I am a project-holic. I love the buzz, tingle and thrill of starting a project, but am not so diligent about finishing, binding or labeling. Consequently, I am the Keeper of Many Projects. I don’t have the most. I have many more than most other quilters, but not the most.
I counted my unfinished objects, also known as UFOs, after someone in our club was at the microphone and wanted everyone to guess how many UFOs she had. The correct answer was 88. That’s quite a lot and she probably deserves the title of princess. She, however, doesn’t have the most. I know someone else who I will call Queen More. She has more than 100 UFOs. So what’s my point?
I don’t know how many is too many. I only know that I, the project-holic, have too many. I admit that I was in denial for years. For a long time I did not count a project if I hadn’t cut into the fabric. I rationalized that I hadn’t really started and might never start that particular one. That’s kind of twisted logic.
Besides the denial, I should also mention the broken promises I made to myself. Every January, I resolved to get some of these projects finished and at the same time reduce my numbers. Let me tell you, I failed more than once.
Recently, I decided to get real, to borrow a phrase from Dr. Phil. I searched my sewing room again, looked through the closet, opened umpteen plastic bins and project bags, dug through a dozen drawers and guess what? I kept finding projects in tins, projects piled on and under my cutting table, and oops there’s another one.
The number of projects grew because now I counted everything. I counted the quilts that need binding. Yes, I have more than one. I counted quilts still in the quilting process; quilts that are tops only; quilts with borders that are under construction; quilts with blocks not done; quilts bought as kits; and quilt projects with pattern and fabric but not quite kits.
The situation called for drastic measures. So, I gave away some projects that I didn’t love anymore. Did you know that was allowed? Now these projects have a better owner. In addition, I downsized a bed-sized quilt project or two. One is now a baby quilt and the other is a quilt label. The third measure was to outsource some of my quilt tops to machine quilters. It sounds expensive but the pain from writing a check only hurts for a little while and the enjoyment from a finished quilt lasts a lifetime. I also recycled projects by putting the fabric back into my stash.
Anything that keeps my UFOs from spiraling out of control is a good thing. For instance, lists are good, and I keep a list of my UFOs to curb my bad habits. Currently, I have 43 UFOs and the number is going down, not up. And last but not least, I’ve made a promise that I am going to keep…to not start another project until I am finished with a quilt that is ready to put on the bed or hang on the wall.