objects). Quilt tops linger in closets and orphan blocks crowd our design walls. But taming the beast is possible! Here are a few tips for whipping those WIPs into shape:

1- List all your projects. Every. last. one. Go through every closet, shelf and drawer. Pull out every WIP at any stage, even if it’s just a pile of fabric that you have a vague plan for. Now list them out one by one. This is quite the reality check, but it gives you a very clear picture of what you have and helps you to prioritize and plan.

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2- Edit out what you’re no longer in love with. Maybe the fabric is dated. Maybe the intended recipient has changed their style. Maybe you’ve just fallen out of love. You might be surprised with how many projects you decide aren’t worth more of your precious time.  Find a friend or local charity that will take them off your hands. Some Project Linus chapters will take quilts at various stages of completion. Call your local coordinator to check.

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3- Prioritize. You can choose whatever criteria works for you to prioritize your WIPs. Maybe you want to get oldest projects done first, or those that are closest to completion. Or you could prioritize by the intended recipients… who has a birthday coming up? It’s really up to you. Just to remember that not everything matters equally. Your time is finite, and you should be spending that time on the things that are most important to YOU.

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4- Limit new projects. I know, I know… don’t yell at me! This one is so hard! I love shiny new things and starting projects is one of my very favorite things to do. I get it. But now that you have a handle on what needs completed, it’s a good idea to look at that list you made before starting something new.

Prioritize your potential project against that list… how does it compare? If it really is something important (like you just found out your best friend is expecting), yes, definitely add it in! But keep in mind that for everything you say yes to, you will say no to something else. Your other WIPs will move down the list, so make sure it’s worth it!

Often, we start a new project simply because we’re bored with what we’re currently working on. Instead, maybe we can add some excitement to our WIPs list by moving a current project one step closer to completion. I find that helps my need for something ‘new’ and novel without adding to my workload.

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5- Join a UFO completion group. Many local shops will have groups you can join that help keep you accountable to finishing a specific list of WIPs that you’ve chosen. Sometimes, there’s prizes to be won! If you don’t have a local group, there are several online ones. A popular challenge group is the All People Quilt UFO Challenge.  The 2019 Finish-a-Long is hosted by several quilty bloggers and is another great place to start. And The Crafty Quilter has a monthly UFO & WIP Challenge. There are lots more; find a group that you like and join in!

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6- Make the time. There is simply no way around it- if you want to finish projects, you have to set aside time to work on them. You’ll have to decide for yourself how that looks. You could block out 20 or 30 minutes a day, or set aside an entire day a few times a month. Look into registering for an open sew at a local shop if you want to socialize while you sew. Put sewing time on you calendar or add a reminder to your phone. Once you get a little momentum going, you’ll be surprised at how addicting it can be to advance your projects just one step further. And once you complete a project and get to cross that WIP off your ‘to do’ list, you’ll definitely be looking forward to your next FO!  

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7- Speaking of Finished Objects, track them! Keeping a record of the quilts you’ve completed and looking through it periodically is a really nice way to keep your motivation up. No doubt there are projects on your FO list that lingered. That you thought you’d never actually complete. Looking through the projects you’ve already completed gives you HOPE that yes, someday the WIP that’s driving you crazy will be done. There is light at the end of the creative tunnel. You are fully capable of getting those WIPs out into the world as FOs. You’ve got this.

Now let’s all finish some beautiful stuff!

Happy Sewing! ~L

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Champions Quilt

Last month, I shared a quilt finish with you. I have another one to share that’s been done for quite some time.

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The pattern for the appliqued sphere is by Geta Grama and is called Windows into my  World.

This was one of the very first quilts I ever started. I wanted to try EPP, and this pattern was so visually striking. As I got further along, It also became the project that I used to learn hand applique and hand quilting (more on that later). It spent a lot of time being set aside. Like… a LOT lot. In the time I took to finish it, the intended recipient went from being a teenager to a married adult. I felt like it was too small to gift to a couple, so we decided to keep it. I will make them a quilt as a couple (hopefully before Christmas!) that reflects both of their styles.

I loved this pattern, but if I did it again I would probably use a fusible applique technique instead of EPP and hand applique. It would make for a much faster finish! 

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And for the hand quilting- you may have noticed that there is none on my finished quilt! When I started it, I was doing the hand quilting on the sphere section with embroidery thread. Turns out, I hate hand quilting with embroidery thread. I got about a third of the way done with the sphere and had to make a decision: keep going, or pick it out and machine quilt it. So I got out my seam ripper and scissors, because I honestly just couldn’t do it anymore!

I love the way the heavily quilted areas paired with unquilted spots creates fun little puffy bits in the sphere.

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It was so great to FINALLY finish this one and get another thing crossed off my WIPS list.

Happy Sewing,

~L

Farm Girl Vintage Quilt

I know I’m about a year behind on the Farm Girl Vintage quilt craze. But when I decided to make a quit for my mom, I knew this had to be the one! blocks
When I first got the book, I flipped through  to pick out what I thought she might like.  I was really impressed with the number of blocks in the book and all the different layout options. It felt like a choose your own adventure book!

