Posts Tagged ‘unfinished objects’

The Music of Deadlines

November 22, 2017

Deadlines have two kinds of music. The first is a lovely “tah-dah!” when you finish everything on time. The second, which I hear too often, is a sad cello solo followed by a soft “whoosh” as the deadline passes.

I’ve explored all sorts of systems for keeping on task, with varying success. The last attempt for my quilting projects involved putting fabric collections in clear plastic bags. The idea was that if I could see the collections I would be more likely to have an inspiration for them.

Fabric collections waiting for inspiration

It didn’t work quite as well as I hoped. As you can see, both shelves are crammed with bags. There might be good news next year, however, because Amador Valley Quilters will offer a challenge to finish our projects.

Step one is to identify all them. That is more complicated than you might think, as some of my unfinished tops are nearly inaccessible.

I have no idea what is under this stack

I stacked my unquilted tops, some with backings and batting, on a shelf in the closet. Over time, stuff got piled up in front of the closet. I can clearly see (and probably reach) three projects here, so they’ll go on the list. Heaven only knows what I’ll find when I manage to extricate the projects on top.

The brilliant part of the guild challenge is that we’ll be paired up with another quilter. Accountability is essential (at least for me), so I’m hoping my buddy will be on the taskmaster side of the personality scale.

All of which is to say if I’m ever going to take over the world, I’d better have a friend help me meet the deadline.

Luck and wisdom!

The Joys of UFOs

October 9, 2013

I have an embarrassingly rich collection of UFOs – unfinished objects. We all do, of course we do. Usually our reward for such a collection runs along the lines of dust caches, spider colonies, and discovering you already have three fat quarters of that perfect rose print you just bought piled up in other places.

 

Yesterday, the universe was kind.

 

Soon to be an ex-UFO

Soon to be an ex-UFO

 

The leaf project from Laura Wasilowski‘s workshop has been whispering to me. I used some of her hand-dyed threads for small embroidered motifs.

 

Lani Longshore embroidery hand-dyed thread

 

Since there was no immediate place for this project to go, I figured it would be another UFO for some time to come. The next Challenge project, however, is on the theme of . . . LEAVES! Thank you, thank you, Linda Ballou and Kathy Levesque!

 

The best part of this theme is that they encouraged us to think of more than tree leaves. They even gave some examples – leaves in a book, tea leaves, Leif Ericsson. It just so happens I am writing a story about space Vikings, so I could make a quilt about that. I also drink a tremendous amount of tea, so I could aways tea dye some fabric and make a quilt from that. But I already have a UFO for leaves of a book.

 

Lani Longshore handmade booklets

 

The open booklet in front is from Doria Goocher, a quilt artist I met at the Studio Art Quilt Associates conference in Santa Fe. The covers behind are for the version I want to make for myself.

 

There are two other book leaf UFOs that are calling to me. One could use the badge I earned at Laura Wasilowski’s workshop as a book cover.

My Chicago School of Fusing badge

My Chicago School of Fusing badge

I also have a collection of hardware that I thought might make an interesting binding for a fabric book.

 

Lani Longshore hinges

 

The plan at the moment is to make a mixed-media travel book with fabrics from or referencing other countries, photos, mementos, and embroidery. Whatever comes from these experiments, I will at least experience the joy of finishing UFOs.

 

Bait and switch

October 6, 2010

Remember those four unfinished tops that I pulled out for the Challenge project? Remember how I went on and on about finishing them? Would it surprise you to learn that all four of them are back on the UFO pile?

The day for Challenge Group kept creeping closer, and I still had no idea what I wanted to do with those tops. Luckily, there is a never ending supply of well begun but not close to half done projects in my sewing room, so I used two other ones instead.

The first was a block from a previous Challenge project on the theme of home. This block didn’t play nicely with the others I made, so it was put aside until I could make more just like it for a spring table runner.

Since I had to finish a UFO with a twist, I interpreted the instructions literally and twisted (OK, folded) fabric for prairie points. My quilting grandmother had an inordinate fondness for prairie points which I seem to have inherited.

Then I spied another half-completed project – a stack of friendship blocks from 1988. I know this because at least one block was dated as well as signed. My husband had been encouraging me to make a new cover for my computer, one that would extend over some of the auxiliary devices settled into the tray on either side of the keyboard, and these blocks were the perfect size. Also, I had just read Susan Vallallo’s “Beaded Binding: A Sparkling Finish” in the November 2010 issue of American Quilter, so there was my twist.

Detail of beaded binding

Completing these two projects didn’t put a tremendous dent in my UFO pile, but after over a month of not accomplishing anything at all in the sewing room I am thrilled. So much so, in fact, that I tidied up a few of the piles, rearranged a couple of others, and recovered another six inches of open floor space. When quilting consumes your life, it’s important to take joy in the little (really little) things.