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The Stash Is Winning - Episode 6

Posted by Dawn Hunter on

So to recap from last time; I have 138 total projects on the list, 49 of which are started and therefore UFO’s. 

            In desperation to finish some quilts, I decide that I need some help.  Remember those five quilt tops from the guild retreat?  Well I quilt one and give it to a relative for her birthday and then start shipping the others, one at a time, to a longarm friend.  She quilts the next one while I’m binding the last one.  In this way, I actually manage to get three more quilts finished and off the list.  Also finished quickly is a cute little novelty throw that was made from a cut up panel and then given a loose meander quilting to finish it up.  Oh my goodness – five quilts done!

            Almost dizzy with my success, I turn my attention to a mystery quilt that has been sitting around in pieces for a while (and not on the list yet, either).  I get the top together but then am stumped as to how to quilt it.  And I don’t have any backing yet since I was just worried about the top fabrics.  Hmmm.  Maybe we’ll set this one aside for now.

            What next?  Although I work on several things over a couple of weeks (borders on one, piecing on another, etc.) nothing seems to come together and have any real progress to report.  I really need to concentrate on one or two things and see what can happen.  So which one or two things?  I have no idea.  Apparently I need a sew day to kick things into gear.

            Which got me to go to one of my sew groups recently even though it took me 20 minutes to figure out what to take to work on.  I ended up with a challenge quilt from last year, a lovely two-color gradated pineapple miniature.  I haven’t touched this sucker in almost a year because once I missed the challenge deadline there didn’t seem to be any point in working on it.  One of the other people at the sew day was going on about how she had nine quilt tops that were waiting to be quilted.  NINE!  Everyone else in the room kind of looked at her; then looked at me.  “Do you know who you’re talking to?” they say.  “Yes, but nine!” she replies.  I smile, “I think I’m somewhere in the 40’s”.

            And the thing is, even though I’ve finished 8 projects so far this year I still don’t really feel like I’ve done all that much.  I come to this realization because our local county fair is coming up soon.  Like, I have to fill out my entry form by the end of the week soon.  I have no idea what I’m going to put in.  The most impressive thing that I’ve finished so far is a bed quilt that was a gift and it’s gone now.

            Don’t get me wrong – lack of entries doesn’t usually stop me.  I am the queen of entering unfinished projects and then trying to finish them before they have to be turned in for judging.  I’ve been known to put binding on a quilt at 3:00 when the drop-off window opens at 5:00.  And sometimes I don’t finish in time, but there’s always next year.

            So what’s close to finished?  I’ve been dinking around on a wall hanging that just needs to be quilted now.  It’s an applique umbrella with a robin and some flowers and leaves around it.  I was going to quilt in some raindrops and a swirling breeze and call it good.  Oh, but maybe some sun rays coming in from the top corner.  And then where the sun rays meet the raindrops maybe I could get a rainbow in there.  Now do I quilt the rainbow or stencil one?  Or bead one?  Or put it behind the quilt top to mute the colors and then layer the sandwich for quilting?  Okay, this one’s a lot farther from finished than I thought.  Maybe I should look for something else.

            If I really buckle down, maybe the aforementioned challenge quilt could be finished.  It only has 16 blocks and four of them are already done.  Six, if you count the four half blocks that I did at the sew day.  Huzzah!  Put it on the entry form!

            Hmmm…shortly after the county fair is my Guild’s annual quilt show.  I also have to start thinking about what I have to put in there.  The mystery quilt obviously, but then what?  Drat!  I really need to get working on getting things done.

            So now I’m down to 134 projects, 46 of which have been started.  It’s funny that every time I write this column there seems to be one truth: when the numbers go down (like this time) I don’t seem to feel like I had a good month, but when the numbers go up  (like most columns) I generally had a good time and feel like I accomplished something.  Strange.

            What am I trying to accomplish?  I think a list of zero is a little unrealistic, at least for me.  I think my goal at this point is to get down to 99 project bags, started or not.  If I were to only work on those 46 UFO’s (not likely) I would have less than 100 project bags at some point.  Well why not?  At least it’s a goal to shoot for.  Wish me luck!

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