3 Ideas for More Organized Quilting in the New Year

I have a nifty little project rotation schedule in my mind that I try to use to work through old projects and not let the scrap bins get out of hand, and it’s just not working. I sat down to figure out what was going wrong, and just decided that I needed to make it work alongside what I want to do, instead of it being the main operating system of my craft room. As I’m sure you’re aware, every new year and month brings up new potential projects that you need to decide if you’re going to pursue or not. New babies, weddings, graduations, a crazy pattern that comes out that NEEDS to be made ASAP because it’s amazing, a new dress because of fifty thousand reasons…there’s just a lot that you can’t plan for, and it wreaks havoc on a system designed to corral the creative madness.

So…Idea #1: Each month will have its “must makes” that I will work on until they’re done, and then the remainder of the month will revert back to my UFO/Project Rotation schedule and I’ll make headway on the projects collecting cobwebs until the month ends. It’s simple, far too simple, but until I wrote it out I couldn’t see it as my solution.

I came up with this idea in October and finetuned and planned it out, but it felt like something was missing, and I finally realized what it was whilst lounging in my bed during the Great December Sickness of 2021–I’m not making enough scrap quilts. At all. The scrap bins no longer close, and I don’t have time for scrap quilts even though I won’t be able to use my craft room by the end of the year if they keep multiplying like they have been, completely unchecked. And then I randomly remembered that I came up with a weird little system for THIS EXACT PROBLEM back in 2019: Scrappy Thursdays.

Scrappy Thursdays were devoted to working on scrap projects and block of the months. It didn’t matter what I was working on outside of Scrappy Thursdays, I’d set it aside and work mostly from the scrap bins for that one day every week. I have four separate storage bins that held the fabric and patterns for four separate projects, and each week had its Project #1, #2, #3, or #4. It was still in experiment form when it dissolved out of my life, but it was a rather successful experiment while it was in progress! I just got really busy with the Blank Quilting ambassador thing and had no extra time for play, which was fine because I was having a lot of fun with all the yummy Blank fabric. Ah, memories…

Idea #2: I’m going to reinstate Scrappy Thursdays in 2021. I’m really looking forward to it. My chaos-loving brain really enjoys the break from my serious “get ‘er done” projects that I work on for the majority of the week, and my “obsessed with productivity” brain loves that I’m making progress on so many different things.

Beautiful Mammoth Flannels being cut for one of next year’s Christmas quilts!

I had another good idea during the Great December Sickness of 2021, which is my Idea #3: Use my leaders and enders for greater Christmas productivity. As in, cut the fabric for the Christmas quilts I want to make for Christmas next year NOW, and use them as my leaders and enders throughout the next year. When it comes time to work on said Christmas quilts at a later date, I’ll already have a ton of the piecing done. I’ve even set up an annual reminder that the week after Christmas is for cutting next year’s leaders and enders!

I’ve got the fabric for two of next year’s Christmas quilts prewashed and in the process of being cut. I have at least one more, if not two more, Christmas quilts I want to make this upcoming year, but no idea what pattern and/or fabric I’m going to use just yet, so obviously can’t precut anything for those quilts.

I’m excited for this extra bit of organization to help things run smoothly in the craft room! Do you have any good tips or tricks for quilty organization? I’d love to hear them! Happy New Year!

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