During one of my Bee meetings in January, a member suggested that the Bee girls write down all of our UFO’s (UnFinished Objects). It goes without saying that all quilters have numerous projects in different stages of completion. It’s just the way we are.
I always laugh when new quilters say they are going to work on a quilt and finish it before they start a new project. They make it sound like you’re flawed if you have several projects going at the same time. It doesn’t take long before the new quilter gets tired of this self-imposed rule. There are just too many quilts and projects that we want to make to limit ourselves to just one at a time.
Some quilts take such a long time we get tired of working on them, so put them aside and work on something else. I have a king sized white-on-white quilt top that I hand quilted on and off for nearly 10 years before finishing it. Since that January meeting, members of my Bee are coming in with their lists of projects that need to be finished ... or do they?
I’m still working in my sewing room. If you’re a regular reader, you know I’ve been working on cleaning out and organizing this room since Christmas. I finally worked my way into the walk-in closet. Needless to say, it was full of things I’ve accumulated through 30 years.
Hanging on the rod on one side of the closet are bags that have projects in them. Some are new projects — never started. These consist of the pattern, fabric and sometimes even embellishments meant for that project and the thread to be used. Other bags have projects that have been started.
Going through the project bags has been an exercise in “to pitch or not to pitch.”
Asking myself if I like this project enough to spend my valuable time to finish it has been my problem. I’ve had to be hard on myself and insist that I be honest during this activity.
I found strips of fabric I know came from a fabric exchange the Guild had probably over 20 years ago. Staring down into the bag at the stacks of strips in patterns that were used at that time, but are totally outdated now I asked myself if they could be used somehow in a new project. I even considered gifting the Guild’s service projects chairman if they could be made into baby quilts.
I finally took a deep breath and pitched the bag into the trash. As I worked down the length of the clothes rod, I found several projects I knew I would not make so I put the pattern in a box with other books and patterns I want to get rid of, and I placed the fabric with my stash to be used in some other project.
I also found several projects that I started but never finished. Some I hung back up because I really want to finish them, but others were pitched.
I’m feeling much better about what I have hanging in the closet and what was pitched. My fellow Bee girls have started going through their UFOs and are finding that yes, they can pitch a project and the Quilt Police will not come knocking on their door to arrest them.
I know it seems awful to throw away fabric, but there comes a time when that project you had liked enough to purchase fabric to make is no longer appealing.
Nancy C. JUDD is a Herald correspondent.