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CanoePam 04-16-2021 06:23 AM

How many projects do you work on simultaneously?
I am trying really hard to finish up my half-done projects before I buy more or start more. It gives me immense satisfaction to see a UFO in the “completed” pile, but I do sometimes get a bit bored. I have recently allowed myself to have one in-process project and start one more. I don’t let myself start a third unless it is an emergency thing (new baby or some such). Then again, I am a bit OCD and too much clutter disturbs me. How many active projects do others keep going? I don’t mean those UFOs that we all have that won’t be finished because we really don’t like them, but the ones you work actively.

katiebear1 04-16-2021 06:40 AM

Lately I have only been doing one at a time. I totally finish one quilt before I start another . I have a list of quilts I want to do. Most of them I have the pattern and fabrics for them in separate plastic bags so I just go through the bags and decide which one I am going to do next. I do have a sampler quilt I have been working on for a few years now. When I need a break from what I am working on at the moment I will make a block or two for that. It is all star blocks and I have all the fabrics for it in a big plastic bag along with pattern sheets of different star blocks. I guess I am a little OCD too LOL

Stitchnripper 04-16-2021 06:53 AM

I am the odd ball because I don’t have a stash and I finish everything. Mainly because I don’t start more than say, 2. I have a project I take to the quilting group when it meets again and something I work on at home. I quilt my own so eventually the group one ends up as my home project. My mojo comes
and goes. I quilt for my own pleasure so I’m fine with this. Days and weeks go by with no quilting. I just do something else til the mood strikes again.

Macybaby 04-16-2021 07:30 AM

I work on as many as I feel like. I still work full time, so if I see something and want to try it, I go for it. If it ends up resulting in a finished top that goes in my "to be quilted" pile, that is fine and if not, that is OK too. I have a LA, and quilt when I feel like it, but if i have over 200 tops ready to be quilted when I retire in five years, I'm OK with that.

I rarely make quilts for a specific reason or recipient, so I rarely have any type of deadline. When a quilt is finished, I find it a home at that time.

There was a time I was getting rather compulsive about my hobbies, and feeling pressure to work on things just to get them done. It started not being that fun so now I give myself permission to do this simply because I enjoy it.

I am actively working on 4 samplers (I do 10 blocks and then switch to the next one) and decided to join the Dresden Plate party, and am nearing the end of the Row Robbin swap. I like to have one machine embroidery quilt project going while piecing, and am getting one wrapped up so could start another. Just assembled a lap size quilt this AM and deciding if I want to call it done or add a border. I've got three tops that need something "fixed" before quilting, and at least 10 waiting to be quilted. And at least two that are quilted and need binding.

I know I've got at least 4 sets of swap blocks I've not assembled, and 4/5 totes of fabric and patterns I've not done anything with, and 4 kits I purchased that I've not started.

I really have no idea how many "started and abandoned" quilt projects I have on hand. I decided to move those totes to the shelf above the cutting table so I'd remember them. Then I need to decide if I want to start working on them again, or send them on their way. I finish most of what I start, so I'm not going to stress over the few that no longer give me enjoyment to work on.

kristijoy 04-16-2021 07:39 AM

I sew quite a bit so I have more of a pipeline.

I try really hard to only have one quilt at a time that needs a binding. Then one quilt on the frame being quilted. I try and keep my stack of 'to-be-quilted' tops under 10. Under 5 is better. I regularly work through these.

After that, I have probably 3 projects in the sewing stage with a couple of leader/ender projects going. I set my triangle leader ender aside because I needed a break from it, and moved onto basic 4 patches.

Then cutting is another story. I LOVE LOVE LOVE to cut out projects. This is my favorite part. I have a closet with shelving that I use for quilts I have cut out. It's like making my own kits. I put them in big plastic bags. Right now I have about 5 cut out ready to be sewn that are calling to me!!!

