Decide what to be and go be it.

The alien threat…

I think I have enough UFOs to rival Roswell, New Mexico.  In fact, I’ve been considering renaming my sewing room Area 51.

My projects didn’t begin as UFOs.  I’m sure no one begins a project with no intention of finishing.  But somehow, many of them enter UFO limbo…some never again to see the light of day…or the light of the sewing machine.  My projects rarely become relegated to the closet because I don’t like them.  I genuinely love most of them.  I will admit with some guilt that if I don’t like something I’ll get it out of my life…give it away or throw it away.  That can be very liberating.  Life’s too short to make quilts I don’t like.  But, nope, I love most of them.

So, how do they become relegated to the UFO (Later Tater) heap? I think it’s because I love the process.  I love the planning, the cutting, the sewing, the quilting.  OK…so I don’t like the entire process….I don’t like the binding.  But my mind is always wandering to whatever aspect of the process I’m not doing.  If I’m piecing, I want to quilt.  If I’m quilting, I want to piece. (I never want to bind, however.)  I can be piecing a block and out of the corner of my eye I see a little stack of fabric on the cutting table and I start to imagine baskets or stars.  (I’m so easily distracted…like a cat playing with a beam of light.)  And there is the birth of another UFO.

Here are just a few of the projects with which I have difficulty making eye contact…mostly due to guilt.  Guilt is powerful!!

Here is the Fons and Porter quilt that my sister and I did as a challenge.  She won.  She always wins.  This needs borders…just borders.  I have the fabric.  I swear sometimes when I walk past it I can hear the border fabric begging to be attached.  I pretend I don’t hear it.

Ah…the hand embroidered basket quilt for MiniQuilter’s bed.  There is some hope for this one.  This is nicknamed my baseball quilt.  I have a problem sitting and I need something to do so I stitch the flowers while I’m watching the game.  Unfortunately, the season ended way too early.  I still have four baskets to embroider.  If you look closely, you can probably see the tear stains from every time the relief pitcher blew a one run lead in the bottom of the ninth.  But it’s spring once again and hope springs eternal…for the team and the quilt.

The fan quilt project.  This poor guy has yet to see scissors or needle.  It dates back to my “I love oriental fabrics” days.  Even though I’m drawn more to darker, more mutes tones now, I still love orientals.  So, there is the potential for completion here.  As you can see, I have everything I need–even down to the the beautiful, glittery purple thread for quilting.  Because as we all know, you never know when you’ll be working on the project at 3:00AM and need the thread and the darn shop is closed!

I don’t even want to try to find the bag that houses the turquoise and brown fabrics from our trip to Tucson.  And the afternoon spent in a multitude of bead shops looking for just the right beads for the project. (My husband is a saint.)  Trouble is, I just can’t remember what that project was to be.

Completed tops with no quilting?  Those don’t count.  Or should I say, too many to count.  Quilting is the biggest obstacle for me.  I really don’t like hand quilting and I’m still trying to learn free motion quilting.  I know….practice, practice, practice.  I have a nice frame for machine quilting and when My Juki decides to play nice with the thread, I can do a pretty darn good job there.  However, my Juki is a whole other post!!!!!!

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22 thoughts on “The alien threat…

  1. Love all these UFO’s! but, have many of mine to finish. I will be 69 this year, I better get “crackin” !!

    Love your Blog! Truly enjoy your comments. Did you get the reply Jen and I sent last week??

  2. basildonkitchens on said:

    I loved ready this post – makes me feel like I am not alone with one or two (get serious – multiple) UFOs. Actually I like calling them “PHD”s! Projects Half Done – sounds more intellectual – my excuse and I’ll stick to it.

    I have been able to get many closer to finished though – started tracking what I am working on in my blog and funny enough – I feel guilty enough to tackle a few.

    Keep up the good work! 🙂

  3. Your fabrics talk to YOU too? I am so glad…..I thought it was just me. 🙂

    Isn’t there a group of people doing something like “finish it up Friday” or something like that? I can’t remember where I ran across it……

    • It sure does! Mostly it talks to me in the quilt shop. It says things like “Don’t leave me here!” “Take me home with you!” “You know you love me!” I think you get the drift…. 🙂

  4. All your projects are lovely!!!!!!

  5. This post made me laugh out loud! Sounds like home to me. Altogether too many projects on the go, fabric that speaks to you — it must be a quilter’s bug going around! 😉

  6. This post is hysterical!!! I could have written it….no kidding! Have tried thinking “positive thoughts” when doing the binding…to no avail-still not my favorite process! Why is it that your UFO’s look so much more interesting than mine? Maybe we should all package up our UFO’s and send them off to each other!?! Hmmm, just a thought!LOL! Hugs, Doreen

    • Additional thought to above: What type of frame set-up do you have and Juki model? I work without a frame and use a Juki2010TL (replaces the 98). It has its moments when the thread presents a problem but, generally, it’s really a great machine. Purchased a Bernina 440QE and have pretty much not used it since getting the Juki (had I gotten the Juki first, I would not own the Bernina today!).

      • I have a Hinterberg frame and a Juki TL 98. Although many times it’s called the Junki…when it’s not being called called things that I won’t put in my blog. The machine actually stitches well when it’s off the frame. However, it’s pretty much dedicated to the frame so the fact that the little bugger doesn’t do so well on the frame is aggravating! I’m beginning to think that the issue is operator error. When I would have the thread breakage problems, I would change the needle. It never occurred to me that it might be the needle SIZE that was the issue. So, the plan is to put something on the frame and test with a larger needle. Goodness knows I have enough UFOs to sacrifice one of them. 🙂

        • The Juki2010TL that I use seems to prefer a size14 quilting needle. Have tried other sizes/types and the thread seems to shred. Very good stitching with that size so have stocked up!! Have thought about the New English Quilter frame. The UK couple who developed it use the same machine you have!

          • I’ve been using a 14 but I’ve been reading that maybe a 14 or 16 topstitch needle would be better. So, I’ll be trying that next. I really want this to work! 🙂

            • By all means, try those sizes. These machines sure have their own personalities!!! In following along with posts from Leah Day and Wendy (IvorySpring), the 12 topstitch needle was suggested. Didn’t work for me. Tried the 14 topstitch and the thread still shredded. Went back to the 14 quilting needle and all is well. It does look like a “dagger” to me. If I use the Sulky rayon thread I can use a smaller needle, though. The machine speed to fabric movement seems to be the crucial component in this equation, though, and the biggest reason for the “practice, practice, practice”!! Hugs, Doreen

  7. I am a member of the unfinished projects guild (I think this must be an extremely large guild…I find members wherever I go, on and offline).

    I’ve admired that Fons and Porter quilt for a very long time. At least you started it! In fact, you’ve done quite a bit!

    Be proud that you enjoy the journey, and not just the end!

  8. Welcome to the guild! Yes, we are a very large group…a wonderful sisterhood (and probably brotherhood) of impatient, creative people!

    The Fons and Porter quilt was actually fun to piece…although I was a little tired of red, white and blue. I plan to complete this one. Hope springs eternal!

    You’re right…there’s a lot to be said for enjoying the journey!

  9. I don’t have very many UFO’s since I took up quilting, but then I have only been doing it for about a year. Is it something we unconsciously aspire to? I see it everywhere and imagine the answer to be, “Yes!” 😉 Thank you for visiting, and for your comment today! ~ Lynda

  10. I have decided this year to not count my UFOs, or my WIPs for that matter. Your Fons & Porter quilt is beautiful. I’ll bind it if you finish it 🙂 Binding is my favorite part.

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