2014 Year in Review

Well, another year has past. Shocking how quickly it zoomed past. I am sad to see 2014 go as, in a lot of ways, it was a good year. Unexpected, but good. Last January 1, I was sitting at home recovering from a fun night out with Friend Julie and her fabulous husband. this year I am anticipating another night out with Julie and her husband. Yes, I am a creature of habit.

Blog posts: 376 (Nota bene: that is free content for you!)

Blocks (blocks for someone else’s project)

Group Projects

Small Projects

Doing Good Projects

Definitely another respectable showing in the quilt department


I really wanted to make Christmas pillowcases for the nieces and nephews and that just didn’t happen. I will work on it for next year.

Sewing Mojo

After almost 3 solid days of sewing (interpersed with laundry and a trip to Home Depot for a new shower head with DH) over the weekend, I am feeling more like my sewing self. I am not sure much changed except my attitude, but I am feeling more cheerful and happy with the projects on which I am working. No, I haven’t pulled out any old projects on my UFO list nor did I finish that &^%$# Christmas table runner, but there is always next year.

I made a few gifts in between picking out fabrics for the new Stepping Stones blocks. I’ll post about the gifts after I hand them over to their recipient.

Happy Stepping Stones Mess
Happy Stepping Stones Mess

Now I have a happy mess in my workroom. I am so pleased to be working with the reds and turquoises. I may have to clean some of it up before Tuesday for a party, but we will see.

I am not sure why I feel better all of a sudden. Of course it could be that Christmas is over and I have less to do, though work will be starting up again on January 5. It could be that I listened to a couple of Barbara O’Neal/Barbara Samuels books and her books always make me happy. Perhaps I was just a bit kind to myself after tons of work getting ready for the holidays.

The weird part is that I really tried to prepare throughout the year for Christmas so that I wouldn’t be running around like a crazy person right before. It worked somewhat, but I think I need to keep a list of gifts purchased on my phone rather than just on my computer. Or follow Jenny in her “run up to the holiday project.”

Revisiting the Stepping Stones

I have been a little on the cranky side lately – not cranky exactly, but a bit out of sorts. I am not sure why, so I blame work.

I have really wanted to sew and haven’t been able to settle on anything that demanded I get myself to the workroom and work on the project. As a result, I thought it would be a good idea to work on a project that would really be exciting to me. I like my other projects, but don’t want them to be #1 right at the moment. I know this means starting something new and not finishing things. TFQ reminded me that sewing/quiltmaking should be fun and not something I should do. I am taking my advice and her advice.

I dug around and pulled out two Lintott books and the two Kim Bracket books I have. I perused them to see what interested me, but was still enamoured with the Stepping Stones pattern in Layer Cakes, Jelly Rolls and Charm Quilts, pg. 72-79. I have been wanting to do this in the Bonnie and Camille fabrics (remember the test?), but wasn’t really happy with the background choices. The B&C greys are a bit depressing. I think they have some taupe or brown undertones I eschew. Bottomline: they didn’t really give me the look I wanted. I bought a solid during a binge of end of the year fabric therapy with the intention of using it as a base for the background. I still want it to be scrappy, but I should be able to use it to compare other possibilities.

One PITA is that there is a lot of cutting that has to go on before very much sewing can happen. The other PITA, which I am sure I mentioned as I worked on the first Stepping Stones quilt, is that the pattern doesn’t say that I should use light medium or dark to get the overall pattern. It actually uses the colors they used, which isn’t very helpful if the maker is using different colors. To make matters worse, the photo in the book is pretty bad and I am shocked that a great publisher like David and Charles would allow such a photo to be used in one of their books.

As I worked through those problems, I realized that I really wanted to push fabric through the machine. But I didn’t want to just sew mosaic piecing; I wanted to sew with a purpose. I wanted to sew something that would make me happy. Two goals a bit at odds with each other.

I started in anyway thinking I could always stop all the thinking I had to do to get the Stepping Stones to a stage where I could just piece. I pulled out my bin of Bonnie and Camille fabrics and started pressing and cutting and placing and looking.

