Saturday, September 22, 2012

the List - UFO Sunday

If you feel overwhelmed by reading other people's to do lists, avert your eyes, this one is a doozie!  Like when you open a closet door at a friends house expecting to hang up your coat, but the darn thing is so stuffed with junk it falls out all over you -- that kind of doozie!

A few weeks ago, Leah Day over at Free Motion Quilting Project, started a new weekly link up called UFO Sunday.  One of the things I like best about Leah's blog is that it is deeply introspective.  She really probes into the emotions and thoughts behind why we do what we do with our projects and our lives.  She makes me think (heaven forbid)!  This new link up was sparked by a bunch of feelings - the need to practice on real quilts, the desire to feel less oppressed by the pile of UFOs lying around and the hope that getting some things done might make one feel, well, happy.

UFO Sundays on the Free Motion Quilting Project

Now, I know I have been participating somewhat sporadically in Patchwork Times UFO Challenge.  But unlike that challenge that assumes you will finish a UFO each month, Leah's premise was rather simple.  Just work on a languishing UFO for one day, even if it was only for 15 minutes.  Progress is progress.

She also explored some thoughts on why some UFOs end up languishing in the first place.  I can totally relate to some of the reasons.  Like the quilts for my mom that took forever because I didn't really enjoy the fabrics.  At the moment, I feel like I have too many other pressing projects that need my time and attention more.  Leah suggests making a list and really determining which projects deserve your time and which should be trashed.  Yes, trashed.  "Time is a precious resource", it shouldn't be wasted!

So, here is my list of languishing UFO's:

