Have you ever walked into your sewing space and been so overwhelmed by your various works-in-progress that you just turned around and walked right back out?
Don’t worry…we’ve all done it. When this happens to me I usually close the door to my sewing room, grab a sugary snack, and hide under a blanket while contemplating how I managed to have so many quilting projects.
Part of the fun of our hobby of quilting and sewing is finding new patterns that we’d like to make “someday.” We’ll buy the pattern, carefully select the fabric and notions, and start work on the project.
And then, invariably, “life” happens and we get distracted. Eventually, the project goes into a box or bin, or even just stays sitting out in your sewing room, making you feel guilty every time you walk into the room and see it sitting there.
The One Active Project Rule
One great method that I’ve used to combat this is the “One Active Project” rule. Here’s how I apply this rule.
I’m allowed to have ONE active project for each category of my quilting hobby. This allows enough flexibility to choose what type of sewing I’m in the mood for, without giving me so many options that I can’t make a choice.
I use the following categories:
- Machine Sewing
- This includes all of the cutting and sewing that’s needed to finish the quilt top. I sew on my trusty Bernina 930.
- Machine Quilting
- This includes all of the machine quilting on my Bernina Q20 sit-down mid-arm quilting machine.
- English Paper-Piecing
- This includes any ongoing English paper-piecing project, but typically means making my beloved flowers for later assembly into some variation of a Grandmother’s Flower Garden. (Here’s a quick tutorial if you’re interested trying English paper-piecing!)
- Hand Quilting
- This includes hand-quilting, which I typically reserve for English paper-piecing projects.
- Non-quilt Sewing
- This might be a project from our book, clothing, or a bag.
I really like the One Active Project Rule because it allows me to make a choice based on what kind of sewing I’m in the mood for, but doesn’t allow me to consider all of the unfinished projects that live in my sewing room.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you avoid the overwhelm and decide which projects to active work on! Comment below with your own tips and tricks for keeping that sewing momentum going and determining which project to work on each day!