Like many quilters, I use my dining room table for most of my sewing, and the machine stays parked there like a true family member for most of the year. But come the time from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, and the machine is back in my office area, rarely touched. January finds it returning to the place of honor in the dining room, because I am eager to use it.
And, like many of you, I have lots of projects going at once. You know that I like variety, and there are so many sources of inspiration out there and so many new things to try! So this year, January found me assessing my UFO’s and the waiting PIGS (projects in grocery sacks) and frankly it was overwhelming.
I decided to break it down into smaller piles and prioritize them. I settled on keeping my mending and one hand project out, for those quiet moments by the TV or while waiting for the new tires to get put on the car. The one commissioned project had to get finished. Everything else was fair game for being deferred, or pushed to ‘current’ status. I figured that five projects in queue was great—the rest were packed away.
After looking at about two dozen UFOs, I settled on three to keep out and plow through. Two were easy choices, they are basted and the binding is prepared, so finishing the quilting and putting that binding on means that I can have two finishes pretty quickly. One is for a client, the other for me, which feels like cheating—almost! I am hoping that some speedy finishes will be motivating.
The third UFO that has risen to the top of the pile is one that started with the In The Bag Challenge a couple of years ago. My assigned partner had sent me two yards of “challenging” fabric, and I had dug through my stash to round it out to a quilt. Along the line, she made a gorgeous quilt from the “uglies” I had sent her, but I got side-tracked. The green/orange/purple quilt that I am creating from her fabrics has been named the Mardi Gras quilt-for its colors and also for the people who will own it when it is done. Friends were getting married and moving to New Orleans, so it seemed like a great wedding gift. Now we are heading toward their second anniversary and I am determined to get it in their hands. Guilt pushes it high on the list, but truly it is a simple quilt and should go fast.
Frankly I think the fourth selection is more PIGS than UFO, because it had started cutting it out, but got stalled. Now I know it will be like starting over to get my brain back into it. It is to be a wedding quilt, for my son and his bride. They knew it would be late, as they had a surprise wedding and the only thing I had time to sew for that was the simple cocktail-style wedding dress. Together we picked the fabrics for a batik version of a quilt from the book Transparency Quilts. It is a “system” sort of assembly which should mean it goes relatively quickly as well. Time permitting.
The fifth selection is a PSQ and not to be started until the others are done. This is for a cousin who is facing some long-term care issues, and I hope that the wild variety of fabrics in a PSQ will entertain her.
Since the mending is ongoing, I am not saying much more about it, but we all have items to hem and buttons to sew and such.
For my handwork, I have selected my hexagon quilt. Making hexies is as addictive as any charm quilt. This is the first time I have tried to make a full quilt using English Paper Piecing, and it has me hooked. I love Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilts of yore, and this will be a variation on that. While I am doing the other quilts in order, this can be worked on at the same time.
When these are done I can set the next set. In my imagination, I am hoping that is soon, certainly before summer. I need an accountability nudge from time to time. I promise to post as I finish them up, but if I seem to be taking too long, please holler at me!
And I know that I am not alone. How many UFOs do you have going? What are you doing to get through them? How do you prioritize finishing them?
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