Tuesday, May 13, 2014


WIP is a quilting term for work in progress. When I tag one of my quilts as a WIP, it means that I am doing various steps that it takes to get the quilt completed. I believe that most people turn others off when they talk about their projects and to the other person, it seems like a story they have heard before, and maybe often.

If you ask someone how long it might take you to finish a quilt because you want to make it for a gift, a good quilter will tell you there isn't an easy answer to that. It depends upon how long you work, the machine, your tools, pattern, fabric, how large it will be, and your skills.

I've noticed a lot of newer cooking recipes will tell you how long to bake something, and they also give you an idea of the prep time too. Now, that varies from cook to cook.

With quilting, it is recommended that you clean out your machine after running three bobbins. It is believed that using three bobbins takes about eight hours. Generally speaking, you want to change your needle too and keep it fresh. If your rotary blade skips, its time for a change, but that might depend upon variable factors like the kind of fabric you use and how hard you press down.

As one gains experience, they learn how long it took to make a quilt of similar size and can factor in some of that information. However, things get in the way of us doing anything from quilting to cooking to getting dressed in the mornings.

The variables are what few people talk about. Most quilters post pics of their finished quilts unless they are doing tutorials to show how something is done. Few people talk about the time it takes to audition fabrics for a quilt, to dig through their stash or how long it takes to rip, pull threads and re-press a seam. Few people talk about bathroom breaks or interruptions required to eat meals and sleep.

So when I write about a quilt that I started last year, and post yet another photo of it from step #743 that I took, no wonder why the person I am speaking with loses interest and yawns.

WIPs are boring.

Yet, here it is, this wonderful work of creation, this wonderful piece of fabric art that is infused with my deep concentration, my open heart and my unconditional love, this work in progress. It is here in my life from the moment of its conception all the way through its rich potential into its manifestation and into the hands of its recipient.

And so I didn't take a photo of the piles of pinned fabric waiting on my workstation to get pieced. Those kinds of photos aren't important to me either. I want to see the finished quilt, to have that sense of accomplishment and to read or hear that someone, any of the someones I know, thinks it turned out great.