Thursday, October 2, 2008

On UFOs and Challenges

As my crafty attention has been nearly completely consumed by my Star Quilt Along quilt, I haven't managed to do anything else (like Dear Jane... behind yet again). But, since I'm feeling so close to completion (just a little more quilting and a label!), I'm not ready to post any pictures of it.

Instead, let's talk a little about UFOs—also known as "UnFinished Objects." There are a number of crafters out there who are really good about finishing everything they start. Unfortunately, I'm not one of them. I work on multiple projects at a time, and so have all sorts of UFOs there (though maybe it isn't a UFO if you're actually working on it?). I have a number of completed tops that need quilting (definitely UFO status). And there have been a couple of projects that have just gone completely by the wayside. One such project is the peony quilt:

peony quilt
Hmmm... Can you tell it has been sitting crushed up in the back of a drawer for a few years? I started this quilt in a class in January 2000. I took the class not because of the quilt (which, even then, I thought was kind of bleh), but for the techniques I would learn—ruched flowers and applique. I completed all the piecing, learned the techniques, and then never managed to actually finish any flowers or applique. As the quilt is just so not me, I've never even been remotely interested in completing it. So it has sat in the drawer for 8 years. In fact, I literally forgot about it until...

Last month, my quilt guild declared its next challenge quilt theme: "Terror in a Brown Paper Bag!" Each participant selects one of their UFOs and places it in a brown paper bag, including the pattern (if available) and as much project fabric as possible. Tonight, we are to drop off our bag and then receive someone else's bag. The challenge: to finish the UFO you receive. The twist: there is no requirement to finish the UFO as originally intended.

Eureka! My little peony UFO has a chance to find a happy new life with someone else! I'm so in. I've gathered my fabrics (or what's left of them at this point) and my little top, and have stuck them in a bag. It's all ready to go. I can't wait to see what some creative person decides to do with it.

Just as exciting is the prospect of getting someone else's UFO and then getting to use some creative juices to do something with it. The only scary part is that there is a deadline. I will have to be done by the February meeting. But right now, I'm feeling confident and excited. It should be a lot of fun!


  1. What a great idea! I'm really bad about finishing projects too ... and seem to have completely lost all my mojo lately for sewing. Can't wait to see what you get! :)

  2. That sounds like a wonderful idea. I'm going to have to find a guild of my own to join, they sound like so much fun.