I'm curious because I've been trying to balance 3 very different UFOs over the past two weeks. One is a book, one is a pattern, and the third is a quilt.
At any given time, one of these projects have to be put down for the others. They're not WIPs, they're DRIVING ME CRAZIES! (new acronym: DMCs)
So after struggling through this week of hopping from project to project, I've finally come to a conclusion: this is NOT a good way to work.
A single focus is a blessing. I sat on the couch last night hand binding the 365 quilt (another DMC) and thought about what it would feel like if I only had ONE SINGLE PROJECT to work on.
Only ONE. Nothing else distracting me. No other deadlines. No other responsibilities. Just ONE project.
As I sat thinking about it, I began to fantasize about what it would feel like to work on just one project - no weight, no yelling UFOs, no struggle to stay balanced amid the chaos of multiple projects. Just a single focus that I could speed through with my mind calm and my eyes on the finish line.
I admit, this sounds like a fantasy land of quilting.
A place where there is no guilt, no worry, no stress - just the joy of stitching a project through to completion. I'd be able to work so much faster! I would be like a cheetah - blazing through projects with a single focus.
And just to clarify - no, the point of quilting is not to rush through projects with no enjoyment.
I don't want to rush, but I would like to move a bit faster! There are many quilts I've had bouncing around in my head for YEARS and I can't quilt them because so much other stuff is piled up on top. Where is the enjoyment in this craft under so much weight and stress?
So my theory is now simple (though it might sound like gibberish if you aren't familiar with the acronyms!):
UFOs are created by having too many WIPs. Trying to work on too many projects at a time, no matter their status or how long they've been in progress will only create more WIPs, which are really DMCs. Eventually you'll get so overwhelmed and bogged down, they'll all get chucked as UFOs and the cycle starts again!
But there is a problem - how do you put down a WIP?
I've struggled with this question this week. It would make my life very, very simple if I would just shelve one of the projects I'm working on.
But I can't.
They're ALL just SO CLOSE to being done! I can't just shelve them NOW when THEY'RE NEARLY FINISHED!
This is the super emotional, totally DMC side of my brain shouting here. Yes, all these projects are nearly complete. So close they only need a day or two of work and they'll be done.
But that's the trick - they need a day or two of SOLID FOCUS. I could knock out one this week if I could only put down the other two. As it is, I keep bouncing from one to another, making each one take longer because my brain can't focus properly.
Just think of a cheetah - do they try to kill ALL the antelopes in the field at the same time? Nope. They pick just one and take it down with speed and accuracy. They don't waste energy wounding several animals at once - they knock out a big one with one fell swoop.
So let's go for the jugular this week and try to knock out a single UFO with dedicated focus and concentration. Chances are it will feel far more enjoyable because your brain will not be trying to take small bites out of so many different things at once.
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.
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