2018 Final Countdown, Task Three

Posted on December 31, 2018 by prairiemoonquilts in Challenges, Organizing, Studio Organizing Challenge

Time for the final task of this year’s Final Countdown — that went fast!

You have all been working hard! I can tell from the comments, the blog post links, the photos I’ve seen, and the emails I’ve been getting — and just let me say right now, I’m sooo comforted to know that I’m not alone on any of this! Whew! You are all my kindred spirits in the quilting world — haha!

For our last task, I like to take the physical labor out, since the first two are generally hard work — at least for me!

With this final task, we’ll have to engage our brains a bit, put on our thinking caps, and make some decisions (decisions are difficult for me — how about you?). Today, for our final task, we are going to:

Perform a Project Assessment

There, I tried to make it sound fancy. What we’ll be doing is taking stock . . . doing inventory . . . gathering up . . . listing . . . un-listing . . . pondering . . . deciding . . .

Take a good hard look at all your current projects, even those that are merely on your wish list and may not even be started yet.

I’m a pile maker, but I’m also a list maker. I have lists everywhere, but the most thorough of my project lists is on my computer . . . as a spreadsheet . . . that just keeps getting larger every year. At the end of last year, I had 136 quilt projects on my list. This year (in spite of the ones I finished), as I’ve found ones I’d forgotten about when unpacking, or started more (which I do way too easily and way too often), that number has stayed exactly the same! I need it to go down — a LOT!

In my defense, that number has been much higher in previous years, so having it this low is good for me, but I still want it lower. Part of my problem is not having enough time in my longarm schedule to quilt my own quilts, but that’s a whole ‘nother issue I’m not dealing with right now.

But if you push those unquilted tops aside (all 44 of them), I still have a LOT — too many — projects going. It’s time to pull out that “ruthless” card again and go over my list with an even more critical eye than I have in the past.

Here are some of the questions I’m asking myself as I go through my list of projects:

  • • Do I even want to finish this?
  • • Do I want to finish it, but perhaps make it smaller, so it gets finished faster?
  • • Why am I stuck on this one? What is missing that is keeping me from moving it forward?
  • • Would I rather be tarred and feathered than look at this one any more?
  • • Did I bite off more than I can chew? Do I need to learn or brush up on a technique in order for this one to be finished?
  • • Do I need or want to change something to make it different so I’ll like it better and want to finish it? Or should I just let it go now?

So, if you also have a list of too many projects, and it’s bothering you, maybe you need to ask yourself these same questions?

Or conversely, if your list isn’t bothering you, and makes you downright happy, leave it alone and just keep right on working on it!

I’ll also be making some new lists for 2019, and I may share some of those with you in upcoming posts. I encourage you to make a new list and add some new projects to it, too! You know you’re gonna see something new you want to make or want to learn, or want to join in on, and that’s great — it helps you grow as a quilter, and that’s a good thing!

So this is basically a really easy task, but I’m doing it because I want my list to be organized going into the new year. I want to know what I still have left to work on, and I want to try to keep myself from adding in too many more projects before I’ve finished some of these. I’m devising a plan for that, and I’ll update you during the wrap up on the 7th.

So get out your pen and paper, or your computer spreadsheet, and have fun with your project assessment!

30 responses to “2018 Final Countdown, Task Three”

  1. Judy S. says:

    Can you believe it? This task was actually on my to-do list for today. Our guild has a UFO challenge every year, so had planned to get that done, then pull out all of those bundles of fabric tied together with a sticky note on top and list them too. I guess they are not technically UFOs because they are not cut out, but it’s my rules and I say they are!

  2. mimisdarlins says:

    I have an ongoing project to-do list but haven’t revised it in awhile, so this is a good one for me to deal with. I actually find this enjoyable since it lets me revisit old projects that I still love. I think I’ll use this challenge to re-prioritize as well.

