Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A 12 Step Program for Quilters

I know, I'm posting a lot today. I meant to do this yesterday, "but a brown bird sang in the apple tree, and all the leaves were calling me..." no wait. Those are words from a song from the movie "Friends." Very obscure, very 70's. Sorry about that...

Anyhoo, last night I swung by Thimble Towne, the local quilt store. A dedicated group of quilters was there, as they are every Monday night, making furious progress on their projects. I wasn't quilting or making progress of any sort, unless you call catching up with friends progress.

But I digress.

Beth and Pat were lamenting the fact that they have SO many projects waiting for attention that it's hard to make a dent in them. yep. me too. It seems like a common issue among quilters. "Goals are good." That's been my motto for YEARS in regards to quilting. I set (and reset) goals frequently, so at least I have something to shoot for. But the goals I set usually only involve one or two quilts, and do nothing about the multitude of UFO's that I've accumulated over the years.

Beth and Pat are also in my little Art Group, so I feel like I'm getting to know them pretty well, and we can keep tabs on one another. "Okay, so let's challenge each other. In 2009, we'll finish one UFO each month, and by the end of the year, just think what we'll accomplish!" Beth immediately declared that goal to be too ambitious. "But some of my projects are just fabrics and patterns put aside in bags! No way could I finish one in a single month!"

Ahhh. Good point. Any UFO's that I had that simply needed binding to finish are LONG gone. Most of my UFO's are in the 15-30% completed category, not 90% done...

"I've got it!! We'll make a pact to finish a STEP on at least one UFO each month! That way, you don't have to finish it, but you can have the satisfaction of making progress. You can cut something out, or add a border, or whatever. As long as you complete one step each month, you're successfully tackling your UFO pile. With 12 months in the year, well, let's call it a '12 step program for quilters!' "

The suggestion was an instant hit, and I can't think of any way to improve upon it, other than to challenge you readers out there to do the same.

Sometime between now and January 1, 2009, I'll post a list of ALL known UFO's in my possession. wow. That's quite a goal. The last time I listed my UFO's, I had 53, and those were only the ones I intended to finish. I have no idea how many I have now, especially if I include those that are merely "possibly in my lifetime" candidates for finishing. The number could be worthy of Guinness Book...yep, I'm fairly confident of that possibility.

And so, silent readers, would you like to join me? I'll even offer an incentive...Anyone who responds to this particular post by commenting will have his/her name put into a hat. On December 2 - that's one week from today - I'll draw a name out of a hat. Whoever I draw will receive a handmade quilted Christmas card. (That means you have to COMMENT, AND you'll have to be willing to give me your real name and address at some point in time...)

Let me know if you intend to take this challenge seriously. I'm here to help you. :) I'm thinking that in 2009, I'll identify each monthly step I'm hoping to tackle, and by the end of that month, I'll give you my progress report. Sound good? Sounds good. Goals are good, and all that...

You don't have to participate in the Program to leave a comment and be added to the list. Anyone and everyone is invited to comment...

6 comments:

pb said...

I accept the 12 step program and challange. Maybe I can just move the projects around once a month and that could count. I love my quilt and Mel is going to figure out how to hang it on the fire place. I am giving the Freddy Moran quilt to Emily, I can alway make another one and she told her mom to give $1000 for it.

Brenda said...

Suzie, great idea, but.....
every time I dedicate a year to finishing UFO's, I go crazy the FOLLOWING year starting new ones!
Urg, I can't win!
Brenda

quiltedtime said...

Suzanne,

Some great ideas!

I have been staring at my quilting room with great dismay, hoping to God that no one invites herself/himself to visit anytime soon. UFOs everywhere! And worse than that, stacks of fabric that I am planning on making into something someday. (I'd better not put them away, though, because I might forget those little ideas and never get them back.)

The most annoying part about the clutter is not being able to decide which project to direct my energy toward once I do step into the room. Your idea of committing to one definite step per month certainly sounds sane and do-able.

I'm jumping on your bandwagon!

Lisa Ellis said...

OK. I'm in too. My biggest UFO challenge is the quilting step. I hate to baste and iron the backing. Even if I just basted one of my UFOs per month, that would be huge. Hey, I might even finish one of my Asilomar projects!

Jan Krentz said...

Suzie and all,

I am prodded to complete a good number of UFOs in the course of writing the books. Therefore, I am writing in SUPPORT of your 12 Step Program, and want to encourage everyone to take advantage of the idea!
Jan

Lisa said...

I used to have lots and lots of UFOs. Then I had a house fire and lost about half of them. You know what, I never missed them! Since then, I try to finish the old stuff off working 2 to 1 with new projects. Now my UFO pile is almost non existant and I've given a lot of them away or remade them into something else! Now when I start something big, I really try to set a timeline with a good reason for finishing by then! I'd love to be entered in you drawing for a quilted postcard!