As one year unfolds into the next, quilters find themselves at the precipice of a thrilling journey—a year filled with the promise of new projects, fresh designs, and the delightful anticipation of creating something with each passing month. Part of the struggle with wrangling the creative side of the brain is trying to get every idea organized into manageable tasks. 

We have all had the quilt that goes on time-out because it wasn’t playing nice. Honestly, that’s okay. Sometimes it’s good to take a break from something more challenging and give yourself a moment of creative rest. Although, once your creative tangent is over and you’re ready to press on, it’s not hard to forget about the previous project woes and start something new. Before you know it, those WIPs keep piling up and you have a shelf full of projects that are still waiting their turn. 

Let’s make this your year to get organized and tackle some of those quilts that you have been wanting to finish. As a mathematician, you might have guessed, I love a good spreadsheet. This one has helped me to get organized and really think about the projects I want to tackle this year. The great thing about this project tracking sheet is that you can color code it by project type – new, in progress, and finished.

Start by making a list of quilts you want to make this year, quilts that you want to finish (any of those WIPS) and materials you’ve purchased with a specific quilt in mind. If it feels too limiting to put a year on it, just make a big master list. Then, when you have a comprehensive list of all the quilts you would like to make, you can prioritize them by which ones to make first. 

Now that you have a list, you can easily gather the materials you have purchased for the projects listed. This is where it gets exciting! I like to use 12-inch project boxes. You can find them at Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and Amazon. These boxes have plenty of room for templates, cut fabric, thread, a pattern, and a project sheet to help keep the purpose of each quilt at the forefront. Now when it’s time to work on the next quilt it’s simple to pick up where you left off without questioning what that fabric is for.

(Pro-Tip) Use sticky notes on the inside of the lid for listing materials still needed, a swatch kit for the quilt and even the names of thread colors. These notes are great for a grab-and-go quilt store run to find a backing or the perfect border. 

Keeping a list of all your planned quilts and then finding a place where you can regularly see it and your projects is one of the most helpful elements to this whole process. Put those project boxes on a shelf where you can see or come across them often. It is true if something is out of sight, it is out of mind, but I believe the reverse to be true as well. If you can see it, then you can complete it! 

Planning a year of quilts isn’t merely about the finished product; it’s about relishing the process, savoring each step, and cherishing the moments spent amidst bolts of fabric and spools of thread. It’s about the joy of learning, the satisfaction of overcoming challenges, and the community found in quilting with shared experiences, inspiration, and encouragement.

So, here’s to the excitement of something new and fresh—a year brimming with quilting adventures waiting to be explored. Let the quilting journey begin!