New Year, Old W.i.P.s

by Nicole

Dear Reader,

How in the world are you? I hope 2018 is off to a good start for you.

I’ve been looking back on 2017 and wondering how to make 2018 better. By better, I mean more stitching! With the combination of work and parenting, I was so exhausted that I didn’t get much quilting done. I hope to change that in 2018.

I’ve decided that a good way to start would be to tackle the growing pile of work in progress (w.i.p.s). I start every new year with plans to whittle down my w.i.p. pile, but then end up adding to it. But since awareness is the first step toward change, I figure I’m on the right track.

I’m starting with the w.i.p. closest to a finish. This is an improv quilt I started when my youngest was 18 months old. She is now almost 7! I think it’s time to bring this one to a close. All I need to do is bind it.

I’m finishing the binding by hand. I love the speed of machine binding, but love the look of hand binding. So stitch by stitch, I’m getting it done.

And just as I resolved to devote myself to my w.i.p.s, these lovelies showed up in my mailbox.

I’m going to stay strong and resist the temptation to cut into them.

At least for now…

What is your quilty/stitchy focus for 2018?

Nicole Neblett signoff Modern Quilting blog

You may also like


Deb Green January 7, 2018 - 5:08 pm

Nichole I moved this past summer and had to pack up twenty years of sewing supplies. Omg. Had no idea I had so much fabric. My plan is to avoid fabric shops until I get some of this made up. Have fabric to make my friend a basket quilt and lots of Minky and flannel for baby blankets. I am over whelmed. We shall see. Thanks for your update. I too have wips. Gotta get those done

Nicole January 7, 2018 - 9:13 pm

Hi Deb, moving has a way of unearthing things long forgotten, doesn’t it?!? It sounds like you have a plan for using some of it up. So much fabric, so little time! Good luck!

Rosemary B January 7, 2018 - 6:26 pm

It is so nice to hear from you Nicole.
I hope you had a good last couple of months of 2017, and a beautiful Christmas.

…. you are not alone. The pile is high, and with other commitments as well, we just keep going.
My 94 year old daddy and I always get into these deep discussions about living, being so fortunate to live in a country where we can all be
“gluttonous” with the things that make us so happy. We are blessed. Our discussions always lead to other discussions.
Feel no guilt my dear friend. We will get some things done this year. We are growing up, right? and getting better and smarter.
I am going to set goals and set rewards. Recently, I have this urge to get some rooms painted, the walls. No I am not going to drop everything and start painting, it is fun but exhausting too. So, I am tired of my yellow walls in my sewing room. I am going to work on finishing things.
That might also mean that I start things, because I just must start more things. those are various projects that we know we will finish, a gift for a friend, or such. Those are not prize worthy bc I intended to finish them. But the pile on the table, that just needs a little this and that and quilted and bound. I need to get three done, then I can paint my room….. and the upstairs bathroom, and one of the bedrooms.
Happy New Year

Nicole January 7, 2018 - 9:18 pm

Hi Rosemary, it’s nice to hear from you too! I’m so glad to know I’m not alone in the battle of the w.i.p.s! We are fortunate to have the opportunity to be “gluttonous.” Yes, you are right. They will get done. I appreciate your encouraging words. Sounds like you are setting up a system of rewards for meeting your goals. Wishing you all the best in getting them done. Freshly painted walls make such a difference and are worth the effort to knock out a few w.i.p.s. Happy New Year to you, my friend!

Sue Laufer January 7, 2018 - 6:37 pm

Hi Nicole, My focus for 2018 is making “giving quilts” made entirely from stash. A few of my quilt friends & I are getting together once a month to sew. Each month will be a different type of giving quilt for those in need. This month we’re making small baby quilts for a NICU.

Nicole January 7, 2018 - 9:20 pm

Hi Sue,
What a meaningful way to use up your stash! Giving quilts sound like a win-win solution: you work off your stash and others benefit from the product. Another bonus is time spent with quilt friends. That’s a win-win-win solution!

Rosemarie Miler January 7, 2018 - 6:39 pm

Nicole. You make me feel so much better. I was stressing over my unfinished stash. When a pro like you also has a W.I.P……there is hope for me. I love your work and eye for color. I wish you lived next door so I could run over with my pattern questions. I struggled for 3 mos wondering what “sub cut ” meant on a particular pattern only to find out it meant cut again. I was so frustrated. Not one of yours, of course! I made two of your runners as gifts and you made me look like I’ve been quilting for years. Thankyou. Keep up the good work , you are one of my favorite teachers. Happy New Years!! 😄

Nicole January 7, 2018 - 9:36 pm

It is stressful having unfinished projects, Rosemarie, isn’t it? I have plenty of w.i.p.s so please know you are not alone. I think it’s inevitable when creativity abounds – there’s always a desire to try something new. The key is actually finishing it!
I’m sorry you went through that frustration with the pattern. Feel free to drop me a line if I can be helpful. Struggling with instructions takes the fun out of making. I’m glad the runners worked out well. Thank you for the encouraging feedback and kind words about my work. It’s so helpful to me to know that the pattern is useful. Happy New Year to you too!

