This week I've been taking a look at my UFO list and seriously wanting to cut it down by half in a hurry. It seems there's loads of projects that just need something small, like binding, a name tag, or a hanging sleeve.
Why do these small things not get done? Why leave them to pile up when that quilt could be being used and enjoyed?!
So today we're going to learn about the Snowball Effect.
This is a term used by debt advisers to help you pay off your debts quickly. Basically you budget a certain amount of money, let's say $200 to pay off debts. The first month, you knock out all the tiny debts, like $50 here and $25 there. All those little guys get paid off first and only the minimum balances get paid on the big debts.
Then the next month, you still have that same $200 budget, PLUS any money freed up by not having minimum payments or fees on the small debts you paid off. You use all that money to pay off the next biggest debts.
And on it goes, slowly snowballing up until you only have really big debts to pay off and knock them out with big punches every month. It's really a great way to pay down lots of debt and get control over your finances in a short amount of time.
But is this a good way to bust through UFOs?
I decided to test the theory this week with 3 UFO quilts clogging up the shelves of my sewing room. Each one only needed about 1-2 hours of attention - mostly binding, hanging sleeves, and a bit of quilting needed to finish them up.
So I busted through all three in a couple days and it really felt great! I could feel the snowball effect of enthusiasm and energy being sent straight into my sewing room.
Picking these now finished quilts up and bringing them upstairs to the couch also felt really good. Three less things in my sewing room - YAY!
But...and yes, there is a but to this....after finishing so many things at once, I really, really, REALLY wanted to start something new.
So I did. I decided not to resist the temptation to create something new because ultimately it's what I needed this week.
Keep in mind that unlike paying off real debts which really NEED to be paid off or they hurt us down the road, UFOs don't hurt anyone. They just take up space and drive us slowly crazy because of all the pressure and stress they bring by sitting in the corner of the sewing room whispering "finish me...finish me...finish me..."
So here's what I made: I had loads of tiny scraps left over from James's Space Quilt, which I had not thrown away yet. This is pretty unusual for me, as I could previously be known as The Ultimate Scrap Fabric Waster. It must be a side product of finishing so many UFOs and not buying more fabric, but I'm tending to get a lot more frugal with my fabric.
But what the heck do you do with this? These are literally shreds from squaring off the edges of fabric and none were wide enough to even get a seam allowance out of.
Normally, back in my UFO Creating Days, I would have shoved all these in a bag and thought "I'll get to that later." and left it to fill up yet another bin, shelf, or drawer in my sewing room.
Those days are long over! I wanted to keep these shreds, so I'd better do something with them - NOW! I pulled out some wash-away material, sandwiched those shreds between, stitched it quickly with some funky designs, rinsed away the stabilizer and ta-da a bright rainbow scarf was made:
|Clearly I forgot to comb my hair today...but my scarf still rocks!|
So that's the lesson for this week: yes, make a list of your UFOs and yes, spend a day knocking out all the "small debts" that can be completed in a few hours.
But also find something fun you can make as a reward. All work and no play makes a quilting no fun!
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!