Tuesday, July 14, 2009

UFO Analysis

I am involved in a UFO challenge at Mailblocks, we have four months to complete up to ten different UFO's that we listed at the beginning of the challenge. This really got me to thinking about how many UFO's I truly have and what makes them UFO's. Why have some of my projects lain at the back of the closet or at the bottom of the stack for so long? So I decided to pull a few out and seriously evaluate them.
This is a 4 Patch Stack n' Whack that I started at last September's retreat. What about is it that had it tucked away to live a life of loneliness? I think its maybe because I don't really like it. I loved the fabric, the whacked patterns did not turn out as dramatic as I would have liked and the blocks look uninspiring. I am thinking they might be better served if I gave them to someone who likes them or make a little charity quilt. Its not that they're not nice, I am just bored.
These raggedy flowers are just nine of a total thirty six that I have from a row robin that finished in April. I like them, I plan to add leaves and some butterflies and a nice floral border. Why haven't I worked on them? I think because there's still so much work to be done to complete the top let alone quilt the big beasty once the top is done. Oh yeah, and let us not forget that once its done and on my bed a 90lb. muddy dog will surely fly in there to avoid having her feet wiped off and roll all over that cream fabric! :-)

This is an older one, Wonky Houses from Quiltville.com made during a swap in 2006. I loved the blocks and decided to make some wonky trees for corner stones. But its small, I want to make a really killer border, like maybe pieced deer or bears with larger wonky trees. Again...that's just a lot of work. Maybe I will just make a nice colorful scrappy border of geese and use the following quilt to back it?

Homespun Turning Twenty from 2007. This was a retreat project that I used unloved homespuns just to try out the pattern. Now I really like it! I have a distressed black that I planned to make an inner border and smaller pieces of homespun for an outer border. I think the colors will work well with the Wonky Houses from the previous post. (Wow, it sounds like I have a definitive plan...maybe these will be my next UFOs to tackle!)

A Row x Row from Quilting in Indiana. This is a killer top, can you guess what I haven't finished it? Because I have been too lazy to figure out how to continue the black and white pinwheels into the border. I have a really nice gray for a border, but my laziness just keeps me from continuing.

A row x row from Mailblocks, really cute isn't it? I designed it with a particular lady in mind, an ovarian cancer survivor that i have so much love and respect for. I have been telling her about it for 3 years now. I wonder when she's going to finally tell me to get off the pot and MAKE HER QUILT ALREADY!!! What has me stuck on this one? I am envisioning a picket fence border around the outside. Again, I am just dragging my feet at designing the block for the borders.

Another Round Robin. I am disappointed at this one. One robiner made her round completely contrary to my color requests. I'm sure you can guess which round has me upset. Its almost 2 years old, and I pull it out occasionally. My anger keeps lessening each time I drag it out, maybe in another year I will actually be able to throw a black border on it and get it quilted.

This was a Row x Row that got hung up in the events of one Robiners life and I got it back after an extra six months. I was so excited about this when it started, it just makes me happy to look at. But somehow it got lost in the shuffle and now I do not have the intended border fabric anymore....Grrr! So now I am on the lookout for a nice complimentary fabric, but it always slips my mind when fabric shopping.

There's another factor in finishing UFOs, the cost of completion. Now when I look at the stack of UFO's I cannot help but to see $$$ fly around in the potential cost for batting and backing. Of course I could always piece the backings...but that would become a UFO in itself!
Good Gawd! This is just a drop in the UFO bucket around here...this partial list has really hit home....I need to go and hang my head in shame.....


Susan said...

Mary, The cost of Batting, This is why you always buy it when it is on sale, wherever you can find it on sale. I have three rolls of warm n natural one of warm n whte and of course all the poly's. Backings the same way when ever a shop has a 50% off rack I buy 8 yards who cares what it looks like I will surely make a top to go with it some day. Plus I do not see the pretty mystery quilt from retreat a year ago.

Susan said...

Oh I forgot I love the round robin you have there

scraphappy said...

You should not think of it all as the cost of completion. Instead think about what has already gone into each of these projects -- not just $$$, but also time and energy. With just a tiny bit more, any of these could turn into a finished project. That is not a cause for shame!

Patricia said...

Oh, wow! I just love that four patch stack and whack! I bought that pattern just this summer at our quilt show and have just played with it a very little. I want to find a really fun fabric for it. I think you found a great one!

As for batting and backing being expensive, how do you feel about using blankets for batting? Sheets for backs? I like to raid my local thrift shops for light colored blankets, fun cotton sheets and even mattress pads for batting and backing. Cheap, cheap, cheap! Even cheaper are garage, yard and estate sales. I've built up a small stash of these items ready to put inside quilts as I finish them. They're great for machine quiting and you don't have to worry about how close you are quilting.

Enjoy your UFO's! They all look like fun!


Quilter Kathy said...

Here is some advice from a UFO expert!
I think your UFO challenge will really help.
I go to the Full Moon sale at the LQS and buy a batting and backing each month at 30 % off. And then I have everything ready to go and am more likely to get to work on one of my UFO's.
All your projects are wonderful. You just need to fall in love with them again!
I think the stack and whack blocks are marvellous but it's a little too busy looking and maybe sashing would help...either a pink or red?
You'll make progress, slowly and surely!
I have the same problem and know exactly how you feel!

Tolentreasures said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I love all of your quilts. I agree on the stack and wack. I saw bright pink sashing. I love the colors! I have two quilts started for my grandsons, nothing as grand as yours but reading this made me want to go right to my sewing room and work on them...NOW..no more blog reading...well maybe one or two.

Anonymous said...

I love a number of these quilts - the black and white pinwheel and the quilt for your friend who had cancer. This last one is especially pretty. And I love the round robin you don't like. I think it's the snowball row you're not fond of as the colors are different. I think it's great and blends with the quilt. I finish all my quilts as that is when the quilt has reached its full beauty potential. As for backings, I've just gotten into piecing them, and this, as we know, is an awsome stash buster.

About Me

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Bargersville, Indiana, United States
I'm a 45 year old wife and mother. Quilting is my haven from the real world.