Eads Quilt Along #9: Goals and Deadlines.

Eads Quilt Along #9: Goals and Deadlines.

To be honest, goals and deadlines–whether self-inflicted or external–are the only reason that I get anything done. I was thinking about this last night while also completely distracted by and dreaming about new projects. In thinking about new things that I wanted to make, it was hard not to think about all of the previous dream projects that have been started but have yet to be finished. It’s not that I don’t want them to be finished, it’s just too easy for them to get pushed aside when other things need to get done. It kind of made me sad, but then it also made me think about this Eads project which very easily could have been one of those languishing in a pile somewhere. Yay for the fact that it’s not!

The truth is that definite goals and hard deadlines make dreams become real. Maybe other strategies work well for you, but this is what works for me. Had I not taken on this QAL, the idea of a 2nd Eads would probably still be just that–an idea. Or maybe, I’d have gotten a few blocks made at some point and they’d be sitting around and very likely destined to live out their lives in a pile of unfinished things in my studio. Ask me how I know this…

So yeah, goals. I’m in to them.

And to be clear, there are TONS of things that I’ve started and not finished. If you have a pile of unfinished projects haunting you–don’t worry. You’re not alone. In fact, I was cleaning out a shelf recently and discovered a finished quilt top sitting with backing fabric that I had no idea existed. Not a clue. What makes it worse is that it is an appliqué project, meaning it and I spent some time together, and yet despite that, I still had no idea that it was there. Oops!

While I can attest to having plenty of unfinished projects sitting around, I realized while working on my Eads blocks this week that I need to be thinking about which project to grant a deadline to next…

Anyone with me?

To the blocks!

Eads QAL 9 . Carolyn Friedlander

This week is a good continuation from the previous weeks in that I was drawn to a mixture of textures and prints from my own collections as well as a few prized items from my stash. Have you been finding magical pieces in your stash that fit in perfectly? This week felt like that.

Eads QAL 9 . Carolyn Friedlander

There’s a merry mix of linens and cottons and even a lawn from my most recent collection. This week’s fabrics include: Lucky Strikes by Kim Kight, green reproduction print (unknown) from my stash, Lotta print (from previous weeks) and some doe, friedlander, friedlander lawn and euclid from me.

Eads QAL 9 . Carolyn Friedlander

In the end, it feels like I’m connecting colors and ideas from previous weeks, which I’m really excited about. There’s the natural-vibe in there, plus some peachy orange to connect to the warmer shades that I’ve used, and then there are bits of green harkening back to the green theme that’s plagued me from the beginning.

Eads QAL 9 . Carolyn Friedlander

Eads QAL 9 . Carolyn Friedlander

Eads QAL 9 . Carolyn Friedlander

Also, the bonus of movable design walls is that they are 2-sided. Instead of taking everything down from the previous week, I realized that I could just flip my board around. Clean slate accomplished! I cannot wait to fully lay this guy out.

Eads QAL 9 . Carolyn Friedlander

By the way, you may notice that I have a new addition to my sewing space. I’m trying out a Wafer 1 lightbox from the Daylight company, and I have to say that I’m already a fan. I’ve only had it about a week, so I’ll save my official assessment for later, but for now I am massively impressed with its sleekness–it’s so thin that it doesn’t get in the way on my extension table. And it’s been pretty handy to use while paper piecing. It’s kind of falling into that category of I-didn’t-know-I-needed-it-but-now-that-I-have-it-I-may-not-be-able-to-live-without-it…

That is a thing.

Eads QAL 9 . Carolyn Friedlander


+ Goals are good! If you’re like me, there needs to be something holding your feet to the fire. Whether it’s work-related or personal, enforcing an endpoint to your project means you’re more likely to finish. And, the finish itself will feel so good that you’ll feel encouraged and therefore more likely to finish many more.

+ External deadlines can come from anywhere. Is there a baby quilt that you want to make for a new baby in your life? Maybe some friends are getting married, and you want to shower them with something special. Whatever the reason, situations like these are perfect excuses to give yourself a deadline and to stick to it.

+ On an unrelated technical note, paper piecing makes working with different types of fabric much more manageable. You’ve probably noticed my willingness to mix all types of fabric from heavier linens to quilting cottons to cotton lawns. The paper foundation helps stabilize the fabrics and therefore equalize their differences. Go, paper piecing!


Eads QAL 9 . Carolyn Friedlander

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4 Responses to Eads Quilt Along #9: Goals and Deadlines.

  1. Jenn McMillan August 10, 2017 at 2:00 pm #

    I’m the same – I’m a complete procrastinator, but when I have a deadline, I’m forced to stick to it. Sadly, my Eads quilt has been shelved for a few weeks while I finish a commissioned quilt, that has a solid deadline. But I’m very excited with my fabrics and the blocks I’ve done so far!

  2. tdholleran August 10, 2017 at 7:19 pm #

    Hi Carolyn–I just ordered your EADS PDF–(I am always late to the party it seems;{{{) But I love this pattern and Iam fairly new to paper piecing)…so it looked like the perfect way to build this skill…
    AND I just love your pattern–I don’t usually do modern anything..but this just grabbed me..
    .I am not a deadline lover. As a musician (piano teacher and accompaniest, I had TONS of deadlines and don’t want them now that I am retired). I try to set myself long range goals (using my Franklin Planner ) and work on a lot of different things –a little at a time…i like switching back and forth between different types of quilts.
    thank you for a lovely pattern hugs, Julierose

  3. erin August 11, 2017 at 5:41 am #

    Deadlines for the win! I also like daily goals – make 3 blocks each day until I’m done or knit 2 inches, etc. So once the girls are in school next week, I am back to my regularly schedule sewing and I cannot wait!

  4. Andrea Tsang Jackson August 17, 2017 at 7:41 pm #

    I am the same way – I need an external purpose to drive me, whether that’s a collaboration, submission deadline, or commission deadline. Projects that are “just for myself” never get done!

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