Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Coming out of the Closet!

Our guild speaker cancelled on short notice, so I agreed to do a part of the program at last night's meeting. As you know if you follow my blog, I have been thinking a lot about my UFO problem. In January I  made a wish list of projects I would like to finish and posted it on my sidebar. I thought that it might be interesting, or at least validating for some fellow guild members, to see a part of my problem! So I dug into some closets, cabinets and drawers and pulled out a few quilt tops.
These are 19 of the quilt tops that I excavated in the afternoon of the meeting. Of course there are some closets and cupboards that I didn't even open, but these were the first ones I found. Then I made an assessment and asked each one... "What is your problem?" It was very enlightening to determine why each project had not been finished.
The most common reasons were:
-waiting for quilting ("I'm going to hand quilt that one"!)
-waiting for borders (boring!)
-needing more of a specific fabric that I haven't yet found (I like to shop!)
-waiting for a miracle (I hate it!)
I acknowledge that each of these quilt tops have taught me something about what I enjoy, what colours I like, what techniques I prefer, and each of these projects improved my quilting skills a little more.
The quilts that were waiting for borders...that's just my own lazyness/procrastination, and I decided to put them in a pile to be finished "soon". The quilts waiting for quilting, well, one of my fellow guild members took pity on me and offered to help me with that (more details to come in a future post).
And the quilts waiting for miracles, I decided to do something drastic. I had so much fun with adopting my friend's UFO last month (click here to read about that) that I decided maybe someone else would enjoy taking one of my failures UFO's home with them! So, I put 3 projects up for adoption at the guild meeting.
This gold/teal mystery quilt was missing the pattern but had some leftover fabrics to go with it, so maybe Pat F. the enthusiastic, adoptee quilter will figure it out with the remaining pieces, or make up her own layout.

This brown one, which I really disliked, still has a few borders with it, one of which is a pieced checkerboard and is already sewn together, however, the original pattern was MIA...I think it might have been a mystery project from the late 90's. It was adopted by Lori S. and she has a person in mind to finish it for...I was so excited about that!

And this yellow and blue QST quilt was made from a block swap in the early 90's and I just never liked it.  No one at the meeting wanted to take it home and it was feeling very dejected,  so a fellow guild member signed up a certain blog stalker of mine, who lives in Northern Ontario, to be it's new owner!! How about that...winning a quilt top draw by proxy! Poor her :)

So 3 of my UFO's are no longer my concern, and I can focus on the projects I still really like. I had to admit at the meeting that 1 of the quilts I found, I have no memory of making! I cannot remember the pattern but do remember one of the fabrics, which was a favorite of mine a long time ago...oh dear!
And I also have to admit that of the 17 UFO's on my wish list, only 5 of them made an appearance at the meeting last night (# 4 which is finished and I'll show later in the week, #6, #7, #11, and #16).
I know I have a long way to go, but last night felt like a good step in the right direction. Now if only I could find UFO # 14...maybe I should check that closet at the back of the laundry room?


The Cozy Quilter said...

I should probably do that with my UFO's too. You are right about learning something with every quilt you make! Looking forward to seeing these ufo's completed!

Darlene said...

They will be loved and enjoyed by others! My flimsy pile is ridiculously HUGE but the idea of buying all the required batting is daunting. LOL Maybe I should start buying batting instead of fabric. LOL

Thank you for sharing, Kathy!

scrappy nanna said...

So unless you have another blog stalker in N.Ontario, I am so excited to be on the receiving end of one of your UFO's..
That fellow guild member, she is always thinking.
Maybe just maybe I can finish it so beautifully you will like it and want it back!!!

Thelma said...

I don't have any UFO's but haven't been quilting all that long. This was a great post. What a clever idea for your guild meeting. At our next meeting I think I'll encourage some of the more experienced members to bring some UFO's. I imagine the discussion would be interesting.
Thanks so much for sharing!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. I don't feel so bad now. I just counted my flimsy pile and have 22 tops that need quilting. I haven't checked on UFO's, started but not finished tops, but I'll save that for later.

julieQ said...

I think you had some great ideas there, letting them being adopted by loving homes...hmmm, sounds like I may need to do this!

The Calico Cat said...

recheck your "I need a border" tops - if they are "big enough" maybe they don't "need" a border after all. (More & more I am not even planning on adding borders to my quilts & I have a quilted UFO where I am hand stitching the binding - if the binding were not attached, I would have removed the border - quilting & all.)

Mary Johnson said...

I've gotten very good over the last few years about not setting a quilt aside until it's a finished top. Since I have the longarm and can finish those quickly as I need them I don't mind's the ones in pieces that I have a really hard time finishing!

antique quilter said...

I brought a quilt I just didn't want to finish to a friends house on tuesday and gave it to her to finish,
she was thrilled beyond words.
She loved the quilt, I just couldn't finish the applique in the border
I didn't love it anymore
It feels good to have one less ufo here
I bet you feel the same way!!!

Millie said...

Thank you for sharing all your great ideas...I have a HUGE pile of UFO's!

Karen said...

I attended a guild meeting a few years ago where the program was similar to what you did. The owner of the UFO's kept us laughing. She had several funny stories about the quilt tops or parts of tops that she had and the reasons they weren't finished. Some were garage sale & thrift store finds she collected.

Pat said...

Your work is beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

Jenni said...

I made a step forward last year when I accepted that a UFO was never going to live to see the light of day, and I started to remake the fabric that was cut into something else. BTW that quilt isn;t finished either, but I like it better than the original idea. I have to fight the thought that once started a thing must be finished 'properly', which just isn't true.

Jacqui's Quilts said...

Love your post about the UFO's Kathy!! I'm the queen of UFO's in my guild, but I'm happy to report that I got the top for my own bed quilt finished! It's my oldest UFO, I think and was started in 1998...check my blog for the story on that!! I am so thrilled to have that done that it's giving me courage to tackle some more.


Helen in the UK said...

Sounds like it was a great opportunity to assess your UFOs and why they became UFOs. Bet it feels great to get 3 of them adopted by others :)