Thinking about UFOs

Facebook had a new look yesterday and instead of updating what you are doing, they want you to say what you are thinking about. I have to say that I am thinking about UFOs today. I am thinking about UFOs for a number of reasons:

  1. The Tarts is a UFO and I am slowly plowing my way through that project. I made a bit of progress over the past few nights and will give you an update on that soon.
  2. I have been catching up with Annie Smith’s podcast and she has one about UFOs. Her 2/11/2008 podcast (I know I am really behind!) gives some good ideas about identifying your UFOs and getting them done. She was inspired by Nadine Ruggles’ podcast episode on her short lived (but still available on iTunes) podcast, Driven to Quilt.
  3. Nadine Ruggles podcast episode #7 from 9/4/2006. Nadine comes across as a really smart person; her podcast was professionally done. I liked the high level how-to aspect of her podcast. I respect her decision not to continue, but it is a huge loss for those of us who listened to it. Sadly, her Driven to Quilt website is no longer available, even using my secret librarian tricks, but you can still find Nadine online at Dreamweaver’s Quilts. She has a totally cool website and blog. Very innovative layout. One thing I really like about the site is the Daily Stitch. It is like a daily calendar for quiltmaking. Update 3/15/2009:  The Driven to Quilt website is back in operation

I am pretty upfront about my UFOs with myself. I find that knowing what I need to finish is much better than hiding them away. It also helps me keep track of my frustrations with projects, so I can work through them and not relive them when I go back to the project. You can read about last year’s progress and non-progress in the 2008 UFO Report. Annie created a spreadsheet with over 60 UFOs on it. I am pleased to say that I don’t have that many.

The biggest problem I found with not finishing a project right away is that I lose my train of thought, or my style changes enough where I am no longer enthused about the colors or fabrics. That was a big lesson that I learned in pulling the Tarts out again.

I am goal oriented and really do want to finish my projects. As I have mentioned, I am trying to be more process oriented. I am getting better, but I still want to finish my projects or get rid of them. I did abandon some last year and am ok with that. They will be loved by someone else. I am thrilled that one of my UFOs is off the UFO list (Nosegay). I am also on the homestretch of sewing on the Eye Spy binding. I have to do the handstitching on the Crazy Test binding and I have the directions ready to go for facing the Pamela Allen House and Garden quilt-let. I’d like to get that one done before I take yet another workshop with her next month. If I can truly stay focused, including the Tarts, I will have four projects that I can say are done at the end of the year. That means four projects off my UFO list! Time will tell.

I know that finishing a bunch of UFOs, one after another, is not for me. I think that I need to intersperse the work with new projects. You saw my idea list in the 2008 Roundup!

I found a list of ideas/plan for getting your UFOs done at Suite 101. The article, from January 1, 2009, is by Christine Mann and called 6 Steps to Finishing your UFOs. It sounds a lot like the way I plan my projects at work and I don’t bring work home! However, you may be able to use the ideas.

One thing I think is important is to be at peace with your quilt work. If you don’t have UFOs, fine.  If you have UFOs, fine. If you never finish them, fine. If you finish them, fine. Do what works for you.   For me, I think it is important for me  to take something away from finished and unfinished works – a lesson or experience of some kind. I can’t tell you what your lesson is. I will, however, think about (and probably report back on) the lessons from my own UFOs.

I had a tough week. If Daylight Savings Time wasn’t bad enough, I also injured my shoulder on Wednesday. This means MUCH less computing. Computing is also taking me longer, because I am mousing with my left hand. I’ll do my best to keep up! This is a short post, but, hopefully, interesting. I would love to hear your comments about your UFOs, especially what you think about Yoda’s comment to Luke from The Empire Strikes Back “Do, or do not. There is no try”.