Friday, January 03, 2014

Celebrating My Achievements

In this age of instantaneous, it's important to take the time to think back on our achievements. So many things take time and even though they may be fun to make, it's important to reflect on not only what we've finished, but also what we've worked on and what we've learned through the process.

In our quilting group, the Frayed Knots, this year's challenge was to list and then finish as many of our UFOs (Un-Finished Objects) as possible. We all agreed that it felt good to find and list our unfinished projects. Some of our members had over 60 UFOs! My list of nine was much smaller...and I managed to finish one!!!

Handwoven blocks from the Friendship Coverlet
My oldest project dates from 1991 when I wove blocks for a friendship coverlet. My blocks are beautiful but I haven't done anything with them, except to weave a few more years ago so that I could eventually make a throw. Technically, it wasn't a quilting project, but I've decided that I would add sashing around each block to make them all the same size and then add borders. All of the squares have a wool weft and a cotton warp. They are wonderful but if I leave them just in wool, I'll never be able to use the throw since I'm allergic to wool! That's why I'd like to back the throw in either cotton or flannel (pre-washed of course!!!) It's thanks to this challenge that I've started thinking about finishing this project and even bought sashing and border fabric. I'm not sure that I have the "perfect" fabric yet, so it may take a while to actually start finishing it!

I learned a lot as I prepared this list. It turns out that many of the projects on my UFO list were not finished because I wasn't technically ready to finish them. Five of the 9 projects are almost or actually ready to machine quilt - but I've only this summer bought a machine that I could use to free motion quilt. I'm really looking forward to practicing my free motion quilting on them. This will probably keep me busy for the rest of the winter! I have a couple of Craftsy courses that will help me get them done. I'm looking forward to posting the results, eventually.

Since preparing my list of UFOs, I've used the list to keep track of the project that I've started and completed this year. Actually, this blog represents that list well, except that I don't often post unfinished projects, except for the quilt-along projects. Or that's what I thought until I reviewed this year's blogs. It turns out that I did blog about a few UFOs, mostly because of the events that brought them about: Ricky Timm's Convergence quilt that I started before seeing him in July; and then the needle turn appliqué class with Kathy Wylie. These are still UFOs, otherwise I would have announced their completion to the world through my blog :-)

What I learned through this year's challenge:
  • A project doesn't have to be completed to bring you satisfaction. Sometimes just getting it a little further along is a real accomplishment.
  • Projects often get finished when they are ready (or I am ready) to finish them. Sometimes it's a matter of learning or getting better at a new skill; and sometimes it's about waiting for a great idea on how to proceed. Either way, there's nothing wrong with waiting.
  • My list is no longer called a UFO list, but rather my List of Ongoing Projects. After all, it really is all about perspective!

1 comment:

  1. I like that - List of Ongoing Projects! So much more palatable and positive! Love those woven blocks, they'll make a gorgeous quilt!


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