Want a sure fire way to finish your quilts?

by Nicole

For the past few months, work has had me running at full speed, which has meant little time for sewing and quilting. But I feel like I’m coming up for air for the moment and ready to tackle some of my works in progress. Thankfully, my breather comes just in time for the 2016 Finish Along 4th quarter goal setting.

2016 FAL

I have a heavy travel schedule ahead of me over the next couple of months so I’m going to be conservative with my goal setting and use my sure fire way for getting my quilts done.

When I want to get a quilt finished, I:

  1. Work on only one quilt.
  2. Don’t start a new project, including non-quilting projects.
  3. Have a firm deadline for finishing.

Simple approach, right? But it works every time!

For  this quarter, I’m going to finish the Fly Away Quilt that I started at a Heather Jones workshop in June. I finished the top this summer.

Related: What Happens When You Take a Workshop with Heather Jones?


I basted the quilt in August, but just finished the first set of quilting lines yesterday.


I was so tempted to stop with just one set of quilting lines and bind the quilt and call it a day, but I figured I wouldn’t be happy with the quilt with just one set of lines. So I’m working on adding a second set of quilting lines. Two sets will give the quilting a bit more “movement”.


Once I’m done with the quilting, all I need to do is bind it. I should be able to get that done by December, right? Wish me luck!

What are your sure fire ways to finish projects?

Nicole Neblett signoff Modern Quilting blog


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Margaret (margiestitcher) October 17, 2016 - 12:02 am

how good are you able to not start new projects wish I had your strength. The quilt is looking good, I have 7 in the flimsy stage but hate putting thrm on the backing and wadding no longer able to crawl around th floor!

Nicole October 17, 2016 - 9:19 pm

Thanks, Margaret! It takes lots of will power for me to not start a new project. Good luck with your 7 tops – getting them basted can be a huge hurdle!

Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl October 17, 2016 - 12:47 am

Not starting more projects is a huge step for me, as is saying “no” to other things that come along. It can be hard, but required sometimes. I look forward to seeing how this quilt finishes for you, and safe travels!

Nicole October 17, 2016 - 9:20 pm

Isn’t it hard, Yvonne? But you are so right – at times, saying “no” is a must! Thanks for the well wishes!

Debbie October 17, 2016 - 12:54 am

So sorry work has been so demanding. But good plan for your finish!

Nicole October 17, 2016 - 9:22 pm

Thanks, Debbie! ‘Tis the season of craziness so I’m indulging in the lull before the next storm of work blows through here!

Roxanne Richle October 17, 2016 - 2:33 am

I made this decision years ago when I wasted a lot of expensive material on a Vogue Pattern. I don’t limit myself to only 1 project though–goes against my personality. I do limit myself to 2 or 3, usually 1 big project with 1 or 2 small projects. I also alternate between more traditional quilts and fiber art and usually try to do at least one technique I’ve never done before.

I ALSO made the decision not to let my stash get too big, after seeing a friend’s stash and realising how dated fabric gets. Does anyone else do this?

Nicole October 17, 2016 - 9:24 pm

2-3 projects sounds manageable and having a mix of projects does keep things interesting, doesn’t it?
I know what you mean about stash – fabric can get dated just like everything else. All the more reason to sew like the wind! Happy stitching to you, Roxanne!

Cindy B. October 18, 2016 - 11:05 am

Roxanne, I also don’t want piles and piles of fabric and decided to really enjoy my trips to the fabric store when I have projects in mind. Cuts down on my physical and mental clutter! Occasionally I’ll buy 1/2 yard assorted pieces that I know I’ll eventually use for binding or small scrappy projects. And of course sometimes a yard of something from a quilting shop I’ve discovered on a day trip makes the ride home with me!

Nicole October 19, 2016 - 9:45 pm

Clutter is right, Cindy! I know all about piles of fabric. So much fabric, so little time…

Pam the Goatherd October 27, 2016 - 1:39 pm

I’ve got so many boxes of scraps that I need to use up that I have vowed not to buy any more fabric until I get a significant amount of what I already have on hand sewn into something useful. It has been extremely difficult to stick to this, but every time I see new fabric that I like, instead of buying it I am inspired to go home and use up more of what I already have on hand.

Nicole November 15, 2016 - 5:52 pm

The temptation is real, isn’t it? I applaud your efforts to use your stash. Keep at it, Pam!

Paige October 17, 2016 - 8:18 am

Looking forward to seeing this one done! I loved your colors when I saw if from the class!

Nicole October 17, 2016 - 9:24 pm

Me too! Thanks for the well wishes, Paige!

Meredithe October 17, 2016 - 5:37 pm

Go Nicole! I’m sure you’ll get it done. Nice to have you back.

Nicole October 17, 2016 - 9:25 pm

Thanks, Meredithe! I think I can get it done!

Nicky October 17, 2016 - 5:49 pm

Love this quilt so I encourage you to finish it! I list all my projects in the hpe that the long list helps motivate me to get thing finished.

Nicole October 17, 2016 - 9:26 pm

Thanks for the encouragement, Nicky! It can help to have everything listed out – it would also keep me from forgetting projects that I started many moons ago!

Rosemary Bolton October 17, 2016 - 7:38 pm

uh…. umm. Finishing. :-/
I try to finish my projects…. it is difficult to NOt start new projects though.
Nicole, this quilt is very perky and cute. I am glad you are getting it done!

Nicole October 17, 2016 - 9:27 pm

Lol, Rosemary! Finishing isn’t half as much fun as starting, is it?

Cindy B October 18, 2016 - 10:55 am

I now have enough projects going that I have a list, and crossing things off a list is something that always is a good thing for my work habits (whether my job work or hobby work). I’m a list maker from way back. Setting a deadline works for me, too. Nearly all of my projects are smaller than a quilt, though. I seem to have a pattern of working on something small, as a warm up, before tackling a bigger project., even an impromptu small table piece. Sometimes that’s not a good thing because it takes time away from what I wanted to start!
I do have a baby quilt for a gift planned on paper and I think I’ll try to work only on that from start to finish! I’ve enjoyed reading about your creative processes and those of your followers.

Nicole October 19, 2016 - 9:44 pm

Thanks for chiming in, Cindy! Doesn’t it feel good to cross things off a list?!? Plus, small projects are great for almost instant gratification!

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