Turquoise/Red Stepping Stones block in progress
Turquoise/Red Stepping Stones block in progress

An odd thing happened. I gradually moved from all Bonnie and Camille fabrics to some Bonnie and Camille fabrics and other more turquoise, scarlet and pinky red fabrics. I like the Bonnie and Camille fabrics, but the overall effect of them, for me, was not cheerful enough. They have a vintage look, which I like, but somehow the feel was too calico and not quirky enough. I think of vintage quilts (as opposed to vintage fabrics) as a bit quirky and ones I like do not have the feel of small calico prints.

I really like dark pinky reds and bright turquoises. The Bonnie and Camille fabrics have softer turquoises, tending towards light blue and a lot of orangey reds.

It is interesting how pieces evolve. I am also happy that I was able to give myself permission to use more than just the Bonnie and Camille fabrics. I know that sounds odd, but stuck in my mind was a quilt with Bonnie and Camille fabrics. Moving beyond the idea of a quilt from a whole line (or series of lines) of just Bonnie and Camille fabrics required a major brain shift. I am glad, because I am able to use some non-B&C fabrics that I really like while keeping some of the Bonnie and Camille fabrics that fit in with my new vision.

Rewinding A Tale of Two Cities

I have not been making blocks for this project. Not for lack of desire, but I have had too much else going on. With Christmas over and the Young Man off to visit Grandma, I hope to turn my attention to the mess that I call a workroom.

I had the Leaning Tower of Pisa of fabrics on my cutting table and it occurred to me that I had too many fabrics for the Tale of Two Cities piece. I took all the fabrics off the cutting table and laid them out then removed some, which I won’t be using for the blocks anymore.

Tale of Two Cities Fabrics - Dec 2014
Tale of Two Cities Fabrics – Dec 2014

My final choices, which may still evolve as I work through the blocks are shown on the left. I may have two many lights, but as I am using my phone as a camera these days, it just may be that they look lighter than they are.

I didn’t really want to keep the octopus fabric in, but it is distinctive. I have used it several times, so I didn’t feel I could leave it out without it being noticed. However, I may have used it enough so that I can spread blocks with it out over the quilt and the quilt will look fine.

I want to get back in the saddle and make a few more of these blocks in the not too distant future.

Current Projects – December 2014

It feels a little weird to be posting this so close to the end of the year and the Year in Review post, but here it is anyway.

Finished 2014 Quilt Projects

  1. Disappearing Pinwheel: finished 5/30/2014
  2. Fabric of the Year 2012: finished 4/24/2014
  3. Flower Sugar Hexagon: finished 7/1/2014
  4. Fresh Fruit: finished May 3/3/2014
  5. Infinity Quilt: finished 3/3/2014
  6. Scrapitude Carnivale: finished 6/3/2014
  7. See: finished 8/11/2014
  8. Spiderweb: finished 2/22/2014 WHEW!
  9. Star Sampler: finished 7/3/2014
  10. Wonky Nine Patch – finished 9/6/2014
  11. Green T (donation) quilt – finished 12/1/2014


Finished 2014 non-Quilt Projects

Still WIPs

I still have WIPs. Who doesn’t, after all, but the list is getting a lot smaller.

  1. Aqua-Red SamplerFrances and I haven’t really worked on this for a long time. I really want her to finish her hexagon block before we move on. I think she has progressed so much since we started that I wonder if I should just tell her how to put the quilt together and be done with it.
  2. The Tarts Come to Tea: I still haven’t worked on this since April 2011, though, periodically, I think about working on it.
  3. Pointillist Palette #4: Fourth is a series of 6 quilts; needs tiny square patches sewn together. I still haven’t worked on this, though, I do think about it. The Lunns have a new line of PP fabric out. I am curious to see the new colors. I only saw a few at PIQF
  4. Self Portrait: started in 2006 at a class at Quilting Adventures in Richmond, Virginia. My career counselor breathed new life into this project for me. She asked a simple question and the end result was inspiration for this piece, but I kind of lost steam again after printing images on paper to try out different designs. Lately, I have been feeling like I need to finish this piece as it should be a good reminder to keep in my office.
  5. Under the Sea: class project; like the design, but not the colors much. Possibility for abandonment. I have to face reality.

