PIGS (Projects in Grocery Sacks), UFOs (Unfinished Objects) WIPs (Works in Progress) – it doesn’t matter what we call them, it all comes down to unfinished quilt patterns and projects. I think we all have one, or two, or maybe several haunting us. They take up room in our homes and clog up our brains. I call mine PIGS, just because I think it’s a humorous name. And I have a whole lot more than several.
For the last few years I’ve tried to complete one or more PIG every month. Some years I’ve been successful (I’m on target this year) but some years I’ve failed. I have three paper cases full of PIGS. And those are only the ones that are where they belong – there may be a few floating around my home in mysterious places. I can think of at least one that I didn’t find this weekend.
Recently, I’ve come to the realization that I’m not making headway in my attempt at corralling my PIGS. I have to do something different because with the sewing that I do for McCall’s Quilting, Quiltmaker and McCall’s Quick Quilts, I create at least a PIG every month which means I’m only maintaining status quo – I’m not making progress.
So, when I was asked about doing a blog series, PIGS seemed like a great subject. And it’s a good way to keep me focused and motivated to make continual progress on these quilt patterns and projects that were never finished. I think the first step to any project is to get organized. So I pulled out all three of the paper cases and piled all the contents on the floor.
I made a list of everything as I went. My list was 63 items long. I actually find that embarrassing. That’s just plain crazy. Some items are orphan blocks and some projects are fairly small but some are big, big projects; entire quilts with just the patches cut.
I sorted through everything. I was in the perfect mood to do this, a little grumpy that I had such a huge stack of PIGS. I put things in four piles. One to keep, one to give away, one to throw away and one to “disassemble.” There were a number of kits that I decided I’d never make. I put the fabric, lace and notions from those kits away and crossed them off the list.
Then I sorted through the “keep” pile again, separating out the orphan blocks and embroidery stitchouts.
I put the large projects, the orphan blocks and the embroidery stitchouts in one box.
I put each small project in a separate paper lunch bag. I labeled the lunch bags. Then I put them back in the paper cases but I put the bags upright so I can peek down in the bag to see what is in it. The lids don’t go on the boxes but I think having the PIGS in view will be a good motivation for me.
I rewrote my list with all the changes. I didn’t list each of the blocks separately. Now it’s only 26 items long. That’s still way too many PIGS but at least the list fits on just one page of my note pad.
And at the end of the afternoon, I took one of the PIGS out and finished it. It’s this simple hot pad. I made it to show how I bind a quilt. The binding was stitched to the hot pad on three sides with all four of the mitered corners complete. All I needed to do was join the two ends of binding, finish stitching the binding to the front, press and stitch it to the back. I bet it didn’t take me more than 30 minutes. If it were to be a present for someone, I’d have done more quilting but it’s for me and it will be just fine.
I have the second PIG on my design wall and I’m working on a plan to finish it. I’ll share more about that next time. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if I could get enough done that my PIGS all fit in just TWO boxes by the end of the year? How about you? Would you like to join me in corralling PIGS? I think this could be a lot of fun.