Why UFO?

I just noticed this neglected project (UnFinished Object, which is something totally different from a Work In Progress, isn’t it) shuffling around in the basement… It was going to be a little circular pouch, last summer I think.  The pieces are almost all together, the inside of the pouch is already cut out, I even made a test pouch out of a single fabric to test my pattern.  So why isn’t it done?  I honestly can’t even remember why this got shoved aside.

Finding this set off a few days of self-reflection on my sewing habits and methods.  (I didn’t let myself start to obsess about my general life-habits; I’m taking baby steps…)  For a while I couldn’t stop thinking about how I must look through the eyes of my mother.  Mom is a very linear person and finishes everything she starts and doesn’t have 37 projects in various stages of completion cluttering up her basement.  I don’t even think she plans her next project until the one at hand is completed.   My fluttering about must make her feel all twitchy until she has to look away and shake her head.

What it is about me that keeps me from seeing things through?  Is it the lure of something exciting and new?  Am I over-committed?  Maybe just self-indulgent and undisciplined? Ugg, I think it might be those last two there.  Time to be honest.  If I don’t wanna do it, most of the time, I just don’t.

While I was working on the Strawberry Shortcake Quilt just now, I didn’t work on that many other things.  Just one quilt from start to finish; it was easy because I gave myself deadlines and I wanted to keep plugging away at it so I could be done and move on to the next project.  I had the goal in mind; gifting the quilt while the baby was still tiny enough to use it, so I knew I couldn’t set it aside and start something else. It worked.  And it felt so good! So I’m working on more of that now.  Goals, deadlines.  And the sweet taste of success when something is actually finished and put to use.  Why did it take me this long to figure this out?  Here’s hoping I do turn into my mother after all…

3 thoughts on “Why UFO?

  1. Oh, do you feel that you have to finish every book that you start, even if you are no longer interested in it? I don’t…there are too many books out there that I do want to read! I am a bit that way about projects. In general, if I have a UFO, there is a reason. Sometimes I can go back and solve it…sometimes not. Overall, though, I would say to enjoy the process!

  2. Love this post! It’s so true — once you have finished something and see how satisfying it is, it’s hard to think of why it’s been put off so long. But that’s the story of our lives. We just did the same with one of our teaching projects that’s been languishing in 1/4 – done status for months – and when we finally took the 2 hours we needed to finish it, we just couldn’t believe that we couldn’t have found 2 hours SOMEWHERE in our schedules months ago to just get it done! Oh well. Although I always want to get things done right away, usually we end up having to get to a certain level of desperation before it actually gets done. I LOVE the pieces of this little pouch — can’t wait to see it when it’s done! Congratulations on the finished project — may there be many more for you this year!

  3. Jessie, let me assure you that what your mother sees when she looks at you is a person more creative and talented and amazing than she could ever hope to be–really!! You are right that there is something in me that drives me to finish what I start–who knows why, probably the way I was raised (poor–can’t afford to waste materials by not finishing projects!)–but I am always THINKING about other projects I’d like to do. I am actually a very good multitasker, not as linear as it may appear, it’s just that I have learned to discipline myself, because I know those unfinished projects will be haunting me in my dreams if I don’t attend to them! My brain is permanently wired that way at this point from a lifetime of necessity, I don’t think I can change it now–but I wouldn’t change a thing about you if I could, especially if it in any way diminished your amazing creativity! So rest assured that while I am happy that you have learned the rewards of a finished project, you don’t need to change on my account! Whatever works for you is OK by me. –Lots of love, Mom

    P.S. I don’t want to scare you, but you may already be more like your mother than you think—oh no…………

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