Ready for Quilting

Wow! Everything on this list is new, as in it was never on the original 26 Projects list.

  1. Fabric of the Year 2013: top, back and binding made; at the quilter
  2. Table runner: Basted; needs quilting and binding. I am planning on free motion quilting this myself for practice, which may be a challenge when my main machine is not working. (Not on original list)
  3. Russian Rubix: at the quilter, binding made

In the Finishing Process

  1. I am binding the [New:*] Super Secret Project #4

In Process
I decided that I had better put in an ‘In Process’ category. The difference, at least in my mind, between ‘In Process’ and ‘UFO’ is that I am actively working on a project that is “In Process.”

Hunting and Gathering

  • Blue Gradation Quilt: cutting 2.5?x4.5? blue rectangles
  • Blue Lemonade: cutting blue, green, purple 2? squares
  • FOTY 2014: cutting out 3″x5″ rectangles.
  • Pink Gradation Quilt: cutting 2.5?x4.5? pink rectangles
  • Spin Wheel: really not started, but supplies gathered. I probably have enough fabrics and just need to decide to start.
  • Stepping Stones #2 using Bonnie & Camille fabrics Bliss, Ruby, Vintage Modern: made two test blocks, but decided to buy a solid turquoise for the background fabric. The large-ish flower print from the above lines that I wanted to use just had too much white and muddied the look. I want the contrast to be good and adding in a fabric that is not from the line will make the piece my own. I may be ready to start this project.
  • Stepping Stones #3 using the Macaron pre-cuts from Hoffman. I just remembered this project. It isn’t started, but I have all the pre-cuts and should think about actually using them.
  • Windmill quilt: Still hunting and gathering. I will use a grey for the background, because if I use more of the cut fabric patches, the pattern will be lost. The pieces are too oddly shaped and I don’t want to lose the pattern in a mass of scraps


Nothing in 2014. I am still thinking about whether some of the UFO projects should be abandoned. Will I really finish them?

You can find the last update for the Current Projects list provides a good comparison to this month.

The first list I made is kind of interesting, the one with the 26 Projects. I started the list in October 2011. I have made REALLY GOOD progress. Up until a few months ago, I was still planning to stop this post when I had no more projects from the original list to write about, but now, that the end is in sight, I am not so sure. It is so useful to keep track of all of my projects. Since I still have some pretty old projects on the list, I haven’t decided.

*New – Project started after I started working on the 26 Projects list

Creative Prompt #290: Spark

Spark is a philanthropic network of young professionals who invest to improve the lives of women around the world.

Spark Unlimited, a company dedicated to creating exciting and original games for worldwide audiences.

Spark presents the Bay Area artists and arts organizations on a weekly KQED television show and a Web site and in an educational outreach program.


Spark Summit 2014 brought the Apache Spark community together

Spark is a national organization that provides life-changing apprenticeships to middle school students from disadvantaged communities

SPARK was created as an innovative, cost-effective way to overcome the hurdles associated with translating academic discoveries into drugs or diagnostics

Spark Camera

Definition – “A spark is an incandescent particle.[1] Such sparks may be produced by pyrotechnics, by metalworking or as a by-product of fires, especially when burning wood.” (Wikipedia)

SPARK provides award-winning Physical Education (PE) curriculum, training & equipment for Pre-K – 12th grade and After School programs.

Spark Framework – Create web applications in Java rapidly. Spark is a micro web framework that lets you focus on writing your code, not boilerplate code.

Chevrolet Spark

Spark Energy Drink

Spark is an open 3D printing software platform that makes it easier for hardware manufacturers, software developers, materials scientists, product designers, etc.

