Wednesday, May 20, 2015

What is the deal with WIPs?


We all have them, they seem to grow in number the longer you've been quilting, they live in boxes and cupboards and bags, they are strewn all over the place, sometimes we forget them, find them or dread them.


Sometimes they haunt me, taunting me from their bags and boxes. I try to ignore them but every so often I bravely attempt to count them all and deal with them. Many bloggers will already know about WIP Wednesday, a link up run by Lee at Freshly Pieced. We link our blog posts showing what we are working on, it is full of inspiration and a great way for the community to come together and share advice and encouragement. 

I try to link up every week, sharing what I am sewing and what progress I have made. As much as I love a good finish, the process of making quilts and projects is always so interesting and I like documenting my quilting journey not just the end results.

For a while I had a great system; listing the projects I was working on, showing the progress made and keeping tally. Alas this fell by the wayside as I buried my head in the sand while my hands started even more projects.

So today I decided to take responsibility again and count all my WIPs. I split them into quilts and smaller projects:


Doing this made me realise a few things...

- This is not actually that bad (I've seen worse in blogland!)
- I have made a whole bunch of stuff since I started most of these projects. Mostly small makes, which I like to do because they give me quicker satisfaction but it doesn't help with the WIP list.
- I have other sewing that I want/need to do; a magazine submission, class samples for classes I will be teaching (and I need to write the patterns!), projects for Le Challenge (a monthly challenge for all crafters - my friend Nat and I run, there is always a giveaway so check it out!) and probably more I'm forgetting.
- I have forgotten some quilts... I know I have... yes, I've got a butterfly quilt top (made with help from the Bee A Brit Stingy bee group) that still needs quilting!

I hand pieced this block using the pattern from 'New England Quilt Museum Quilts' by Jennifer Gilbert, there's a similar free paper pieced pattern and tutorial by Leila available here.

- Clearly these aren't all WIPs since I'm not currently working on all of them (more like forgetting them) but I do switch between them from time to time. 
- It is nice to have different projects to work on - sometimes I want to machine piece and quilt and sometimes I want to do it by hand. This is how I get into all this trouble ;)

So do tell, what's your WIP count? Do you have any secrets for getting them done? Or ways to stop starting new things?

I think I'm happy floating in my sea of WIPs, picking and choosing what I work on. I would like to get these projects done and actually finish some quilts but even if I do there will inevitably be more things to add to my WIP list... don't even get me started on the quilts I want to make 'one day'!


WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced



21 comments:

  1. How pretty, love the colors( flower prints)and that you hand pieced this. No your WIP list is not too bad, good luck and finishing more!

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  2. I like to have a project on the go for each type of craft I like doing. So I'm working on a Game of Thrones knitted blanket for my husband, my EPP La Passacaglia quilt, and a large quilt that I am working on machine piecing. But, I often get interrupted and other projects jump the line in each category. I have a baby blanket to knit that I will be starting shortly, and a mini quilt swap to finish before the end of June. And sometimes you just want to make a quick project to get the thrill of a finish!!

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    1. I like the idea of one project for each craft! :)

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  3. I had a colleague today talk about the difference between "product" and "process" when it comes to sewing (or crafting) approaches. I enjoy the process--some parts of it, like the design phase, are much more enjoyable than others. Thus, I lose steam somewhere along most projects and have to marshal all my willpower to finish things.
    Since my WIP/UFO list is *much* longer than yours, my willpower has clearly been on vacation for an extended period of time.
    Good luck with all the bits and bobbles--and for goodness sake, enjoy the journey!

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    1. Yes I think I'm just the same, the process is so enjoyable - for me it's picking the fabrics and finding interesting combinations! I intend to enjoy it all and I hope you do too :)

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  4. The butterfly is beautifully done!

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  5. I find that sometimes I have lots of WIPs and at others only one! I try not to let that worry me! But if it does and I am one 'drive' to shorten the list I try to pick the one that will take the least time. Once one thing is ticked off as finished, I seem to get on a roll. I also rationalise my time by machine sewing in the day, and hand stitching (quilting, piecing, binding, knitting) at night! As you can imagine, I can never say "I'm bored!"

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    1. Good advice :) I was trying to do machine in the day and hand sewing at night but I seem to be so busy in the day I don't have as much time to sew on my machine, I guess that may change when the little one goes to school ;)

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  6. All but one if my WIPs are quilts for myself. They always get put on the back burner when quilts/swaps/projects for other people enter the picture. I currently have 3 tops finished and waiting to be quilted. Each one is for me! I have been quilting for almost a year and have ZERO quilts for myself!! Ridiculous! My plan is to not commit to any more swaps until I finish at least one of my ME quilts :)

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  7. Honestly I think it is good to start new things, the process works in a cycle and sometimes you feel like you need to cut, which ends up being for a new project if you haven't got an existing one to cut for, and sometimes you need a visual change in fabrics. I don't take it too seriously. I have three very definite WIPs excludign what I am currently working on, plus some tops from bees I am ignoring for now as I'm not really feeling them. Maybe when I have a definite plan for them they will come back out again. Don't stress or force it too much :)

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    1. Excellent point and great advice, thanks :) I totally agree it's a cycle and very mood dependant for me too!

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    2. Excellent point and great advice, thanks :) I totally agree it's a cycle and very mood dependant for me too!

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  8. Interesting discussion! I too have WiP's, I work on whatever takes my fancy at the time, enjoying the process! I do find WiP Wednesday inspiring and a great incentive for keeping on with some of these projects! Often having a break from one project has worked for me, I come back to it later with renewed enthusiasm, sometimes a change direction, but it's all good! I love your butterfly, look forward to seeing the whole quilt one day! Linda

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    1. I completely agree Linda! The freedom to move between projects is great and can often inspire new ideas for me too. Thank you :)

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  9. This year I'm trying to whittle down my UFO list, so I'm limiting my WIPs to three. The major focus project, a BOM and a leaders and enders project. I'm hoping that I'll at least finish the 3 I'm working on this year.

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    1. That's a great idea! Good luck with your finishes!

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  10. I have reduced from about 20 UFOs to only three now ! I Used to get such a buzz from starting something but seem to get more from finishing now. The FAL and my Lazy Bums groups helped enormously in motivating me to finish. Also making so many siblings together quilts has helped me get past my dislike of some parts of the process - basting in particular! I also try and decide what I'm going to do ahead of time so when I do have time to sew I am quite focussed. But your list isn't that bad Lucy!

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    1. You are one of the most focused quilters I know! Your Siblings Together quilts are inspiring :)

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    2. You are one of the most focused quilters I know! Your Siblings Together quilts are inspiring :)

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