Reporting Progress!

If you read this post about my plethora of unfinished quilt tops, you will be impressed  glad  interested to hear that I matched up 21 of those tops with backings. I haven’t actually done anything with those, but it’s one step closer to having them finished! I reorganized the shelves as I described in that post. I cleared off a bookcase in the sewing room (moved the books into a bookcase in the guest room) and put the fabric on that.  I also made a list of the backings I still need and put it in my purse for next time I go shopping.

hmmm…. I have been to the fabric shop at least four times since I made that list and never gave it one thought. Oops.

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!