Spark Capital partners with exceptional entrepreneurs seeking to build disruptive, world-changing companies.

Ann Arbor SPARK honors fifteen of the fastest growing companies in Washtenaw County with the Annual FastTrack Award.

spark plugs


Post the direct URL (link) where your drawing, doodle, artwork is posted (e.g. your blog, Flickr) in the comments area of this post. I would really like to keep all the artwork together and provide a way for others to see your work and/or your blog.

We are also talking about this on Twitter. Use the hashtag #CPP

The Creative Prompt Project, also, has a Flickr group, which you can join to  post your responses. I created this spot so those of you without blogs and websites would have a place to post your responses.

Spark may refer to:

Physical sparks

Computer science



  • Spark (novel), a 2014 novel by John Twelve Hawks
  • Spark*, the student newspaper of the University of Reading
  • Spark (magazine), an Australian student publication
  • Iskra (?????, Russian for “spark”), political newspaper of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, 1900-1905


Ships and submarines

Companies and organisations

People with surname Spark


See also

More Black & Grey

Black & Grey Teenaged Boy Donation Quilt
Black & Grey Teenaged Boy Donation Quilt

I am slowly working on this piece. I have had a lot of other things to do so, in this case, slow means snail’s pace.

I have been pulling suitable reds out of the fabric closet, cutting and putting them in place. At the moment I have 3 different fabrics, but two of them are batiks and are very similar. I was trying to alternate the first two, but when I added the third (the one that looked similar), it became a little challenging. The next step is to find another red that is the same color,b ut has a slightly different pattern and add that into the mix.

I realized, as I added the third red, is that I was only putting fabrics on the vertical, so I started to move some of the three fabrics around so some of them were in horizontal positions as well. I, of course, will move them around some more when I add in the last (with any luck) fabric, but I’ll have to see.

Yes, the Field Day Zipper piece is still there. I haven’t made any progress on it, nor have I finished with the pieces from this quilt, so the FDZ piece is still in place. I did find a few more pieces, which is why it looks longer.

Primal Green 2

Primal Green 2
Primal Green 2

The Primal Green 2 show is up at the Main Branch of the San Francisco Public Library. This is a follow up to the previous show.

My friend, the environmental librarian, asked us to do the show again.A lot of the same parameters were applied to this show that we created for the last show.

It is on through April 24, 2015, so you can go and take a look as well and check out some books while you are at it. 😉

I finally was able to go and take a look. I stopped in before going to lunch with a friend who works nearby. I missed the CQFA group viewing because I was in Houston.

Display Cabinet
Display Cabinet

There are a number of quilts displayed there. I thought they were hung very well. One of the display cabinets had Caroline’s fish purse in it. I love that piece, because of the whimsy. I wonder what the general public thinks about it?

The green piece on the top right is from the color challenge (I bought the fabric for that challenge and never did the piece – or haven’t yet done the piece).

The signature book was tucked in a corner so I don’t know if people saw it and were writing in it. The last book for the show had some odd comments, but had some really nice comments as well.

My Quilts in Display Case
My Quilts in Display Case

My quilts were well displayed and I was pleased. You can see Beachtown on the left. What you can’t see is The Flower Garden on the right.

The quilts were all behind glass for security, so they were difficult to photograph. Still, they have to be there, because they will get stolen and touched. I was just taking photos so you could get an idea of how the show was hung not so you could get a perfect rendition of the quilts.

My Whole Cloth Quilt is also in the show. I didn’t get much of a better photo of it than I already have . The stitching is too subtle for a regular camera.

Virginia's Quilt
Virginia’s Quilt

One of the quilts is so great. It is a regular traditional quilt from far away. If you look closer at the quilt, you will see that the fabrics are covered with bugs. LOL! This is by Virginia and I love the bugs.

There are many more quilts and I will see about creating another post about them. The show is really worthwhile and I hope you will go and take a look.

