Aug 31, 2006

Goals, UFOs and other musings

I spotted this the other day on SusanB's Ramblings from Early Retirement

mouse potato
- A person who spends an unusually large amount of time sitting in front of a computer.

I had not heard that before but boy, that described me pretty well for a few days this week. Apparently it is now an addition to the 2006 Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary along with some other computer related terms.

Yesterday I revised my August/September goals. As usual my August list was hopeful and I DID get some things done. My SIL's balloon quilt, binding for several quilts, the applique on the little Santa, some knitting though that is NOT on my list. I also started machine quilting my 30's sampler and just finished basting said Santa wallhanging for hand quilting. I did get the cat challenge fabric at least cut into something I can sit down to sew---always a good place to start. But the four sewing project were not to be. It is NOT that I don't want to do them that they keep moving to the next month but somehow it was just not happening.

Little Santa has got to be about 12-15 years antiqued. Below is a picture of one that WAS my oldest UFO circa 1989 or 1990. A Dorene Speckman handout in her own handwriting. I scanned just a portion of the page for space concerns. I finally tossed the components earlier this year because let's face it, I was never going to finish it but I kept the pattern. Who knows? Maybe with different colors than the stuff that doesn't and probably never did "go" with anything in my house. The pieces of it, like looking at the amateurish applique stitches on the Santa, reminds me of how far I have come---or better have come, in that length of time, LOL.

Pam was talking about repurposing or redirecting our old projects such as these and I would suggest, tossing as another option in my case. How many of these things do we have stuffed away? I can think of a couple I should just pitch. Save the pattern, perhaps, but just dump due to lack on interest. Give yourself permission to re-think those original plans and give up on the guilt you may feel about never getting to it.

Dot wondered this morning if her lack of focus on any one projects was Quilter's ADHD. We hear of so many children being diagnosed with that or ADD. (How many creative, slightly active kids get stuck with that label, I wonder?) But I submit, that we are probably more like adrenalin junkies. New projects give you that excitement and enthusiasm to go full steam ahead for a time--that's all we want to work on and it consumes us. Then we get to the more drudgery type things---more of the same darned block, sewing long rows together, sashing or borders. We know what the blocks look like, we have played with those fabrics, it goes together and looks nice that way, etc---where is the excitement in that? Meanwhile we here the siren call from something else---try me, cut me and off we go. The other becomes a UFO though we tell ourselves we really should work on it.

For myself, I know I do much better when I have something waiting for me---kids quilts to do, tops to make, some goal in mind. Give me a lot of unscheduled time that I can do anything I want and chances are, I'll be on the computer doing something.

Okay, what you are looking at here? A spider web top that I may eventually quilt. DJs aunt made it along with a bunch of others that his nieces and nephews now own. Not terribly well done but I have done two other quilts from the same maker. Have 4 others to do at some point. Another sibling has this one and one othe like it , I believe. It reminded me of the blocks that Evelyn and Cynthia have shared recently in their posts so I thought you might enjoy seeing it as well if only for the looks at the fabric that was used.

Obviously I AM caught up on my blog reading---or I was, LOL. Always something happening in bloggerland Now where is that black quilting thread? Posted by Picasa


  1. love those "vintage" fabrics in the spider web! hope to see it all quilted it up one day...

  2. I think the lack of finishing things indicates that we dream faster than our hands and machines can move. Besides, I get bored doing the same thing over and over, so I usually have several projects going at once. It decreases the frustration factor.

  3. Thanks for citing my "Ramblings" blog. Mouse potato was new to me also, but evidently a lot of somebodies have been using it or they wouldn't have added it to the dictionary.

    I'm really glad you didn't throw out the handwritten pattern from Doreen Speckman. That is probably a collectors item. Doreen was an entertaining lady. If you ever decide to get rid of that pattern, pass it on to another quilter who appreciates it.

  4. Mouse potato - I love it! I had a class with Doreen in the very early 90's. The project is a finished wall quilt - just right for February as it is a heart. One of these days I'll get it quilted and finished.

    You are right about the adrenalin rush. I know that's part of starting new projects. One has to love the project enough and want to see it finished in order to actually do it. One of the reasons I only do multifabric quilts now is because I do get very tired of the same few fabrics very quickly. With a multifabric quilt every block is a new surprise.

  5. I love the term mouse potaote! Thanks for bringing it to my attention :-)

  6. Hey! I recognize those octagon flowers! Wow - what interesting fabrics and such a combination to boot - a true scrap utility top, I would say.



  7. Hi Linda, love that you are going to hand quilt your Santa. The look of that small quilt reminds me of the old Yours Truly Patterns, and also the Wild Goose Chase patterns. Something very innocent and sweet about the shapes..kind of "no sharp edges" look.
    I really like it alot, despite it's age..LOL, or maybe because of its age.
    I've been into that "rethinking" part of old UFOs and projects also.
    I'm abandoned a few and put the fabric back into circulation..donated a couple(*G*) and am thinking about others. Time will tell.
    The two small ones I've basted or am basting are both old projects waiting for quilting. There are many more in that box...folded and waiting...darn. Better get busy! Hugs, Finn

  8. Mouse potato - that describes my DH perfectly! That's why I needed a laptop.

    Dump due to lack of interest?! I like where your head's at, Linda! I'm thinking I need to do a lot of dumping and just get rid of projects that I know I'll never finish. Maybe we should have a central swap where we can trade UFOs! Or, is there something like that already?..

  9. thanks for your post-it's true that we only have so much time, why spend it working on a project we truly do not enjoy? our quilting passion should not feel like drudgery!

  10. I fall into the new project category. I love to start on something new, it just feels so fresh and full of hope. Also I'm pretty good about completing projects, but I am not without UFO's. I like the idea of just ditching a project completely. No use in having something dangling over my head making me feel guilty. *hmmmm* I'm going to ponder this some more

  11. I don't know - I just can't toss a UFO. So far I've either finished mine or intend to finish them. Of course some of mine have changed from their original design.

    I'm famous for starting something and then deciding it should be a smaller lap size quilt, finishing it up and then donating it.

  12. Linda,
    you hit the nail on the head.. unless I have a deadline or a purpose, many of my projects just never come to fruition and thus another UFO enters the quilt universe. I too hear the quilt fairy calling me to another project. But I am trying to ignore her and by "going public" with my unfinished projects, I hope to clean up some of the UFO's in my quilt universe.

  13. For some reason my blog and yours won't show the current post unless I hit refreash...amd I keep forgetting to hit yours! SO I missed this post!

    I think we all revise as we go along..i'm about to do the same after a less thatn stellar month of slowness!


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