Thursday, April 14, 2016

How to Get Rid of Your Half Finished Sewing Projects

How to Get Rid of Your Half Finished Sewing Projects
By Deanne Blackhurst

Everyone has them, cluttering up closest, gathering dust under beds or hidden away in a storage space. I'm talking about the dreaded WIP, work-in-progress. The quilt top you started but never quite got around to finishing, the knit sweater that's still missing one sleeve, or the skirt for your daughter that needs a couple of buttons and a hem to be complete.

There are lots of reasons why people start projects but don't finish them. The first moments of creation are exciting and fun but then life forces your attention in other direction like running your kids to a sports practice or dealing with some work related crisis, and that single-minded focus is broken. Other times your enthusiasm may wane and frustrations creep in when your project doesn't turn out as well as you think it should. It's always hard to come back to a craft that has lost its appeal.
Even when they're hidden out of sight, WIP projects are rarely forgotten. Instead they linger in the back of our minds like a guilty secret we don't want to deal with. But it doesn't have to be that way. There are several things you can do to get control of your work-in-progress and free up both your creative juices and your living space.

Is It Worth It?

That darling baby-boy quilt top was a great thought twenty years ago, but now that the kid is in college it's clearly no longer suitable. Don't be afraid to get rid of half finished projects that are out of date or more difficult to complete than you anticipated. Your time is too precious to waste on finishing something that you don't like or won't be able to use. Consider donating these items to a local thrift store where another crafter might be happy to finish them up, or disassemble the work and use the pieces for other projects.


Being confronted by lots of WIP can seem overwhelming, and it may be difficult to know where to start. The easiest approach is to set aside a certain time each week to work on them, and then tackle the easiest and the ones that are closest to completion first. This way, you'll see progress quickly and be motivated to continue.

Get Support

Working toward a goal with the help and support of other people is a lot more fun than doing it on your own. Why not participate in a craft blog WIP event or have some friends over to your home for a handiwork day. Invite your friends to bring their own work-in-progress and a treat to share. It's amazing how much easier it is to motivate yourself when there are others around doing the same thing.

Commit Yourself

There is nothing like a deadline to push us into finishing a project. Use this principal by making the completed item a birthday or holiday gift that must be done in time to wrap and deliver. Another way to motivate yourself is by verbally committing to a friend or family member. Tell them you're working on something special, and show them the progress you're making. By getting someone else excited about your handicraft, you'll feel more excited too.

There are dozens of new crafts and fabrics that come out each month, just waiting to be tried. Don't let your half finished projects hold you back from exploring these fun new trends. Finish or toss old WIP projects and you'll open up time and space for exciting new sewing experiences.

Deanne Blackhurst is a Freelance Writer for Heirloom Patch, an online sewing, fabric and quilting store that carries Montego Bay Batiks, Wool, Thread and Notions. They also carry quilting kits and patterns. Visit their site at Heirloom Patch today and browse their full line of Moda designer fabrics.

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