My Quilty Bucket

Last year, in an effort to be more productive, minimize the number of WIPs I had going, or end up w/a bunch of UFOs, I created a Quilty Project Lineup. I vowed to work on one project at a time from start to finish. And for the most part I did just that. I had a mental deadline to complete the lineup and I accomplished it! As I was considering drafting another lineup I started pondering a different idea altogether. Something w/o deadlines but that would take the stress out of which project to start next and keep the momentum going.

Before I tell you about it, I have a question for you. How do you decide what your next quilty project is going to be? Especially when you want to make ALL the quilts?!?! Like I said, I’ve been thinking on this since June and I’m excited to finally share my idea w/you. My Quilty Bucket system! It’s along the same lines as a Date Night Jar or Family Fun Activity Jar, but for quilty projects. And of course there are some rules to go with it. But the rules are designed to foster productivity and keep the projects “fresh”.

The basic idea is to fill a bucket (or jar) with quilty projects you want to make and whatever project you pull, you work on until completion, without starting any other projects. My Quilty Bucket system will require quite a bit of discipline AND self-control.

Obviously, it would be ridiculous to put all 23,202 quilts I want to make in my bucket. (I just made that number up but if you are anything like me, which I think most of y’all are, that number is a pretty good representation for all the quilts we want to make, am I right? LOL.) Anyway, the first step is deciding how many projects to put in the bucket. Remember, there are no deadlines in my system, but if one starts with a ton of projects it may take forever to get to a quilt you REALLY want to make (or that one you’ve been wanting to make for 8 years now), which means you might start cheating the system and then what was the point of even trying to have a system in the first place? And what if you see the most awesome quilt on Instagram and want to make it? Do you add it to your bucket and hope to pull it next?

These questions helped me come up with a “perk” for My Quilty Bucket system. And the perk is…Wildcards! A predetermined number of Wildcards go into the bucket and whenever one is pulled, I can make anything that isn’t already in the bucket (like my latest quilt obsession on IG), OR pull from the bucket again! (If I pull another Wildcard, it should go back in the bucket and I will continue to pull until I get a project.)

So, how many projects and wildcards are going into My Quilty Bucket? This first round I’m putting in 20 projects and 4 wildcards. Most of my projects are quilts but I also have totes, zippered pouches, and paper-pieced blocks to make into a table topper or wall hanging. Some are UFOs, WIPs, and cut-offs from previous projects; also patterns from books and downloads. I already have fabric in mind for a lot of my projects but a few of them I’ll be starting w/a blank slate.

My Quilty Bucket – Round 1

Bad Girl-pattern
Big X-IG
Black and Beyond-book
Bricks & Squares-ufo
Chevron Quilt
Endless Mountains-book
Hot Cross Buns-pattern
Kokeshi Blocks(3-4)-fpp
The Ties that Bind-book
Moonlight & Roses-book
Scrap Happy-book
Scrappy Snowball
Trick or Treat totes (4)
Urban Bow Tie
Wander Thru Woods-pattern
Wonky Rail Fence-book
QAYG Zippered Pouches (6)
Patchwork Pouf – home-dec fabric

Stay tuned for progress posts here on the blog and IG. I do plan on continuing the BOMs I’ve already committed to this year, (you can read about those here), and I’m reserving the month of July for Christmas projects, but other than that I plan to stick to My Quilty Bucket system.

If you already have a system of your own, or decide to use My Quilty Bucket system, I’d love to hear about it!

Until next time, happy stitchin’ and God bless!

A Thread for Life

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. – Isaiah 40:28 NIV

Linking up at:

Needle & Thread Thursday

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?

Finished or Not Finished Friday

Beauties Pageant

20 thoughts on “My Quilty Bucket

  1. Well, this is a fun idea! I think we all have a bazillion quilts on our quilty wish lists. What a great way to narrow it down to something a bit more doable. I’d always want to draw the wildcard, though – just sayin’ – LOL.

