How to Deal with Project
by Nikki Willhite
It is always exciting to start a new sewing or quilting project.
However, if it is a large project, there may come a point when it becomes
tiresome, and you don't want to work on it any more. This is what I call "project
burnout." How do you deal with it?
It is simple. You put your project aside for awhile and
work on something else. Quilters are known
for having miscellaneous quilt blocks and unfinished quilt tops in their sewing
rooms. There is nothing wrong with taking a break from a project. The
secret is to make sure you come back to it later, and get it done.
There are many reasons that cause you to tire of a project.
I like to make a lot of quilts that are mainly in one color. While I love
them, I do suffer from "color fatigue." If I am working on a red quilt, it
doesn't take a lot of time before I am tired of looking at the color red, and
can't bear it any longer.
When this happens I set aside my work.
If I am working on a quilt that has many colors, I can work on it
for a longer time before I tire of it. Then my fatigue is usually caused
by just wanting to do something else.
If you want to keep enjoying your sewing and quilting, and yet still
complete your projects, think about rotating them. The picture at the
bottom of this page is a shot of my sewing room. The bookcase in the
corner of the room, behind the sewing machine, has 4 drawers. I call these my "project
drawers." I limit myself to 4 projects. When I tire of a
project, I put it in one of the 4 drawers. Then I open the next drawer and
take out another project and begin to work on it again.
I only allow myself to work on 4 projects at one time. I find
that when I go through the "rotation" I once again get enthused about my
projects I have previously put away. I may have to put a project away as
many as 4 or 5 times before it is completed. It doesn't matter. The
important thing is that I continue to enjoy my hobby, remain enthusiastic, and
eventually all my projects get done. I do not allow myself to start a new
project until I have an empty drawer from a completed project.
This is something everyone can do. You can store projects
in boxes, or under the bed. The important thing is to have a good rotation
system, and school yourself to keep to it. Of course, if you are making a
"time sensitive" project, such as a baby quilt, you may not have this luxury.
This system may not work for everyone. It does take more
time to again rearrange fabrics, change threads and redo design boards for each
project. However, if you find you are not enjoying your quilting, this
could be a solution for you too.