It seems this UFO project began as a small pebble being thrown into a pond - not a very big deal or a huge initial splash. But now the echoes of that ripple have begun to move out and expand and they are changing EVERYTHING in my life.
It's hard to believe a small choice like finishing what I make can have had such a profound change to how I feel and what I do on a daily basis. It's a feeling of being UNBLOCKED, free and open.
This summer while reading the book The Power of Habit, I realized I had a habit of feeling anxious almost all the time. It felt like an enormous weight rested on my shoulders and was always crushing, crushing, crushing down.
I didn't understand at the time where the feeling came from, so I just worked on releasing the habit. Only now after deciding to finish all my UFOs and working through several projects did I realize where all that anxiety was coming from - the crushing weight of so many projects left undone.
And it's not just things I need to stitch. I have huge business UFOs - books I'd like to write, DVDs that just need editing, patterns that just need to be put together coherently. The combination of so many quilting UFOs, business UFOs, and even personal UFOs like my goddess series is definitely a source of anxiety and stress!
The solution is simple: finish the things you start.
But sometimes finishing is difficult. As we've discussed before, a project can get blocked for many different reasons. This week my project was blocked with fear.
Power of Now (yes, another UFO I'll be getting to soon).
I strongly considered chucking them in the trash once I realized they wouldn't work for the quilt center. Why keep them?
But the work involved and the fact that they were goddess faces stopped me. I just couldn't throw them away. So they sat on my floor and made me feel guilty until now.
What was the problem? I wanted to turn them into a bag or small quilts, but I was scared to quilt over them. The dark one wasn't really a problem, it was the lighter face that was intimidating.
You see, I teach largely with dark fabric and stitch with light thread. I like this combination because you can see what I'm doing, I can see what I'm doing, and the texture really pops beautifully.
But the lighter face couldn't be quilted with light thread, it would just disappear into the fabric. I would have to quilt this with darker thread.
While this seems silly now to obsess about, it really threw me for a loop. At what point did my choice of materials become so limited with fear? At what point did stitching dark fabric with light thread become ALL I could do?
As soon as I realized my major issue with the project, it was far easier to stitch through it. I was still afraid of totally messing it up, but that fear was less powerful than my desire to get the faces done.
Once quilted, two beautifully filled faces were ready for a new home. Somewhere off my sewing room floor!
So I quilted a long strap and sewed the two up into a new tote bag:
Now I have a beautiful bag that reminds me not to let fear stand in the way of finishing something beautiful. I absolutely love carrying this bag because it's like carrying a goddess quilt around with me. THIS is what I do and THIS is what I can make. There's no more powerful statement that a handbag can make!
Instructions for Linking Up Your Blog or online photo:
1. Write your blog post. Publish it on your blog. If you're linking up a photo, first upload it to Flickr or Facebook.
2. Copy the link of the specific blog post. This is not just the link to your blog itself (www.freemotionquilting.blogspot.com), but the link to the specific post: http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.com/2012/01/quilt-along-2-quilting-in-rows.html
3. Click the blue link up button above and paste your link into the box.
If you have any questions about finishing your UFO, make sure to post them clearly within your post. 5 questions will be selected and answered on Monday or Tuesday's UFO Followup article.
By the way, if you'd like to share this program on your blog, grab a button below!