Design Decision or Just Plain ‘Ole Procrastination?

The Inbox Jaunt, Lori Kennedy, Machine QuiltingGood Morning, Quilters!

I’m working on a new banner for my sewing room!

First, I stabilized around the center squares.  Next, I stitched in the ditch around all of the letters.

The Inbox Jaunt, Lori Kennedy, Machine QuiltingThen it was time to tackle the borders.

The wide, solid colored border just begged for a little “Divide and Conquer”!

I decided to add a fancy “frame” around the center rectangle to soften the edges.

Instead of just stitching the “frame”, I used the String of Pearls motif to add a little more interest to the line.The Inbox Jaunt, Lori Kennedy, Machine Quilting

I added a cluster of flowers at each corner…

Lori Kennedy, machine quilting, flowersAnd now I’m not sure what to do next…

Fill in with more flowers…

Switch to a different design…

Leave the inner frame area “open”?

Lori Kennedy, machine quilting, flowersFor now I will just give it a rest…

But sometimes you just have to make a decision and go for it because…

I know myself.

In the guise of “considering my design choices”, I can procrastinate my way into another UFO!!!

I know…I will set a deadline.

I will finish this by Friday and YOU will hold me accountable!

What about YOU?

What do YOU do when a project stalls?

How do YOU jump-start a project?

We’d LOVE to hear!


Lollygagging  Lori

PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to re-blog, pin or share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at  Thanks!



48 thoughts on “Design Decision or Just Plain ‘Ole Procrastination?

  1. I am in the process of selling one house on the coast and moving to the mountains of NC for a dream retirement!!! I am so excited for many reasons, one of which is a brand new sewing room!!! It’s like having a blank canvas!!! Seeing this banner has given me two great ideas! First I need to make a banner and second, I need to name the room!!! Thanks so much for sharing your many ideas and skills!!!

      • I call my studio: The Dangerous Room. The grandchildren are not allowed in by themselves. Once, the four year old came in, pointed to the sewing machine needle and stuck himself. I calmly pushed his finger down, off the needle. Cleaned him up. And I was two feet away from him!

  2. I always have a few projects going at the same time. That way if I hit a creative roadblock, or am just plain tired of looking at one project, I can turn to another and feel excited about that. It’s amazing how much more I accomplish that way, and how putting a project aside for a bit helps me return to it with a fresh burst of inspiration.

  3. Good Morning Lori….I don’t know what I like MOST about your quilting….your work or reading about your thought process that goes into your work. This is already a lovely quilt, especially the frame around the center rectangle. Looking forward to the next installment on this one.

    • I am so glad my thought process is useful! Never sure when I press “publish”!

      • I find your blog full of great information on quilting and on how to think and plan for quilting. I am learning a skill and an art from you. It’s very helpful.

  4. I promised a cousin that I would make her a quilt. I have the fabric and a so-so plan for it. It seems like it is a stumbling block. I can’t seem to get motivated to do anything till I get it done..I guess if I won’t to continue quilting I better get it done.

  5. I’ve been stuck on a quilting design for a few months now and I’m procrastinating even going into the sewing room now. I’ll set a deadline too. Thanks for sharing your tips and inspirational thoughts. I really appreciate them.

  6. Your work is always so beautiful. I also like the idea of naming the room.

    Will you please show us the completed quilt? It’s pretty the way it is but I’m betting you will do some time of grid work or straight lines in those blank areas.

    • I was thinking the same thing about grid work or straight lines in the blank area. We’ll soon see what Lori comes up with

      • My first thought, too, was “ruler work” – maybe a curved grid or radiating straight lines. Or, FMQ feathers or a sunburst. Doodle a few options, hang them up where you can see them and ponder for a while! Whatever you choose could be also be incorporated into any open areas in the outer border. Then, before you know it, you’ll be thinking of adding a filler design to the background of the letters, to keep the overall quilting density more consistent.

        Decisions, decisions! I have way too many UFOs, partly due to my inability to make decisions. My best approach to kickstarting a UFO is to put it on the design wall and ruminate. I end up thinking about it when I’m walking the track at the fitness club, and I usually come up with a solution then. So exercise is good for more than just burning calories and maintaining health!

  7. It depends on the project. Sometimes I leave it in view and ponder. Sometimes I put it away and pull it back out in the spring. (I’m a snowbird.). Your new banner is magnificent and I hope you’ll decide it needs more quilting.

