First finish, and feelin’ good!

In my previous post, I announced my intention to finish twelve UFOs this year, around one per month. I’m allowing myself some flexibility here, in case I either fall behind, or actually jump ahead of the one per month target. The path to success on these long-range goals has to allow for some detours, right?

Anyway, I decided that I would start with this project, which was one of my very oldest UFOs. I must have started this about 25 years ago:DSC00669

My construction technique was none too good back then, loads of mismatched points, ruffly borders, all the marks of an inexperienced hand. The machine quilting was about half done, and to call it merely clumsy is giving myself a lot of credit. But it was not worth ripping it all out and starting over, it made more sense to just carry on and finish what I had started in spite of my grave misgivings.

carry on

You can’t tell from the photo, but this quilt is BIG. Queen size, as a matter of fact. And because I made it so long ago, before I knew better, it has a puffy polyester batting (eewwww…) and a sheet for the backing (EEEK!!). A monstrosity of bulk and toughness, it nearly swallowed me whole as I struggled to quilt it. I concluded that the reason I had abandoned it in the first place was the fact that 25 years ago, I had only my trusty Bernina 1030, with its tiny opening to wrestle that wad through. No wonder I gave up, I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

1030See how small that opening is? Cat (not mine, sadly…) included for scale.

My current machine (a Pfaff creative 4.0) has a much greater distance to the right of the needle, so jamming that sucker through the opening was only a medium-sized pain-in-the-@$$). I did the minimum amount of quilting necessary to hold it together, added a binding, and I am calling it DONE!

The far-apart, wavy quilting lines qualify this piece as more of a comforter than a quilt, and I'm OK with that.The far-apart, wavy quilting lines qualify this piece as more of a comforter than a quilt, and I’m OK with that.

The bright, pretty batiks are what ultimately saved this quilt from an eternity at the back of the closet.

So today, I’m feeling pretty good about myself, for several reasons:

  1. I accomplished the first finish toward my goal, and only eleven days into the new year.
  2. I made an entry in my success journal, to remind myself later that I made progress.
  3. I wrote this blog post about it (which covers another of my goals for 2016).
  4. I saw how very far my quilting skills have come over the years. Amazing what 25 years of practice can do!

New Year, New Goals

I love projects. Correction, I love planning and starting projects, and getting to the interesting and fun part of them. I’m not always so good at FINISHING them. This is why I make the same New Year’a resolution year after year – to finish up the UFOs (Un-Finished Objects) hanging out in the closet.DSC00666

To simply say, “I will finish some of these projects in 2016” is too vague to qualify as a real resolution, so this is what I proposed to myself a few days ago: an attainable, measurable goal of finishing twelve UFOs this year, around one per month. “Twelve UFOs,” I hear you gasp, “you really have that many?!”

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Oh, yeah. No shortage of raw material here.

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In a “great minds think alike” coincidence, my friend Joan over at Hummingbird Highway came up with the same notion, and went one better. She plans to keep a journal of her successes. She describes herself as a finisher – I admire that!

This is a great idea, and I will be using one too. It will serve as both a planning tool and as an encouraging reminder if I fall off course. Which I probably will, somewhere along the line. If I can look back at what I have achieved so far, it may help me get back on track. The journal can be a source of accountability and support for myself.

I went to my stack of blank journals (don’t judge), and chose this this one. It’ll be easy to spot amid the chaos of the studio, I think, and will make me smile each time I add an entry.

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Since another goal for 2016 is to blog at least once a month, I’ll keep you posted on my UFO progress here too. A blog post for each finish? Another attainable, measurable goal! Now I’m off to tackle this, one of my oldest UFOs – wish me luck!

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