Bribing Yourself: A Disciplined Approach To Finishing Quilts

The paths in my studio are wide enough now that I no longer have to do the Sewing Room Shuffle to get from the door to the sewing machine. This is great news, because it means I’ve consolidated enough of my piles to get some swinging room. The less great news is I can see the only way I will make more progress clearing up is by finishing projects.

Falling Flowers - finished and logged

Falling Flowers – finished and logged

Most often I finish projects based on deadlines. If the quilt is a gift, there’s a deadline. If I’m entering a contest, there’s a deadline. If I’m entering a quilt show, there’s a deadline. The hard part is finishing the art quilts. I usually have no deadline for them, because I’m trying to create a body of work that I can use for contests and shows and thus avoid the panic of meeting the cutoff date.

Now, the disciplined artist would just get herself settled into the studio and do the work. Me, I need a bribe. Currently, that bribe is my log book. I note every quilt I finish, and at the end of the year compare the number of projects completed to previous years.

Lani Longshore log book

The clever part of my discipline bribe is that I’ve defined finished as quilted, bound, labeled and sleeved. Until all of those things are done, the quilt isn’t finished. When they are done, the quilt goes in the log book, and is available for contests and shows. My output has been low, but now that I can actually get to all those unquilted tops there is always the log book bribe to keep me going.

Bound, not labeled, not logged

Bound, not labeled, not logged

Luck and wisdom!

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2 Responses to “Bribing Yourself: A Disciplined Approach To Finishing Quilts”

  1. KerryCan Says:

    I think this is really smart–whatever works! I use a lot of little tricks to motivate myself, even though I say the motivation should be simply the love of doing . . . .

  2. timetowritenow Says:

    The Falling Flowers is a treasure. Good luck getting your projects done.

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