10 months ago I confidently announced my goal for 2013 was to finish 13 of my oldest unfinished quilt projects (UFQ's). In case you've lost track, so far I've finished two completely and they are terrific. I've taken two stacks of quilt blocks and assembled them into tops and they are ready to quilt. One I sold and another is about to be aborted -- it's not cut yet, so it's easy to do. The seventh one is layered and ready to quilt. That leaves 6 with no progress made what so ever. That's not the place I was hoping to be at the end of November!
So I've been thinking about why I've made so little progress on these projects. I liked all of them when I started them. Some were teaching samples. Five were gifts for family members. A couple were just because I liked the pattern. In general, all of them are somewhere between 15 and 25 years old (groaning in the background).
According to my daily work journal, I've finished 40 projects this year and at this point I'm 9 ahead of last year -- I could hit the 50 mark this year as December is annually a frenzied work time for me. So what is going on I'm wondering?
After some pondering, I've realized that a deadline, a very firm deadline, or a purpose has always been a major reason for me to finish a project. Of the UFQ's on my list that did have deadlines, they are long past. Five of them are intended for specific people (one is now finished).
So what to do? A younger Mary Huey would have made a run for goal and pushed everything aside for the rest of the year to meet it. But a more realistic Mary Huey is saying -- "get real". The question now becomes, admit defeat or modify the goal. And because the progress I've made has been satisfying, I pick "modify the goal".
Of the 23 quilted projects I've finished this year, 6 of them have been UFQ's (only two were on my target list) -- that's 25%. Last year, I finished 25 quilted projects and only 2 were UFQ's (8%). So that a lot of improvement -- I've tripled my UFQ output! (Fact -- Positive annual reviews build staff morale.) Because I've hand-quilted two quilts this year, I know finishing a third one in the new year is possible. Because I've assembled 4 stacks of old blocks into quilt tops this year, I'll be able to manage the other stacks of blocks. Because I machine quilted 3 really old projects this fall (also not on the target list), I'll get through more of that pile of tops.
And most important of all (at this point in my life), I need to designate a purpose for my UFQ's -- if purpose motivates action for me, then I need to capitalize on that. I accept that some of my UFQ's will outlive me, but at this point I'm determined that they will all be quilt tops with a backing and binding and someone's name on them so they don't end their lives in my household on the yard sale table!!
Now I have to go quilt!