Year End Deadlines?

What is it about that word, “deadline?” Is there an actual line, like a race’s finish line? Do you drop dead when you cross it? If you don’t cross it in time, are you as good as dead? According to, the word was used during the US Civil War to signify an actual point of no return. If prisoners of war tried to cross the deadline surrounding the prison camp, they would be shot.

Regardless of how stressed the holidays can make us feel, the deadline is not as treacherous for us. But at this time of year, many people — quilters or not — are scurrying to finish projects for holiday gifts. Often, that’s me, too. Pillowcases, checkerboards, table runners, and other small projects have deadlines!

Not this year. This year I have no project in process that will be a holiday gift, and no quilty deadlines. However, like always, there are things I’m working on, and it’s great to clear things off the list before year end!

What’s on the list of projects in process?
1. Urn with flowers. The top is done, as of yesterday. I need to make a back, and get it quilted and bound.

No title yet. 45″ x 50″. Unquilted top.

2. VA Hospital quilt #4 for the year. Again, the top is done but it needs a back and quilting. If I’m finished by December 10, I’ll take it to guild meeting to donate it then. Otherwise I’ll donate it in January.

VA Hospital quilt 2018, #4. Approx 48″ x 62″. Unquilted top. Disappearing 9-patch using orphan blocks.

3. The Rooster. The top is done. However, it’s possible I’ll make minor changes before quilting. We’ll see.

4. The Mask. I’m developing a plan for this, which might include a snake wrapped around the face. Hmm, not sure where this will go. Because of the uncertainty, this won’t likely get finished by year end.

5. New York Beauty star. This is heading into 2019 as a great idea but a fairly low priority.

And then there are all the projects I want to start! I have been so inspired by our trip to Peru and would like to develop some work based on that. There are a few table runners and table toppers that could be (that old “could be”) fast finishes. A series of masks would be a great way to learn more about faces and about appliqué. My dear Green Man continues to wait for his quilt. And then there are the stories I want to tell in quilts, which I’m finally feeling ready to begin.

And projects already finished this year:
1. Fierce Little Bear
2. VA hospital quilt #1
3. VA hospital quilt #2
4. Charlotte’s Kitty
5. The Old School House
6. Georgia’s graduation quilt
7. Where Are the Birds? (landscape tree quilt)
8. ¡Fiesta!
9. Hands and Hearts
10. Shirt
Projects 11-15 are all shown here.
11. Dan’s Honor Flight Quilt
12. Sonny’s Honor Flight Quilt
13. Heather’s baby quilt
14. VA hospital quilt #3
15. Iowa map quilt, hostess gift for Peru

What’s still on your lists for the year? Do you have holiday deadlines for your projects? 


23 thoughts on “Year End Deadlines?

  1. KerryCan

    I’ve never made a list of things I’ve finished in a year–maybe I should since some days I feel like I’m not getting anything done! Your long list of finishes and shorter list of WIPs must make you feel very good!

  2. snarkyquilter

    How about suggested due date rather than deadline? I don’t dare give anyone another quilted gift so I have no immediate quilting priorities. I love how you’re getting curves into your work, especially the urn one. Applique is good for that. Your mask is getting quite bold and graphic.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      “Suggested due date” is a good phrase! As to gifts, I’m about all gifted out, too. There isn’t another high school graduation for 3.5 more years. I think I’ll skip making them for college grads. Some later day they can say, Grandma, would you make me a new bed quilt? And when that day happens, I’ll probably be glad to do it.

      Yes, the curves! In the urn and flowers quilt they were appliqued really simply. I used a protractor to draw a 6″ half-circle on freezer paper. I used the freezer paper to cut the purple, with a margin around the half-circle. Laid that down on the piece of green and then stitched a straight line around the edge of the freezer paper. That attached the purple to the green. Then I trimmed the extra purple away, and zigzagged over the edge. Finally I cut the green out from underneath. Made it quite secure and shaped just right. You can do that kind of overlap on any shape, so it was a good lesson.

  3. zippyquilts

    OK “deadline” turns out to be far creepier than I knew! For the mask, how about creating the snake with quilting only? Is that what you had in mind? I have only one outstanding Christmas project, and it is on schedule 🙂

  4. katechiconi

    There’s no need to comment on how much you’ve got done this year, that list speaks for itself! I’ve never done Christmas-deadline work, since that almost inevitable results in missing it; I like self-imposed deadlines because it doesn’t matter if I miss 🙂 This year, I’ve decided not to count up how much I finished (since so many projects overlap the turn of the year), but once again to look at how much I sewed, with my cotton reel tally. Oh, I’ll probably list stuff as well, but it won’t all be finishes.
    I have missed your more frequent posting this year, as I always enjoy your explanation of background and process.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Usually I have a project or two that runs over the end of the year, and it’s consistently that kind of turn, and my finishes tend to follow the starts. (Run-on sentence… ) I like to keep a list because when I think of all the time I spend NOT quilting, it makes me feel better, that I really do actually get some things done!! 🙂
      Thanks for the kind comment about missing me here. I have mixed feelings about it, myself, and have simply decided to be okay with writing or not writing, and not worry about it.

  5. audrey

    Your Urn With Flowers quilt is wonderful. Such a joyful looking quilt! Lots of good projects in the works and it’s good that you don’t have any quilty deadlines. I only have one small doll quilt to finish up and it’s halfway there!

  6. piecefulwendy

    As of now, I have no projects due as Christmas gifts, and nothing pressing that needs to be done before the end of the year. I hope to take the month just to enjoy playing around. We’ll see if I can stay focused enough to have anything to post about! Deadlines do keep me focused, so I do appreciate them. However, I like to limit the deadline projects because they tend to make me cranky if I fall behind, and then I lose the joy of the creating.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      I usually make my own deadlines, too. This year was a bit different, in that the graduation quilt, the wedding gift, the baby quilt, and the two honor flight quilts all had actual deadlines. Obviously, if I missed them, no bad thing would have happened! hmm. Maybe that’s true of all our quilting deadlines, yes? 🙂

  7. Kerry

    I have a secret santa table runner ready to quilt – top priority! Next I have decided to make my son a Pokemon ball round cushion and a normal cushion with Pokemon characters – at the same time his girlfriend is a Harry Potter fan, so I thought I’d make a round golden snitch cushion and another ordinary cushion with Potter characters. They are coming for Christmas but the soonest done, soonest finish then I can wrap them up and breathe! Where has the time gone?!!!

      1. Kerry

        Very true! We have been spending a lot of time outdoors (loving it)! Horrid weather means indoor chores and finally playing with the sewing machine!

  8. tierneycreates

    Ha! Your opening made me laugh! No you do not drop dead but you are dead tired when you reach it! You got a lot of stuff to finish! But they are all awesome projects! (Oh and I notice there is a lot of yummy orange in most of your pieces above! I approve!) 🙂

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Orange you glad? 😀 Yeah, orange is a bigger part of my life all the time. My theory is that as I get older and my eyes fail, I like brighter and brighter colors more, and orange shows up well even when it isn’t bright. ???? Who knows, really. 🙂 But thanks for reading and the nice comments!


Thanks for your comments. I don't check them often. Please email me if you have questions.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.