Sunday, December 29, 2013

2013 New Years Resolution Review #4: Tackle my growing pile of UFOs

The new year began with a whopping total of 19 WIPs/UFOs and another pile of 20 dream projects that were still at the idea phase and/or collection of fabric.  Having so many projects was simply overwhelming for me and I was desperate to whittle this pile down to a more manageable and enjoyable caseload.  So I set out the new year to tackle this pile of projects and that was in part by working on many of the projects already started as well as trying to limit the number of new projects I begin.

So how did I do on my list of UFOs/WIPs?!?  Here is the same mosaic that started with 2013:
Tracking Progress on the UFOs/WIPs from the Start of 2013
  • The red check marks are finishes--for a total of 7 (I hadn't included the photo of the Oh My Stars Challenge that was completed early January):  Fluttering and Voluptuous Vortex; Koi Fish One Block Wonder; McCalls Mystery Quilt Challenge; Black and White Slashed Quilt (which was started 4 or 5 years ago--so one of my oldest UFOs); Butterfly One Block Wonder and Run for Color.  
  • The yellow Ps are projects where I made progress but unable to complete (top left to right).  
    • The Dresden Quilt has since been redesigned, reassembled, borders added and is layered and ready for quilting
    • Twister quilt squares are now sewn into rows that need to be assembled before twisting
    • Rainbow Vs quilt top now has a variety of fabrics purchased to audition for borders 
    • Black Opals & Ribbon Candy (broken dishes block) had so many assembled HSTs that I had enough for 2 quilt tops!  So I went to work finalizing the sashing fabrics with a warm version and a cool version, added borders, layered and more than halfway FMQed.  I was really hoping I would be able to finish both before the new year but I am stuck on how to FMQ the center hour glass shapes and borders.  So hopefully these won't be on my UFO list for much longer!
  • The grey ?s are 3 projects that I am still deciding whether to even pursue as I am no longer in love with these projects, hate the fabrics and/or have little interest in completing.  I just need to lose the guilt and decide whether to donate them as they are to Philanthropy or finish them and then donate them to Philanthropy?!?
  • That leaves 4 more projects that sat in my studio untouched this year:  
    • Dixie self portrait was tucked away in a drawer as it was simply too painful for me to work on after we lost her in early January
    • Kool Kaleidoscope quilt is layered and queued up for quilting
    • Bella Roma paper pieced quilt is just so intricate and I have set it aside until I have the FMQ skills to do it justice
    • Crazy quilt is also tucked away as it is just lower on my priority list.
Finishing up old UFOs is only half the equation.  I also had to either resist new project temptations (ha ha ha) and/or work quickly to finish up newly started projects so they did not add to the pile of UFOs.  Which route do you think I took?!?  Let's see how the new projects fared:
Fresh New Starts & Finishes from 2013
Each of these finishes have been posted earlier in the year.  It should be noted that for the first few months I held on strong with regards to resisting new projects until April arrived.  One of my college friends was expecting her second daughter and I simply had to make her a baby girl quilt.  But I managed to start and finish it in just one weekend, so there was no lingering UFO/WIP--just a mere distraction from tackling all those UFOs.  That quick project opened Pandora's Box and I was soon starting a myriad of new projects but worked hard to keep them from becoming a future UFO.  In fact, 31 projects were started this year, with 27 finishes and only 4 projects will be carrying over into 2014 for an 87% completion rate!:
2013 New Projects that are WIPs
Starting top left and going clockwise:
  • Double Wedding Ring:  I need to rework a few of the sub-units for better matching seams, before I can assemble rows/columns.  Design and color-wise, this one has quilt show potential, so I want my workmanship to match.
  • Free Motion Quilting Sampler:  This is the free pattern that accompanies Leah Day's Free Motion Filler Volume 1 Craftsy Class.  In my attempt to find a more efficient way of assembling the blocks, I accidentally sewed the strips to the wrong ends and chose to trim off those seams rather than rip, yielding slightly smaller blocks but not a huge issue.  At this time, the blocks are all assembled into 7 or 8 rows and just need be assembled, add borders and layer for some fun FMQ filler practice!!
  • Butterflies in Free Motion:  This was one of the workshops from PIQF.  I finished fusing one of the butterflies in class, but wanted to do 2 more to do the full pattern.  Since PIQF, I have traced all the patterns onto fusible and just need to fuse/assemble the 2 remaining butterflies, add borders and it too will be ready for FMQing!
  • Hummingbird Quilt:  this was started in Kathy McNeil's Feathers are Flying workshop.  I loved the fused hummingbirds, but wanted to do something different for the background, so I have since created the grid background, 3-D flowers and need to sort out the 3-D vines and order of assembling/quilting before it is complete.
I am pleased with my progress this year and find the studio is less cluttered with UFOs haunting me daily.  As I did not completely eradicate my UFOs, I may carry this resolution into 2014 as I'd love to lose the guilt of unfinished projects.  I will also try to be thoughtful when starting new projects, but there simply is no cure to my Quilter's ADD!  :-)

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