Gathering my sewing UFOs
This is my story. It starts with me trying to organize and finish my sewing UFOs. Who knows where it will lead?
I have a lot of sewing UFOs. My unfinished objects.
They are taking up space: brain space and physical space. Here’s one: some strips that I plan to cut up and do something with. But I don’t know what yet. A mini rail fence wall hanging perhaps?
I visualized finishing them so I could start a new project without feeling guilty. I imagined this is how peace and calm would feel like.
But as you all probably know, sometimes it’s just not that easy. Especially when they have piled up over years.
Finding my sewing UFOs and gathering them up
I decided to start by organizing them. I spent an afternoon going through all my fabric cuts and pulling out my sewing UFOs. Honestly, I found them everywhere.
Mostly my UFOs were mixed up with my fabric cuts. Found some more in another plastic bag. Still more in with my notions.
I pulled them all out and gave all my UFOs one box to live in.
Now, all my UFOs were in one box, but still sort of just stacked up and looking jumbled. If I’m being honest with myself, I felt like this box was just a big blob of shame.
This made me feel less overwhelmed, but really didn’t give me any more information. For each one I couldn’t really remember why I stopped, where did I stop and what to do next?
And, some of my UFOs made me feel sad. Oh yeah, did you know that UFOs have feelings? I do now.
Choosing a UFO to work on
Then I chose a UFO to start with. It was a pieced table runner. Using the model helped me show the results of my thoughts and feelings. I decided that I could be motivated to do it so I could give it to my mother in law as a gift.
I just needed to add a batting, backing, quilt it up and bind it. It was easy to get the backing pieced. Then I spray basted it and sandwiched it together. Then I quilted it. And then I…
Stopped. What now?
But…. I still didn’t love sewing or want to keep going.
Which is totally silly because I know I LOVE SEWING.
Something just didn’t feel right anymore. There was no happy zing.
(Spoiler alert – the zing comes back, I promise.)
Okay. Grinding through one UFO at a time wasn’t going to work. Time to try a different approach.
Stay tuned for Thursday!
Love this series! I have been pulling my UFO and trying to minimize space by cutting all the pieces, saving an extra 1\2 hard of each for errors! Then the rest of the fabrics to into my stash. Amazed at the space I have found!! Still my done, but seems more manageable!
Nice work Dee! I’m finding that cutting and choosing fabrics is helping me make progress on my UFOs too. Something about having one more task done and being closer the actual sewing – ie the fun part! Glad you are finding more space while doing this!
I have a project box with UFOs in it. I take it to retreats. I find I am more willing to work on “less fun” projects at a retreat. Something about having tons of time and needing to fill it. Not everything has to be wildly fun at a retreat, so I can take the time to redesign those dumb blocks, or find a way to put those parts together into something attractive, or border it up to a good size.
What a great idea Beth! And of course, it’s easy to get excited about an old UFO when everyone else at retreat has such good ideas and inspiration too. Thanks for sharing!
I did get mine organized such that each is in its own container labeled plastic tote, box, or bag. I also typed a chart with the list of steps to do for a quilt from initial idea, determining fabrics needed, purchasing fabric, cutting, etc., etc., al the way through binding.
I listed each project along the side and checked off the completed steps.
Other than obligations for others, such as finishing donation quilts for my quilt group by a certain date, I am not allowing myself to work on any new projects this year.
Anne, doing a chart and list of steps would be really helpful. Especially for people who need a little extra help to stay on track and remember the next step.
Thank you for sharing, I bet someone out there is nodding their head and going… YES!!! I can do that!
Even though you are not starting work on any new projects this year, I hope you are gathering up your new ideas so that you have lots of inspiration to choose from in the new year. So much fun to design and sketch new ideas down on paper.
As I’ve gone about trying to organize my sewing room, I have found many UFOs.(many is an understatement) Rather than see them as a negative, I’ve decided to change their designation as “treasures” and treat them with joy. A few days ago I ran into a treasure that I began when my granddaughter#4, started kindergarten(she is now 14). It’s a corduroy jumper that will now go to her little sister(granddaughter#6) now in kindergarten. All it needs now is buttonholes and buttons.
Oh how lovely Leticia, what a wonderful way to change how you approach them. And what luck that this one is so quick and easy to finish for your granddaughter. Enjoy it.