Every once in a while I look for my oldest UFO (right now a twin sized basket quilt) and make a push to finish that off. Otherwise, most of my projects are kids quilts for project Linus, so they come together quickly. I enjoy basic quilt patterns with fun fabrics!

ppquilter 04-16-2021 07:45 AM

I usually have 5-10 projects going on. Cutting for some, sewing on others.

DJ 04-16-2021 07:45 AM

I usually work on one quilt project at a time, however I do other crafts that are sort of compartmentalized for time of day or activity. For instance, I do a lot of knitting while DH is driving, cross stitch in the evenings after dinner (usually in front of the TV), etc.

Here's a sample of what I worked on last week (no actual quilt projects except the BOM):

Craftermath Control (ALWAYS) WIP
Knit wedding afghan WIP
Napkins for Christmas/winter placemats DONE!
A Quilting Life April BOM DONE!
CCS motifs for BD cards 2 DONE!
CCS motifs for Mother’s Day cards (3) WIP
Barn quilt painting WIP
Hanging towels for DD’s kitchen 1 DONE! 2 WIP
Knit butterfly scarf WIP … found and purchased pattern; purchased yarn
Easter napkins WIP … received fabric order and washed it

Watson 04-16-2021 07:52 AM

I usually have about 3 going at the same time. One top being made, one being quilted and a project that I take to sew-days.

I also have about 8 UFO's that I can work away at whenever the mood strikes me.


Iceblossom 04-16-2021 07:56 AM

I prefer to work at one at a time, but it all depends and a lot of that is how much fabric is out/required. Once the cutting is done and I'm working from a kitted project I'm more flexible. I don't really have any UFOs, but at least one of my "in process" tops is getting close to that designation. I'm hoping to spend time with it this year, it involves paper piecing and I've been working with that to build up to going back to that one.

I keep my projects pretty well organized by keeping them in a project box throughout the process. My "in process" project is in a tub that sits on top of my sewing surface, silently reproaching me for neglect. I cover it so it doesn't get sun faded, but I know It's there.... I get it out and mess around a bit and then put it back in the box.

Sometimes I deliberately have multiple projects, designed so I can have a to-go project, like for something to do during my Tuesday group meetings. It's a motivator finding something that can be done for two hours every week! One of the reasons I do my pinning the way I do is it was one of the only portable stages for my work, first started that at the group before this one, so back around Y2K.

PS: I used to complete each quilt including quilting before moving on to the next one and worked that way for decades. I no longer consider "completed tops" as UFOs. They are complete, just not quite quilts yet.

tallchick 04-16-2021 08:26 AM

I work on one project at a time and I always break it down into sections and work accordingly. I am still learning my new long arm, so I prefer to have at least 2 tops done so I can work back to back on those. This allows me to gain more confidence and experience rather than waiting a month or more between each top and forgetting everything I learned 🤪.
I am however debating working on a fast and easy quilt along with a more involved one just to use more of my stash.

ckcowl 04-16-2021 08:28 AM

I usually have a few in various stages, ; tops read to be quilted, monthly ( or weekly) projects, a travel / hand project and whatever New or in the works project that isn’t part of a program or sew along

bearisgray 04-16-2021 08:44 AM

Wow - you all truly amaze me.

I seem to be at a stage of my life that if I get out of bed, get showered and dressed, and go grocery shopping (at only one store) - that has been a full day for me.

osewme 04-16-2021 09:16 AM

I work on one project at a time but have been known to work as many as two when necessary. I don't like UFO's hanging around & not being finished. When I first started to quilt, the gal that got me hooked always had tons of UFO's. I never understood why she didn't go ahead & finish them so they could get the precious use that they were intended for. Told myself that I would never get like that & have stuck to it.

Tartan 04-16-2021 10:03 AM

I have as many as I want. Sometimes I finish my UFO’s and then start something new, sometimes I let them percolate for a while until I feel like working on them.

Jingle 04-16-2021 10:07 AM

I use to do one at a time. For the donation quilts I wait and sandwich 4 or more then I start quilting and finishing them up. I try to make and finish however many I can by end of October.

