In our previous post, we gathered our unfinished quilts together into a single location and began evaluating them to decide if we are going to finish, not finish or pivot. This week we’re going to begin diving deeper into a subsection of our unfinished quilts; projects that we decide not to finish.
Sometimes we will find an unfinished project that we know we don’t want to finish, but feel an obligation to from the time and money that we already spent on that project. Let’s walk through a scenario and discuss how you can move forward while still respecting the sunk costs that you’ve already spent on that project.
Let’s walk through an example of a project you decide not to finish
Let’s say you took a class two years ago where you learned how to do foundation paper piecing. The class taught you the basics of foundation paper piecing within a single quilt block that you could then repeat and assemble to create the quilt top. Before the class, you followed the supplies list and purchased enough fabric to create the entire quilt top.
Along with instruction, the teacher provided you with enough foundation paper pieces to finish the whole project. By the time the class ends, you’ve finished your one block (and have a much stronger grasp on doing foundation paper piecing!) and take it home with you. At this point you’ve already invested the time (supply shopping/prep time and class time) and the money (class fee and supplies purchased), and this makes you feel like you HAVE to finish the class project in order to “get your money’s worth.”
But when you pull this particular UFO into the pile and evaluate next steps you realize that you have NO interest in finishing this quilt. Maybe you’ve learned more about foundation paper piecing and decided it’s not for you, or you have learned so much about foundation paper piecing that you look back at your sewing work here and know it isn’t up to par based on your current skill set. It doesn’t matter; the important point is that you do not have to finish it.
Restock Project Materials into Your Stash
Once you’ve made the decision to not finish a project you next need to decide what to do with the project materials. While you can donate unfinished quilts and supplies to quilt guilds or other charities, you can also choose re-stock the supplies into your own stash. So if you were keeping all of the supplies from this class together in a project kit you could simply disassemble the kit. Refold your fabric as needed and add it back to the right section of your stash, put any special tools into your regular sewing toolkit and add the thread back to your thread rack. You can still keep any patterns, templates or directions; be sure to label them and store them inside of a plastic sleeve in a big three-ring binder along with all other loose-leaf patterns.
Throw Away Partial Blocks
If you have partially completed blocks that you don’t want to finish it’s ok to just throw those blocks away. They aren’t going to magically complete themselves, and if you’ve moved on then it’s ok to also let your partial blocks move on. Again, you can salvage any usable fabric by cutting it down into scrap size pieces or you can just toss the whole thing and move on with your day. No feelings of guilt are necessary!
Take a look at your UFOs and see if any of them fit into this category of projects you do NOT want to finish. When you find one, take five minutes to take care of it.
- throw away any trash, such as used foundation paper
- throw away any partially completed blocks that you can’t use elsewhere
- restock any project materials into your stash
Then do a victory dance because you’ve just take one more step to reclaiming how you spend your sewing time and energy and recommitted to only work on the projects that bring you joy.
Finish Your Quilts
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!