We’ve all done it.
We’ll start a new project with the best of intentions to finish, but then something gets in the way. Maybe it was life (uh, hello all of 2020), other obligations, you got stuck on a certain step, or you just got bored with a specific project. Usually when this happens we will carefully (or not so carefully) bundle up the work we’ve already completed and tuck it away in a drawer or closet for safe-keeping until the time is “right” to finish it.
With this first post in our Finish Your Quilts series, we’re going to learn about and then take the first steps in moving those UFOs (Unfinished Fabric Objects) toward the finish line!
Step 1 – Gather all of your UFOs together
Before we can really evaluate what we need to finish, what order to finish them in or even IF we want to finish each project we need to bring them together and look at them as a whole group. You might have kept all of your UFOs in the same spot, such as a single drawer, which will make this part easy. If they’re scattered around your creative space, or even throughout your house, it might take a little bit more time to find them all.
Make it a game and treat it like a scavenger hunt! Try setting your timer for 15 minutes and see if you can check all of the places where you might have stashed an unfinished project.
As you gather your UFOs, place them in neat rows on whatever flat surface is available to you: cutting table, bed, countertop, couch cushions or even on a towel on the floor. Try to avoid placing any value judgements either on yourself or on any of the unfinished projects that you’re discovering. Your sewing journey is your own journey, and comparing yourself to others won’t help you get your projects finished.
Step 2 – Evaluate your UFOs
Once you have assembled all of your unfinished projects into one spot it’s time to start taking a look at each project individually. There is one important mantra that we’re going to use as we work through this process:
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO FINISH EVERY PROJECT YOU START.
Yup, that’s right. We’ve just officially given you permission to make the decision to NOT finish a particular project. There are going to be projects that you might have enjoyed when you started them, but as time has passed you no longer want to engage with that project.
This can be a common occurrence when a project was from a class that you took. Even if you enjoyed the class at the time, learned a new skill, or thought you liked a project, you’re still allowed to decide if you want to spend your time after the class finishing the project. Again, it’s ok to move on from a project and spend your time on other sewing that better fits your current interests.
Divide your UFOs into three categories:
- Projects your want to finish
- Projects you want to pivot (ie, turn quilt blocks into a table runner instead of a whole quilt)
- Projects you don’t want to finish
Step 3 – Take Action
We’ve talked about how to gather and begin evaluating your UFOs, so now it’s time to take action!
- Gather all of your UFOs together into one spot
- One at a time, divide your UFOs into three categories (finish, pivot, don’t finish)
- Remember, you can always change your mind about a specific project later!
Finish Your Quilts
This is the first post in a new series about getting our quilts across the finish line! In the next posts in this series we’ll take a deeper dive into some options for projects that you don’t want to finish or that you want to pivot. We’ll also take a look at what your options are when you do finish a project (hint-you don’t have to keep every quilt you finish).
Want to learn how quilting industry professionals get their UFOs finished? Click below to download our free curated guide that shares how the professionals get their projects finished!