Note here: creating is never a waste. We start projects because we want to and for whatever reason they get set aside. Dumping these projects is never a waste because the lessons learned and skills gained are ours to enjoy. So don't sweat the guilt if you need to dump, or burn a particularly monstrous UFO. You've got my back!
But just in case you do have tons of stuff you can't throw away but would prefer to pass on to a good cause, I started the Charity Link Up, which is for charities that will truly take any project in any state of completion.
I'm extremely glad I started this link up because it sort of explains my hang up about passing along UFOs - hardly ANY charities will take them.
Most quilting charities are focused on sending finished quilts to people in need. They don't want our 30 half pieced sawtooth star blocks or our partially finished double wedding ring. They want the finished quilt, with binding, and their branded tag while you're at it.
I'm not against quilt charities per-say, but I have issues with how difficult they can make it help out. I remember bringing a quilt to guild once and having it measured and rejected for not being the "right size" for the charities we donated to. It's a frigging quilt right!? What does it matter?!
I really appreciate Jacob, Janie, and Margret's Hope Chest being willing to take ANYTHING from quilters around the world. This takes guts, it's takes stamina, and more than anything else, it takes true passion to turn all this unfinished nothing into finished something that will help someone (or some animal) in need.
There was also a lot of mention and question about enabling. By encouraging you to trash or pawn off UFOs, am I just encouraging you to drop what bothers you to start new projects that make you feel better?
No. That is not what I'm saying. I encourage you to drop, trash, mail out, or pass on the projects you JUST CAN'T FINISH.
These are projects that are so mired with issues, flaws, deeper meaning, and screaming tantrums that you just can't stand them anymore. They are projects you have no passion for, no desire to see completed.
For all the other projects, you need to own up, pull on your big girl (boy) panties, grit your teeth, and stitch through it.
And that is exactly what I did this week. The 365 quilt has been a real beast in my closet. I haven't had the time to work on it lately, and even when I did, I didn't want to work on it.
Why? Because it was seriously hurting my hands every time I worked on it.
I'm 29 years old, but even I get pain in my fingers if I work too long at a project that strains the muscles in my hands and fingers. I realized I didn't want to work on this project because it always left a dull ache in my hands and wrists.
So this week on my UFO day, I spent the entire day working hard to make the rest of this project go easier.
I machine basted down every single piece of binding so now I don't have to hold the binding down tightly to the quilt with one hand while stitching with the other. I can bind easily and pull out the orange basting stitches as I go, making the entire project more comfortable and enjoyable to work on.
As a UFO goes, this quilt is MINE and not something I could ever pass on to someone else to finish. But it also hasn't been easy to keep at this project because it's so huge and been so overwhelming at times.
You might have a UFO in your closet that feels this way. If you really can't handle it, you can pass it on and you'll never receive judgement from me about it.
But if that's not an option, if you really, really want it finished, you can take a day to look at it and try to find the thing that is making it just so difficult and painful to work on.
Spend a day knocking that one thing out, or making it smaller, or easier to bear, and the entire project will feel lighter and easier to work on.
So this week work with diligence. Work with dedication and intent to make the projects you have easier to finish. Work harder today to make what you do tomorrow a bit easier.
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!