Pink Mermaid Tail Journal Cover

Whole Journal Cover - Outside
Whole Journal Cover – Outside

I finished filling another journal – the one which wore (??) the Blue Tree Journal Cover – and then finished a new journal cover. It is pink, as you can see, and it is the perfect color to make me happy on cold, wet days. <I am not complaining about the rain, because we desperately need it, but it still is cold and wet outside>

Inside Front Cover
Inside Front Cover

I used the mosaic piecing technique again (great for scraps) and really have some nice looking abstract motifs on the cover. It took me a long time to make the fabric for this journal cover, which was odd. Perhaps I used many, many more small pieces than I have in the recent past. the whole process is a good use of scraps, though.

I am not as happy with this cover as I was with the Blue Tree Journal Cover, but not because of the piecing. It has more to do with the filling. I put flannel on the inside, as I have with recent journal covers. I am beginning to think is my preferred filling for these journal covers. In this cover I put the flannel a little too close to the edges. It made the edges, coupled with all the piecing, really thick. I forgot to keep the flannel out of the seam allowances. The edges feel odd.

Inside Back Cover
Inside Back Cover

Last time I am pretty sure I quilted the Blue Tree Journal Cover to keep the flannel in place and kept the flannel out of the seam allowances. I need to remember to do that, which may mean I need to rewrite the tutorial.

One thing I may do is make a new cover and put this one on an older journal. I haven’t had a chance, but stay tuned.

Various & Sundry #15 – End of December

Quilts, Exhibits and Shows

The International Quilt Study Center’s monthly quilt intrigued me, because of the name: Scherrenschnitte. I took notice for a number of reasons. I have been fascinated by this paper cutting technique for awhile. I also like what Quilt Rat has done with the technique. I always think I will do this technique when I am old and can’t move around.

Sign up for the International Quilt Study Center & Museum’s 2015 Symposium, “Making and Mending: Quilts for Causes and Commemoration”. I want to go. Will you sponsor me? 😉

“Primal Green 2”, a show of CQFA member quilts, is up at the San Francisco Public Library Main Branch through April. It is available to view during regular library hours.

“Most Modern”, a show of BAMQG member quilts, is up the Los Altos Public Library through the end of December. It is available to view during regular library hours.

Other Artists

I took the opportunity to skim the blog of an AQ reader and Canadian quiltmaker, Colleen. Take a look at her blog, Colleen Quilts Too. I saw a Scrapitude quilt, which was very pretty. She has also been doing some hand embroidery lately, which is near to my heart and listens to audiobooks. We must have been separated at birth!

Kathy, a latin teacher in middle school as well as quiltmaker and blogger, commented here, which spurred me on to go take a look at her blog. Her blog is more diverse than AQ including life and work and family posts as well as quilts. She has made a Jack’s Chain, which is a pattern also on my Dream Projects list (though I don’t think actually written down!).  See her version and her tutorial (!!!) by taking a look at her blog. The tutorial includes some photos from the book I reviewed recently 1001 Patchwork Designs by Maggie Malone. The 9 patches would be a GREAT leaders and enders projects. Perhaps I’ll move this project farther up my To Do List! 😉

Did you see the oral history by the Quilt Alliance featuring Barbara Brackman? I want someone to do one about me. I suppose I have to be more important. Thanks to Frances for pointing this out.

I have talked about Linda and Laura Kemshall before. If you haven’t taken a look at Linda’s blog lately, go take a look. I love the feathers she has stenciled on her most recent quilt top.


Michelle has a blog. It is interesting and very true to her actual voice.

Craft Daily sent me an email about Mark Lipinski’s Sensational Bindings video. I did not, yet, buy it, but the preview makes it look interesting.

Annie, the creator of Soft & Stable was interviewed by Pat Sloan on the American Patchwork & Quilting podcast about the development of Soft and Stable and other topics related to bag making

Doing Good

Remember the Stars for San Bruno Project that I did a few years ago? Daisy has a series of raffles going on to raise money for medical expenses for her Dad. See all the info about the project at the dedicated page. Listen to her podcast episode #54 to hear more about it.

