Hello friends, and happy Monday. I hope you are all well and safe at home. The other day I decided to put some of my projects with deadlines aside for just a bit and work on one of my long-term works in progress. I had a lot of fun making just a few new blocks for this project and thought that perhaps a discussion about tips and tricks for works in progress was in order. And then I decided to film a video on the subject. So I hope you’ll enjoy today’s thoughts with my Best Tips for Works in Progress.
Best Tips for Works in Progress
Like most quilters, I have several different projects going on (and in different stages of completion) at any given time. Some projects are those I want to finish quickly because either the project has a deadline, or I want to use it or gift it right away. Other projects are those that I know might take a few months or even a few years. I believe it’s good to have all of these types of works in progress, and I use a few different ways to keep them organized and keep myself on track so I don’t end up with too many.
Works in Progress Tips Video
Watch my video above or from my YouTube channel where I walk you through my best tips and ideas for keeping up with Works in Progress. I hope you’ll enjoy my thoughts and ideas on this topic. And read on for more information and links to some of the things I mentioned in the video.
1. Use a System to Track Current Projects.
Whether your system is a list in a notebook or on your phone, it really helps to keep track of the projects you’re working on. I try to keep personal works in progress to 12 or fewer and make a new list at the beginning of each year. I love the free PDF Works in Progress from American Patchwork & Quilting each year. Download and print your free copy for 2023here.
2. Keep Works in Progress Easily Accessible.
I keep most of my works in progress either in drawers, bins, baskets or project bags. It is much easier to work on a project periodically when everything needed for that project can be readily found in one place. I keep fabrics, my pattern, and any specialty tools or notions needed for that project together. Not only does storing works in progress this way make it easier to work on these projects at home, but it also makes it easier to take a work in progress along when traveling to a quilt retreat or vacation. Here are links to some of the products I shared in the video:
3. Make a Project “Cheat Sheet.”
You can see an example of a project cheat sheet in my video, but basically what I do is make a simplified cutting and sewing list that I keep handy and store with the pattern and fabrics. That way I don’t need to open up the pattern to look for size or cutting information. My cheat sheet for my Village house quilt includes the sizes I need to cut for houses, doors, and roofs.
4. Work Ahead…
At the end of a works in progress sewing session I try to leave something that can be easily put together the next time I sew. While working on my Village house blocks the other day I realized I had cut extra roof pieces. So I pieced and trimmed five extra roof sections. The next time I pull out this project I’ll be able to easily put 5 more houses together since the roofs are ready to go!
5. Set Up a Regular Review Schedule.
If you review works in progress on a regular basis you’ll be more likely to keep them in mind and get them worked on regularly. I suggest making a quick monthly review, and if that seems overwhelming, make a quarterly review at the very minimum. Then, do a major review of projects each year. As I was filming the video for you I remembered a couple of works in progress I need to update and a couple that need to be added to my list.
6. Plan for Works in Progress Sew Days.
Along with reviewing the projects on your list regularly, it makes good sense to plan for days when you can sew works in progress projects. Perhaps you could dedicate one Saturday a month to working on these projects. Or use a certain day of the week for that type of sewing. Of course whenever you head out on vacation or retreat (yes, we will do that again in the future!) it’s always a good idea to take along a work in progress project or two.
I hope you enjoyed today’s discussion and video on my Best Tips for Works in Progress. Happy quilting, and thanks so much for stopping by!