  3. Tonia says:

    I knew you would encourage us to do this! And in the past I have really enjoyed this part of the countdown because, not only am I a list maker, it is so encouraging to cross something off (like the brown Salsa quilt that I made in 2016, started quilting and got fussed up over in 2017, looked at as it looked back at me saying, “you really need to finish me this year–it’s a learning process to quilt on your little machine–just get going and DO IT”, and so last month it was FINISHED, and we love it! And, I loved not having it at the top of the list one more time! Now that my workspace is cleared I can find the UFO aka Scarlett box and finish up those, too. All things are possible—thanks for the encouragement each year!

  4. Cathy Wight says:

    Getting ready for company for the early evening so won’t get to this until tomorrow. I’ll post results then.

  5. Sharon says:

    I’m a list maker, too, and also use a spreadsheet. I finished this and last night sent my total UFO’s carrying into 2019 – 56 – to the Yahoo UFO group leader. I also pulled out the UFO numbers that were pulled for January numbers challenge, and should be able to finish one – a Christmas packages quilt which just needs trimming and binding. The other is a kind of Drunkard’s Path which has the pie and square pieces zigzagged together and that edge covered with a bias strip. I should be able to at least make good progress on that one.
    Thanks for challenging and encouraging us.

  6. My guild has a yearly UFO challenge, so I had been working on this list – having all the projects in nice tidy boxes made it easier. I did evaluate, and changed up one project that I was stalled on because I just didn’t like a part of the block. It’s now sitting on the sewing machine because I can’t wait to work on it again! Also made a spreadsheet to hang in my sewing room to keep track of where each project was in development. Thanks for the challenge!

  7. Kate says:

    This is a tough one….I know I need more “me” time in order to whittle down my list and due to some medical issues with my DH, that isn’t about to change for a couple of months. So, I will gallantly make my list, promising myself that as soon as DH is back up and running again, I will settle myself in my sewing area and work on my TO DO list. Good to have something to look forward to when the light is at the end of the tunnel.

  8. Karrin Hurd says:

    I was actually thinking about doing this week. Thanks for giving me the questions I should be asking. I have been weeding out my books and setting some aside to donate or sell

  9. Barbara W. says:

    Lists are great but can sometimes get lost. I think a Whiteboard might work for me, with the basic info. Like project name, a completion date (if applicable) and any supplies or materials still needed to complete. A more detailed list will be kept on my computer but the Whiteboard is a visible reminder that I can see everyday. I think it will be quite helpful!

  10. Shirley Guier says:

    I make a list too. One of the best times is when I clean up and the new year. I had already done my list for next year since I cleaned at Christmas. I did take it and my old list and refine it a bit. I realized that most of my projects never make it to the list! Victoria kept me busy last year! I am slowly getting old projects completed so I am making progress.

  11. Diane Jarvis says:

    I have never sat down and compiled a complete.lost of the projects I have started (purchased a pattern, kit or fabric for) so decided that is what my list will be. I am keeping it on my cell phone so I will have it with me. Maybe that will help be a deterrent to purchasing more!!

  12. Katie Z. says:

    Several years ago, Vicki Welsh started a UFO challenge, and each month we reported how many projects we had rolling along. At one point, I had 40 or so, but I found publishing that list every month spurred me on to finish all those abandoned, little things. As of today, I have 7, three of which just hang out as now is not their time. I will add new projects in the coming year, of course, but I think I’m most comfortable with less than 15 started. At least, that’s where I am today.

  13. Meloney says:

    I have my lists made and have lots of things I want to accomplish in 2019.
    I’m looking forward to that experience.
    2018 was a good quilting year.
    https://melsquiltingblog.blogspot.com/2018/12/ending-2018.html

  14. Randy says:

    you may have trained us pretty well I have started and will work more on… a list I my computer with little images of blocks and idea bits I have stockpiled from being on line… I have a paper list that is to do right away. I still find my self woking on something not on either list… They do keep me tethered.

  15. Stephanie says:

    This is my favorite task of all. I redo my list every NYE as part of my year-end wrap. Last year my UFO list had 138 items. I finished 57 in 2018, and by some sort of evil magical mischief, my redone list for this year has 140. Amazing!
    I am happy enough, even though there are still some well-ages ones on there. Maybe this year a few of those oldies will be done and donated away.

