Finish What You Started

Legendary America actress Katharine Hepburn once said,


“It’s not what you start in life, it’s what you finish.”

She must not have been a quilter. We quilters have a way of starting a new project before one or more old ones are even finished. What is the motivation behind this contradictory behavior? Let’s take a look:

  • Burnout – Many times I’ll take a break from a large, complex project to basically rest and recharge. An easier project where you can quickly get a sense of accomplishment might be just the ticket to renew your vigor in wrestling the more difficult project to the ground.
  • Deadline – You know your niece Suzie’s baby shower that is coming up next Saturday? Well, if you don’t want to show up empty handed, you are going to have to take a break from your epic queen-sized quilt that matches your new bedroom paint in favor of some duckies and bunnies.
  • I Just Went in to Get Thread – It’s happened to all of us. We just made a quick stop to the quilt shop to “get thread” and we spied new fabric so beautiful we could not live without it. Before we knew it, we spent $200 and started a new quilt that same day. Whoops.
  • What Was I Thinking? – Sometimes, you have a project that you grow to hate so much, you’d rather burn it than spend one more minute working on it. Occasionally, it turns out to be too difficult but more often than not, it turns out to be just too ugly. Sure, that tropical teal background and pink hibiscus floral print looked great in the fabric shop, but now…. not so much. I wouldn’t blame you for starting something new and just quietly donating this fabric.
  • I Never Wanted to Make This in the First Place – We are looking at you, T-Shirt quilts everywhere. Sometimes, we commit to a project for a friend or a family member that we never would have made ourselves if given our own freewill, but we are guilted into it “because [you] can quilt!”. I have one of these myself. I promised to finish a quilt for a friend who took a quilting class back in the 80’s but never finished her quilt. In my defense, it’s only been on my sewing table for a few months. I think a few more won’t hurt.
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