Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sewing UFOs and WIPs: Goals for the New Year

Back in June when I last took stock of the situation, I described the difference, at least in my mind, between a UFO and a WIP.  An UnFinished Object is something that languishes, almost forgotten and possibly unloved, for 6 months, a year, or even longer, producing disproportionate amounts of guilt and other negative emotions in the process.  A Work In Progress can be anything that you are currently working on ("currently" meaning that it easily springs to mind as something you are working on without having to sort through layers of unpleasant repressed memories), and is usually characterized by a fair amount of creative agitation, mess, and occasional bad temper.  Still, WIPs by definition are things that a crafter is interested in and thus have an obvious advantage.  There are WIP Wednesday linkup parties to monitor their progression, and crafters really LIKE to talk about them.  UFOs, not so much.  I listed 11 UFOs, all of them quilt-related, without batting an eye, and resolved to finish a few of them.  I actually did: the Shirt-Stripe Boxes quilt and the quilting for my MIL's Japanese Lanterns quilt.  But that's still a drop in the bucket, and new UFOs have sprung up since then.

Now, at the close of the old year, I have discovered Patchwork Times, where Judy Laquidara hosts a yearly challenge to finish up some of those long-term UFOs.  This really appeals to me.  I think the way it works is, I post my list of 12 UFOs that I would like to get finished in 2012.  Then, every month Judy will draw a random number and we work on that numbered project.  I had no trouble coming up with 12 UFOs by splitting some of my bigger challenges into parts and counting projects for which I've bought patterns and fabric but not even started.  So here's my list:

  1. Aunt Maggie's Quilt: finished top, needs machine quilting and binding
  2. Framed in Quilt (pictured above): finished top, needs machine quilting and binding
  3. Log cabin... more blocks? Sew blocks together into quilt top
  4. 1996 Piecemaker's Calendar quilt (pictured at top): prepare half of applique for setting triangles
  5. " "
  6. Classical-themed tote bag
  7. Feathered Star (pictured above): make a decision and finish top
  8. Bowling-style knitting bag (was a sew-along in a Ravelry group over a year ago)
  9. Jack's Chain: piece half of remaining blocks
  10. " "
  11. Kit for three-quarters bag from Connecting Threads in Whirlwind Romance
  12. Pieced blanket of felted wool squares from old sweaters
If I don't make it on any of these 12 goals, there's no penalty of course, but at least I have blog fodder and camaraderie while I'm trying.  I reserve the right to go on an obsessive finishing streak and work on something out of order, too.  That COULD happen.  If it does, here are a few extra projects to throw in for a bonus:
  1. Hooked Rug in Mariner's Compass design
  2. heirloom linen blouse
  3. wool stuffed toy cat
  4. boxers in 3 different fabrics (I was supposed to make them for Christmas. Ha!)
In addition to working on those long-term UFOs, here are my current WIPs that will probably be in play for at least the first 3 months of 2012:
  1. Farmer's Wife Quilt (79 of 111  blocks complete)
  2. Orca Bay mystery quilt (halfway through clue 4)
  3. Sports quilt for Cedar Tree auction (This is really a UFO but I'm giving myself a March deadline)
  4. Crumb-along quilt for auction
  5. conversion to Bonnie Hunter's Scrap-User's system... ongoing
And then, of course I will probably start any number of new quilts.  I have some ideas but I'll wait to share them, lest they be counted as UFOs and start to produce guilt.

I'll do another post sometime soon about my knitting goals for the new year, because I approach knitting UFOs and WIPs in a completely different way than sewing ones.


Linda in Arkansas said...

I really like your description of what is a UFO and what is a WIP. I also noticed you said "make a decision" and that is what sometimes get me stuck, turning my nice WIP into a UFO. Nice list you have going. Good luck with it and I'll be cheering you on.

Dottie @ Tadlafleur said...

I think that it's cool you are working on the Farmers Wife Quilt. I might just have to start that in 2012.