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Although there were so many great blocks to choose from, I knew that my focus had to be the hen and chick blocks. My mom loves her chickens and cares for them into their old age, long after they’ve stopped laying eggs.

She also loves old barns so when I saw the barn blocks I knew I had to choose at least two or three.barn 1

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About a week later, she came to my house and had a look through the book. I was very pleasantly surprised when she chose for herself all the blocks that I had guessed she would want.

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The color scheme of this quilt came from the design in my moms house. Although it has a farm look, I think it looks a bit more modern because of the fabric choices and vivid colors. It definitely has a bit of my style!

I’m not sure how I’ll do the layout of this quilt. For now, I’m just throwing blocks up on the design wall as I finish them.

I’ll keep you updated!

Happy Sewing, ~Lorinda

This week, I’m linking up to:

Fabric TuesdaySew-Cute-Tuesday-e1384841858599LinkyBeeswip wednesdayNTT Button 1

 

Color Play Friday: Christmas Ornaments

 Wow- all I’ve been posting lately is Color Play Friday! I’ve been busy sewing Halloween costumes, but that’s done now. I do have some quilting projects in the works, and should be starting to show them soon. To really keep up-to-date on what I’m doing, your best bet is to follow me on Twitter, Periscope and Instagram. 

More about Color Play Friday:

Trina from In An Otter Life and I created Color Play Friday one day after a nice trip to the fabric store together.

Here are the rules:

  1. Each week, Trina or I will select a picture from our joint Pinterest board. These are all pictures that one of us has taken on our adventures.
  2. We each create a palette using colors from that picture
  3. We then create a bundle of 5-8 fabrics that is inspired by that palette. They don’t have to be an exact match to our palette, and we can throw in contrasting or accent colors, but the bundle should look inspired by the palette.
  4. We don’t see anyone else’s palette or bundle before we post on Friday.
  5. That’s it! It’s going to be so fun to see what we each come up with.

This weeks photo was taken by me a couple of years ago after Christmas. I was taking all the ornaments off the Christmas trees and sticking them in a box so I could pack them nicely later. Suddenly, I looked down and saw all this Christmasy wonderfulness piled on top of each other and had to snap a photo.

Christmas Ornaments Palette and Bundle 1

Christmas Ornaments Palette and Bundle 2

WAIT A MINUTE?! Two palettes?! Two bundles?!

That’s right, I’m a big old cheater pants this week. As I was selecting fabrics, I found myself torn between a literal interpretation of what I was seeing in the picture, and how the picture made me FEEL.

So I figured two is better than one and went for it!

Here are the fabrics I chose:

Bundle 1

Makower UK, Christmas 2015 Scandi, Snowflakes in Beige

Makower UK, Christmas 2015 Scandi, Linen Texture

Kaffe Fasset, Shot Cottons, Woven in Mulberry

Kate Spain, Solstice, Hemisphere in Berry

Robert Kaufman, Metro Living, Ogee in Scarlet

Whistler Studios, Glisten Metallic Gold

Joel Dewberry, True Colors, Scrollwork in Green 

Basic Grey, Blitzen,Creatures in Evergreen

Bundle 2

Makower UK, Christmas 2015 Scandi, Hearts and Stars in Red

Bunnyhill Designs, Winter Wonderland, Candy Cane Stripe,Tonal Redwork

Bunnyhill Designs, Winter Wonderland, Redwork

Doodlebug Design Inc, Santa Express, Santa Stripe in Red

Jo Clark, Organic, Festive, Gingerbread People

Micheal Miller, Glitz Metallic Quarter Dot, Pearlized Glitz

Makower UK, Wonderland, Houses

Victoria Hutto, Holly Jollies, Dots in Black

A note about scale:

  • While I believe scale is a very important part of fabric selection, the fabrics shown in my Color Play images are not always perfectly to scale. I do my best, by you should always double check scale before ordering!

Don’t forget to head over to In an Otter Life to see what Trina came up with and to Shimmy and More to see Steph’s bundle!

You can also head over to my Color Play Friday page to see my palettes and bundles from previous weeks.

Next week’s photo is Pike Place Market from Trina

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Are you enjoying Color Play Friday? We’d love for you to get in on the fun and create your own Color Play post! You can create a bundle of fabric, select yarns or embroidery threads, or create a project inspired by our photo. Be sure to let Trina or I know so we can link up to you. You can get in contact with me via email, or by tagging me on Instagram.  

I hope you can join us next week!

Happy Sewing, ~L

Color Play Friday: NYC Bus Tour

Happy Friday, everyone! On Fridays we play with color, and today we have some pink!

If you’re new around here, check out my Color Play page to see the rules.

I chose this picture of Trina’s because I just couldn’t wait to play with those bright colors any longer! The combination of that yellow tour bus and her adorable raspberry-colored tights was so much fun.

