Welcome to 2019. I hope you are feeling inspired after your Christmas celebrations and ready to start the new Stitching year.
I usually start off the new year by trying to finish one U.F.O. But I’m afraid this year I have so many new projects running through my head that I haven’t even looked to find a U.F.O. to finish. I just want to get on with New Stitching for 2019.
I have however, had a couple of new thoughts to help with my UFO’s (unfinished objects).
Now the first is a tad radical. And some of you aren’t going to like this. But hopefully, others will love this idea.
This year, instead of getting an unfinished piece of work out and finishing it. I’m going to get rid of one. Yes, my Quilty Friends I’m going to ditch a project.
My theory is that while your UFO’s sit in drawers or cupboards unloved and unfinished, they are weighing on your mind. You feel guilty for not finishing them. It’s just a little negativity tapping away in your brain. So let’s clear out this guilt. Lets let it go.
Um….. But how, what is the best/most appropriate method of dealing with UFO’s. A lot of it is down to mindset. We have been brought up to feel guilty about waste.
Well, here’s another way to look at it. Remember when you first saw this project, you were keen to get started on it. Probably excited about it too. Then you began. Now in my experience there are numerous ways to fall out of love with a project.
It wasn’t working out how you envisaged.
It was more difficult than you anticipated.
(The above innocent looking block ‘Tangled Star’ almost broke me. It’s a good job I just needed the one block as it was part of a Lyn Edwards Sampler Quilt. Because if I had to make more than one it would have ended up as a UFO! I really did not enjoy making this block. And yes I know it looks lovely now, but I am never repeating the tortured process I went through to put it together.)
A more exciting project appeared in front of you.
You had mastered the technique and then ran out of enthusiasm to actually finish it.
The fabrics you were using just didn’t work together.
You simply got bored of making it.
You realised you didn’t actual enjoy the technique itself.
I have on occasion been unhappy with the way a project was going and spent considerable time unpicking, re-arranging, introducing or changing fabrics, stitching etc. These projects eventually got binned (recycled).
So nowadays, when a project is not going well, if I can’t rectify it quickly and easily. I cut my losses and move on to a project that actually moves me. This is a creative pastime for me, and if it’s not providing me with some creative joy, I’m becoming more and more at ease with Letting It Go.
A lot of my UFO’s started life in a Workshop.
Strange things workshops, I’ve loved some, hated some, even lost the will to stitch on some. But I have to admit I have learnt something on each and every one.
I have often learnt a new technique. A wonderful new tip. A new way of doing a something, often quicker and more efficient. But the thing I learnt that took me years to realise was a learning curve, was that even the ones I didn’t like were teaching me something. The ones where I lost the will to stitch. The ones where I knew the said project would be filled straight under B for Bin or D for Drawer when I got home.
That’s not to say that the Workshops themselves were necessarily bad. But mainly they were just not my thing. And that was a bit of a light bulb moment, when I realised that at those particular workshops I had learnt that what was being taught was not for me. And that in itself has helped me work out where my place/heart is in this Wonderful World of Stitching. We can’t all like everything! So even the Workshops I hated taught me something!
I have been to workshops where everyone around me is enjoying the process while I’m sat there wondering when I can politely excuse myself and slink off home. But these workshops have also been the foundations of my learning to trust my own creative instincts.
But I digress. If you have a UFO that the thought of picking back up fills you with dread and guilt. I hereby give you permission to Let it Go. It is not necessary to finish every project!
Your time is one of your most precious gifts. Don’t throw your time away. But by all means ditch the UFO. Ideally get it out of your home as soon as possible. Don’t continue feeling guilty thinking, I could do this or that with it. If It’s nearly complete you could give it to a friend to finish – but only if it’s something your friend would like. Don’t just pass the guilt onto a friend.
Best thing I think is to put it in the recycling. That way it has a chance to be recycled into something useful. Something that someone, maybe even you would love. So turn your thinking around on UFO’S. Don’t keep them trapped in drawers and cupboards. Set them free. Put them back out into the world to be used again.
In fact if you have more that one UFO, try a double or treble ditch!
That said there are people who are very happy to receive ‘Orphan’ Blocks. These are blocks you have completed but not made into a Quilt Top. OR even quilt tops that have not been made into a Quilt. Lots of Charities are more than happy to adopt orphan projects. They have Stitchers at the ready looking to turn these neglected fabrics into Quilts to be used and loved by those in need.
Project Linus to name just one.
Or check out my earlier Post on Quilts for Dementia patients.
So if you feel your UFO could be useful to a Charity it almost seems wrong to keep it in a Drawer or Cupboard now doesn’t it.
You may even feel you would like to start making some Charity Quilts. My personal thoughts on this are that this is a fabulous idea. In my Quilt Group we regularly make quilts for various Charities. But please don’t just use making Charity Quilts as a dumping ground. It is one thing passing on something you don’t love to someone who might love it. But if it is really truly awful recycle it.
So there you have it. My new thoughts on UFO’s.
Next time we’ll talk about USO’s – Unstarted Objects.