I am mature enough to not feel guilty about this…


I spent some time feeling horrified and embarrassed by my piles of quilt tops yesterday, until I stepped back and realized that most of them are class samples or pattern prototypes I have created over 28 years of quiltmaking. There are only a few that I made “just because.”

My excuses:

  • I don’t have backing fabric and batting for all of them. I couldn’t afford it for many of those years, and I can’t afford to buy it all now.
  • I don’t have time, or at least I didn’t have time for the quilting when I finished the quilt top. It’s only been in the last 15-20 years that machine quilting has been an acceptable option. I had to move on to new things for new classes.
  • I don’t particularly like some of them. I actively dislike a couple of them. Some were made with the fabric provided by the owner of the shop at which I was teaching the class. It wasn’t my choice and I didn’t like it enough to spend time quilting it. Some were trendy 10 or 15 years ago but look dated now. At least two of them are just hideous color combinations. I don’t know what I was thinking.

My disclaimer:

I finished many quilts during this time. At a guess, I have finished 250 quilts, table runners, quilted garments (yes, they were in fashion for a while), and other quilted items over the past 28 years. That doesn’t include these unfinished ones, and it’s a conservative estimate.

My confession, to spur me to work:

  • Bed quilts I am willing to sell: 6
  • Bed quilts I want to keep: 10
  • Large lap-size quilts I am willing to sell: 7
  • Large lap-size quilts I want to keep: 5
  • Wall quilts I am willing to sell: 4
  • Wall quilts I want to keep: 2
  • Table runners I am willing to sell: 2
  • Baby Quilts I am willing to sell: 2

My progress:

  • I made an honest assessment of what I actually have to do, getting all of the tops out and placing them in the appropriate piles on my cutting table.
  • I went through the attic and sewing room stashes and pulled out the larger pieces of fabric and then started pairing up quilt tops and backings. I won’t use backings that don’t complement the quilt tops, so I will not be able to match all of them.


  • I will finish pairing as many as I can and fold them together with the tops.
  • I will clean the fabric off my sewing room shelves and replace it with the the paired and single quilt tops – in sight, where I can’t ignore them forever. ( I wonder where I can put all that fabric…)
  • I will make a list of what backings I still need, and put it in my purse, so I have it when I am shopping
  • If I have time, I will start piecing quilt backs.

To Do:

  • Baste
  • Quilt – it’s possible I will tie some of the simpler bed quilts
  • Bind
  • List some for sale

I am not saying I won’t start new projects during this time. I need to sell quilts  – that’s an important part of our income – and I will probably find things I want to make for myself or gifts, especially with Christmas coming up. I hope to promote my Bridal Quilting Bees and other quilting retreats, so I might even make some new bed quilts, for a portfolio of bridal quilt options. But I am making this project a priority. I feel burdened when I look at those piles, which means I don’t enjoy my quiltmaking. I want to feel good about myself and my work!

3 thoughts on “I am mature enough to not feel guilty about this…”

  1. Another option — donate some of them! A group I volunteer with, Dress A Girl.org, makes homemade skirts which they attach to store-bought tee-shirts. One volunteer received a selection of quilted pieces as a donation and crafted them into the cutest skirts you’ve ever seen! Maybe quilting all the pieces isn’t your choice, but someone else may be able to do something neat.


  2. Yes! My mom’s church group makes quilts for charity. I just sent five baby quilt tops home with her a couple weeks ago! LOL (Obviously, I didn’t count those in this tally)

    Thanks, Pam. I will think about that while I sort through them today.


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