QUICK! SHORT DEADLINE! There is a project going on the Mollie Sparkles blog to make quilts for the victims families affected by the shootings in Sydney. The block is a hashtag block, The blog has a tutorial for the block as well. I think is kind of fitting, since this was all posted on Instagram and the Mollie Sparkles blog. There is a FAQ available. I am going to help for the same reasons I worked on the Stars for San Bruno quilt, but also because I like being called one of the Glitterati.

Carol, one of the Twilters, shared a story about ‘fidget quilts’ that are donated to a retirement community centered on working with Alzheimers sufferers. I think that Super G would have loved this type of quilt even though she was not as far gone as some (and I am convinced had dementia as a result of overmedication not Alzheimers or some other illness). She was a really busy person and this could have stilled her somewhat.

Products, Fabric & Supplies

Have you seen Moleskine’s new Smart Notebook? I think it is an interesting start to moving drawings to digital files. The video says that it is rough, but what a great start! It would be so much better for my biographer if all of my journals went immediately to digital files rather than having to be scanned when I am dead. 😉

The list of EQ classes is out for January. The classes are online. The access to class materials is forever, though class forum access is limited. No more waiting to IQF for classes!


Are you doing Grand Illusion, the 2014 mystery quilt, with Bonnie Hunter? Here is part 3 of the directions for your downloading convenience. I am not doing it in time with everyone else, but I am downloading the pattern. You just never know when I might decide to make 210 (or so) checkerboards.

Need some last minute gifts? Here is a video tutorial for a tissue holder given to me by Valerie of Evening in the Garden blog.

Have you seen Michelle’s Plus Quilt? I love the piecing she has done. She has been auditioning backgrounds and asked for my opinion. Silly girl! Of course my opinion was very different from everyone elses. Oh well. We’ll see what she goes with and I am sure it will be beautiful.

Valerie has been making boxy bags. I came across a pattern, project post from Hawthorne Threads, though they use a tutorial from another blog. Will you make one?

Check out the Christmas tree quilt Frances is making with her son. I have always liked that pattern and really like how she is using fabric.

By the way, I found the pattern for the Amanda Jane 7 Pocket Work Apron. It was stuck in between some fabric on one of the shelves. I now remember putting it there, but don’t remember why. It is going in the folder for future use.



Creative Prompt #289: Snow

Snow Leopard Trust

Darrin Kenneth O’Brien (born October 30, 1969), better known by his stage name Snow, is a Canadian reggae musician.

Poem 39 of the Library of Congress Poetry 180 Project: Snow.

National Snow & Ice Center

snow day

snow tires

snow forecast

snow minecraft

Snow Report

Snow and company

Snow blower

Snow conditions


Snow Plow Map

Snow Day Calculator

Definition – “Snow is precipitation in the form of flakes of crystalline water ice that falls from clouds. Since snow is composed of small ice particles, it is a granular material. It has an open and therefore soft, white, and fluffy structure, unless subjected to external pressure. Snowflakes come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Types that fall in the form of a ball due to melting and refreezing, rather than a flake, are known as hail, ice pellets or snow grains.

The process of precipitating snow is called snowfall. Snowfall tends to form within regions of upward movement of air around a type of low-pressure system known as an extratropical cyclone. Snow can fall poleward of these systems’ associated warm fronts and within their comma head precipitation patterns (called such due to the comma-like shape of the cloud and precipitation pattern around the poleward and west sides of extratropical cyclones). Where relatively warm water bodies are present, for example because of water evaporation from lakes, lake-effect snowfall becomes a concern downwind of the warm lakes within the cold cyclonic flow around the backside of extratropical cyclones. Lake-effect snowfall can be heavy locally. Thundersnow is possible within a cyclone’s comma head and within lake effect precipitation bands. In mountainous areas, heavy snow is possible where upslope flow is maximized within windward sides of the terrain at elevation, if the atmosphere is cold enough. Snowfall amount and its related liquid equivalent precipitation amount are measured using a variety of different rain gauges.” (Wikipedia)

Post the direct URL (link) where your drawing, doodle, artwork is posted (e.g. your blog, Flickr) in the comments area of this post. I would really like to keep all the artwork together and provide a way for others to see your work and/or your blog.

