Temptation Procrastination


There’s something that seems to be common among most creative people/makers that I know. None of us can resist the siren’s call of new fabric and new quilt patterns and quilt-alongs. It causes us to throw aside everything we had planned on making to start something wonderfully new. I call that temptation procrastination.

Temptation procrastination is the reason I have 15 completed quilt tops, 2 quilted quilts awaiting binding, and 3 basted and partly quilted quilts languishing in baskets in my sewing room. Let’s not even get into my WIPs that are just cut fabric and various quilt blocks. I can’t count that high.

Is there are cure for this ailment? I think throwing some money at my problem and sending a few quilt tops off to longarmers is a good start.  Then I’ll need a few good shows on the DVR to hack away at that binding and some audio books to keep me company during basting and quilting the rest of that sad, neglected pile. I may not leave my house for the remainder of the year…

Tell me, are you a one-at-time kind of quilter? What are your secrets? I must know.

29 thoughts on “Temptation Procrastination

  1. Sarah says:

    I’m not a one-at-a-time quilter, but I’d sure like to know how they do it too! Currently, I’ve got 10 in boxes that have been relegated to the back burner, meaning I most likely won’t even look at them again until 2016; 3 that are basted and ready to quilt; 4 in various stages of cutting and piecing and one that I should finish binding today. All that to say I know how you feel! Maybe a one-at-a-timer will comment with the magic secret… we can only hope!

  2. Andrea_R says:

    I dunno, I have around 40 on the go projects myself. 😀 I work a bit on each and then suddenly I finish a bunch at once. People think I’m prolific this way but not really.

  3. Claire says:

    I used to never start something new until I had finished what I was working on. To me it is like not starting another book before finishing the one you are currently reading. Too easy to screw things up. But now, my husband and I operate a pet resort from our home so I haul my sewing machine and iron down to where the dogs play during the day so I can cut and piece at the same time but I can only quilt on my Tiara upstairs so I currently have a project part way quilted – never am upstairs long enough to get anything done on it, one project that is ready to be basted and today I have new fabric to be labeled and start to be cut out. So I guess I’ve crossed over to the dark side!

  4. marcella says:

    I have a closet full of partially made quilts. I’ve been working on finishing more of them this year but I really start too many new things to ever make a dent in that closet. I like bouncing from project to project depending upon what sort of sewing I’m in the mood for.

    My sister is a one quilt at a time girl. It’s her style and it makes her crazy I have projects that are years and years old and not finished because I haven’t been inspired yet with the right quilting pattern or something. I think it has to be your style to actually enjoy working that way – otherwise it becomes a job and not a joy.

    • Lisa says:

      So true! It is hard to find a balance where finishing things doesn’t feel like a burden sucking away the joy of quilting.

  5. Karee says:

    Wish I could help you with this dilemma but, alas, I am of the same ilk. Often times it works in my favor to stimulate ideas but it can, also, be a weight on my creative juices. So, I pick my least favorite project and finish it. I figure it is motivation and guilt removal all at the same time.

    • Lisa says:

      Ooh, least favorite? I don’t know if I have the strength of character for that. But I do need a system to prioritize!

  6. Karen says:

    Oh!! I am so glad to see this post! I am pretty new to quilting – just about two years now but cannot resist new fabric. I’m glad (and reassured) to read that it is quite normal. I have finished 5 quilts but I’m seeing where it’s going to be easy to begin a pile of WIPs!

  7. Melodee says:

    Always so refreshing to read blog posts like this, makes me feel better about my pile. The majority of my WIP’s haven’t even got to the cut stage, I pull fabric and put it in a bin with the pattern I want to make with it, and there it sits, then I see a new fabric and I have to get it before it goes away and another project pending bin is needed. Oh well.

    • Lisa says:

      I have several like that, too. The only good thing is you can change your mind easily about those ones and let the fabric be something else. And, you’re already packed to go on a retreat! Just pile a couple of those bins in the car and go.

  8. Carla says:

    As you kidding me? I have way too many projects half done, barely started, or sitting in the ‘next” pile! I just bought a bunch of new fabrics yesterday, and don’t even get me started on the yarn……..

    • Lisa says:

      That’s exactly why I have avoided taking up knitting and crochet. I know I’d just have another huge hoard of supplies I’ll never use. Yarn is so so tempting.

