Friday, April 24, 2009

UFO’s or WIP’s?

I’m getting a little uptight because I feel as though I have too many things on the go at the same time which is not like me at all. 

Generally speaking, I’m kind of obsessive about seeing something through to it’s completion before moving on to something new.  Lately however, I find that there are so many projects that I want to do but doubt that there are enough days left in this lifetime to even put a dent in my ‘to do’ list, and I’m finding this a little overwhelming.

Currently, I have two projects on the go and I just started a third.  Yikes!  All three of them involve a tremendous amount of handwork, which I love.  The one I just started is called Red Radiance and it’s a redwork quilt that appeared in the December 2000 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting, my favorite magazine.  I wasn’t quilting back then so one of the gals in my guild kindly loaned me her copy.

DSCN0378I love anything redwork because it is so fresh and vintage looking. 

DSCN0379This particular quilt is comprised of nine embroidered blocks and four large embroidered borders that are connected by a gazillion half square triangles.  I’ve got my work cut out for me.

DSCN0380So far I’ve completed the large center block, two triangle blocks and just started the third triangle.

DSCN0377Projects with a lot of handwork seem to take forever before any progress is noticeable.  I promised myself that I would not start another quilt til I finish one of the three that are currently on the go. 

I refuse to allow myself to use the dreaded UFO term.  Instead, I would rather refer to them as WIP’s…or Works In Progress…because I do routinely switch from one to the other and by doing that, I don’t become bored with any of them and they all stay current.

Am I the only one who obsesses about UFO’s/WIP’s?

Happy stitching!





Julie said...

Nooooo! you are not the only one at all. i think it's a common ailment within the stitching/quilting community. i think of it as similar to the 'eyes bigger than the belly' syndrome - where we see so many wonderful things we'd love to create and just can't help ourselves. like you, i get myself all stressed over it too. i have SO many things on thego at the moment, so i've decided to just concentrate on my commitments i've made and then i can get into the things i'd like to make for myself.
p.s.....i will reply to your email this evening.
julie xoxo

Janet said...

Don't stress so much that you don't enjoy it all for the pressure, At least if you need a break from one you can go to the other. The quilt is beautiful. Why don't you just cut one big square and do the corner redworks and then cut them out, it cuts down on stretching, just a suggestion.

Anonymous said...

I 2nd your post! But you know, at times I start getting bored with a project and just need a change for a bit. I like you, fell in love with that redwork quilt. I've actually seen a few finishes of it! You can do it! It is a beautiful quilt and will be well worth the effort (in between all else). I've always, always said I don't have enough lifetime for all the projects I wish to finish. All we can do is our best and enjoy it.

Stina Blomgren said...

Welcome aboard on the quilt train.. think this is the same for most of us.. I definetly do try to not stress..but it aint easy... soo good luck... :o)
And I love your new project..this one will be gorgeous!! :o)

Carla said...

You would cringe if you saw how many WIP's I have. That is a very pretty quilt.

Abby and Stephanie said...

I've always used the term UFO but rather UFO or WIP I fear there are more of us with the affliction that would like to admit. My last weekend was a "finish it up" weekend...machine quilted 2 quilts, did 2 bindings, did the b/w challenge project, finished a little quilt top, have another on the table waiting to be basted. And then I go start a new project. :o)

Your redwork is just gorgeous!!!

RG said...

Gosh, well I think you sound like a completely normal quilter to me!!
Plus I'm right where you're at!! Right now :c)
It doesn't feel the best, but Ho-Hum, I'm plodding along... giggle.
Beautiful stuff you've got happening here... Beautiful!!
Robyn xx

Karen from Sew Many Ways... said...

Hi Kaaren,
This is so true for every quilter...we just love too many things and want to start them all. I'm with you on the WIP vs UFO. The word progress sounds better the unfinished!

Unknown said...

Ah you've been bitten by the Redwork bug, it never dates and always looks fresh. I try not to stress over what's finished and what's not, unless it's for a swap or gift and needs to be finished. As long as you enjoy what you do it doesn't really matter how many projects you have on the go at one time.

Pat said...

Nooooooooooooooo! I love the redwork!

Sherri said...

I don't like the term UFO either! And I think it's fine to have many projects going at once. Sometimes my quilts have evolved into something different than what I pictured when I started...and I've been very happy that I didn't finish them quickly. I think as quilters we really are artists creating, and sometimes the creative process just can't be rushed!

Jane's Fabrics and Quilts said...

I love the term WIP, before I started to blog,(which was last June) I would like to start and finish a project one at a time, I did not have a huge fabric stash, within this short period of time I have a ton of fabric that is mine, not what is in my store but what I use, I have so many projects I see on blogs and want to do and now I have many WIP's, oh well I guess that is part of the fun1 Right?
I also like to do something for someone, than something for me, and so on.

Cathi said...

