Friday, June 19, 2009

WIPs and UFOs

To me, there is a difference between Works in Progress (WIPs) and Unfinished Objects (UFOs). For WIPs, I have a plan. They aren't done because I got distracted with the next "must-do!" project, and when I return to them, I know exactly how and where to start up again. For example, I know where I am going with this Bonnie Hunter pattern, Virginia Bound.
I just needed more neutral scraps to continue. Of course, while waiting to get the scraps, I got sidetracked by some other projects, but I WILL go back to this one. Or my Grandmother's Flower Garden.

I mainly work on this during the summers when I am on vacation since it travels well, and I hate to be too far away from a quilting project, even if I am on vacation. Before I continue with this flannel buzz saw quilt, I am waiting for more flannel scraps that someone in the guild has promised me.

So again, there is a plan.

UFOs are different. Since I make most of my quilts from ideas in my head instead of patterns on a page, I often get stuck. I don't necessarily have an idea for the whole quilt before I begin, so I often reach a point where I can't figure out what to do next. Take this UFO for example. Originally, this was to be for my mother.

I wanted to do a medallion on point, then make it square, which I did. Then, I thought it would be fun to put it on point again. OK, but now, I don't know what to do to make it square again. This UFO is about 4 1/2 years in the making. I have since made my mother another quilt, a Delectable Mountains which both she and I love. But what to do with this forgotten stepchild of a quilt?

About 4 years ago, I made this quilt for a friend (she is in the AKA sorority, and their colors are pink and green).

I had some scraps left over, so I started piecing this together.
Yet again, I got to a place where I wasn't sure what to do next. In fact, I had added a white border with 3-dimensional prarie points on each side, but it was just too busy, so I took them off again. Hmmm, what next?

My first completed quilt was a baby quilt for my nephew.
I had a couple of these fussy cut bathing ducks left over, so I made them the centers for these log cabin blocks.

But now what? This has been languishing for quite some time in the UFO pile, too.

There are others, but you get the idea. Does anyone else experience this? Just getting stuck? Of course, one way to avoid this would be to make all my quilts from a pattern, but that just isn't how I operate. Even the quilts I make from patterns are mine in some way, usually with different borders, perhaps with an altered placement. I guess I do this to myself, but it is so frustrating to me to leave something unfinished with no plan to finish it.


kwiltmakr said...

Yes, I get stuck all the time on how to end a quilt with the borders etc. Beautiful quilts.

CapLady-Molly said...

Get stuck ? Me ? Sure ! I am really bad about changing my mind in the middle of things all the time. But it always seems to work out, hang in there. Hey, Jay is so excited about his blog, if you get a chance please drop by to see what he is up to please.

Angela said...

I love all your WIPs and UFOs, but especially the on-point one with the basket for your mom! I seem to be really liking yellow lately!

Serenity Love Sincere Peace Earth said...

I'm an AKA and I love the quilt that came after, more than the original intentional one. Lovely and inspiring.

Any advice on a baby quilt made from chenille?

Kim said...

Wow! You have been busy. I found you through another blog and love your color sense and scrappy projects. I am a Bonnie Hunter groupie and have started pulling fabrics for her latest mystery " Christmas lights". I have also started the block you call... is it this and that? Have you done any more work putting it together? I look forward to visiting again.
Happy sewing

Piwacket said...

Oh, you are definitely not alone. Orphan blocks are popular at quilters' swap meets for the very reasons you express. I like the way you differentiate between WIPS and UFOs. We all have our own way of categorizing. And how fortunate for any recipient that you personalize your quilts by not copying a pattern. I admit that I am always pattern-bound. I don't change any recipes in the kitchen either! Happy piecing, thanks for visiting my blog and for making so many thoughtful comments. Every one of them cheers my heart.

quiltfool said...

I think that's the mark of a true artist. You're creating, not just following a pattern and you can't always create in a stream. Sometimes art has stops and start. Most important, you're not getting stuck and giving up quilting because you don't know what ot do next. You stick with it and continue to learn and one day, you'll see what you want and that UFO will come out of the pile again. At least that's what I keep telling myself. Lane