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.