How do you work?

I was reading Ruth’s blog and she mentioned that she works on one quilt at time. As I started to make a to do list to finish out the week I realized that this week is a perfect example of how I work. I have a binding to finish, I finished piecing blocks and am in the process of assembling the RWB top, and I had a HeartStrings top loaded that I quilted today.

My best day quilting is one where I’m doing a bit of everything and seeing progress being made on a piecing project, a quilting project, and finishing up a binding.

Here’s today quilting project – a donated top from Deborah. I quilted Wonky Feathers from the Pajama Quilter DVD – and it’s now ready to be trimmed and bound.

I also finished up the blocks for this RWB Rail fence and started assembling the top. After consulting with Alycia about the size of the quilt – I won’t be putting a border on this one although I do love the pieced border in my original design – I’ll have to do this in a different colorway and use the border for another quilt.

So what’s the optimum number of projects for you to be actively working on??

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  1. Vicki quietly says 34 and nothing more about it?? I’m so curious how she does that. (Maybe she thought you asked for her bra size.) I normally work on 3-4 projects at a time, (although I certainly can have 34 of them in various stages – maybe that’s what Vicki meant. Or maybe she forgot to put in the space between the 3 and the 4). I canNOT just work on one at a time. I wish I could, but my attention wanders way too easily. My mom quilts that way.. one at a time. She even shops that way, so has almost no stash to speak of.

  2. I generally work one or two at a time. Then again, I do not chew gum and try to cross a street at the same time…lousy at focus if I have too much going on.

  3. I don’t know my optimal number, but I like to be working on several projects of different styles, or at least that are in different places in the process. I think I must bore easily! And sometimes I get stumped, or I just need some perspective, so I like having something else to move to. Some days I feel creative and some days I just want straightforward work.

  4. I used to be like Ruth and finish one thing before starting the next! now I have too many on the go to count but don’t seem to be making much progress on any of them!!

  5. Oh my, I don’t have as many as Vicki!!! ROFL I might have that many UFO’s! I would have to say I’m like Mary, I have one being quilted, two on the design wall, one to hand sew the binding down. A set of blocks on the ironing board to be trimmed. That makes five.

  6. I’m with Cheri — short attention span! I don’t know if I quite want to work on 34 projects at once (although I might admit to a total of 34 UFOs) but I always like to have at least 5 (or 10) things to choose from.

  7. I have no rule on number. I love to start things, then I get bogged down midway a lot. I really like the planning and cutting part, I like samplers that break up the monotony of piecing, quilting frustrates me, and binding just goes slow because I like it done by hand. But when I actually finish things, I LOVE them. So lots of half done projects sitting around here!

  8. An interesting question! A lot depends on my mood, i.e. what’s going on in my life. Ideally, I like to run 2 similar ones and 1 different one through the machine at the same time. The 2 similar give me a “2 fer 1” feeling of accomplishment and the different one livens things up. However, a more complicated pattern might be enough to keep my attention by itself until it is done.One in process on the cutting board helps to spread out the rotary work which I am finding increasingly uncomfortable.–and gets me up off the sewing chair for a bit.

  9. LOVE those wonky rail fences and thanks for providing the instructions too 🙂I usually tend to work on one quilt at a time, but at the moment I’m just piecing. Soon I will have 3 tops that need quilting!!!Lovely that we do have variety of activity with quilting 🙂

  10. What a question! I always have lots on the go, I never know what I’m going to feel like doing so ( like to keep my options open. Wish I didn’t have quite so many, but I do like variety (and little finishes too!)

  11. I doubt that it is optimal, but I like to have several. I like to have something ready for piecing, something ready for cutting, etc.I have no idea the real number… (I apparently can’t include binding in that equation, because the quilts that I was waiting until winter to bind – never got bound…)

  12. Oh, & must add – something with a concrete deadline! (So that I actually do something even if I am not in the mood, because it usually has a carry-over effect.)

