I’ve recently gotten a new sewing space, which is a wonderful thing, but it has meant moving and sorting all the sewing “stuff” I’ve accumulated over 30 years. This brings up some tough questions when it comes to UFOs and past projects. When is it time to let them go? How should I decide? Maybe you can help me.
#1. For this top I used designs from a block book and set 15 assorted blocks into three columns. Made about 12 to 15 years ago. I think quilting would help a lot.
#2. Made this on a class assignment to use a triadic color scheme. Blue checks are feedsack, floral is a vintage tablecloth, rickrack is all vintage. Not my best idea ever. All it needs is binding but it doesn’t feel finished, and at the same time, doesn’t feel worth finishing. I hate to sacrifice vintage textiles but maybe this one should go.
#3. Very long-term project of hexagons. Love all the reproductions, especially the cheddar centers. And look what happens when I add the turkey red.
#4. Made this tree to express “Spring.” Still love the tree but not sure where to go from here. Could be a good design exercise, but I don’t want to just make more trees. How about the “maybe” pile?
#5. I printed some gorgeous vintage Valentines onto fabric and appliqued one to a fat quarter. No idea what I was thinking.
I even have more images printed on fabric, waiting their turn. I really hate it that I wasted those fabric sheets…but I need to let all of them go. The idea just isn’t going anywhere. Goes into the “delete” pile.
#6. Made this as a color option for Quiltmaker for a quilt called Wild Thing. I still have the fabrics to make this repro version as large as I want to. But it feels boring to me, uninspired. I could repeat the blocks over and over but I don’t think it would look much different than it does now. Quilting would probably help, but it can only do so much. I think this gets passed along to someone else—maybe she can catch the vision!
#7. I made this 10 or 12 years ago and I still love it. It was WAY too much work to let someone else have it. And now my first grandbaby is due and surely this would be an appropriate gift? Except. As much as I hate to admit it, I can think of many other simpler designs my daughter would like better. (A Piece o’ Cake design from Once Upon a Season)
So the dilemma is that I can’t get rid of it and I can’t give it to the only baby I feel is worthy of it. One option: make a bunch more wagon wheels until this is big enough for me to snuggle in when I need a happy quilt. Yes. Done.
#8. This is one gut wrenching. The class assignment was to make something in the style of an artist whose work you admire. I chose Paul Klee and used the piece above as my inspiration to make the piece below. It honors my son, who has special needs. The ugly word that represents his diagnosis is nestled in the letters. (It has only one border—the outer tan you see is the carpet under the quilt.)
I think maybe I never finished this because it was too painful. All it needs is a facing. Even if I just tuck it inside a drawer, I will finish this. It’s meaningful for me and that’s what matters.
#9. Even more gut wrenching. Assignment was to make a quilt to evoke emotion. I chose the Holocaust, which felt like cheating, because how can that not evoke emotion? Even more so when children are present.
I painted the coarse fabric to look like a concentration camp uniform. I painted their stars yellow. I cried a lot while making this quilt. I can’t finish it but I can’t let them be forgotten either. No idea what to do—this one baffles me completely.
#10. These were actually someone else’s UFO, purchased at a guild garage sale. Why do I do this to myself? They seem to have potential. I think I’ll stick with it.
And finally, this color option for Quiltmaker. A Bonnie Hunter design called Patches and Pinwheels that makes a dynamite scrap quilt in ANY fabrics. I used Japanese taupes and similar prints. This will be gorgeous. It has to stay. (Again, the outer tan is the carpet.)
This has been like quilting therapy! When I’m forced to state the reasons for keeping or deleting, it becomes more clear what should stay and what should go.
How would you vote? Leave a comment with your thoughts about these UFOs please. I’m interested in knowing if you agree or disagree.
On my own, I’m left with this tally: Keep 6; Delete 3; Maybe 1; Unknown 1. If I get really tough and move the Maybe and Unknown both into Delete, it’s nearly a tie. And that’s good enough for me at this stage of the game.