Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Stalled Projects

I'm thinking most quilters (with the exception of start-to-finish quilters) have stalled projects that weigh on their minds. I have 4 of them that I would put in that category. These projects make me feel sad and frustrated - even though they are out of sight they are NOT out of mind. I'm hoping that by posting about them and putting them back in my sight I will be motivated to do something about them.

The 1st one is a WIP - my "And Sew On" blocks. A paper pieced block a month doesn't seem like much of a commitment, but I am 3 months behind. The problem isn't a lack of love because I think these are just about the cutest things ever!
The real issue is that these blocks intimidate me. The first ones were pretty easy but now the complexity curve is getting high. The blocks for last month (stash closet) and this month (sewing room) are definitely out of my comfort zone. I'm not saying I can't do them, I'm just saying I'm rather dreading them.
Photo from http://quietplay.blogspot.com.au/p/and-sew-on-paper-pieced-bom.html
Stalled Project #2 (Easter Stacked Coins) has been on my quarterly goals list for Q1, Q2 and Q3. That alone is part of my problem - the longer a goal stays untouched the less motivated about it I seem to be. But the real issue with this UFO is that I'm not overly fond of it anymore. The pastel colors aren't really my thing and the stacked coins layout isn't very exciting to me. On the plus side, it's only several easy seams to a finished top and there is always the chance that once assembled I'll like it better!

Stalled Project #3 (Four Patch & Friends) has been on my goals list since last fall. I absolutely LOVE this top. I worked on it last winter and have posted a few times about it on the blog. I had trouble choosing a fabric for the inner border. I had some blocks that were poorly done that I unpicked and resewed. I had one block with a backwards background fabric piece that I discovered in the middle after the top was partially assembled.

But I've concluded that my biggest issue with this UFO is that it is linked in my mind to my fallout with my LAQ over the last 2 quilts she did for me when she mixed up the backings. This quilt was next on the list to be sent out. It's stalled for emotional reasons.
Stalled Project #4 (Thimbleberries Jacob's Ladder) has also been on my goals list all year and it's been my failed "A Year Of Lovely Finishes" goal in July and August after I finally got it to flimsy stage in late June. I love this top too and I'm determined to quilt it myself. It's a little larger than what I'm used to doing so that is a bit challenging, but I know I can do it. I just need to START!
One of these projects is going to be my September goal for "A Year of Lovely Finishes". As much I would love to pick one of my non stalled projects I know that's a cop out. Avoiding them isn't making them go away! My usual thing is to pick the hardest one in hopes of motivating myself which in this case would be my "And Sew On" blocks.

But, in this case I'm going to chose "Four Patch & Friends". My goal is to get this top to flimsy stage and mail it off to my new LAQ. It's funny because the quilts with the mixed up backings are finished and I'm mostly over my disappointment with them. I seem to be letting this beautiful quilt sit unfinished instead and it's time to move on. In fact, it is going up on my design wall ASAP.
My Button
How do you deal with stalled projects? Leave me a comment and tell me all about it!


  1. Good luck with getting these finished. I especially love your paper piecing and your four patch and friends. Hopefully once you get started again you'll pick up momentum and whizz through them :)

  2. Boy, do I ever understand you thoughts on stalled quilts! I have quite a few more than that, but they are all stalled for basically the same reasons. Except that some are just stalled because I can't find time to get to them. My fault because I keep starting new ones :*)

  3. I totally understand the fear/problem with advanced paper piecing!

    Thought for #2...take the stacked strips, put solids between the (and at the ends if necessary for length), and use as a backing. Then you've "completed" and "used" the project.

  4. Regardless of whether it's a quilting project or some other stalled project, for me,the longer it remains stalled, the heavier an anchor it becomes, weighted down with guilt. Not all projects have to - or deserve to - be finished, but your WIPs shown here are lovely and are far enough along that maybe you shouldn't abandon them. Maybe give a project to a quilting friend to whom it appeals more than it does to you now? What I would do is pick one, and finish it. I usually feel pleased with the self discipline and accomplishment, having done so. Then pick the next, and so forth. Good luck, you have some pretty WIPs here!