  13. I usually work on 2 to 3 projects at a time. I am famous for deciding at the last minute to sew up a quilt as a gift so that increases the stress and the numbers I am working on.

  14. Wait…there is an optimum number? Really? Darn it, I knew I was doing something wrong! I don’t like to count. Actively working on…hmmmm, many, does that count? Too many to count. There you go!

  15. ONE?…no way. I’d never get it finished and I’ve tried that. HATED it. I love the 34 answer!Seriously with all the BOMS and stuff I think I have about 12 or so going right now and I LOVE it! Block here and there, quilting on one, binding on another. keeps it interesting and fresh.

  16. I have several UFO’s in various stages of completion. But, during any given day, I only work on one thing at a time. I am not a very good multi-tasker. When I do that I feel like I don’t accomplish anything. Of course, if I had a dedicated quilting machine on a frame, I might switch back and forth between quilting and piecing.Interesting question, thanks for asking.

  17. My optimum number is usually 3 to 4 projects at a time. But it seems I like to start more projects than finishing, so I might have to adapt to Ruth’s method for now.RWB Railfence looks great!

  18. I’m going to visit Vicki W to see if she meant 34 or 3-4!Seems 3-4 is the ‘normal’ number of projects, and most of us work similarly.One or two actively in process, one almost ready to cut/sew, another just about done (needs binding and label)! Oh yes, and I usually have one almost finished on the living room floor – hey it looks better than the carpet! The interesting thing about comments is that a lot of us wait for the ‘right’ moment to strike to forge ahead on something! Good questionm Mary.

  19. That’s a difficult answer. I always have 2 ready for binding. In fact, I work on bindings while waiting at the pool in the AM for almost 3hrs.I have probably 5-6 waiting to go on the frame for quilting.I have 4 waiting to be pieced.I have at least 80+ UFO’s in the wings.So my wild number must be clost to a 100. I always have something in one stage or another.What size does Alycia need?

  20. I usually have one in the hoop for hand quilting in the evenings and one I’m piecing. I have to have one pieced and ready for the hoop before I finish the hand quilting on the first, or I go berserk.

  21. Good question Mary. I am glad to see that there are alot of us who have many things going on at the same time. That’s how I am. While I am working on one, I am thinking about another one I could be working on.Sometimes I have to make myself just concentrate on one thing to get it done. Oh, the woes of quilting!!!!!!Diane in Alaska

  22. So, you are the wonderful lady with the fantastic website! Thank you for sharing your projects and patterns. My purple string quilt is turning out beautifully. As for your question, I usually have 3-4 projects going at one time. ~Cecilia

  23. I’m like you, I normally have several projects going at various stages. A person in my quilting group calls me the Pinball Quilter because I keep going back and forth to different projects. ;0)

  24. Definitely more than one at a time. I sometimes have two projects at the machine at the same time. Never one at a time. Love Vicky’s answer. I can totally relate to that!This RWB Rail fence is wonderful!Your new photo spot is super! Thanks for showing us!

  25. Lots…i love working on many projects at a time…feeds my creativity. Also, I’m a starter…not a finisher. I usually need a deadline or an occasion to finish something.

  26. I guess I make sure I always have one hand quilt going and one machine quilt going. That way I can be social and quilt or go upstairs and sew in the sewing room alone if I want to. Right now I guess I have 8 quilts going at one time…

  27. I have to admit that with my next quilt I’ll also be doing a leaders and enders project and so will have 2 on the go. This is branching out for me lol!

  28. I used to start lots of projects and then pick away at them… now it seems that I am just picking away at the started projects and whittling my UFO pile away. The reason why I like to START new projects is because cutting/sewing blocks doesn’t really take up too much room and I can do it here and there. Once the top needs to be set together, I need a block of time to lay it out, pin it, sew… and the floor space, etc. As far as sewing clothes – once I start a project I am anxious to finish it as quickly as possible because mostly I sew for my son and he just keeps growing and growing!Cheers!Evelyn

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