I also have one for me to quilt and am cutting another QAYG one started for me. Mine will get finished after the donation quilts are out the door.

Railroadersbrat 04-16-2021 10:27 AM

Right now, I'm just getting started on my niece's quilt, I have two others that needs to be sandwiched and finished that will get done sometime in the next two or three months. I have three other quilts in the design phase and for a backup project, I have the Rainbow Bridge wall hanging.

I am like Stitchnripper, I don't have a stash. I keep a bolt of natural colored Muslin, some white and black in small yardage piles for backgrounds and that's it. When I am ready to start another quilt, that's when I buy the fabric, then once it's done, I buy the batting and backing. I have such a small space in the room that I am quilting in, it's not logical for me to keep a huge stash of fabric. The way I see it, it keeps me organized, on-track and I'm able to complete the projects I start working on. I just came into the bullet journal craze this year, I have everything listed, including future quilts.

As far as what active projects I have going, just my niece's and the wall hanging. When I'm finished with her quilt, then I'll pick up my sister's. One quilt always going, with the wall hanging to fall back on if I get tired or I feel my sew-jo is about to up and leave me. I don't even have the urge to have that many projects going at once, I'd rather be slow and steady and complete what I'm working on first before I start another.

rryder 04-16-2021 11:51 AM

I work on however many quilts I feel like working on at any given time. Right now, I am piecing two projects and quilting two projects- 3 of these will be completed within the next month or so. The 4th will probably take longer as it is an improv. piece and I only work on it when I've got my design wall freed up. Right now, I also have about 20 UFOs. My UFOs always get finished eventually. They become UFOs because I get tired of working on them, or because I've hit a design or technical snag and need to let them sit until a solution presents itself to me- at which point, they get finished. Over the years I've had as many as 40 UFOs and as few as 10. I like variety, so I enjoy being able to work on multiple things at once.


thepolyparrot 04-16-2021 12:32 PM

What an interesting mix of methods! :)

I have one at the longarmer's and will need borders when it gets back, six ready for sandwiching/quilting - one will probably go to the longarmer - one that I'm appliqueing in blocks, three that are still in blocks and about 15-20 that I've drawn in EQ and bought the fabric to make. So, 25-30 which are "active" - but most of them are taking a nap, right now.

Some of them have been taking a nap since I bought EQ6. 😄

I work on one obsessively until it's done or I'm sick of looking at it, whichever comes first. :D

Almost always willing to take off in a new direction at the drop of a hat. Look, squirrel!!!

OCD and ADD are a heckuva combination!

joe'smom 04-16-2021 12:40 PM

I have organized much of my stash and bundles into planned projects, and am working on prepping, or kitting, those; I cut and sew to whatever extent is most easily stored. These prep quilts serve as my leader/ender projects. This year I have joined three BOMs (from the board's Quilting Challenges section) with the aim of using up bundles that I bought with no purpose in mind. I prefer to piece one quilt at a time, and it has proven something of a challenge to juggle these three projects at once. My normal mode is to be leader/endering a prepped quilt while piecing a main project, and basting, quilting or binding a third. I also have separate applique and hand-quilting projects, which are longer-term and worked on in the evenings.

toverly 04-16-2021 12:56 PM

I work on 5 or 6 at a time. All in different stages and different types. Applique to piecing. They usually collect at the sandwiching stage. So this year I am making a point to show one completed quilt a month at each Guild Meeting. It will start off easy, I have about 8 tops to be sandwiched and quilted.

peaceandjoy 04-16-2021 05:28 PM

2 - 4 actively being worked on. I swap them out every few days as boredom sets in. At some point in the not too distant past, I realized that some of my UFO's ended up there only bc I was sick of working on them. I don't do small - no wall space for wall hangings, no need for more placemats/runners, etc. Most pieces are 2 - 2.5" - so a lot of pieces and many of the same unit over and over and over. Giving myself permission, if you will, to swap things out instead of working on one thing until it's done, actually makes them more likely to be finished.