Her tights made me think of a grown-up ballerina, so I knew right away what my main fabric would be! The pink ballerinas from Tiger Lily! I’ve been looking at this print for weeks, and was so happy to finally get to play around and find a bundle to feature it.

So, without further ado, here’s my palette and bundle!

NYC Bus Tour

Here is the list of the fabrics I chose:

Alexia Abegg, Mesa, Dining Car is Coral

Heather Ross, Tiger Lilly, Ballerinas in Pink

Alexia Abegg, Hat Box, Palm Springs in Pink

Kimberly Kight, Lucky Strikes, Dime Store Dot in Navy

Alexia Abegg, Paper Bandana, Paint Dot in Cloud

Timeless Treasures, Sketch Basic in Daffodil

Laura Gunn, Painters Canvas in Yellow

This week was unusual for me, because I had four fabrics from Cotton and Steel, three of them from the same designer. I usually mix it up a bit more than that. But they worked so well  that I just had to include them all!

Don’t forget to head over to In An Otter Life and see what Trina came up with this week.

Updated to add: Steph from Shimmy and More got in on the fun! Check out her post to see what fabrics she picked for this week.

If you’d like to join in for next week, just send us a message letting us know so we can link up with you.  We’d love to see everything our creative friends come up with!

Next week’s photo is one of mine and is titled Jellyfish. It can be found on our Color Play Friday Pinterest Board.

Happy Sewing!  ~L

Color Play Friday: Jetty Island Driftwood

Welcome back to Color Play Friday!

Today we have an image that I took on a family boat trip at the very end of last summer. We had spent the afternoon in the Puget Sound and stopped at Jetty Island for a little bit before the sun went down. Jetty Island is a fun little place that can only be reached by boat. In the summer months, the parks department provides a 60-person, pay-by-donation ferry to shuttle people back and forth to the island. Sometimes you can wait an hour or more to get on, but the ride takes all of two minutes and is a total hit with the kids.

I loved the look of these tree roots in the ‘almost-sunset’ light and the way the orange moss just lit up. The main thing in this image that I knew I had to feature was the complimentary orange and blue. I also chose to add in the green from the grass to give it more color, since the palette was looking really brown.

I’m not usually a huge fan of brown or orange, but am in love with all of these fabrics! I especially love the Tiger Lily print, as I think it ties everything else in the palette together nicely.

Jetty Island Driftwood Palette and Bundle

Don’t forget to go check out Trina’s palette at In an Otter Life!

Here are the links to the fabrics in my bundle:

Heather Ross, Tiger Lily, Floral Medallion in Brown

Amy Ellis, Modern Neutrals, Patchways in Cocoa

Zen Chic, Reel Time, Lenses in Ochre

Cotton and Steel Basics, Dottie in Gnome Hut

Art Gallery Fabrics, Prisma Elements in Albite Latte

Heather Rosas, Sea Life, Ripples in Cream

Fig Tree & Co., Aloha Girl, Lania Shirt in Lagoon

  • While I think scale is a very important part of fabric selection, the fabrics shown in my Color Play images are not always to scale. With the editing I do to get them all in the image, it just takes too much time to make sure they’re all perfectly sized. Do your research before making any purchases!

Color Play Friday: Stilliguamish River at the Big Four Mountain

 Happy Friday, everyone!

I’m so excited because today is the relaunch of our Color Play posts!

A couple of months ago, I had a chat with my real-life quilting buddy, Trina from In an Otter Life. She thought it’d be fun to play along, and together we thought of some ways to make Color Play better and even more fun. Here are our rules:

  1. Each week, one of us will select a picture from our joint Pinterest board. These are all pictures that one of us has taken in our adventures.
  2. We each create a palette using colors from that picture
  3. We then create a bundle of 5-8 fabrics that is inspired by that palette. They don’t have to be an exact match to our palette, and we can throw in contrasting or accent colors, but the bundle should look inspired by the palette.
  4. We don’t see the other person’s palette or bundle before we both post on Friday.
  5. That’s it! It’s going to be so fun to see what we each come up with.

Our first photo comes courtesy of Trina and was taken at a very popular hiking spot here in Washington. This river eventually makes it’s way down through our little town.

Big Four Ice Caves River Palette and Bundle

Stilliguamish River at Big Four Moutain Palette and Bundle

The thing about this picture that jumped out at me was the broad range of greens in the water and trees and the blue grey of the light reflecting on the water’s surface…. how gorgeous is that river?! Makes me want to hike up there just to wade in.

Here are links for all the fabrics in my bundle:

Cotton + Steel Basics, Sprinkle in Summercamp

Joel Dewberry, Pristine Pop in Basil

Joel Dewberry, Mosaic Bloom in Asparagus

Kristen Berger, Sharrows in Blue

Cotton + Steel Basics, Dottie in Cloud

Don’t forget to head over to In an Otter Life to see what Trina came up with.

Happy Sewing!