We are also talking about this on Twitter. Use the hashtag #CPP

The Creative Prompt Project, also, has a Flickr group, which you can join to  post your responses. I created this spot so those of you without blogs and websites would have a place to post your responses.

Don’t Should on Yourself

During the storm last week I should have sewn more.

Over the weekend I should have made progress on the Field Day Zipper.

When I have a spare moment, I should be working on the Teenaged Boy Black & Grey Donation Quilt.

I should be farther along sewing triangles to the leftover octagons.

These are words going through my head recently. Finally, I sat myself down and we talked.

I DO want to sew. Really. There is no reason I shouldn’t be sewing. I feel like I want to work on a project about which I am really excited. The problem is that I have a couple of other projects I also really want to get done, mostly to get the off my plate. I am not excited about them, so creative things kind of bog down.

I have to figure out what will get me out of this mood. Am I in a rut? Did I should badly on some projects that are not exciting me? Are projects not moving off my design wall fast enough? I don’t know.

My mom always says I shouldn’t ‘should’ on myself. I do a lot and I get stuff done. beating myself up about sewing is stupid. Yes, I want to finish projects, but clearly there is something else going on. Life is taking up space in my head and that is a thing that sometimes happens. Other stuff I enjoy is getting shoved aside for a lot of things I feel I ‘should’ do.

Multiple Projects

Thanks to Angela, who passed along this blog post on Sew Mama Sew by Cheryl Arkison about having multiple projects going at once. Even though I have cleared out a lot of UFOs recently, I still have multiple projects going at once. The most important point she makes is that having multiple projects allows you to perform a quilting step/task that fits in with the time you have. Cheryl writes:

“With each moment in the studio I eke out what can be done. Impromptu playdate in the backyard? Let’s cut fabric! Extra long nap for the little guy? Pedal to the metal at the sewing machine. Hubby away and trashy TV? Pressing leaders and enders.

If I was only working on one project at a time I would spend more time waiting than working. Waiting for just the right moment of alertness to cut fabric. Waiting for quiet afternoons to sew. Waiting for the kids to go to bed so I can wash the floor and baste. Waiting for inspiration to hit when I get blocked. So much waiting.

Instead of waiting I can hit the ground running on any project when time and energy allow. Less waiting, more working. Even if the work takes a long time to become a quilt. I can make progress because progress is always happening. It just isn’t always on the same project.”

And Cheryl’s points don’t even start talking about how we feel. We might feel like cutting during one nap time or auditioning fabric while Grandma watches the kids. All of these factors point to success by having multiple projects going.

Her last point in the excerpt is especiallly important to me. I work with demanding people in a high stress environment. Sewing and quiltmaking calms me down and takes me away from the crazy when I have had a stressful day, week, month. It doesn’t matter if I am finishing something every week or month. It matters that I am sewing – pushing fabric through the machine. That quilts eventually come out is an added bonus.

You might be remembering the project I did to clear out UFOs and wondering how Cheryl’s points fit together. I needed to clear out the “old junk” from my UFO piles to make space for new fabrics and new ideas. Having a project sit around for years, I don’t think is the point. It wasn’t the point for me. Even though I cleared out a lot of UFOs in a kind of binge, I still am trying to be process oriented rather than product oriented. That big push really cleared out the cobwebs that the old projects were making in my brain. Not having many old projects doesn’t mean that I don’t have multiple projects. I do – just fewer and newer and really and truly in progress. The difference is that they are not sitting on a shelf forgotten with no progress happening.

Mark Lipinski is also part of the Slow Stitching Movement. Sandy talks about the same concept on her blog. The interesting part is that this new version doesn’t make us all do handwork. We can still use modern technology.

I don’t know what will happen when I get stuck on a project. I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.