We’re nearing the end of the year 2018, and though it’s a bit early to be thinking about the life-changing New Year Resolution just yet, another thing I tend to do as the Spring moves into Summer is a bit of tidying and a bit of chucking out, though really, if I’m honest it’s more like just moving stuff about a bit. My summer clothes and winter clothes certainly do need to be swapped between cupboards, and any day now would be good. But in the sewing room (I think it’s a bit pretentious to call it ‘my studio’) I tend to declutter my pin board and put away all samply-UFO things that I’ve really stopped ‘seeing’ and thinking about.
We artists all know some perfectly valid reasons why you can lose a sense of excitement over a project, and at such times the smartest thing mental health thing to do is call it a ‘Sample’ and put it wherever your samples go. Mine go in a large opaque shopping bag. I really don’t have many UFOs precisely because I do make samples to explore design or technique. But once every few years, I jump right into a project, then have second thoughts. At that time I decide the UFO is a ‘False Start’, and put that in the samples bag, too.
Now, if the UFO has become a rather advanced and possibly large project of fabric thread and you’re deciding to abandon it, I advise you be honest with yourself, suppress any guilt feelings, and select one of these options. First, you could start referring to it as an ‘Ongoing Project’ as you put it aside for a while – but this does come with the implication that work has merely paused, not stopped.
If that is not true. or if it has been paused for so long that you know you have really abandoned it, you could consider cutting the UFO into dog-basket sized pieces, back each with some cosy flannel and edge with a machine sewn binding. This is something useful for the family pets or gifts for your friends’ dogs. Cats, too, like quilty mats, and you might find one of these useful in training a young cat where it is permitted to drape itself in your home and to help it develop a sense of its own special place. (Key word ‘might’) With a multiple UFO problem, you could make up a whole batch and donate them to your local animal rescue centre….getting rid of the UFOs and your guilt in one fell swoop.
Finally, I have heard of some makers cutting up their ‘false starts’ or advanced samples and using them in other, new, quilts. I think that is an extreme and unsatisfactory solution, because the influence of the failed false start will always be there, enabling continued denial and showing that to some extent the sample/false start is controlling the maker.
Oh, and the pic above – just a snippet of a small sample of something which didn’t actually go further, as many samples don’t.