Monday, April 28, 2014

Bad Behaviour and a New Approach

Well, I'm back. I've had more than my fill of doctor's waiting rooms, and I have no intention of going back any time soon!

I have not been able to do a lot of sewing, but I've definitely had lots of time to think! Back at the beginning of the year you may recall that I had bold plans to shelve all my old UFOs and start anew with a clean slate. After just four months it's clear that was a complete failure. All my UFOs have crept back onto the to do list.

Plus, I started one...

...two... projects over the break! And, I've noticed that I compensate for not sewing by buying more fabric, but I better not go into detail about that, lol. Both the new projects are foundation paper pieced. The maple leaves are batiks that have been waiting for their moment for a long time, and the winter star is new fabric, the Jack Frost 10" square collection from Keepsake Quilting. Beware -- most of these fabrics are home dec weight, and not the best for detailed piecing!

Anyway, I've forgiven myself for the new starts. It's been a stressful time, so a temporary distraction was helpful.

But I also still think I need fewer current projects. I've decided to cut them down to five categories and choose just one from each:
  1. Machine Pieced
  2. Hand Applique
  3. Stitchery/Embroidery
  4. English Paper Piecing
  5. Cross Stitch
I've realized that I am much more productive when I have fewer decisions to make. So, I made lists of all started or ready-to-start projects in each area and used a random number generator to choose which ones to work on now. I was worried that I wouldn't like the results, but actually I love them. Each time the random number came up, I felt a big sense of relief when I checked it against the list. I think any result would have been a relief -- sometimes it's just helpful to make a decision. 

So, the first round of projects will be:

  1. It's Warm Inside -- a log cabin lap quilt to be made with this cute snowglobes flannel fabric I bought from Connecting Threads last fall. A brand new project!
  2. Trick or Treat Baskets, designed by Barb Adams and Alma Allen of Blackbird Designs, in their book When the Cold Wind Blows. I saw this quilt recently on Supergoof's blog (it's the second basket quilt in that post), and I had to add it to the list. I've seen others working on it too. I like the Supergoof's pink and white blocks, and I bought a little of Connecting Threads' new Hampton Hues collection to add to fabrics from my stash. Another brand new project! And a big one...
  3. L'Herbier -- Two of the 16 embroidered blocks are done. I'm hoping this will move along easily, now that all the kinks are worked out.
  4. Texas Star -- There were only two choices in the category, this one or the setting for BFF. I guess BFF will be on hold for a while!
  5. A Kiss for Snowman -- I had an absolute craving for cross stitch over the break, and this is the project I've been working on. I did not choose a random number on this, I'm determined to get it done soon!
It will be interesting to see how this new approach works out. Two winter projects, just as summer is starting! Right now I'm feeling pretty motivated, so, fingers crossed!


  1. It's so good to have you back, you amazing woman. Your organisation is awesome. It makes me smile. I love the Jack Frost collection. Very tempting. I'm especially looking forward to your Texas Star and L'Herbier - but they all look promising.

    1. Thanks, Jillian, it's lovely to be back! Thanks for all your well wishes, too. :)

  2. Hi Monica. I've missed you and am happy you're back. I also hope that your health issues are under control and a thing of the past.

    Now, on to your impressive "to do" list. I love lists! And you're right, with prioritizing, (which lists force me to do) decisions have been made, so it's straight on to the stitching. On perusing your list, it appears that 2 out of your 5 projects are new. (Plus the first 2 photos on your post?) That looks like a happy medium to your New Years resolution. Looking forward to seeing which one comes up to "needle" first.

    1. Thanks very much! Yes, two of the five are new. The baskets are 2014 new (to me), but the flannel log cabin is an idea I've been tossing around for at least a year now.

      The maple leaves and the winter star are packed away now. The "machine pieced" category is by far the biggest. We'll see which one comes up next after the log cabin is completely done. At least, that's the plan!

  3. Welcome back! I hope your health issues are at least somewhat solved and you'll be back with us on a regular basis. I love your idea of the random picks for what to work on. I'm sure I'm not that disciplined. I didn't even get into the sewing room until after 4 pm today, not at all good.

  4. I'm hoping your health is on the road to recovery. LOVE your idea of using a random number generator to "prioritise" your to-do list - I may have to use that idea. I also get way too distracted and eager for new projects, my UFO list is enormous and growing by the second. It doesn't help that I've decided to make as many Christmas presents this year as possible. Oh well, we'll all get there, won't we (with an extra project or ten!)!!!

    1. At least you are starting with your Christmas presents now, Emily. Hopefully that will give you a fighting chance!

      Thanks for stopping by! I'm going to do my darnedest to stick to the list this time. I must finish more projects!

  5. so good to read you are back and feeling better, you certainly have a few lovely projects to work on here, wonder though whether you will be distracted and start others too, there is so much out there tempting us these days!! Love the batiks I was tempted and bought 8 half metres on saturday, only needed one piece to bind a quilt!

  6. Wonderful to have you back and feeling better. Your system sounds like a good one. Decision making can be a very stressful part of quilting for sure.:)


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