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How to Deal with Project Burnout

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.  I limit myself to 4 projects.  When I tire of a project, I put it away.  There is always another one to work on.

I once again get enthused about the projects  previously put away.  I may have to put a project away several 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 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.


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