  5. Go Deb! You can do it! Finish one each month and by January you will start the new year with a clean slate. I get hung up on binding and have six large quilts waiting. Will break down into smaller tasks as motivated. Make binding, apply, hand or machine finish. Good luck and enjoy the process.

  6. I have lots of stalled projects in quilting, but the 2 stalled projects that weigh on my mind the most are organizing my photos and clearing out the storage area in my basement. I've gotten to the point with the basement task that I hate to even step foot down there except for my sewing room. I think it just overwhelms me whenever I look at it. We have boxes of stuff we inherited when parents died, when kids moved into tiny apartments, or my own stuff I can seem to part with.

  7. You are doing so beautifully with your And Sew On Blocks! Just take your time, for the stash cupboard, and pile up real piles of the scraps/fabrics for each pile. Take a couple of days to get them picked, and pick your wallpaper and floor. Then just sew the tiny sections, one letter a day. I took the longest time picking out the fabrics! (Use from real quilt projects... they are chosen already!)
    I am going to divide up the Sewing machine room this way, too.
    You can do it!(You can leave one out for the middle block, too! teehee)


  8. I was just thinking as I was reading, that you could set a goal of three seams a day on your paper pieced blocks. If you want to do more, let yourself, but make yourself do three. That way they are done in little bites. Before you know it, it's another block done! As for the coin, I have one too and was thinking of finishing it and giving it to a guild to quilt and sell at their table or give to their charity. Someone will love it ; )

  9. Carla's advice seems sensible and practical! I hide mine away too. At the moment it is the quilt I basted on Monday, and while tying in the ends after I finished the quilting yesterday, realised the whole backing fabric is on wrong-side-out. To fix it, I would have to undo all the quilting, remove the pieced panel, take off the top and bottom blocks of the pieced panel which are also in the backing fabric, re-piece the panel and sashing, reattach both parts of the backing, take it back to my LQS tomorrow to use the big table and baste it all over again, then re-quilt it. It's a donation quilt so once it's been to the "airing"in April next year, I'll never see it again; but someone in the quilting group is bound to notice! I want to ignore it and just put the binding on and forget about it but I can't (well, not yet anyway). I was so hoping to have it finished before the group meeting tomorrow!

  10. The mixed up backings would have been hard for me too. So much thought and effort goes into each decision in a quilt that something like that is a set back that can't be undone, I totally understand. That being said, I think you are doing the right thing in moving forward, good luck with the top completed and ready for your new LAQ.

  11. Stalled projects? I have many. Then I join some kind of challenge, FIU, etc where I might win a prize or something and then I somehow manage to get 'er done!

    I LOVE the 4P+!

  12. Those "and sew on" blocks are adorable! I haven't managed much paper piecing yet, but it seems to be the really, really complicated ones that call out to me. :-)

  13. Ooh finish the stacked coins... If it's going to be the easy one then it might give you momentum for the rest! Plus I really like the colours :-)

  14. Oh it's hard when you get stalled projects and lose that motivation! Think how great you'll feel when you've got some of these tackled!

    As for the And Sew On blocks - you don't have to make all of them! Quilting should be fun, not something to dread :) Maybe think about making the blocks you've got into a mini wallhanging instead and tackle the other blocks at some later date! We'll be having a linky party to share finished projects from the BoM in November - but you can link up any project made with at least one of the blocks. Might take the pressure off?! :)

  15. When it comes to stalled projects I like to get them out like you and put them up on the design wall to get me inspired again.
    That center block of the paper pieced project looks very complicated. Good luck with those last blocks.


I really enjoy reading comments! Thanks for taking the time to leave me one. I try to respond to all comments except during big giveaways.

I have had to turn off anonymous comments for now due to a sudden increase in spam. Please send me an email instead and I will respond to you.