    • Lisa says:

      That’s exactly why I have avoided taking up knitting and crochet. I know I’d just have another huge hoard of supplies I’ll never use. Yarn is so so tempting.

  9. Linda K says:

    It’s the social side of quilt-alongs, classes, online bees, etc. that entice me to start something new and leave other projects unfinished. I usually want to finish, being the people-pleaser that I am. But if the personal connections don’t continue, it’s often easier to let those projects languish. Also, I love the planning-cutting-piecing part, and I love/hate the fmq part, and I love the binding part, but there’s a disconnect in the middle. Making a backing and layering the quilt is a pain!

      • rena says:

        Basting is very tedious. I have a method I made up. After making sure the batting and backing is big enough, I only baste in the middle, for about ten inches. I use pins, not safety pins, and yes, I get pricked a lot, but it is better than using safety pins which are tedious. Once I quilt the pin-basted part, I go back and baste another portion. That way, I am never too aggravated by too much basting, which is my veast favorite part.

  10. Chris says:

    I have to admit that I am a finish one and move on kinda gal! I’m not sure there is a “secret” to it other than just being a little bit OCD! LOL Don’t get me wrong, I have started and then abandoned several projects…..but then I usually throw them out or give them to someone else because I cannot stand to have unfinished things in my sewing room!! Silly, huh?

    Now…as far a buying new fabric……..I think if I lined up all of my fabric selvage to selvage, I could reach the moon and back several times!!!! I LOVE BUYING fabric!!! It’s a problem…I know! LOL

  11. Julie N says:

    I have been contemplating this whole quilting thing for awhile now. I have a small fortune in it and am beginning to slowly back away from purchasing more fabric because I know that it may sit languishing with what I already have for some time. I love fabric and my stash shows. I think I’d buy more fabric if there was a way to sell some of what I don’t want to use anymore. Fabric has gotten expensive. There is no doubt about it. The price makes this hobby which is so enjoyable, guilt ridden and that is no fun. I love the social part of quilting. It keeps us involved. When time constraints get in the way of that, it is easy to let projects sit. I have no answers. I feel great joy when I finish something and send it off to the longarmer. I’m trying to love binding – impossible, but doable.

  12. Jennifer says:

    I have the same thing here! Recently I have made a list of quilts I have started (20+). Then I put it in rough order of what I want to work on first. Then I made sub groups of three ‘Work On First’ quilts, then three ‘Work On Next’ quilts, and so on. I found it easier to break it all down a bit. Also, I have started going to ‘sit-n-sew’ classes so I can work through something properly, with others with the same idea. Hope this helps.

  13. Andrea says:

    My oldest unfinished project is a quilt I started for my brother in 1993. At last count (I’m in the middle of moving, have stuff in storage and at my mom’s house), I had 7 quilt tops ready for quilting, 5 that are almost finished quilt tops, and about 12 that are either just pieced blocks or cut out and some blocks pieced. After my very first 2 quilts (when I was 4, and when I was 11), I’ve always had multiple works in progress.

  14. Mary Beth LaRosa says:

    I like to finish what I start. I like to move things along from my limited storage space which is my small armoire. If it’s getting too crowded in there, I’ve got to finish something. Limit your storage space?? I also knit so I have to have some boundaries so I don’t have too much product around becoming not what I want anymore. I want to open up the doors and see what inspires me — if tastes do change. Plus prices are really escalating!! I’m working on a queen sized quilt now where I challenged myself to buy nothing new…no fabric, no batting, no thread….flash forward and it’s now basted and ready to quilt. Room being made in the armoire too. Very satisfying!!

  15. Mary Beth LaRosa says:

    A lot of piece big together bits took place. Batting, backing….but that made it all the more satisfying. I used it!! Space grew in my cabinet!

  16. Krista says:

    My mom doesn’t understand why I have so many wip. She is a finish it/cross it off the list person. I’m a “work on what makes me happy because this is what I do for fun” person. And often as not, what makes me happy is designing, pulling fabric, and sewing. What I least enjoy – preparing backing and basting. Makes for a lot of quilt tops. So currently I’ve arranged to take 6 to a long arm quilter tomorrow, I quilted and bound 2 this week, and I plan on quilting another 4 this month. Then I’m going to clean my sewing room and start creating again with a little room to breathe.

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