  8. I love this design. I would keep the inner area open to show off the string of pearls, or else quilt it with close, tiny parallel lines. I’d like to try this design on a larger quilt.

  9. I love it! Great design and fabrics. I still need to complete my spring table runner. I was in Europe for 3 weeks and am trying to catch up on all the sewing I missed!

  10. What an absolutely perfect idea! Naming the sewing room! Thanks for another great idea! What I do when everything on my sewing project stalls is invite my quilting friends over and get their ideas. These gals have a plethora of ideas, we move blocks, fabrics or add another color and then I’m off to the sewing machine! So rewarding for them and myself!

  11. Personally, I would leave it as it is. There is such a thing as “too much of a good thing.” I recently did a quilt where I decided to leave the border completely un-quilted, because of that.

  12. Sometimes, I put things aside, but usually it is for a different reason. I usually like to have a few projects pieced and ready to quilt for the winter. I piece mostly in my basement and it gets cold during the winter. I quilt upstairs. Once I start my winter quilting fest, I finish the stack (no UF0’s to be quilted at this point!). I figure if I don’t quilt it at this point, I never will and finished is finished–even if it is not a favorite. I have several planned to piece, but now I make a block or two only in this phase (that way I can easily abandon the project–no fabric cut so I can just return it to the stash and mark the pattern as not liking it for one reason or another). I pick away at quilting designs–sometimes I know the plan for the whole quilt and sometimes just a part–I do what I know first and then the rest comes later. I look through books for inspiration and maybe practice a little on paper first. I draw my block that I am stumped with and then play with possible designs.

    Your banner is really nice. It would be nice if the lettering would stand out a little more. I can see you adding more quilting to the border too, but highlighting the lovely shape of the pearls. I am very confident you will do it in Lori style!!! You quilt beautifully. It could also be done the way it is now and I would still love it.

  13. Piano keys on the out side or bead board, and in the semi circle, a simple flower like the main flower in your corner motif, leave some open space don’t quilt the entire semi circle

  14. My main problem is I procrastinate too long while deciding what design to do. Giving myself a deadline will help. Simple idea but I I haven’t done before.

  15. How about echoing the “string of pearls” line with parallel lines about 1/2 inch apart? That way the beautiful quilting in the corners will stand out a bit.

  16. Love the new banner! I don’t practice free motion quilting enough, so I’m always stuck. I will probably have to get out my check book on anything larger than a wall hanging!

  17. I love it! I would do piano keys or cross hatching in the open area. I wouldn’t want to take away from those gorgeous flowers.
    I try to draw when the design stalls on me. I make a sketch or two of the block I’m considering, then use different fills to see where I want to go.

  18. This is not procrastinating, it is pausing for inspiration! Sometimes we have to step back and look at something with fresh eyes after a day or two. It’s ok to do that, but setting a deadline is the key. It looks great!

  19. When (not if) a project stalls my coping mechanisms vary with the project and circumstances but usually involve some combination of (1) leave the room for a total change of activity and venue, (2) switch to a more “routine” project (e.g. piecing multiple similar blocks), (3) get input from friends at one of my guild meetings or take to tai chi class (for post-class show-and-tell with quilting friends), or (4) if time permits just put it away and let it the ideas incubate for a while. My room’s name runs from the banal — sewing room — to the wishful — quilt studio, fiber haven, textile sanctum — depending on my mood and the aesthetics of the person to whom I am talking.

  20. The banner is beautiful and so you!

    I have so many UFOs and have given myself a 6 week deadline to complete 6 of them before then, the ones that must be finished because they’re sapping my quilty joy! That’s a thing, isn’t it? 🙂

    I’ve had a memory T-shirt quilt in the queue for over a year to remember my friend who died. The reason is because it just wouldn’t come together. I’d take it out, try to get the layout right–no problem–then I’d try to unite it with a sashing border step. Full stop! The bright, varied Disney colors wouldn’t work with anything, so back into the bag it’s gone numerous times. Finally, I took it to my sewing group, put it all up on a design board, and kept asking (interrupting their sewing time!) my friends about sashing/border colors until we got it right. They were such help. Now it’s up to me to follow through. Sometimes, you just have to get on with it. Letting things sit usually works, but with this one, it’s just weighed on me. Thank goodness for input.

