So, you have a work project to do, or a creative endeavor to try, or a spiritual habit to work on establishing, or a learning venture to launch out on. And you “Start with One,” like last Saturday’s post talked about, and you get going just fine. You build up momentum,  and hum along for some time. But after a while you run out of steam, say, somewhere between the middle and the end—or, somewhere after the second week! Does this ever happen to you? It happens to me.

For example, last week:

I’d been on a January de-clutter and up-cycle campaign to tidy and clear out and simplify life. I’d taken it into the sewing room by hauling out parts of my fabric scrap stash that had been accumulating for a couple decades—or more: leftover bits mostly from quilt and comforter making for family and friends. 

I’d decided the best way to make use of them would be to create some scrap patchwork quilt tops for the local women’s sewing group to line and back and turn into comforters for the needy mission field and local women’s shelter. 

Rather than try to deal with the whole assorted hodge-podge, I’d restrained myself and started with one bunch of similar sized pieces: all the 2-inch wide fabric strips. There were prints and there were plain white solids. I’d decided to use this combo to make a “Nine Patch” quilt top.

I’d sewed a batch of them together into groups of three, solid whites and prints alternating.

Some with the white strips sandwiched between the prints, some with the prints in the middle.

I’d gotten so far as to slice these triple strips into 2-inch wide segments, and to sew them together, thus:

But after this point, the project began to lag.

I tend to get bogged down in such projects—get bored, I suppose, and the whole thing can go indefinitely on “hold.” 

However, this one didn’t! This time I got at it again and got all these blocks finished in three otherwise busy days, without involving much time or backache.

Know how?

By committing to finish a nine-patch “block.” Just one! That’s all! 

I got out my dear departed mother’s ancient Pfaff machine again and plunked it atop my sturdy card table. On my counter-height tabIe I set up my cutting mat, ruler and rotary cutter (a height much easier on the back for rotary cutting).

I cut another trio strip into two-inch segments. And then I put it together with just one of the pairs already connected—and completed just one nine patch “block.”

There! I did that!

Done? Finished? Time to quit?

Well, who could stop at that point?

Nothing succeeds like success, so they (rightly) say, and the success of one block cheered me on to do “just one more”—then another—and another!

So “just one” works not just for getting started, but also for finishing what’s dropped by the wayside.

Do you have a started project or other endeavor that’s languishing in  a closet or drawer or bookshelf? Maybe you’d like to get it out now, and just knit one row? Or write one sentence? Or read and ponder one verse of one Psalm?

Remind me of this when I get bogged down in sewing these nine-patch blocks together with plain white squares cut to the same size, to complete the quilt top for good and all? Or when I start to languish in my present commitment to publish 28 posts in February?

Happy starting–and continuing!


For a set of links to all the other posts in this “Meandering Forward” series, go to this page, which will be updated daily as new posts appear in the blog content.


2 thoughts on “How “Continue With One” Does Practical Wonders in Everyday Life

  1. Sylvia, This practice of “just one” is invigorating me. I easily get bored and bogged down, too. So thankful for YOU!

  2. Oh, Kel, I am so thankful for you, too! And I am so encouraged that this is invigorating you–especially because your blog posts almost always invigorate me!

Comments are now closed.