Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Year of the PIGS - 5/4

Let me start off by saying that I am being a bad hostess! I still haven't made Tracy's February prize and I still haven't picked the April winner. I promise that I will pick a prize for April and post it and the winner by Friday! I've been sewing and online so I have no excuse for slacking. I think it's the weather... too much rain here!

This week, we will be discussing Leaders and Enders and whether you multitask when quilting. Do you work on one project at a time or are you better when you are juggling 2 or more?

I used to be the type of quilter who only worked on one project at a time. I would get everything cut out and start piecing the blocks. If it was an interesting block and design, I could usually get the blocks done fairly quickly and then I would inevitably stall out on the borders. Then, everything would be packed up and it would be stuck back in the stash room and something new would be started.

When I was working this way, I rarely finished anything, but was always starting something new. The only way that anything would get done is if there was a challenge going on or something had a due date since it was going to 'live' somewhere other than with me.

Last summer, I started reading Amy S.'s blog. I was amazed that she seemed to get so much done - in one week, she got like 5 quilt tops assembled! I started paying attention and realized that she works on like 3 or 5 projects at a time and it was like a light bulb went off...

Why couldn't I do that? Just work on what strikes my fancy? Have 3 projects "In Progress" and work on whichever is in the place that I want to work... A little piecing for a couple of nights, pressing and then more piecing... Sounded like a great plan!

At that time, I pulled out a few things that I wanted to work on and I cut a new project to use as a Leader/Ender (L/E) project and I got to work. My first L/E was the Split Decision. Unfortunately, once I got all of the first part of those blocks sewn together, I couldn't wait to get them all pieced so there went my L/E project!

I have been working in this fashion (3-5 projects going at once) since mid or late summer 2010 and it seems to be working out for me. I am not finding myself getting bored with anything and I think that I am having enough of a variety that I am constantly wanting to sew now. Considering all of my UFOs, this is a great thing!

Now, it's getting a little out of control though... Here's a picture I took last night of my 'Staging Area,' the space that is behind me when I am at my sewing table that holds the projects that are In Progress.


As I have been emptying ArtBins, I have left them on the Staging Area and then just been putting new projects in them. And here is what I mean by out of control...

The stack on the left side of the picture, from top to bottom, is: a couple of finished mug rugs, a Project Linus quilt that needs binding, my Midgets binder with blocks, the May UFO, the fabric for the 2011 SIS swap, and the 2010 Mystery quilt block binder.

In the middle, some miscellaneous items, rice for rice bags, the blocks and fabric from my Gayle Bong workshop, pieces for the second Poinsettia table runner, and the flannel hexagon quilt.

On the right, fabric for the Organic Challenge, dog fabric for a 5 yard quilt, Fresh Flowers fabric for a quilt and runner, the Which Witch wall hangings, and the Super Secret Quilt leftover fabric.

And not shown is the April UFO which was the Paris in the Fall BOM that I finished cutting on Saturday. Also not shown is the Star Struck that just needs borders and binding made to be moved into the To Be Quilted stack.

I think there is a method to my madness! I'm going to figure out which of these projects I want to get serious about and then move the rest back to the stash room. This part will be easier once I make my bedroom the current stash room and then all of my stash is in the new sewing room. :)

As it is, I think that my answer to the question for the week is, "Variety is the spice of life!" It's what is working for me right now. :)

Anyone can participate in the answering, just make a post on your blog and leave a link to your post below. I will draw a winner at the end of the month. If you don't have a blog, leave your answer as a comment on this post and enter your name in Mr Linky as "You Name - COMMENT."


Kate said...

It doesn't look too out of control, you at least know what you have and where it's at. And you've been finishing things. You must just have lots of creative juices you need to use up!

Deanna said...

I constantly have to remind myself of what a short time you have been quilting, and maybe you should remember, too. You are still in the early stage where one must figure out what works best for that individual person. It sounds to me like you are making good progress and accomplishing a lot.

Deb A said...

I think you know what 'works' for you. Having different projects in different stages you can pull to work on has really helped me get things done. Glad you found a system that is working for you!

Libby said...

I think you have everything under control!

elizabeth said...

I to like working for several things at once, unless it is something that I have to have completed by a deadline. I sometimes use l/e which are pieces to a quilt top that I am working on also. Right now I have several craft items going: clothes for my grandaughter, 4 scrapbooks, a couple quilt tops, crocheting, knitting, etc. This way I never get board...Happy Quilting

Julianne said...

love the topic hopefully leaders and enders will be a sucess

butrfly2200 said...

I always have more than 2 projects on the go. One of them is always a "leader/enders" project. That one is usually a foundation scrap quilt block idea. I make my charity quilts with them. I do have trouble finishing things up though.
I tried to enter info into Mister Linky but the url stuff did not work, even when I started with what was suggested. I must be doing something wrong. I don't know how to leave a link to my post other then put my addy here. is my blog.
I do enjoy reading your blog Jill. Thanks for sharing everything with us. I used to blog alot more a couple of years ago, now I have to reminded myself to get to it.
:)Carol near Calgary, Alberta, Canada

InfinityQuilter/Knitter said...

Chaos is the word I would use for MY quilting. It's like the Lays' potato chips, I can't make just one (at a time). :0(