Okay, I’m starting to feel like my quilty mojo is coming back. I have a boatload of ideas of things I’d like to do, primarily to use up my stash. Then I have a list of UFOs I know I need to complete. So I’m trying to think through some “guidelines” to set up for myself that will allow me to make progress on the things I want to finish while also have all the fun of starting new projects. Here are some realities I’m dealing with:
1. I still don’t have a good sense of how much time I’ll have in my life. We have some pretty significant changes happening at work and I won’t know for a few months how it’s going to shake out. I have some travel coming up, but it’s not currently extensive.
2. I am BORED BORED BORED BORED with my stash. I think I’ve talked about this before. At the moment, at least 95% of my fabrics have been staring at me for at least 8 years, some far longer than that. If they haven’t inspired me so far, they won’t.
3. My brain is tired. I’ve been going for a couple of years on full mental tilt, so frankly, I just don’t want to have to think about what I’m sewing. So, although I’ve loved doing art quilts and designing my own stuff in the past, right now that just feels too hard and not fun.
I do know, however, that I tend to be more productive when I have a plan. Not a firm plan, and no rules that will just start feeling like more obligations like “I’m going to sew for 15 minutes a day” or “I’m not going to start any new projects until I have X UFOs done” or “I’m not going to buy any more fabric until I use up X yardage.” Frankly, I’m tired of rules and deadlines and obligations. This girl just wanna have fun.
I also know that I’m more productive when I’m blogging and/or podcasting my goals. Hence, this blog post. So, here we go....
Plan Component A: Quilt from my stash...mostly.
Several of the new projects I’ve been looking at are scrappy, fast patterns using 2 1/2” strips. I have a handful of jelly rolls but I also have a boatload of scrap strips from strip exchanges. I had the June Taylor strip-cutting ruler but have never liked it (I inherited it from my mom’s tools), so I just bought myself the Creative Grids Stripology ruler. Same idea, but a stiffer plastic and a ton of really helpful markings. I plan on stripping some of my boring ol’ yardage and making a few scrap tops.
I’m also seriously considering doing Charlotte Hawkes’ mystery scrap quilt again this year. I’ve not done one since the first one but I love her designs and it may be time for me to tackle another one.
All that being said, I’m not setting myself any rules on how much fabric has to go out before more can come in. I just want to start turning over my stash.
Plan Component B: Loosely track outgoing and incoming stash.
Although I won’t have rules about it, I do want to try to have the balance be on the “out” side. So I will try to start tracking. I generally just do this by eyeballing how big my stacks of the various colors are, but it might be fun to pay attention to actual numbers.
Plan Component C: Refresh the stash.
So, yes, part of my plan is actually buying new fabric, and not necessarily just for an individual project. That’s most of what I’ve been doing lately—when I’ve bought fabric at all. It tends to get used immediately and I’m still left with the same old stuff whining at me from my shelves. I’ve subscribed to a couple of quilty subscription boxes to test them out. Both of them have fabric involved, so I can start adding some new-fabric-with-no-immediate plan to refresh my vision. Maybe some of the old fabric will suddenly start looking exciting again when put side-by-side with new.
On the freebie side, I’ll be able to go to my guild retreat in May, I think, and they’ve started doing a fabric-swap game. People bring fabric and names are drawn and you choose fabric from what’s been donated...or something like that. However it works, it’ll be a way for me to swap some of my old boring fabric for new, interesting fabric.
Plan Component D: Assess my UFOs.
I’ve done entire podcast episodes on this, so I won’t go into detail now. Suffice it to say I’ve totally lost track of how many UFOs I actually have at the moment. Our guild is doing a couple of different UFO challenges, so it’s time for me to pull every UFO off my shelf, determine which ones I’m actually going to finish and which need to either be trashed or donated (depending on what the stopper was), and then how the finishing process will happen with those that make the cut.
Plan Component E: Finish at least a couple of UFOs, if not more. (See above. I have to do the assessment first to really know what “E” is going to look like.)
Plan Component F: Write a blog post once a week to keep me on track.
I am definitely more productive when I’m podcasting and blogging about quilting regularly. After all, I need something interesting to talk about! So each week I’ll do a blog post on what I’ve done that week to further any of the above goals. What should I call it...Mojo Monday? That has a ring to it...
One thing I’m doing right now—while I’m still away on a work trip (I’m writing this from a hotel during a break)—is reading the “Quilt Your Stash” series of blog posts on A Quilting Life blog. She posted them in 2016, but they’re still great reads!
I get back into town tomorrow night, and then I leave for a long weekend vacation on Thursday, so none of this will start until next week. Meanwhile, I’m watching YouTube videos and downloading Craftsy pattern freebies (and I already marked a lot of jelly roll patterns in my books at home). Chomping at the bit!