So many quilters have unfinished projects boxed away in closets, shoved under beds or any place we put them so we won’t be reminded of them. Over the years I have had plenty unfinished projects. Thinking about the waste of money, fabric and tie just made me sad and a little embarrassed. Why could I finish some projects but not others? What things did I do that helped me finished projects and what things did I do that caused me to abandon projects?
Watch the video to hear how a batch of Holiday Biscotti helped me develop the steps I needed to finish all my projects.
Here are the 5 steps:
1. Gather and Prepare
Before you start any project, be sure you are committed to it. Do you really want to do this at this time? Once you decide to make a project, look through the pattern to become familiar with it then gather all the supplies you’ll need including thread, rulers, special tools or textiles. Put everything in one place such as a box, bin or plastic bag.
Think of it like you’re going to a deserted island to work on this project and you cannot leave until the top is finished. Once everything is gathered, start preparing what you can. This includes things like preparing all the papers for paper piecing or cutting templates. If you don’t have something, make a list to make sure you buy in the second step.
2. Choose Fabric
I know most of us start with the faric but ry to make it your second step. Think of fabric as the ingredients in biscotti. You can’t add the ingredients unless you have something to measure them, something to mix them in and something to mix them with. So purchase or gather all your fabric and anything on your list from step 1. Don’t forget the binding. If you pre-wash your fabric, do that now. Prepare your fabric so it’s ready for cutting.
3. Cutting and Organizing Fabric
Now you can start cutting EVERYTHING you need. Cut up all your fabric, including the binding. There are two reasons for cutting all your fabric. First, if you cut it all now, you won’t have to stop later to do it. Second, if you make a cutting mistake or you purchased the wrong amount, you can go back to the quilt shop and hope some of the fabric is still there. It may not be there later.
If you nee 253 squares, then cut them all now and divide them into smaller bags for easy piecing. Think about blocks of the month and how everything you need for one block is in one bag. If the blocks are all the same, you could put everything you need for, say 5 blocks, into one bag. I call these Grab and Sew bags because I can grab one bag from the project and sew it up.
Now you have everything you need and your fabric is cut. If you have Grab and Sew bags, grab one and start sewing. Got 10 minutes to sew? Start where you left off and sew for 10 minutes. Got a day to sew? Finish one bag then go to the next. You will see progress because you have everything you need, ready to sew.
The final step is the assemble all the blocks or units you have pieced. This is where blocks become tops and the project is finished. Show that quilt top at guild meeting, snap a picture and share it with your friends.
Since I have started following these steps, I have finished every project I started. All of the workshops here at QuiltNotes follow these steps as you progress from lesson to lesson.
Completing a quilt top with our lessons is simple:
- Choose your workshop.
- Register and receive immediate access to all lessons.
- Construct your quilt top as you follow each lesson.
P.S. Here is a link to Giana’s Holiday Biscotti recipe. We didn’t chop the pistachios, we put them in whole and we never added the chocolate and sprinkles at the end.