I think we all have many projects on the go. I know I do. This year I started out by saying I would only make small quilts. Hah! That's already long gone. I have at least 2 bed-sized quilts planned in my head and the ideas keep coming. I figure I'll just keeping making them and not worry about it.
Your redwork quilt is going to be gorgeous!!! I love it!

Karen said...

Such a beautiful pattern. It is coming along nicely.

Loris said...

I listened to a guest quilter at guild describe herself as a "compulsive finisher" and thought that sounded just like me. It has its benefits and drawbacks.
The stash of fabric I have purchased over the years is sometimes a blessing and sometimes overwhelming if I think about ever getting the project ideas dwindled down to doable. I have to stop looking at it as something to 'finish'. Not sure that makes sense...
Your redwork quilt looks wonderful. That magazine is my favorite too.

dianne said...

some quilts involve a slow process and that is part of the joy, isn't it? so i like the acronym "WISP" - work in slow progress - for the ones that are SUPPOSED to take a long time

Candace said...

When I first began quilting, Kaaren, I told myself I would never, ever move on to a second project before the first one was finished....guess how long that lasted! I now have usually have around 3 going at one time and find loads of ways to justify it - LOL! I prefer the term WIP by far! Love your redwork - that is really an ambitious looking project!

Linda said...

Hi Kaaren, Yes me too. I have soooo many projects that I want to do and sooo many new things that I have started and before you know it another year has rolled along. But just think if you didn't start these you would have always wondered what if!! Love redwork. Now finding a dealer who sells lots of red embroidery floss.

Sara said...

I think all of us have WIP's. I have many of them. At least a dozen! So you don't need to fret! Its just to hard to not something great and new when you see it!

Darlene said...

First of all your redwork project is stunning!

Secondly, don't beat yourself up just relax and enjoy - bear in mind that this is a journey - enjoy it!


Calamity Jane's Cottage, Bonnie said...

Hi Kaaren,
I think if we took a pole there would be a lot more like us than the ones that only do one project at a time.
I only knew of one lady that took quilt classes at the shop that only did one at a time. She really stressed more than us ove that one project.
Your quilt is going to be beautiful.
I think WIP's does a body good....
Keep Stitchen'

Jilly's Space said...

Hi Kaaren..I am so with on the UFO vs WIP. I am really trying to see my little projects through. Of course I haven't been really serious about quilting/sewing for that long.
I was to visit my dear aunt a few years ago and she showed me ALL of her UFO' was a shame, lol
You're new project looks like a 'well worth it' challenge.
Hope you have a super weekend.
Jill :o)

Carrie P. said...

I love that quilt. I did the center block and I am going to figure out some way to use my red $5 BOM to use with that block.

Kimberly said...

Hey girl! I haven't been over this way for a while! Your stitching looks just wonderful! so ambitious!

And I know what you mean about UFOs... they're ready to chase me out of house and home if I don't take care of them soon! And yet, there I was, out buying more fabric today! When will I learn?
Have a great rest of the weekend!
Hugs, Kimberly

Quiltgal said...

No your not the only one. I believe most of us have more than one project, ah who am I kidding more than 10 projects on the go.
I like to call them WISP's Work in SLOW Progress.
Right now I am working on clear up quite a few Wisp's before I move on, more new things but I best hurry because I feel the bug ready to bite. I really enjoy your blog, love your tast in music. I true grew with Dick and Jane readers in school and love the quilt you made. Can you tell me what source you used to learn how to make the scalloped edge. I would like to try it on my next poject.

Kaaren said...

Hi Deb,

I have to reply here to your comments as you are listed as a no-reply blogger, so hopefully come back and see this.

Firstly, thanks for your positive and encouraging comments. They are very much appreciated.

To answer your question about how I make my scalloped edges, I use the 'Quilt in a Day' template/ruler for 'making vines, scallops and waves on quilts of any size'. I believe I bought mine at Joann's in the states but I'm sure that if your LQS doesn't carry them, they would be able to order one for you because I've seen them in Canada as well. It comes with a super instruction booklet that is both easy to understand and follow.

Thanks for stopping by.


Heidi said...

Three projects? Only three projects? Sounds like a dream world to me. You have WIPs if you have three going since you need to add a zero to qualify for I will not admit to how many quilt tops I have sitting on hangers waiting for some, even just a little attention. I also only showed you a couple of my stitching projects. There are baskets with them and a draw full too. You would not believe how many I had IF I ever really confessed. I won't confess though as it would totally depress!

I am changing my mindset to think enjoyment in a project instead of speed. It takes pressure off as I work. Plus I am not letting myself feel guilt when I start something I love. Does that help you feel any better? I hope so!

Hugs ~

Deb said...

Kaaren.. I can't believe how far you have gotten already.. full steam ahead for you..the blocks look fantastic.. just wait till the quilting starts.. are you hand or machine quilting