What To Do When You Lose Interest in a Quilting Project
We’ve all been there – you’re working on a project and after making a few blocks, you get bored. Or you pull out a UFO that’s a few years old and can’t get yourself to work on it, because you just don’t love it anymore. But don’t throw in the towel just yet! We have some great tips for what to do when you lose interest in a project – it just may give you the motivation to push forward or move on!
Don’t feel bad about losing interest in a project. A simple mindset shift is all it takes to regain your interest or to use the parts in a way you wouldn’t expect.
Update the Fabrics
Consider changing the color of the fabrics you are using. For example, if it’s a two-color quilt and you are bored, add more fabrics either in new blocks or add color by using different color fabrics for the sashing, the borders, and the binding. Instead of two colors now you have a multi-color quilt. Especially with older UFOs, the project may feature colors of fabrics that you don’t love anymore or that don’t match your décor. So it’s a great idea to add in more of the colors you love!
Also, if you used mostly traditional fabrics and now you are drawn to modern, bolder prints, make a couple of blocks with fabrics you love now. Sometimes by cutting fabric into smaller pieces you are seeing the colors and not necessarily the print or “style” of the fabric. If you like how they work together, mix and match styles, allowing you to now work with fabric you currently love.
Another way to push through a project you've lost motivation on is to set goals. For example, make a certain number of blocks a week. When you reach a goal give yourself a prize, like a trip to the local quilt shop to buy more fabric! You can also set goals like sewing for a certain amount of time a day. Breaking down larger and overwhelming goals into bite-size goals can help you feel accomplished and give you the drive you need to cross projects off your list. Many people have participated in things like Block-of-the-Month or quilt alongs where they have set deadlines for completing steps. Give yourself that same sense of excitement and urgency with the projects you’ve lost interest in to help you finish.
Change Your Plan
If you don’t feel like spending more time or fabric on a project, you can use the parts and pieces you have completed to make a mini quilt, pillow, or bag that can be given away as a gift. The recipient will be thrilled and you can move onto something new without the guilt of a lingering project.
And if you don’t think a smaller project is right for those blocks, you can use them to practice your machine quilting. Simply layer the block on extra batting scraps and backing fabric and practice away. No stress of ruining a project you intend to keep.
If you’re still stalled, look for an online group that might be making the same or similar project. Maybe others are stuck, too, and you can find like-minded people to encourage and cheer you on. Our UFO Challenge Facebook group just may be the perfect place to join other quilters who are looking for the encouragement and help to finish their projects.
Give It Away
And if all else fails, give the project away. Someone else will appreciate having a head start on a project. Many quilt guilds or quilt shops collect unfinished projects for charity projects. Or maybe a friend admires the project and would love jumping in to help! Either way, you won’t need to lose sleep about the project anymore.
We asked our Facebook readers what they do when they are stalled on their projects. Their advice may resonate with you!
"Put it in my UFO bin and there it stays for all eternity." – Beverly D.
"Start a new one! I've got half a dozen ‘started' projects set aside that I'm hoping will inspire me at a later date!" – Michele S.
"Power through, using it as a goal that when I'm finished, I can start something new as a reward." – Carmen S.
"Write some notes about where I'm up to, what problems I'm having with the project, then package it all up and revisit it later in the year." – Mary C.
"Keep it until the New Year when I go through everything. If I'm still out of love, I move it out of my life." – JoAnne M.
"Hang all the parts and notes on a drapery hanger and go to another project. It will peak my interest at another time, and I'll enjoy finishing it. I keep about 4 projects in rotation at a time." – Jeannie
"Find a new pattern that excites me and tell myself you cannot start on the new project until the old one is complete." – Patricia T.
"I put it aside for at least a year and bring it out again later." – Ann Z.
"Put it out of the way, but not out of sight." – Denise M.
"Eventually put it in my scrap pile." – Jennifer B.
"Put any completed squares aside for inclusion in charity quilts." – Jenny S.
"Put it away until I get bored or finished with my current project. Maybe then I can get re-inspired." – Linda T.
"Give it away and start a new one." – Christy W.
"Repurpose, rearrange, revamp, or reject!" – Vonna T.