Conquering Projects

This is the rack of mending and alterations that I need to do of my husband and my clothes and household textiles.

As I have mentioned before, I tend to have an overabundance of projects on my to-do list.  Lots of them are sewing projects and, of those, several are mending or alteration projects.  I also have some home maintenance, cleaning, office, and organizing projects on there as well.

I also have an ever-growing stack of magazines and books to read, in addition to a longer list of books to check out from the library.

Through the years I have tried various ways of reducing my projects list.  Sometimes, as a project waits in the queue, it becomes irrelevant.  An example is a seat cushion I wanted to make.  It was to be a cream moiré fabric, which would have been beautiful when the desk chair was a dark wood.  Since then, I have moved the chair to my sewing room and painted it white.  The cushion no longer needed to be cream, but rather white and pink.  So the original project was no longer necessary.  I am glad I had not wasted time and effort on the original seat cushion plan!

The finished project which was much altered from the original plan.

Ultimately, the only way I am successful at making my way through my projects is by making a list in priority order, then committing to working on the first project for a specific amount of time each day.  Of course, the priorities change, sometimes even from one day to another.

I wanted to update a bathroom but had put it on hold until another project was finished.  A few weeks ago we discussed holidays with the boys, and it was decided they would both be here for Christmas.  I now need to get back to work on the bathroom so that it is finished by mid-December.

The list of sewing projects tends to keep growing.

For about three years I have had a small quilting project looming.  It was to be a gift for a sick distant relative.  The project involved the immediate family members writing or drawing messages on pieces of fabric to be used as blocks in the design.  That was like herding cats and took a few years.  Once all were collected, I had the fabric cut and the original plan written down.  I should have been able to finish the lap quilt in a few weeks.  Instead it languished for a few months.  Other projects were on a deadline, so the quilt was set aside.

If only I had worked on the quilt an hour a day when all squares were received it would be finished by now.  I did not, so now I am trying to work at warp speed to finish the project.  The distant relative has recovered and the quilt is no longer needed.  Hopefully, It will serve as a reminder of a difficult time and the love and support that got the person through it all.

This is the “sandwich” of the lap throw waiting for machine quilting.

Although a long list of projects may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for me, I like it!  I wholeheartedly agree with architect David Rockwell who said, “Every project is an opportunity to learn, to figure out problems and challenges, to invent and reinvent.”

My favorite thing in the world to do is to learn!  My project list is a chance for me to try new things and to grow.  Hopefully, I will learn to be more efficient with my list!  However, the long list of projects means I never get bored!

Are you a projects person?  What tactics do you use for accomplishing projects?

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