It’s hard making time to make.

Often, it seems like our pile of WIPs (Works in Progress) far outweighs our Finished Objects. Quilt tops linger in closets and stray blocks crowd our design walls. But taming the beast is possible! Here are 7 tips to finish your WIPs this season:

a stack of quilt tops that need to be finished- we have tips to help!


1- List all your WIPs.

Every. Last. One. Go through every closet, shelf and drawer. Pull out every WIP at any stage, even if it’s just a pile of fabric that you have a vague plan for. Use your Quilter’s Planner Project-at-a-Glance pages to list them out one by one. This is quite the reality check, but it gives you a very clear picture of what you have already in the works, and helps you to prioritize and plan.



A Quilter's Planner Project at a Glance page with WIPs listed and finished steps marked off in rainbow colors

2- Edit out what you’re no longer in love with.

Maybe the fabric is dated. Perhaps the intended recipient has changed their style. Or it could be that you’ve just fallen out of love. You might be surprised with how many projects that you decide aren’t worth more of your precious time. Find a friend or local charity that will take them off your hands. Some Project Linus chapters will take quilts at various stages of completion. Call your local coordinator to check.

3- Prioritize WIPs.

You can choose whatever criteria works for you to prioritize your WIPs. Maybe you want to get oldest projects done first. Are there any projects that are almost finished- could you have some quick wins by finishing those? Or you could prioritize by the intended recipients… who has a birthday coming up? It’s really up to you. Just to remember that not everything matters equally. Your time is finite, and you should be spending that time on the things that are most important to YOU.

a bright quilt being bound- the last step to finishing a WIP

4- Limit new projects.

This one is so hard! I love shiny new things and starting projects is one of my very favorite things to do. I get it! But now that you have a handle on what you want to complete, it’s a good idea to look at your Projects-at-a-Glance page before starting something new.

5- Join a UFO or WIPS completion group.

Many local shops will have groups you can join that help keep you accountable to finishing a specific list of WIPs that you’ve chosen. Sometimes, there are prizes to be won! If you don’t have a local group, there are several online ones. You can join The Quilter’s Planner Facebook group to connect with like-minded quilters who will encourage you along.

And this week, The Quilter’s Planner sponsored a giveaway in Devoted Quilter’s WIPS-B-GONE challenge. Quilter’s Planner friend and past designer Leanne has done a fabulous job creating a fun and achievable challenge to help us all reduce that To-Do list before we head into 2023. I am personally participating in that challenge, and have been so happy with my progress! It’s not to late to join, so visit Leanne’s website for more information.

6- Make the time to finish things.

There is simply no way around it- if you want to finish projects, you have to set aside time to work on them. Here are some ways to do that:

  • Block out 20 or 30 minutes a day
  • Set aside an entire day to sew once or twice a month.
  • Look into registering for an open sew at a local shop if you want to socialize while you sew.
  • Put sewing time in your Quilter’s Planner calendar or add a reminder to your phone.
  • The 10 Minute Rule-  When you have a long task ahead of you, make a deal with yourself.  You only have to do it for 10 minutes. Once you start and see your progress, you usually just want to work on it a little bit longer
A Quilter's Planner calendar with a "Sew Day" stick and a note about finishing WIPs

Once you get a little momentum going, you’ll be surprised at how addicting it can be to advance your projects just one step further. And once you complete a project and get to cross that WIP off your ‘to do’ list, you’ll definitely be looking forward to your next Finished Object!

7- Celebrate your Wins!

Keeping a record of the quilts you’ve completed (of course, the Projects-at-a-Glance page is our favorite way!), and looking through it periodically is a really nice way to keep your motivation up. Looking through the projects you’ve already completed gives you HOPE that yes, someday the WIP that’s lingering will be completed. There is light at the end of the creative tunnel. You’ve got this.


Now let’s all finish some beautiful stuff!


To connect with an amazing group of fellow quilters who love The Quilter’s Planner and to discuss these 7 Tips to finish your WIPs, join our Facebook group! 

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