  2. I have a numbers file with the current projects and listed on there are some things I would like to make. As I make my monthly goals list I pull something off the future list to add to my line up. I also add Squirrels to the list so when inspiration strikes I can work on them. But I don’t limit myself to 1 project at a time, I like the variety! But your jar is way cuter!

  3. I like your plan, Zenia! My friend said to me a couple years ago, “I’ve got about 1,000 quilts I’d like to make, but not enough time left to make that many, so I’m just going to make what I like!” I guess that’s a universal quilter’s dilemma, to have thousands of quilts we’d like to make. I do something similar to what you’re going to do. But mine is a list of 13 quilts I want to make. I pretty much go through them in order, although not always, and check them off for the month I finish. When that list is done, I make the next list of 13 “Resolution Quilts”. If I want or need to make something that’s not on the list, I go ahead and do that.

  4. Hi Zenia! Finding just the ‘thing’ that works for you is the hardest part, isn’t it?! That and setting the guidelines/boundaries is just as hard as sticking to them. I rarely start and finish only one project at a time. It seems for me that I can’t start too many that I end up with UFOs. Once the to-be-quilted pile gets too big (more than three), I know I have to rail myself in and wrap them up as finished. I love your bucket idea – and what a cute bucket! I look forward to seeing your updates. {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

  5. Best of luck with your Quilt Bucket system!! I have a UFO Club List that I decide on quarterly. From there, challenge deadlines and gifty dates usually rule what actually gets finished. And, yes… I, too, want to make ALL the quilts!!! :o))

  6. If I add no more quilts or ideas to my list I suspect I will still live most of forever in order to finish them. That is part of what I love about quilting–endless variety, endless oportunity.

  7. Hi friend! Love that you put all this on your blog. I can just imagine the wheels turning in your brain as you have described this to me previously and now I see it all on paper or print I should say. Looking forward to seeing all your quilting bucket quilts in the future. Happy sewing and God bless you on your journey :>)

  8. Sounds like a fun plan! The hardest thing for me is to commit to is the pull that comes out. Can I throw in another twist? I swear by the “leader/ender” system of piecing the units of a second project while primarily working on things for a primary project. It is a great way to get 2-for-1 from your daily sewing. So maybe either a second bucket of leader/ender projects to also pull or writing two projects on one slip if you know one project would really help another project along. For instance maybe you know the scraps from one project will help fund the start of another specific project so it’s worth piecing those two together. For me project choosing usually has to do do with priorities: deadlines, a “need” for a particular project, a quilting theme for the year, just how bad I want to try a new technique, how much of the supplies for a project are already in house, does it fit the theme for a special linkup I’d like to participate in. Whatever works to whittle that “To Make” list down is a plus!

  9. Interesting concept. I’d had to modify it a little bit to account for QALs that happen or pattern testing opportunities. I can’t wait to hear about your progress. Good luck.

  10. What a fun idea, Zenia! I’m with Katyquilts — instead of a Quilty Bucket, I’d need a Quilty Vat or a Quilty Silo or something… But seriously: It feels like I’ve been playing catch-up for a long time now with Deadline Special Occasion quilts, like baby quilts, graduation quilts, and oh-crud-I-haven’t-finished-the-Middle-School-Big-Boy-Quilt-and-now-he’s-about-to-graduate-high-school quilts. Which means the list of quilts I’m dying to make just because I want to make them is really piling up!

  11. I told my husband just the other day there are so many quilt I want to make and not enough time. I have, in the past, put 6 projects in tubs and on Thursday I roll the dice to see which one I will work on this week. That worked until I ended up with 12+ flimsies (tub 1 had bindings) waiting to be quilted and then I joined multiple BOMs and QALs. I like your idea. I like the idea of finishing before starting another. I plan to try this method.

  12. I’ve come full circle. This is the post that got my attention. I have read every post, clicked on most links and thoroughly enjoyed A Thread for Life. I posted today that I wanted to get back to rolling the dice but after reading this post again I really think I want to try your bucket method. I, like you, have a full time job outside my home. I use my evenings to do FMQ and the weekends for piecing. Thank you for your inspiration

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