Most quilters have Unfinished Objects (UFOs) stored in cupboards, boxes or under the bed. This is usually seen as a Bad Thing, but let’s stop this negative thinking right now, because it’s very draining and we don’t need that in our lives, do we?
Let’s examine the positives of UFOs.
The fact your UFO exists proves you started a project.
You had an idea for a design, or you were attracted by a pattern so you purchased fabric and cut it out. You either then put it aside, or took the project further by starting to stitch. Maybe you stitched the pieces together to make a top. You may have even gone so far as to baste the quilt sandwich, but didn’t make a start on the quilting. Or you may have, like me, completed all of these stages but not added binding.
It doesn’t matter what stage your quilt is at – it’s still unfinished, but at least you’ve started something. How many others don’t even get to the starting stage? Give yourself a big plus for being ahead of those people.
The fact you have UFOs proves you have a life.
Except for those super-quilters who eat, sleep and dream quilts, you have a complex, interesting and well-balanced life. It is multilayered (unlike some of your UFOs), and includes such activities as earning money, doing the housekeeping (well, maybe), nurturing relationships, fabric shopping, and the other multitude of activities that make you such a valuable person. It is because you spend time on such important things that you are often unable to finish your quilts.
Time-poor you may be, but your friends and family all agree you are a well-rounded person (meant in the nicest possible way, of course). It is highly desirable that you are regarded this way, as this enhances your confidence and self-esteem.
If you have an UFO, it proves you have great taste.
That idea you had for a double wedding ring quilt in country checks and batiks never made it past the first block because after one glance at the fabrics together you realised they just did not work.
Okay, maybe you could have seen this in the quilt store when you were selecting fabrics, but since you don’t have bad taste, the poor lighting in the store that day must have been to blame. Why else could you think they would possibly work together in the same quilt? It is obvious (now) they won’t, and it is only because of your excellent taste that you recognise this. What a valuable skill to have in your repertoire.
Evidence of UFOs also proves you are growing and developing as a creative person.
What suited you several years ago doesn’t appeal now, and that’s because your tastes have matured, not because brown was never really an attractive colour. Just because you could only buy fabrics in colours manufacturers decided were fashionable, didn’t mean you had to like them.
They didn’t attract you then, even though you forced yourself to buy them, and you certainly don’t like them now. This is a sign of your evolution as a discerning quiltmaker, although it could just possibly relate also to the multitude of wonderful fabrics available today in a huge range of colours. This maturing of your creative instinct is simply more evidence of your excellent taste.
An UFO in your cupboard proves you have had a better idea since.
Your mind is brimming over with so many exciting design possibilities that you don’t know where to start, so you stop completely. This is called creative paralysis, when your current project is not inspiring you because real soon now, you’ll be starting on the next idea that will be so original that everyone will see it as genius. If only you could get started.
The truly imaginative quilter that you are has a multitude of ideas sparking at all times, and while it is distracting and results in UFOs, creativity cannot be thwarted.
A collection of UFOs shows you are financially secure.
How else could you afford to have many dollars’ worth of fabric sitting around doing nothing?
Obviously, you have plenty of money available for discretionary spending (although fabric is often not a discretionary purchase for many quilters – it is more of a compulsion).
Other quilters admire this evidence of your financial skill, and imitate you by having UFOs of their own. This is a compliment, and shows you are obviously a role model for others.
You have excellent storage facilities in your home, and this allows you to have UFOs.
This is a credit to you as a space planner, because if you couldn’t store your unfinished project, you’d probably have to complete it instead. One of the major problems with most homes is the lack of cupboards, so the fact that you can store bulky objects with ease is a real plus.
This can be used as a selling point when you bring out all these projects to show friends, as you demonstrate how many UFOs can be stored on a very small shelf. It may lead to opportunities to assist other quilters with their storage issues, as they regard you as an expert in this area.
There are plenty of reasons to celebrate your UFOs. They are positive aspects of a quilting life, and there is no reason to feel inadequate. Embrace them! (Safety note: perhaps you should remove those pins first.)
Meg Sawtell says
Truly encouraging. I feel a box search coming on, celebrate the unfinished and perhaps design new beginnings.
Thank you Meg. Don’t let those UFOs bog you down!