Finishing your work in progress – how to keep the joy in quilting

January 9, 2024

Quilting is a fantastic hobby that many people enjoy, but sometimes projects can go unfinished for months or even years.

Whether it’s a lack of time or simply losing interest in a project, it can be difficult to get motivated to finish a work in progress. However, there is joy in finishing a quilt, whether or not it’s contest-worthy.

In this article, we’ll share some tips for keeping the joy in quilting – both piecing and longarming – and why it’s important to finish your work in progress.

Set achievable goals

The first step in finishing your work in progress is setting achievable goals. It’s easy to become overwhelmed when looking at a project that’s been abandoned for months or years. Instead of trying to finish the entire project at once, break it down into smaller, more manageable steps.

Setting a goal to finish one block each week or even one block per month can help make the project less daunting. After all, finishing just one block moves you closer to that completed quilt. Sometimes, it take baby steps to get motivated. For longarming, set small goals, such as completing one row at a time, or one color of thread if you are custom quilting.

stack of fabric

Remember why you started

Another way to keep the joy in quilting is to remember why you started the project in the first place.

Perhaps it was a special material that you wanted to use, or it’s a gift for someone special, or maybe it is your first time custom quilting. Whatever the reason, reminding yourself of why it’s important to finish the work can help motivate you to keep going.

Give yourself permission to make mistakes

Not all quilts have to be perfect, and it’s important to give yourself permission to make mistakes. Quilting is a learning process, and every mistake is a chance to learn something new. Instead of striving for perfection, focus on the joy of creating something with your own hands.

There is a saying in quilting, “Quilters do not make mistakes, they make variations.” Keep this in mind if you’re struggling.

Try new techniques

Sometimes, losing interest in a project is due to boredom or feeling like you’re in a rut. Trying new techniques or patterns can help reignite the joy in quilting.

Joining a quilting group or taking a class can also introduce you to new ideas and techniques that can be incorporated into your projects. Finding a quilt store that has an Open Sew session can help motivate you to complete your quilt. For longarmer quilters it can be a bit harder, but check with your local quilt store to see if there is a longarming guild or groups that meet regularly.

Embrace the imperfections

Finally, remember that not all quilts have to be contest-worthy. Embrace the imperfections and quirks that make your quilt unique. The joy in quilting comes from the process of creating something beautiful, not necessarily the end result. If you are making this quilt for someone, they will never see the imperfections. They will see the love you have put into making this amazing gift for them.

Finishing a work in progress is important to keeping the joy in quilting. By setting achievable goals, remembering why you started the project, giving yourself permission to make mistakes, trying new techniques, and embracing the imperfections, you can create something beautiful and unique that brings you joy and pride.

So, don’t be afraid to dust off that forgotten project and get back to quilting. Let’s do this!

stack of fabric with quilting pattern in front of it