CanoePam 04-16-2021 05:45 PM

These are interesting answers. I am in the middle of a king sized quilt for my bed. I just finished the 25 blocks, each 16.5x16.5 (jewel box). Now I add borders (plain and piano key), then sandwich and quilt. But I am tired of it, which is why I asked. I did cut another quilt out tonight, one my daughter requested. And I may cut out another one before I go back to the bed quilt. You make me fill a bit better about it.

mmunchkins 04-16-2021 06:08 PM

I work on one quilt at a time from the beginning to the end. I had four quilts recently that were going at one time and it drove me crazy! Never again.

dmo 04-16-2021 06:43 PM

I have multiple projects going. I have a baby quilt, young teen quilt, and a project Linus one in different stages. I also have
string blocks and paper pieced blocks that I do when bored but don't want to get into anything time consuming. When I get enough of these blocks done, I go ahead and make a donation quilt. In between, I work on pot holders, mug rugs, and towel holders. I love piecing, the rest not so much. Sometimes I jus see a pattern and see if I can do it. Then find somewhere to use it.
happy quilting everyone!

canmitch1971 04-16-2021 07:10 PM

I work on 2 or 3 at a time.

copycat 04-17-2021 01:48 AM

Currently I am working on a baby quilt and will begin our annual guild challenge. Also our guild service project is tote bags we donate to a women's shelter. I will always have at least 3 projects going at once...sometimes maybe more as Christmas gets closer.

WMUTeach 04-17-2021 02:28 AM

I always have multiple projects going at a time. One is a long-term hand quilting panel that I work on when watching television. Multiple quilt-a-longs/sew-a-longs that what will all fiinish in the the fall of this year. Then here are the ever present UFO's that need my attention now and again. Oh yes, and one quilt the I just want to do because I want to make it. Number at the moment? At least 6 that come to mind quickly. https://cdn.quiltingboard.com/images/smilies/smile.png

jmoore 04-17-2021 03:23 AM

I loved reading all of the posts on this thread...you gals/guys are amazing, no wonder I see so many creative projects.

Since I am a little OCD, I work better if I don’t have a lot of “stuff” to deal with so I generally have no more than 2 machine projects and a hand sewing project to take on the road. Like CanoePam, I am currently working on a king size quilt which is kind of a boring pattern and as Joe’smom posted, I am feeding leader/ender pieces in between piecing. Having said that, I joined two BOMs this year but I have been able to finish the blocks timely and keep them separate in a clear craft container. I haven’t even given thought to my next project until I get the king size almost done...I’m about half way there.

aashley333 04-17-2021 04:28 AM

Let's see....Aqua seascape needs borders to finish, and choose/purchase backing; Cutting background pieces for blue kaleidoscope; Spoonflower fabric starched and waiting for inspiration; 2 stained glass panels that need repair; one almost 100 piece stained glass project with glass cut but still in progress; plus, I'm in a slump and am making tote bags, purses, and fabric boxes from watching too many YT videos! I downloaded pattern for first bargello quilt and am collecting the fabric to begin. If it feels good, do it!

Karamarie 04-17-2021 05:08 AM

I usually only work on one project at a time till it is finished, but may have a hand project going on at the same time, or do some straightening up in my sewing space if I need a break from my current project.

SuzSLO 04-17-2021 05:27 AM

I’m almost always working on more than one. Definitely different strokes for different folks.

Often, I’m waiting for something for one quilt, so I work on another. Right now I have almost finished binding my Grassy Creek mystery quilt from Bonnie Hunter. Now I’m working on a pieced and appliqué medallion quilt using a 20 year old UFO as the center (which Putting together while I waited for batting and backing fabric). Once the hand appliqué on that quilt is in process, I will machine quilt a UFO that I used as a leader/ender project while working on Grassy Creek (as soon as I get some basting spray and I will need binding fabric as well).