The Handstitched projects:
  • the stitched headband - actually I wanted to make a band for a hat I have.  Still want to do this.
  • Sashiko coasters - the bases are actually made.  I need to transfer a few more designs and get stitching.  I still want to do this.
  • the Hexagon tote bag - I have my hexies all basted.  I have the linen to make the bag.  I have someone I would like to give it to.  But I am hesitant.  This one needs to go into a different category, a wait until you are jazzed about getting stuff done and then finish this one category.
  • The star blossom wall art - I have everything I need for this one, but I am having trouble choosing fabrics.  I am just having a hard time imagining those little pieces working together.  Plus, EPP just seems to take forever!  I need another trip to Hawaii to get it started and done.
  • The flower applique pillow - this is adorable, but I don't know that I really need a pillow right now, nor do the kids.  I mean shouldn't we actually have quilts for our beds first?  Maybe not, but at the moment, I am leaning toward trash.  Thankfully, I didn't get very far on this project before setting it down, so only 4 scraps of fabric would be trashed.
  • The Medallion quilt top - I love this quilt, but the last step put a bit of a funk on it.  I need to rip out all the seams for the last border and redo them.  Seam ripping is not much fun even when it is only a few inches.  I probably have about 250 inches to rip out.  Not fun.  I need to just do it one day, then back and sandwich it.  The hand quilting will take a while, no doubt.  Perhaps this will be my holiday project while the kids are home and I can't sneak off to my sewing "studio".
Other projects:
  • Hawaiian applique pillow - from the class I took 2 years ago!  The darn applique is nearly finished.  I think I have 2 more small circles to go.  But, I don't need a green and yellow pillow.  Although, now that I know how to make these things into wall art, that could be an option.  Undecided which category this goes in.
  • The fusible rose project - this one is partially "pieced".  I need to add it to the background fabric and then thread paint it.  The thread painting aspect is why I took a class last January.  I'm not sure I know enough to make it look nice enough.  It WOULD be an excellent practice piece though!  Leaning toward Trash, but perhaps it makes more sense for it to languish a little more.
  • The thread painting wall art - this was what we worked on in class.  I only have a few more steps until it is done.  I had hoped to finish it up and give it to my grandmother for a gift.  But, my excitement level for this project is null.  Trash.
  • The Batik Tile quilt - fabric is cut, some blocks put together, basically "piecing in progress".  The problem is that I am just not in love with these fabrics anymore.  I really appreciated the picture of the pattern and thought it was beautiful, but once I got into making one myself, my interest dwindled.  It is quite possible, I am just not a Batik person.  A shame really, considering I have a whole box of them. I am leaning toward Trash.
  • Blue and White One Block Wonder top - I actually like this one.  I think it would make a great charity quilt.  I was hoping to send one more this year to the woman collecting for Happy Chemo.  She said in a post that she is always looking for more "manly" quilts for the patients.  This would be a good one for that.  If I allowed myself to just quilt it with a simple all-over design, it could even be done relatively quickly.
  • Brown and Blue Land of Lincoln Quilt - I like this one too.  It is a little too dark for our home here, but I think it would be a perfect addition to our family's vacation home up in the mountains.  It needs the final border added and then quilted.  The drawback - it is BIG.  Yes, I have a new machine that should make this easier with its large throat space, but it is BIG.  I think I am balking at finishing it just because of the size.  Solution: send it out.  I don't know why I am so hesitant to do that.  I really want to finish my own projects!  But it really boils down to this one sitting in a box for another 6-9 months or getting done by someone else.
  • Star Circles (a New York Beauty quilt) - piecing in progress.  I love the look of this quilt and when I am in the mood to paper piece, I try to do a few more blocks here and there.  I think this one will get done, eventually.
  • Olivia's applique quilt (the copy of my niece's quilt from last Christmas) - The darn blocks are all done, applique and all.  I literally just need to put the top together and quilt it!  Olivia is just getting to the age too, where she might want a special blankie of her own.  This Christmas?
  • The Batik Stripe Quilt - it is one of my FAVORITES, why can't I get this done???  It is sandwiched and ready.  Why don't I just start it?  Fear.  I am at the point where the quilting happens, and I want it to stand out and be seen, but I am terrified that I will mess it up.  And, I am having difficulty choosing a thread, but that is really just a secondary excuse.  This one needs to be done, like yesterday!
  • Paper-pieced block pillows - I have several paper-pieced blocks with no homes.  I can't really see them going into a quilt, but they would make pretty pillows.  Did I mention, I don't really need any pillows.  These may need to just be trashed or given away to unsuspecting bee mates.
My New-FO's (these really haven't been languishing, YET):
  • The Beginner Quilt Along Top - I don't have a lot of emotions invested in this one and plan to give it to my guild to either auction off or give to their charity causes.
  • The Vintage Holiday Quilt Along top - I love this one and want to keep it for myself.  Excitement level is still high on this one, an excellent time to keep going and get it done.
  • The How Far Will You Go Quilt Along - the top is not yet completed and the quilt along is still going. I have had to put this one aside for a while to finish up some other items, like bee blocks, which puts it in the danger zone of being forgotten.  The design is lovely, and the quilt along has been a great experience, but I have no plans yet for the quilt itself.
  • The Totally Groovy Quilt Along top - I would really like to give this one as a gift to someone special.  I need to get it done.
Seems like I don't have many for the Trash category.  I guess I need to get to work then!

I am not actually linking up this post at Leah's blog today, because I haven't actually worked on any of these projects.  I just feel writing them down was the first step and publishing it might help me be more accountable.  Baby steps, people, baby steps.  I'm leaving town tomorrow and will have a whole week to decide which of these projects to spend some time on first.  Also, I plan on trimming down this list to fit with Kelsey Sews 100 Day Hustle, which I will post in a few days.

What do you have languishing around that spending 15 minutes on might make you feel better?



  1. I found this post really interesting. Once I get started on projects I tend to keep going until it's finished so long as I don't get interrupted - but if I lose momentum, for example because I run out of thread/don't have wadding/need more coordinating fabric, I find it nearly impossible to get back to it. I also things I've made for challenges that I don't really have a use for - how many wall hangings does anyone need? I think it's time to take stock like you have and come up with some kind of a plan :)

  2. Hiya! Are you truly gonna trash some work??? I am a new quilter on a disability budget that would lovingly accept any scraps that you could throw my way. I could possibly come up with the shipping costs. Please keep me in mind if you want to throw something away. Thank you, blessed be, hugs!!!

    playamom57 at yahoo dot com

  3. Love you list. :) I have one, not as long, and my best way of making progress is taking a top three to work on, do those first, (maybe) and check them off my list. Great in theory, but it doesn't always work that way, but that's how I try to move forward. Big problem is I always want to start a brand new project. Just today I was researching ladder locking to make a rug. Like I need to make a rug!

  4. Ooops, now there is a confession for the world to see! Good luck!


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