The Free Motion Quilting Project: UFO Followup #2

Monday, September 3, 2012

UFO Followup #2

Whoo Hoo!  We're only on our second UFO Sunday and it looks like we're all making good progress on at least one UFO!

One thing I picked up from reading multiple posts, and also from working on my own UFO this week, was the importance of attitude over a project.

Put it this way: if you're dreading a task, whether it's quilting or cutting fabric or putting a block together, how likely are you going to work on that project?

Attitude is tricky.  It's one thing for me to say "think positive!" and "a happy quilter is a productive quilter" but that doesn't really explain the situation, nor will these platitudes help you actually feel good about a project you hate.

On some projects, it's simply not possible to have a good attitude.

One way this happens is when the project is not really YOURS.  I saw this a lot this week.  It seems that as quilters we tend to be given a lot of random stuff - fabric especially - from friends or other quilters with some expectation that we can quickly slice it up, piece it, quilt it and viola! a beautiful quilt will magically materialize.

But if the project is not YOURS, if you didn't plan to make it, if you didn't select the fabrics yourself, are you really going to love that project?

Probably not.  This week take a look at your UFO list and see how many projects are really yours, and how many have some outside influence that might be affecting your ability to work on them.

Personally I never feel bad about handing a project off to someone else, or simply chucking it in the trash, if I know it is only going to be a disastrous, pulling teeth kind of experience.  Quilting is supposed to be FUN, right?!

Now here's a few quilters that need a little help and advice this week:

Pat at Color Me Quilty is auditioning different sashing colors for her Library quilt and needs some advice.

Also Moni from the Climbing Quilter and Grandma Quilter from All the Pretty Pieces and JessiBerry from the Berry Bunch are all needing advice and ideas for quilting quilts.

Always remember if you're having trouble deciding on a quilting design, the first step is to take a photo and start auditioning designs.

Yes, it might seem like drawing different designs is a pointless thing to do, but ultimately it is a step to becoming unblocked.  Sometimes our emotions and indecision can boil up to the point that you can't make a decision about ANYTHING and the only thing you can do is just make a start.  Drawing designs on paper is a good start to moving somewhere with your project.

It doesn't have to be perfect!  There is no "right" and no "wrong," except maybe folding the project up and putting it away for another year.

free motion quilting | Leah DayNow I don't know about you, but I'm ready to start working on some new designs, and knock out a major UFO at the same time!

This week we're going to start learning Pivoting Designs on the Free Motion Quilt Along.  This is a super cool family of designs that will be stitched out over the Batik Beauty quilt, a long term UFO that I'm finally finishing up with multiple designs.

So if you have a UFO that's needing some quilting, and you just can't decide what to put in it, consider quilting along with us through each new design and getting some free motion quilting practice at the same time.

See ya Wednesday!  Let's go quilt!



  1. Leah,
    Your comment about "other people's" projects really hit home with me. I have just one of these projects left ...a huge 100x92 fortrel quilt top that someone's now departed great aunt didn't finish and would I please do it ....I am so not able to say no. This is nothing that I would ever choose and the fabric and colours are nothing I would choose. If this was my great aunt I would have no qualms about ditching it. The good part is I have no personal UFO's. I am so happy to get to work with things of my choice I finish them.

  2. Donna, I just had to chime in here, and take this with a grain of salt, as it comes from my experience and not necessarily yours. The lesson here may be learning to say no. And the trouble is, if you keep telling yourself you're not *able* to say no, then you never will say it--even when you desperately need to. On the other hand, might there be some sort of payoff for not saying no? Here's what I mean by that--I used to be afraid that no one would think I was a good person if I said no (payoff = everyone thinking I was a good person). I eventually realized that the only people who thought that (including my husband) were folks who wanted me to do what THEY wanted me to do, for their *own* benefit--and if I didn't do it, they tried to make me feel guilty! It had *nothing* to do with me being a good person...just an obedient person. Learning to say no to these folks was hard--really hard--but I'm so glad I finally did. And let's face it, it's really difficult to get enthused about a project you feel pressured (guilted and manipulated) into doing.


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