When I started seriously quilting, I was determined to finish each project I started without interruption or delay. That lasted through exactly zero projects. For various reasons, I’ve had stops and starts. The result is that I now have 8 incomplete quilts, most of them in the piecing stage. I have found that the biggest problem I face is that I’ve lost momentum on each of these quilts.
I have finished all the blocks for this Dresden Plate quilt top. Thank Goodness I finished the plates, because now I can’t find the template! If only I had stored my directions with the fabric, I’d know just what I planned for back, binding and setting squares.
To resume working on a quilt, I have to review all of the instructions (and modifications I’ve made), all of my work details, like seam width and pressing directions, color matches. etc. So I spend several hours finding my groove. If I’m really thorough in getting ready to resume work, there are only small inconsistencies in my finished project. However, some tweaks make lasting, unsightly changes.
I have more than one example of the culprits of which I speak. For example, my daughter’s beautiful king size quilt top I put aside half way through. Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t finish piecing it before Christmas. I started on it again in February when, to my disappointment, my 1/4″ seam became just a bit smaller. I didn’t realize my error until I had pieced an entire half of the top. I took several approaches to correct my mistake, but nothing disguised the change in seam allowances. Had I simply practiced and compared the seam allowances, my work would have been consistent. As it is, there is a degree of interest added, but I would have preferred to finish without the struggle of trying to make it look right.
You can count on having interruptions like mine. But putting down a quilt should include an effort in preparation, much like starting one. Mark cut pieces well, mark remaining fabrics in detail, enclose your pattern or instructions in a storage bag so they won’t get separated. Special templates should also be secured with the project. Ask me how I know. Keep threads, or at least thread colors, fabric names and manufacturers if possible. Mark clearly on your pattern (or on a copy) where you stopped working, and note what you need to do next. These precautions can help you pick up where you left off and regain momentum instead of struggling to remember and repair mistakes.
Please shop with me at MyFabricNook.com. Thanks and Happy Quilting,