I'm no stranger to having lots of, let's say, loose ends hanging about in my life. I start projects, lose interest for awhile, start something else, go back and work on the previous project a little bit, get stuck, start a 3rd project to meet a "deadline," and the vicious cycle continues until one day I make a spreadsheet of unfinished quilt projects that looks like this. And let's not even talk about the non-quilt related unfinished projects around the house, okay?
Believe it or not, I feel like I've been "holding myself back" from starting too many new projects this year.
I didn't realize that things had gotten so bad in the sewing room specifically, until we started straightening up the house last night for company that's coming this weekend. I got pretty snippy with the Husbatron when he tried to vacuum in the sewing room. I was worried he'd hoover up some of my precious scraps and half-started projects that are strewn across the floor. Then, there are the towers of fabric that are stacked "just so" in their proper order around the room that are prone to falling over if you even look at them the wrong way. Just in case you don't believe me when I tell you how bad it is, here are a few pictures.
1) You definitely can't say that I staged the photos for this post. Nothing but raw blurry phone photo'd honesty here today, folks.
2) Don't let the large quilt tops and backings that are classily draped over boxes and chairs to avoid wrinklage fool you. (Anything to avoid ironing fabric more than once, amIrite?) There are stacks of fabric that I've pulled/purchased for future projects and more WiPs hiding underneath them.
The truth of it all is that I'm afraid that I know I only have a little bit of precious time a week right now to work on my quilting projects, but I don't want to have to decide what to work on and what to put away, so instead, I leave all the projects where they sit and start something new.
Productive way to deal with the problem, eh?
But I'm afraid that if I "put away" any of these projects, that they'll languish and won't get done for YEARS. Unless they're in my line of everyday sight (and consequently in my way and serving as tripping hazards), they're likely to be forgotten.
I know some of you out there are shaking your head at me and wondering why I'm worrying and stressing out so much about my HOBBY. I do this for fun! Why do I always have to make life so structured and routinized? I think that sometimes too. But as much as I hate to admit it, I don't have as much tolerance as I imagine for clutter in my mind or in my physical space. The temporary relief that comes from starting a new project and being free from making a decision about which existing project to work on is fleeting and unsatisfying.
So in the spirit of creating some space in my mind, I'm shelving a few of my self-made commitments to get some stuff done. For the next week, I'm only working on one thing until it's completely done, and I'm putting away everything else.
I'll be working on my Central park flower garden quilt.
The top's done, the backing's prepped, and I've pulled out a slew of batting scraps to piece together the batting for it.
I'll spend the next few days piecing the batting scraps with a zig zag stitch, basting it all together, trying out this particular quilting design on it, and figuring out what the heck to do for binding
In the meantime, I'm giving myself permission to temporarily shelve:
the string block project from October
the postage stamp quilt I started last month
the jelly roll quilt I started for this month, based on this pattern
a couple of strippy quilts that are basted and ready to quilt
a double-sided quilt spawned by Satan bad quilt math
Working this way might mean that I won't have a finished jelly roll project for every month of the year, that I won't have a month's worth of string blocks to show for myself in october, and that I won't finish all my WiPs this year (a pipe dream if ever there was one!). But that's alright. I'll be decluttering my mind/space one project at a time.
If there's anyone out there who finished up a jelly roll quilt in October, please do share! I'll have the party run through next Wednesday, November 7. Then I'll pick a winner who will get a Moda Scrap Bag!