Friday, September 7, 2007

A Flimsy Discovery

Reducing the number of my UFO's has been a goal of mine for the past several years. I started keeping track of UFO's in 2003 - the list from that year began with 68. 2004 began with 65 - doesn't look like much difference until I take into consideration the fact that I started 8 new projects that year.
2005 began with 45 - better, especially considering that I started 9 new projects in 2004. I began to see a problem - the list was never going to go down much if I kept starting new projects. So I tried to be good, starting only 2 new projects in 2005. I thought I'd learned my lesson but I guess not. I began 2006 with 49 and added 7 more during the year.

This year I started with 58 UFO's. I guess I've been kidding myself. Yes, I've been finishing, tossing or giving away UFO's - a total of 54 that have been either completed or given away since January 2003. However, since I started tracking I've reduced the yearly starting number by only 10. And since I've added 5 that I can remember this year - and I'm sure others that I can't remember, I'm not sure I'm making much progress at all!

This discovery has called for drastic action - thus my participating in two different UFO challenges this year as well as putting my list out in public for you all to see. I thought I was being good this year - I told myself that I had really started only two new projects - Joseph's quilt and the mid-century album quilt. That the scrap tops didn't count. Hah! Of course they count! What difference does it make if I start new quilts from yardage off the shelves or scraps from all my baskets and bins - they are still new quilts!

I thought I was still in good shape, however, because almost all my flimsies were ready and waiting to be quilted - batting cut to size and backs constructed. Who was I kidding? I discovered this might not be the case when I was looking for a couple UFO's I could finish quickly last weekend. This afternoon I've pulled everything off the shelves and taken stock - was I ever fooling myself. You see on the shelf the sum total of tops with batting and backing ready and waiting to be put on the machine - 6! Two of those - the Burgoyne Surrounded quilts - are basted together with Quilt Taks that must be removed before I can put them on the machine. A third has thread basting that must be removed. That leaves three that are really ready for quilting, plus second Christmas table runner that is on the machine and that is it! So much for thinking most all my flimsies were completely ready for quilting!

On the family room table you see the true state of affairs. Stacks of flimsies with neither backing nor batting ready. A few flimsies with batting but no backing. And on the floor a Double Irish Chain with the hand quilting started - exactly 4 motifs in alternate blocks. This one needs to have the hand quilted motifs finished and then I'll put it on Gandalf to machine quilt the rest. I didn't even show you the hand quilting project in my basket.

I guess I have some serious work ahead of me before I can proceed much further. I see a time of piecing many, many backs in my immediate future! One good thing anyway - that should clear out a little space on my fabric shelves!

19 comments:

Michele said...

Patti,

I admire your efforts to plow through your UFO's, but it's so hard isn't it when there are so many gorgeous fabrics and quilt designs calling your name? I prefer hand-quilting and so I find I am making tops upon tops that I may never, in MY lifetime, have a chance to actually quilt!
Keep pluggin' away!

Michele - a relatively new reader

Jeanne said...

Wow, you have your work cut out for you! Patti, what is the intended destination of all those quilts? I have some trouble getting myself motivated to finish things if I don't know where they're going. Feels like I'm just doing the work for no real reason.
Jeanne

Tazzie said...

Gosh Patti, it really must seem overwhelming for you. But do remember, it's all about the journey, not the destination. So, whatever quilting project you're working on, be sure to have fun and enjoy the process.
*hugs*
Tazzie
:-)

Susan Ramey Cleveland said...

And I thought I had lots of UFOs!

amandajean said...

oh, mylanta!

I was looking at your lists on your sidebar and found myself in awe over your UFO's. And I thought I was a zealous quilter. I pale in comparison to you! Love the double irish chain. And I had to laugh about you not counting scrap quilts that you are starting. I do that too! If only I had a limitless amout of scraps. :)

Hanne said...

Hi Patti :-)
Will we ever be working on just one quilt at a time ? I don't think so, do you ? :-)
We enjoy and collect fabrics and we enjoy new starts - that is who we are - it sort of comes with the package.
If you finish more Ufos in a year than you have new starts that is good.

Karol-Ann said...

This is a symptom of our addiction... the need to create. In an ideal world we'd all have more time to finish or perhaps we all need less money so the art of making do would make us finish what we started as we would need them? just a thought... Lovely blog, found it via the mile a minute craze you've started LOL

Helen in the UK said...

WOW - that's a serious pile of flimseys. But your're right ... making up backings will seriously bust some stash :)

Gail said...

Thanks you so much for sharing your UFO stack. I feel so much better now! LOL I have fewer UFOs! Of course, I haven't started as many projects as you have to begin with, so, if you figure things out by number started compared to % till unfinished ......Well, I'll just look at the stack in your photo and feel good about myself, why confuse myself with facts!?

loulee1 said...

Wow, you're right, you really do have your work cut out for you. Yes you'll make a fair sized hole in your stash, which means only one thing.........Shopping! Shopping and more shopping, cause you'll have to replace all that stash! Yippie!

Tracy said...

I share your love of piecing... and have some UFOs building up myself. It does feel good to finish something though:)

I know you can do it! Please share each finished one!

atet said...

WOW! that is a lot of work -- and I'm sure you can do it! Keep on sharing your progress!

Vicky said...

I'm totally convinced that UFO tops multiply just as quickly as our strips and strings do. Good for you to jumping in and tackling some of those!

Vicki W said...

Math is such a bummer! Youa re a very brave woman to put all of that out in public but you are making great progress so you should be very happy!

Alycia said...

At least you are brave enough to keep looking at them, and plugging away - it is much better than completely ignoring them! Loved your tutorial on the mile a minute blocks - congrats on getting so many done!

Libby said...

Ahhh - it only shows your love of quilting that you just keep making more and more. If you finished it all - you wouldn't have anything handy to pick up and work on *s*

andsewitis Holly said...

I know someone who doesn't care to finish past the flimsy stage. She figures her kids can get them quilted after she is gone if they want to. She just loves the piecing part.

Karen said...

I admire you for looking those UFOs straight in the eye and counting 'em up :-). It always does me good to read your posts about this, because it helps me stay determined to finish UFOs, too. Not sure what the answer is on this situation. Getting the design idea or appreciating somebody else's design, then doing the piecing, is such delectable fun, the finishing it not so much fun to me. Also they're flatter if you don't bat them. Thus making the UFO stack much, much lower.

Carol E. said...

I have a zillion UFOs, too, but I haven't dared count them. Once I piled them on the dining room table and took a picture. Then I was horrified and put them all back in their hiding places.