  16. Cathy Poyner says:

    I have already done this one. I have 39 projects on my UFO list. I have a 12 project list with the guild as well as American Patchwork and Quilting. I am working on project 3 for that list which is a rag quilt that has been on my list for 3 years now. Yesterday, I also made a jelly roll race top and organized my North Star quilt. Thanks for doing this final countdown every year I look forward to doing it.

  17. Sandy says:

    I am participating in two UFO challenges this year, and my lists are set. Last year’s UFO list was to complete tops. This year, I will finish them, and those table toppers I mentioned. I would like to start a new project from my many choices, one that I really want to do, not feel like I need to do. I am not signing up for any BOMs or monthly clubs this year, due to my apparent inability to keep up, and because I am horse poor.

  18. Janet M Smith says:

    What do you do with projects that you don’t want to finish. All of it is cut out, some blocks are made, some units are made. I don’t want to take anything apart and remake it. I just don’t want it. Anyone else have this issue?

    • Susan Nixon says:

      Lots of people do, judging by the number of half finished projects which are donated to me to finish for American Heroes. =) I had four just last month. You can find a charity which will take projects almost anywhere.

  19. Janet M Smith says:

    I finished the task and updated my list. Found that I was doing 5 projects that needed to be on my list, and I made an executive decision to not finish one project. Final count 40 ongoing projects, 21 of which need to be quilted. I do most of my own quilting so…..it’s hard to quilt and piece at the same time, although I do have several machines, but there is still only one me.

  20. Bonnie Epperson says:

    I have not got any visible progress on this in written form yet. I recently worked on getting the ufo’s and the projects not started organized into a common space. That should help me get it written on a spreadsheet. I am glad we have until Jan 7 to finish.

  21. Susan says:

    So far, I have THREE lists – one that is definite 12 UFOs to finish, one that is non-quilting things to accomplish, and one that is on-going and new projects to do this year. I thought I might be in trouble, but I’m not up to 136 yet, so I am okay. LOL Best of luck on reducing YOUR lists this year.

  22. Louise says:

    I started keeping lists of my projects s few years ago. I keep it updated all the time. Right now there are way too many unfinished projects on it. I will prioritize the list tomorrow and then start finishing things. I finished a knitted cowl today – my first finish for 2019.

  23. KT says:

    Was waiting for the reveal of Bonnie Hunter’s mystery quilt before finalizing my plan–love it, so it’s staying on the list, one of 31 projects! Yikes! The plan is to get that number down to under 25 by the end of the year. Biggest holdup is the quilting–guess I enjoy the piecing more than the quilting! But I have a plan, and hopefully I’ll stick to it!

  24. Sandra says:

    I began this year listing projects with American Patchwork and Quilting UFO Challenge form. It’s good to have projects listed as I have forgotten some I had.

  25. Virginia Smith says:

    I still have many piles that need to be dealt with after moving but some are gone; unfortunately I keep making more and I would rather sew than work on piles that are not in the way. Before moving I did think about 10 year of Patch work quilting. That was a big job.
    I have my list but don’t even want to think about how long it is. And that is only the ones with pattern and fabric together. Total was 43 plus pillow cases to make and aprons to make; both for gift as the need arises. All 3 Challenges handled for this moment.

  26. Marsha Y. says:

    I still have some areas of basement to check for UFO’s, but haven’t been home. Taking inventory of the ones I can see at this moment, I have 46. I know there will be many more when I get to the other boxes. I have 32 in progress and 14 ready to quilt. Maybe I should starting quilting more of my own quilts and mark some off the list!!! Thanks for helping us get organized!

  27. Karen says:

    Task three is done. Here’s my post on the challenges. Thanks, Shelly for doing this again!
    https://fortheloveofneedleandthread.blogspot.com/2019/01/2018-final-countdown-challenge.html

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