Yesterday the Glen Rock Quilt Group (not our official name) met for the first time in the Glen Rock Public Library. My friend Beth and I organized it, didn't know what to expect, and would have been happy to spend time together just the two of us, making and talking quilts. As it turns out, we had two women show up, Carol and Lisa, and we were thrilled. We talked about our quilting experience and goals.
Carol had made a small quilt several years back. Although very busy with work, she'd like to get into it again as a way to slow down and relax.
Lisa has been quilting for years and has multiple unfinished projects (like myself). She recently returned from Alaska where she picked up a stained glass table runner project that she'd like to start (and hopefully finish!) She also talked about the Row by Row Experience that she and her sister participated in and showed us pictures of the patterns she picked up at the quilt shops she visited in Alaska.
We talked about why multiple unfinished projects are an issue for so many quilters. Personally, I have at least ten UFO's (unfinished objects). Lisa said that after years of quilting she only has one finished quilt, but LOADS of fabric and supplies. Could it be that this craft attracts those of us who lack the ability to focus? I can only speak for myself...
Personally, when I have an idea for something I want to make, I'm sooooo excited about it. I can picture it in my head and I just want to make it REAL. I have an uncontrollable urge to start on it right away, regardless of what existing projects lay in wait on my work desk. Ahhh, it feels so good to dive into a new project! The excitement of creation, the adrenaline - it's a rush, and the rush is addictive.
Partway into this new project, there's inevitably a disruption in studio time. Whether I need to pick the kids up from school, drive them to an after school activity, or just want to spend time catching up with them, the project I just started is dropped for the time being, alongside previous unfinished project.
The next time I enter the studio, that initial rush of enthusiasm may still exist, but it may not. In either case, I now have two projects started. Whichever one I pick up, hopefully I complete it before the next idea hits.
Now here's one of the (many) reasons I believe the UFO problem is specific to quilters. Quilt projects are rarely completed in one to two sittings. A quilt project typically requires weeks, months, or even years of dedicated work to get the job done. For those of us whose enthusiasm for new projects outweighs our ability to focus on existing projects, the never ending cycle of UFO's has been set in motion, and continues to grow throughout the years.
Which brings me back to one of the shared goals we discussed at our first meeting, which is to hold each other accountable for finishing our projects.
Are you a quilter afflicted with the UFO problem? If so, why do you start a new project before finishing the last? Have you come up with any solutions that work for you, or some preventative measures to take to avoid accumulating UFO's in the first place? Please feel free to share your thoughts here...