SarahZ January 7, 2018 - 8:20 pm

You will be checking that improv quilt off the list, forever, very soon!! I am focusing this year on finishing quilts, there aren’t an unmanageable number, and starting a few new ventures, quilting related, but not quilts😀We shall see how that goes…I have a Quilter Planner…hopefully to help, or at least be a great good luck “charm”😊

Nicole January 7, 2018 - 9:39 pm

Happy New Year, Sarah! Thank you for the encouraging words. I see the end in sight!
Good luck with finishing your quilts and starting your new ventures. It sounds very exciting! They say that when you write down your goals and plans you have a higher likelihood of achieving them. If that’s true, the QP will definitely be helpful.

Jam January 7, 2018 - 9:52 pm

Hi Nicole and happy New Year. Mea culpa too. Seems like I can’t turn around without bumping into a ufo or wip. I am making the same attempt this year but I know that I am so very weak when it comes to scraps and the possibilities they offer so I have a plan. If I finish two quilts and move another one along to the next stage I can start a new one. So good luck to us and let the quilting begin.

Nicole January 7, 2018 - 9:59 pm

That sounds like an excellent plan, Jam! I was thinking of building in some sort of incentive to help motivate me to finish the w.i.p.s. I like your idea of rewarding yourself for finishing two quilts and making progress on a third with a new start. That way, you should always be “ahead.” Brilliant! Happy New Year to you too!

Erin Armstrong January 8, 2018 - 9:19 am

Love your blog! just wanted to ask about the Christmas fabric. my stash is more than 70% Christmas fabric I just can’t get enough. What are the names of the fabric collections in your photo?!

Nicole January 8, 2018 - 9:47 pm

Thanks, Erin! Christmas fabric is fun, isn’t it?!? The collections are Merry Merry by Kate Spain and Jingle Birds by Keiki. Happy stitching!

Debbie January 8, 2018 - 10:04 am

I love the suggestion of finishing a wip or two then going for something new – even a small new something can be just what you need to get back to those wips! I tend to finish before moving two far ahead, so I just have 2 wips I’m working on. Then I’ll be ready to explore for sure!

Nicole January 8, 2018 - 9:52 pm

Hi Debbie! I love that suggestion too. It is important to have a new project to work on. Having just 2 wips is manageable. I need to work to get to that point!

Janelle January 8, 2018 - 3:17 pm

I’m doing the exact same thing … I started out thinking I’d begin making a baby quilt that I’d yet to start. But switched gears to finish a WIP that I began almost 20 months or so back. It’s about done and I’m glad I switched. Also, I’m avoiding the purchase of new fabric. I LOVE my current stash and feel like I’m cheating on it by buying new fabric. But, if someone buys me some fabric, I’d be ok with that ;D

Nicole January 8, 2018 - 9:57 pm

Hi Janelle,
Kudos to you for holding yourself back from starting a new quilt and focusing on the WIP instead. And what discipline to avoid purchasing new fabric. I admire you!

Rhonda January 8, 2018 - 6:13 pm

Hi Nicole, It’s so nice to hear from you. I have to agree with you on binding! My least favorite part but hand stitched binding looks great.

I have a pile of random blocks, test blocks, orphan blocks, half square triangles made from scraps and made into blocks. Nothing really goes together and everything is different sizes. I am determined to continue using up scraps and making more blocks and putting it all together into one crazy quilt.

Nicole January 8, 2018 - 10:02 pm

Hi Rhonda,
Thanks for chiming in! Sounds like you have a scrap buster on your hands. I need to get back to scrap busting too!

Meredithe January 8, 2018 - 9:34 pm

Sounds like you need to join in with our 6and6in2018 challenge – choose 6 old and 6 new (or choose the new during the year) with the aim of getting them substantially progressed/finished. It’s not too late to join!!

Melanie January 10, 2018 - 5:22 am

Goo luck with your resolution. Maybe you make it something like “If I finish three WIPs, I can start one new one.”? Or I will dedicate one quarter to finishing WIPs before I am allowed to start x new ones? I am also fighting the WIP list – probably as most quilters, and I am happy that it is not a year long project but hopefully more a one or two more quarters project. And as long as I get a lot of progress done (even if not the numbers done) that is still good progress!

Nicole January 10, 2018 - 9:20 pm

Thanks, Melanie! It helps to have some parameters in place to keep the WIPs from multiplying too much. I agree than any progress is a good thing! Happy New Year to you!

Patricia Loquet January 12, 2018 - 8:00 am

Just hush yourself lastkerrie-its a pleasure looking a this site without stupid ads popping up and disturbing you. Blogs that have so much ad activity are ones I leave in a heartbeat. This blog is respectful of its fellow quilters.

Nicole January 16, 2018 - 9:32 pm

Thanks, Patricia, for the kind words!

Comments are closed.