Then I plan to start Smokey Mountain Stars (for which I’ve already pulled fabric). That’s the plan at least. But when it comes to new projects, I’m often like a dog who sees a squirrel: chasing after whatever recently caught my eye.

quiltedsunshine 04-17-2021 05:28 AM

In Don Aslett's book, "Is There Life After Housework," he says the best way to get things done is to work on 3-5 things at a time. If you work on 1 project for a while, then get bored or frustrated with it, then move to the next one, then to the next, and keep going. Then you come back around to the first project and you're fresh and ready to tackle it. Then keep jumping around and things eventually get done.

That's how I do my quilt projects.

I have two quilts that are ready to be quilted.
One that just needs 5 more rows sewn on.
A denim quilt that's all cut out and has a few rows done.
A One Block Wonder and 60 degree border print table topper that I have fabric for.
A tumbler table runner that I designed and need to pull fabrics for.

They're all in different stages, so it keeps things interesting and fun.

mojo11 04-17-2021 07:24 AM

I usually have about 5 projects going at the same time. I don't want to get bored. :)

rvsfan 04-17-2021 09:55 AM

I'm with canoePam. I get frustrated and confused if I have more than one active project and if an emergency one pops up, I put the active one in the WIP bin, get right back to it once the emergency is completed. I also have a bin of planned projects which can consist of pattern, fabric and everything I need for the complete project, or sometimes only the pattern. And, I admit I have an UFO bin which I try to keep at no more than 3 or 4. I can't abide being frustrated and confused. One night at guild everyone had to tell how many UFOs they had. When one lady said 65, the room was stunned to silence.

juliasb 04-17-2021 10:01 AM

I usually have 2-3 projects going at one time. Right now however I have 12 quilt tops done and none of them finished. I have only completed 2 quilts during the pandemic. There will be more done soon.

Rff1010 04-18-2021 03:09 AM

I had 5 going at once and it gave me anxiety. 2 is perfect but apparently "squirrel-brain" is a real thing. Forcing myself to finish before next start. I have a few PIGS (projects in bags) and I'll need to decide what next. I want to do them AAAALLLLL!!

BonnieJP 04-18-2021 04:21 PM

I make it a rule to work on one project at a time - that means initial cutting to binding must be completed before starting a new project. The only exceptions are the charity children panels I do for local hospitals. These typically only require adding a border or doing the long arming and binding on them. I often have two of these charity projects in progress at the same time.

oksewglad 04-18-2021 04:28 PM

Bwahahaha, she laughs maniacally!

Actively working on 4 projects and getting ready to start 3 tshirt quilts...and don't forget the quilt I'm working on at the LQS. There I only work one at a time. I have several in various stages of completion.


Unicorn Quilts 04-18-2021 06:50 PM

I can work on up to two simultaneously. I was participating in two QALs with overlapping schedules. I was piecing one and cutting for another, then swapped out by keeping cut pieces and blocks for each on baking sheets. It got a little cumbersome since my workspace is so small.

Right now I've got three tops ready to baste, rolled up on pool noodles so they can stay crease-free. I've got at least four more completed tops, but they would need to be unfolded and pressed. There are several UFOs with most/all the blocks done, but they need to be assembled into tops. I don't like sewing and pressing top-length seams because it's so unwieldy, but I'm getting over that. I've got a design wall now and a new basting (pool noodle) method, so that's helping me to finish quilts. My mind and hands are excited to start something new, but I'd like to get one top quilted before I start pulling fabrics and patterns.

If I could get through my current stash of packaged batting, I'd feel pretty good! Three twins, five queens. I want to get to a place where I buy batting and backing as I need it. That way I'll have the opportunity to try new brands instead of what I impulse bought because I had a coupon or it was on clearance.

maryb119 04-19-2021 01:34 PM

I usually have several going at one time. I am piecing one in the afternoons and planning another one...most of the time. I'm always shopping about 7 quilts ahead of what I am working one. I always have one that I hand quilt in the evenings. It's a quiet activity and relaxing too.

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