I sometimes think the “F” in UFO* stands for “Forever.” As in, “this thing may be finished one day, but it will feel like it took forever.”
This is the downside to be a quilter (and a novel writer, for that matter). I love big, complex, time-consuming projects. They are engrossing and challenging. The intricate, detailed results are satisfying, but getting from start to finish can take me a long long long long time.
For example, today’s quilt (which I finished last week) is part of a series that I started in 2000. You read that right. This project is fifteen years old. And it’s still not done! There are 6 different pieces in this color exercise I’ve challenged myself with, and it’s taken me over a decade to get them all designed and pieced. I have three left to quilt, so I am nearly there.
My goal is to use three adjacent colors on a 6-color wheel for each quilt. (Remember the color wheel from art class? Red-orange-yellow-green-blue-violet.)
The latest piece is my green-orange-yellow quilt, the fourth one I’ve pieced, but the third one quilted.
These quilts have been sitting in the closet, waiting for me to quilt them, which is part of the reason it is taking me so long. Of course, this quilt didn’t take fifteen years to make. It took a few months to make. But I spread out the steps over time, because I get stuck, distracted, bored, or all of the above. I constantly start new projects, despite the UFOs I know I have lying around.
I’ve decided it’s time to get some of my UFOs F’d and out into the world. I have lots of finished tops, so this is my chance to practice my machine quilting and finish some projects at the same time. If I stick with it, I might be able to get this color exercise series done before 2020.
Do you have lots of UFOs lying around? How do you trick yourself into finishing things?
*In the quilting world, UFO stands for “UnFinished Object.” It’s code for “yet another project I abandoned in the middle but still expect to return to someday.”