Monday, January 30, 2012

The Mental Side of UFO's and Other Stuff

Finished is Better Than Perfect.

I've been telling myself this since my first project in 1996. And I have finished quite a number of projects. But I still have more than two dozen on a list, not to mention the ones I forgot about and aren't on the list. So while this is easy to say, it's not so easy to put in to practise. Does this mean a relaxation of standards? I don't think so. But it may mean a more realistic approach according to my skills and abilities.

A Mistake is a Design Opportunity.

I came across this concept in a book called black & white and pieced all over by Kay M. Capps Cross. It isn't always possible to re-do blocks, so she tells us to think about it differently and gives great suggestions on specific 'fixes'. This leads me to my next point...

Make it Work.

Karen used this expression in her recent post. Evidently a person named Tim Gunn uses it on a show called Project Runway. This show really puts people under pressure to create to a short deadline. Sould I do as Karen suggests and imagine Tim Gunn stopping by and telling me to Make it Work!! Karen's post also highlights my next point...

Does it Really need a Border?

I like simple framing borders, but for some reason I seem to procrastinate putting them on. I think a pieced border would make it even worse. Self-analysis of why I seem to self-destruct my project's progress reveals that I am putting off the basting and quilting. So essentially I'm lazy? Probably. Who knew quilting was so physical? I need to adopt a new attitude or make a lot of money to have someone else do these things for me. I think a good professional quilter is so worth it. Did you know that some of the professional quilters in my area have closed their books to new clients? They simply have enough work with their existing clients. So I am not alone, but I obviously don't have the disposable income they do. So I need to get in shape and get it done, and see point number one.

Is it Possible to Have too Much Fabric?

I want to say no, but I think the answer for me is yes. My fabric is in large plastic boxes (about 30) and is mostly sorted according to colour and style. But the boxes are stacked on top of each other so it means a lot of heavy lifting and shifting in a small space. When I pull fabrics for a project, the process has to be repeated to put them away, which I don't always do because it is so physical. (That lazy thing again.) So then I have messy piles around or shoeboxes shoved on shelves etc. I supppose I could spend hundreds of dollars on industrial shelves to put the boxes on, but that disposable income is a tricky business.

A Quilt is not a Quilt until it's Cat Approved.

On a lighter note, I was visiting Pam at Mama Spark's World. She's come home to find her cat sitting on her just-finished quilt. What is it about cats and quilts? Or dogs and quilts for that matter. It's one of life's mysteries.

So we say it all the time - must finish the UFO's, or the WIP's, or the PIP's. (A rose by any other name etc.) Maybe this year I will make some progress. There is a lot of helpful information on the web about getting motivated, getting organised, having a strategy.

In the end, I think I need to

Just Do It!


Simone de Klerk said...

Some interesting thoughts! And I don't really agree on the 'lazy' part. It is the 'not fun at all' part, which you try to ignore, pretend it isn't there etc.
Hope you find a good way in finishing those UFOs and I have decided that the UFOs I really don't enjoy to work on anymore, I will giveaway to someone who will like it. No frustrations and another UFO 'done'.

Allie said...

Great post, Shari! I don't keep tops around, I have no UFO's for those, but I do have lots of stitcheries half done. I need to stop working on more than one at a time.

I totally agree about the fabric. If you do have the shelving, and have the fabric where you can see it, it's so much easier than pulling out all those totes. Hate that. Right now most of my stash [it's small] is in drawers, and that's not much better - it all still has to come out so I can see it, and it never fits well going back in.

Messy Karen said...

wow Shari. you have brought up some very interesting ideas here. i know i have too much fabric. but i know that most of the older stuff was not bought for quiltmaking. so this year i need to concentrate on defining for what purpose i am keeping it. my Make It Work strategy for me is not for a regular work-in-progress that is not getting done. there is always the grin-and-bear-it-work that needs to be done to finish. but what do you do when what you were attempting just doesn't seem to be working. for me i don't even have a regular bed. so for me borders just seem to be what makes your patchwork stretch into a bed quilt. of course that isn't always the case. but i tie most of my quilts. and put my ties on the seams. so adding ties to large piece of fabric doesn't work for me. none of my quilts end up on beds. so i can selfishly have this attitude about borders. i am once again trying to find a proper storing solution for my stuff. but i know that the real problem is that i work on way too many projects and many many of them are just not going to be finished any time soon. so brutal-decision-making has to also be part of my strategy for the coming year.

Floss said...

I would agreee with these, I too find that quilts become UFO when its time to add the border.

Nanette Merrill said...

Such fabulous rules. These are things I tell students when I teach a class too.

Sheila said...

The comment on perfection reminded me of a little ditty I used to include it at the end of my student notes "Nothing would be done if we waited until it could be done perfectly.
Strive for excellence not perfection, finished is better than perfect"..... So True.

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