Tuesday, November 9, 2010

UFO Weekly Update

Yes, I'm still talking about my WIPs/UFOs. With the end of the year drawing quickly to a close, they've become somewhat of an internal obsession. I love being able to check off completed items on a list, and what better way to end the year than with fewer unfinished projects than I had a few months ago? Anyone who's been around here for awhile or has taken some time to explore the blog archive knows that I say I love closure. But after surveying my WIPs (and my stash - see below) for this UFO-busting project with Pat, I've come to the conclusion that I don't love closure nearly as much as I think I do.


Yes, I do still love to actually quilt my own quilts, take out all those blasted basting pins, sew down my bindings by hand while watching a movie with the Hubz, and pull the warm, crinkly quilt from the dryer. But I also love the excitement of planning a new project, of working out the math on a billion little post-it notes and scratch sheets of paper. I love cutting into that first piece of fabric and yes, even pressing those first few seams.

But somewhere along the way, usually about the time I finish the blocks, the new project loses its luster, I hit my first major wall, and I either sew my way through it or get distracted by a new idea or line of fabric and start something new entirely. My second wall usually comes around after the top's finished because the idea of layering and basting my quilts isn't nearly as much fun as starting a new quilt. Hence all the flimsies I have sitting around.


Do y'all ever hit walls with your projects? What are they?

I have mixed feelings about all my UFOs. The side of me that yearns for some (unattainable?) state of zen productivity and perhaps even an uncluttered sewing room says to "Git 'er done," eliminate the distractions, pop the 5th season of the West Wing into the DVD player (for the 4th time around) to keep me company, and finish the projects I've started.

Source: http://markmeynell.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/tww.jpg

My fun-loving side, on the other hand, says screw productivity. Quilting is my hobby, not my job, and it should be fun. If I have a grand old time piecing 25 quilt tops, does it really matter that nary a one of them is quilted and bound 2 years later? They made me happy while I worked on them.

Am I alone in all this conflicted angst? Should I even have such angst about my hobby? Sorry to go all middle school on you. The middle school girl, introspective, egocentric part of this post is now over.


Oops, not quite over. Had to get that photo in there. Yes, that's actually me in the middle there, with the rockin' leather bracelet and big braces. That was about the time when I didn't even want anyone to know I HAD a family, let alone have my picture taken with them. You remember those days right? Sorry, Mom, for ruining your Kodak moment on that particular family vacation in Williamsburg, VA. But that picture pretty accurately captures my relationship with my little brother from 1994-2000: utter disgust on my part while he hams it up for an audience.

Anyways, Pat's next step is to set some rewards for finishing a project. Rewards, you say? Usually, my reward for doing anything else (folding clothes, vacuuming, exercise) is to sew for 15-20 minutes or so, maybe more, depending on how arduous and unappealing the previous task was. So setting up a reward for sewing seemed kind of weird to me, UNTIL Pat mentioned that a reward for finishing a project could be starting a new one. Ahhh, music to my ears, a brand spankin' new project.


So, if you asked me this very minute what I would work on next, assuming I had actually finished something, I'd have to choose something to make from my Fandango charm pack. The picture doesn't look terribly exciting, I know. Right now, I just have the charm pack, so I still need to gather some background and border fabric, but that's the reward I'd choose. Warning: This reward is subject to change without notice ;)


  1. Personally, I think you should reward yourself for sending some of your UFOs to our quilt ministry! Some of them are already being made up into quilts that will find good homes! And if you want to find new homes for some of those flimsies to ease your UFO guilt, you know where to go.... :-)

  2. Aaah, I see much of myself in your post. I have way too many flimsies//blocks around here...not because I don't want them to finish but because of those dang "walls" - in my case either no backing at home (or no funds left because I forgot about it while buying fabrics) or the fear of ruining the quilt by quilting it (esp. with my Schnibbles which I made with the intention of practising my fmq skills...).
    Your reward looks yummy!