I confess to being quite a procrastinator and I believe that's where my UFO pile originates from. I unconsciously approach it like it's going to take a LONG time so I limit my progress to a bite now and the rest later. Later becomes much later and before you know it I'm shopping for bins and they fill the cupboard, UFO lists grow while new patterns or fabric catch my fancy! Am I talking about just myself here or can you relate?
I'm really trying to change my ways. I have a few friends who are just the opposite of me and start and finish their quilts within days and don't start another one until they are done. I want to be like that and every day the new me commits to staying the course with a current project and not filing it away in the someday pile.
In 2019 I joined a UFO challenge from AllPeopleQuilt.com (American Patchwork & Quilting). This meant listing ten of my UFOs and committing to working on them during the year. Every month they would draw a number and whichever quilt was numbered that particular number was worked on. This really helped build my momentum for getting these projects back into my creative zone. One by one I got a lot of them done and the thrill of the finish was worth it!
By the end of 2019 my list had been reduced by at least half. I created another list in 2020 and repeated the process only this time I chose my UFOs to finish based on what inspired me, not on being told what to work on (I'm a rebel I guess). By the start of 2021 I had only about 4 UFOs left. At this point I thought it was a good idea to create a KIT list as a gentle reminder to myself that it wasn't time to start shopping just yet. "Remember all those lovely kits you purchased because you LOVED them?!!? Well, it's time to let them see the light of day when your UFOs are extinct." yeah, yeah...
I'm here to tell you that even procrastinators can change (with enough determination). I have found great joy in finishing what I started. Imagine that! I'm looking forward to pulling out those kits next, one by one, and bring them to fruition.
What about new projects you ask? Well, yes I've created room for them too (with limits). I did start a scrappy half square triangle quilt as a leader and ender project. Simply put, I sew two triangles together at the end of piecework belonging to a main project. Then I toss them into a basket for the second quilt underway. Two projects at the same time! Win/win right? Also, if I need a mood boost I may do a one day mystery quilt just for fun (like the Super Bowl Mystery Quilt I did yesterday, ahem). A one day mystery is a short commitment of time and doesn't detract from my long term goal of finishing UFOs. At least that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.
The pandemic restrictions have been in place for almost a year. I doubt I'm alone with fighting the moody blues during this past year. Aren't we glad we have fabric and projects to work on to help get us through it? I sure am. I'm sure we are all looking forward to more freedom to sew with our friends, get back to retreats, have lunch dates, etc. In the meantime, I'm embracing my time finishing up projects in solitude and it's a good thing. It's a season and not forever. We can do this!
Here's an idea: How about you check in with a friend today to see how they are doing? Maybe they are in a creative slump and just can't find their mojo. Maybe you can get them inspired again. And if you're the one in a slump, reach out virtually. Your quilting sisterhood will understand. Let's cheer each other on.
Until next time,