Establishing Priorities–The Quilt Notebook Series

Free Motion Quilting, Spiral Flowers

When it comes to quilting, our most limited resource is TIME…


Last week we touched on the idea that many of us have long lists of “Unfinished Quilts” because we:

  • Underestimate the time required to complete a quilt or project….And we
  • Overestimate the time we have available for quilting.

Because we all have a limited amount of time for quilting, establishing goals is essential.


Spend some time this week considering each of your UFOs.  For each quilt on your UFO list, ask yourself these questions:

  • How do you FEEL when you look at this quilt?  Happy?   Excited?  Love, love, love?  Anxious?  Guilty? Disappointed?
  • Do you LOVE anything about this quilt?  The fabric, the pattern,  the colors?
  • Do you HATE anything about this quilt?
  • Has this quilt been in “deep storage” so long it looks dated?
  • Does this quilt contain materials or workmanship that are no longer your standard?
  • Did you EVER like this quilt?
  • Do you enjoy the process of this quilt?
  • Do you have all the materials you need to complete this quilt?  If not, can you obtain the materials or a suitable replacement?
  • Can you find the pattern for this quilt?  How difficult would it be to improvise or replace the instructions?
  • How much time would it take to complete this project?
  • How much time have you already spent on this project?
  • How much money have you spent on this project?  How much more money would be required to complete this quilt?
  • Is this quilt a group project?
  • Does this quilt have a deadline?
  • Do you have a “home” for this quilt?  A bedroom that needs a little freshening up with a quilt?  Or a dreary sofa that could be cheered with a new color draped over it?

FMQ, Time Management Quote


After answering the questions above about each quilt individually, look at the list as a whole and ask yourself:

  • Which quilts “sing” to me RIGHT NOW?
  • Which quilts represent YOUR BEST work?
  • Which quilts do you ENJOY making the most?
  • Which quilts would STRETCH your skills just a little?

Free Motion Quilting, Spiral Flowers


Now comes the hard part…

Pick three quilts  (and only three quilts!)  that you want to move to your “Works In Progress” list.  First, choose THE ONE quilt that is the most important for you to finish.  This quilt should be YOUR BEST work and a quilt that your children and museums will fight over.

Second, choose a quilt that you can complete in the shortest amount of time.  Finishing a quilt is a highly motivating event.  Success breeds success and helps propel other projects forward.

 Finally, choose a deadline quilt.  (Notice, I did not put the deadline quilt first–we will talk more about “Deadline Quilts” soon.)  If you don’t have any group projects or deadline quilts, choose one “Free choice quilt” –a process or color that intrigues you right now.

FMQ, Time Management Quote


Once you’ve chosen your BIG THREE quilts as Works in Progress…Put the names of those quilts in your Quilt Notebook.  Each Work In Progress gets it’s own page.  If you are using a spiral notebook, give it three or four pages.   Start by listing the “Vital Statistics” of each of the three Works In Progress.  This includes information such as:  Date started, Size of quilt, Intended Use, the pattern location…(see more HERE)

Does that mean those are the only quilts you can work on?  YES!…well, no.  At least 75 % of your available quilting time should be spent on THE BIG THREE quilts.  The rest of your quilting time can be used to learn new skills and work on any projects that suit your mood.

Don’t throw away any of your other UFOs just yet.    We will be studying ALL of our quilts…there is as much to be learned from our failures as there is from our great quilts!

Next week:  Jump starting our Works in Progress…

Happy, Relaxed and Organized Stitching,


PS…All information, tutorials and images are property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are for personal use only.  Feel free to (encouraged) to share with your friends, Pin and re-blog with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For any other use, (or to sponsor The Inbox Jaunt), contact me at  You’re the best!

For more in our Quilt Notebook Series, read: