Me: Nothing? Well, playing a game. Why?
Paul: Because its 2 o'clock on Saturday and you've been
laying there since 11. Weren't you going to sew?
Me: yawnnnnnnn, yeah but I don't know.
Maybe I'll take a nap.
Paul: Maybe you should go sew.
You know, I knew there was a reason I married him (well besides that he's really cute!) Now that I've woken up from my blue period, I'm really not sure where to pick up on my creative journey. I mean I have so many false starts in my studio I feel kind of overrun. So I thought before I started anything else I would start finishing some stuff!! But.... What to finish?? And How???
That brings me to a video I recently watched Karen Brown, at Get it Done Quilts which really hit the nail on the head from what was holding me up getting some of these things done. I liked some of her ideas but wanted to give my own spin on....
ART QUILT UFO 101
A Remedial Course
So most of us are experienced quilters and have plenty of UFO's to prove it!! Here is a quick course on how to organize them and get them off your To-Do list forever. I plan on going into my studio over the long holiday weekend taking this course myself!
Step 1: Organize
Go into studio (aka your sewing room) and pull out ALL your UFO's. I suggest you make two piles...Your LOVE IT or LEAVE IT. Any piece you absolutely love goes obviously in the LOVE IT pile. Any piece that doesn't speak to your heart goes into the LEAVE IT pile. Now, like old boyfriends, just because you are leaving those pieces doesn't mean you hate them. Its just that they aren't a good fit for the person you have grown into. Its really YOU not them. So you can give themScrap Blocks Box" If you don't have a Scrap Blocks Box yet, you should get one. This is where all the odds and ends from projects go that had merit but no real use. Someday though they could repurposed into something else. (Like I said - its you .... not them)
Now this is important....Any project that is put into the LEAVE IT pile should not be revisited. This is final kiss goodbye. You are also saying good bye to the guilt of not finishing it. If you like some of the ideas with the project itself....get out your journal and write them down or better yet ...do a blog post on what was good about the project but what ultimately made you decide that
he it wasn't for you! (Note to self: this is a good idea for another post!)
Step 2: Evaluate
So now that you just have the pieces you love, its time to take a closer look at them. Where did you leave off on each one. Do you have some that just need binding/facing/labeling? (Stage 4) Do you have some that need quilting? (Stage 3) Which ones are still in the piecing phase? (Stage2) Which ones didn't make it to your sewing machine (Stage 1) (yes I have some of those ....pathetic I know) Put them in piles by STAGES. (If you are a list girl...like me...make a list of each stage! Those get put on your design wall or bulletin board)
Step 3: Make a Plan
My suggestion start with Stage 4! Pick one day a month for binding/facing/labeling...pick a good movie or audio book to help you get through them. This is a good time to make sure the hanging sleeve is on too!
With the rest....I suggest you pick 2 or 3 that really are calling to you. Maybe they have specific deadlines ....maybe its an idea that you think is really working....maybe its one that is nearly to the binding stage.....whatever. You commit to work on those projects.
When you get done with those... you pick 2 or 3 more.
Now if you're like me, I'm committing to getting them all done before I start another big idea. I know that this "All In" plan might not be good for everyone. For me though, these UFO's are starting to feel like dead wood in my studio when they were meant to bring joy and beauty. Not to mention as I work through them inevitably I'll be struck with new jumping off points for my next great piece. Another note to self: Write down ideas that jump into my head while working on UFO's but don't start anything new.
So I know what you are thinking, Nina, that sounds a lot easier than it actually is in practice. NO KIDDING!! There will be roadblocks along the way in this process. I'll need to stay organized and driven to get these done.
Also, there were some really good reasons why these pieces ended up on the UFO pile. The biggest of which at one point (probably around Stage 1 into Stage 2) where the design wasn't working. I mean REALLY "What was I thinking" not working. So what to do then?
WHEN A DESIGN IS NOT WORKING
- Decide what is not working
- Brainstorm ideas of what will help
- Add to the ideas cutting up the piece entirely
- Hang on Design Wall and Make concrete Deadline for Design Decision
- Audition ideas, Make Final Decision
- Commit to new idea before Deadline
- If you love it, continue
- If you love the piece but hate the idea repeat steps 1-6
- If you now hate the piece add it to the LEAVE PILE
Step 4: Celebrate Your Completions!!
I believe this step is super important. I love, love, love posting a completed project. I think I even love more checking one off my To-Do list. I think I will even love it more seeing my UFO shelf totally empty!!
Now I've posted before about getting projects done on here before but I never had a clear idea on how to actually do it. Its kinda like losing weight and getting in shape....yeah you know you need to do but if you don't have a plan in place it probably won't get done.
Hmmmm maybe I should start a group called UFO Watchers. We could strive to get for PiecePoints for working on our unfinished pieces!!
I'm really committing to this plan for the next four days. I hope some out there will join me and let me know how you're doing.
You can always reach me at ninamariesayre at gmail dot com.
So what are you doing creatively?