3/20/14

A table runner and some thoughts on UFOs (Unfinished Objects)


Do you have any projects that are halfway done, and stashed in a cupboard or closet or in the garage? (I call them UFOs: unfinished objects.) I envy the focused and streamlined people who finish everything they start. That's not me. I start lots of things that don't get finished. Sometimes that's a good thing. Not everything we try deserves the time and energy required to finish it. 



I have a box of unfinished sewing projects that have been languishing for years (yes, years!) in my cupboard. I went through it the other day, and decided it was time to either finish them up or chuck them. Sometimes we need to push ourselves to take things all the way to the finish line, even if we've found something else that looks more interesting. And sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to abandon a project for good. The trick is knowing which project is which. So hard, right?

First up, today, is this table runner. When I grabbed it out of the box, it was pieced and quilted, but unbound. I never finished it because I never really liked it. I was experimenting with a block I had read about, and used some blue and yellow squares from and old pre-cut pack I had in my stash. But I don't love the fabrics, I didn't care for the random look of that block pattern, and I didn't care for the look of the variegated thread I tried for the quilting. So, a few years back, I abandoned the project. 

I was just deciding to toss it, when my daughter caught sight of it.

"Oh, mommy! That's so pretty!" she said. 

Maybe she was just being nice, I thought. But no, it turns out she really did like it.

And so, I decided to invest the hour or so it took me to finish off the binding. And here it is. All done. I'm glad to have it checked off my list. (And I'll be happy to see it disappear into her closet too.)



And while we're here, in blue and yellow land, lets talk about this patchwork placemat, also from the UFO box, which I made around the same time as the table runner. It was really just a sample piece to give me the opportunity to try out a new quilting technique. I would say the quilting experiment was a success. I like this geometric-inspired free motion quilting. I might use it on another project someday. But having a single random blue and yellow placemat? No, I don't need it. I decided not to bother with the binding. This piece's purpose has been served. In the scrap bin it went.

Later this week, I'll be posting about another UFO I pulled from the box: a quilt top I pieced and then abandoned. I didn't care for how the top came together, but this week I decided to see if I could save it. Stay tuned to find out what I did to "fix" it! 

Are there any UFOs in your closet that it's time to finish or toss? Good luck!

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