The Free Motion Quilting Project: Finished Quilts, New Deadlines

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Finished Quilts, New Deadlines

Yesterday I put the last finishing stitches into the four quilts, shot tons of photos of each of them, packed them in a big box, and sent them off to Island Batik for catalog printing. Whoo hoo! My major deadline of the summer is DONE!

As you can see from my big grin, this is a big weight off my shoulders. While I love deadlines because they force me to be efficient and to not question myself, I find that I rarely set deadlines for myself for my own projects. I was able to knock out four awesome new quilts, but what progress have I made on my own quilts, workshops, and books?

I've decided enough is enough! It's time to set deadlines for my own work and to build a new habit for working efficiently.

First up is Dream Goddess. This quilt has been in progress since 2015 and it's time to get MOVING! I really love this quilt and I only have a tiny bit of machine quilting left to do in the sky section above her head. Really I should be able to knock this out by the end of August.

So that's what I'm going to do! I have a new deadline for Dream Goddess to be finished by September 1st!

Setting this deadline has also made me think of the other things that have been continually pushed back as we got too busy to focus on them. I've had multiple video workshops planned, and even a few videos shot, but when life gets too busy these projects often get set aside.

Downside of Deadlines

The problem I've had with deadlines in the past is I set unrealistic goals and put way too much pressure on myself to make the deadline. I would push myself way too hard and exhaust myself trying to reach an unrealistic goal.

It's often hard to know how long something is going to take. Sometimes Dad will need a full week to prep fabric, but we'll have quilt tops pieced within a few days. Some quilts take a week to quilt while others can be finished in a few hours.

Intentions Rule

Ultimately I've learned continually check in on my deadlines. Every day I check what work was accomplished the day before and adjust my goals accordingly. If Dad was able to prep all the fabric required for a pattern today, he's going to need the pattern by tomorrow so he can begin construction.

This really helps me focus on what is the most important thing to work on right this second. I also love feeling productive! That is my favorite feeling in the world.

So that is my new focus: to feel productive, creative, and efficient while working steadily through a new batch of video workshops, quilts, and even a book or two! I've already started researching a new book for beginners and you can help out by participating in the survey right here.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day


  1. I started putting all my quilt projects on a Trello board.

    While you can put a deadline label on there too, it does help visualize things and you can really "see" things move along the process and where things pile up.

  2. I really got on myself yesterday about being so lax about my day to day life. I'm retired and my only HAVE to every day is to get my animals fed and watered. I want to get quilts made, wall hangings made, start weaving again and none of it is happening because I get the critters taken care of and in my mind I am done!
    Yesterday I told myself that I need to move forward and get out of this retired mindset. It helped, yesterday afternoon I made some progress getting the sewing room organized and today I made some more. I even sat down and started designing a quilt top that I have fabric for. I haven't done deadlines yet, I feel I am lucky just to get myself off my duff and moving in the right direction.


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