  21. Maybe repeat the bracket design inside the inner frame, but immediately I thought straight lines (i.e., piano keys) in the outer edge of the border. It looks lovely!!

  22. I need procrastinating without stitching and I reckon that it is a very good creative period, very useful, even if it lasts several weeks !
    Your new sewing room banner looks great, I love the flowers and pearls you’re stitching in the border.

  23. I LOVE the banner!! Love the fabrics you’ve chosen, and the quilting design. I’m more of a “less-is-more” person, so would be tempted to leave it as is–it’s gorgeous!

  24. I love the frame you started with! What a good idea! I got caught up in all the squirrels running amuck so now am getting back to my own projects but I get obsessed with finishing ufos before starting a new project. Not a bad thing but some new stuff has been waiting a long while now… The ufos piled up 😩

  25. I have found that if I take a screenshot of the quilt block, (or border, in your case) with my iPad. Then I Import it to an app called Notability, that I can draw my quilting lines on the photograph to see if I like how it looks.

  26. There’s no way you won’t add more quilting to the banner, so it will be interesting to see what you choose. I get hung up when I decide to try a new design and then worry about not getting right. I have a Christmas project from a blog hop last summer that I really wanted to put one of your poinsettias in. My doodles got looking pretty good, but my quilted samples not so much. So it got set aside and I really need to finish it.

  27. At one time you were contemplating changing the name of your blog. I guess you decided to stay with “The Inbox Jaunt”.

  28. Coming up with a design I want to use is an immense hurdle for me. I love the frame and the fact you used the pearls. The corners are looking wonderful. I don’t mind the inner part of the frame being poofy but my ‘inner self’ is thinking that I might want to add some straight lines like piano key lines. I know you’ll make something fabulous…and I’m expecting a finish for you to show us on Friday!!! 🙂

  29. I put things off too long. The guild challenge is coming up and this year’s theme is “Celebrating Your Birth Month”. I would change my birth month if I could. Well I found a miniature Christmas quilt folded in my stash that would be perfect. I had made this little top in 1992. Hopefully I will finish it for the submission date – September 2017.

  30. I love it just as it is! Once bound, it will be another lovely LK original. If it were mine, I’d make a pieced binding using all of the colors you used for the lettering. I think it will make them stand out very nicely.
    When I’m “stuck”, I just start a very different type of project – a handbag, some napkins, fabric baskets – anything like that; It distracts me from the problem and usually a solution just pops into my head. If that doesn’t work, I take it with me to my weekly church quilting group and get ideas from my buddies. There are only six of us but when we put our heads together magic happens!
    P.S. Do you both wash AND press your quilts when finished? Some of us do, some don’t.

  31. I love this! Glad I’m not the only one who does this! ;P Usually when I’m “stuck” I have to just pick something and jump right in – otherwise I either add another to the stack of UFO’s or I get behind waiting for the perfect idea to hit!

    So, what about adding some leafy vines between your flower corners? Or piano key looking lines inside the frame?! Can’t wait to see it on Friday!! 🙂 Enjoli

  32. What a fun idea to name a room – the banner will be beautiful I’m sure. I think you should show off and add more quilting though!

    I’ve got too many projects started but not finished. Two that are quilted and now that I’m ready to trim and add binding I realize I need to figure how to to so that correctly – probably need to add a top and bottom row to make the one look more finished and the other I think will be solved when I trim so there is a little more for the binding -so the points aren’t cut off.

    The project I really wanted to be working on is a baby quilt, I followed directions and made blocks but when I sewed two blocks together they don’t match up as expected. I’m at a complete standstill with that.

    I have other quilts that need finishing, but I’m learning the steps for how to finish them up as I go.

    I enjoy your posts! Thank you for sharing.

  33. Your dark green frame is so gorgeous IMHO. I guess I am still too much of a perfectionist..although greatly reformed from my youth. I mull and incubate with a project until I know before I start what every part of it will be….Only once have I had a major change from the “plan” and that one took me a year to solve. I got someone to long arm baste it for me and hated it so much, I took it all out and did it by hand. That project taught me so many lessons…and I am satisfied to report the recipient loves it.
    So, Lori. I like the word “incubate” someone said above..let’s throw out procrastinate..!!

  34. I also think straight parallel lines would really set off the organic curves of the flowers, although I’d like to see you add more flowers here and there. What about curved cross hatching? That always looks so lovely with flowers. It will be beautiful however you finish it, Lori!

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