I know most quilters have lots of unfinished objects (UFOs), but I hate having more than a few unfinished projects around. Ideally, I like to have two or three projects going at any given time. That way I have a few options available. More than that, and I start feeling overwhelmed.

The down side to this approach is that it’s easier to get stranded, metaphorically speaking.

For example, I currently have a spinning project and two quilting projects in play.

  • I can’t work on the spinning project because my cat ate the drive band. The replacement won’t be here until next Wednesday.
  • I can’t work on Quilting Project #1 because I’m waiting for a supply drop to arrive.
  • I could work on Quilting Project #2, but I know I’ll be working on it all day Saturday at a quilt guild sew day (min-retreat). I don’t want to get sick of it too early. This is a project that I get tired of working on after a few hours.

So what am I supposed to do until then? It’s the classic crafter’s dilemma: what do you do when you can’t craft?

I solved this conundrum a few ways. First, by cleaning up my sewing area. I mean really cleaning it up. Not just putting things away, but properly sorting out the scrap basket, cleaning out the drawer in my sewing desk, putting up the Command hooks I’ve been meaning to use for ages, etc.

Next, I did some cutting for Quilting Project #2. I don’t usually like to cut fabric too far ahead of time, because it locks down that fabric to the project. (In economics, “opportunity cost.”) But in this case, the 2 1/2″ white squares I needed to cut would also be universal enough that I could use them in lots of other projects if I have to.

The real question is… now what?