Friday, February 17, 2012

list or tower...project managment


So I am a bit late on reviewing my to-do list from last year...there is a reason for that - it barely budged!
A box of scrappy star pieces...in need of a retreat...
It isn't as if I didn't finish quilts last year. I just didn't finish any quilts on that list. Which leads me to wonder if I should keep lists. At points in my life I had lists of lists..So I updated my pitiful progress on the 2011 sidebar. I may or may not post a 2012 one...makes me think of the old conundrum "if a tree falls in the woods and nobody hears does it make any sound?"
One of my 12 cowgirl sampler blocks....5 years on the list
Instead of a list I am trying to motivate myself with the tower of shame. This is a towering pile of plastic boxes containing UFO's. The two piles reach to the ceiling of my sewing-room. I cannot avoid them. I will not put them in the closet because if I don't see them daily they will quickly slip from my mind and I will most certainly start a new project. There is a danger here...if one of these towers tumbles it will not be pretty...but that just gives me more incentive to get going!
Leftover Album blocks UFO...15+ years old...
I do have "rules" for my UFO's...First, it has to be a project. A photo pinned to my dream board is not a project. A pattern in my file cabinet is not a project. A set of vintage blocks given to me by a friend is not a project. It becomes a project when I start cutting fabrics...

Next, if a project has never left the cutting table or design wall it is not a UFO. The little star and applique quilt I am currently reproducing/interpreting most likely will never be a UFO...(btw...this quilt really needs a name)
Current baby quilt project...

So for it to be a UFO it has to be abandoned. Abandonment can be in a box, a bag, wrapped up in fabric or even just slid onto a high shelf or under a bed where is cannot be seen. Abandonment and out of sight are pretty synonymous to me.
Project boxed up after Christmas and now part of the UFO tower...

When does it become delisted as a UFO...when it is finished of course! Once it is abandoned that is the only way out. There are lots of finishes though.

I consider it a UFO finished when it is a completed top. Quilting is a whole new step to the process. I admit to having over 50 tops at this stage. It doesn't bother me.

Another way off of the UFO list is to be totally abandoned. Usually this involves putting it on the give-away table at guild where my UFO can become some-one else's project...a quilter's "mulligan" perhaps. In the past year I have moved almost a dozen UFO's that way...makes space for more "stuff."





15 comments:

Janet O. said...

I like the "Tower of Shame" idea. : )
Interesting perspective on what constitutes a UFO. I don't keep a published list for the year. I make a list of possibilities, with any "have to" gift or donation quilts at the top. Whatever else gets done besides those is a bonus.

Kathie said...

oh don't be so hard on yourself!
having ufo's is like having choices of things to work on!
love that little doll bed, thats something I still don't own
I think I need to start visiting antique shops, I need a doll bed!
and love the quilt on the bed too!
have a wonderful weekend
Kathie

Sharon said...

Hey, I'm right there with you! I have bins and bins of projects, almost-projects (no cutting yet), ideas with fabric, and so on. I agree with your definitions of UFO's - that's pretty much along the lines of what I've been thinking for the last few years.

I do get things finished, but not many have come out of those bins. That is is "resolution" every year - to get some of them finished. I just bought more bins . . . does that tell you how well I'm doing?? LOL

Good luck to you!

Libby said...

I love the idea of just giving away projects that no longer interest you. Life is too short to fret much about UFO's! btw..love your doll bed and quilt!

Frog Quilter said...

Your UFO's are beautiful. I would think that would inspire you to finish them. I like the idea that if you see them you are more likely to finish them. That would surely help me... Good luck on finishing them.

Impera_Magna said...

UFO Tower, huh? I think I need to borrow that term... very descriptive!

*lol*

LOVE that little doll bed...

Loris said...

Good way to describe your projects. I have been working through projects in waiting mostly. Patterns and fabric that I have purchased but haven't started. I only have about 5-6 to go....unless I get tempted with the spring quilt show! I'm only aware of a couple of UFO's and I'm working on one now....ok, I just remembered 3 more unstarted projects....this is going to be a busy year of still trying to not buy more!
When you mentioned a name for your reproduction quilt...Antique Baby came to mind :-) Doesn't quite go, does it? LOL

regan said...

Being a golfer, I'm loving your 'quilter's mulligan' term......yep, I think I have a few that need to go on that table, too! Thanks!

Nifty Quilts said...

I love your UFO policies, and am happy to know we can give them away. I certainly have taken on others' UFO's--well tops--and added them to my pile. I'm also glad to know that I'm not the only one with tops in the double-digit numbers. I'll try your tack about feeling OK about it. Thanks!

Merilyn said...

I love your 'Tower of Shame'! LOL!
I think your conundrum is shared by almost all of us LOL! I have a Pile of Shame, on the spare bed in the sewing room, haven't counted, but I'm pretty sure it's less than 50, whew! my two design walls are covered with two and three projects (UFO's) a piece.....hey! I can live with that LOL! and so it goes..... but I have made the decision to get several of these to the longarmer this year!!!! I wish us all the best of luck LOL!!!!!

Sue SA said...

Loving the tower of shame, it's a great name but don't know if I could live with the guilt! Mostly my lists keep me motivated but I do have deviations from them, just to keep th sanity, as creative juices do not flow from lists! I love the cowgirl sampler star...that has given me an idea for the cowboy themed fabric I brought years ago and never did anything with...so it isn't a UFO...cos haven't startred cutting, yet!

Jenni said...

I like your classification of the UFO! I have one UFO that I decided not to finish, turned it into something else, which then became another UFO. It's been on the design wall for a few years now!

sewkalico said...

I have visions of you and your toppling tower :)
Your projects make me tempted to start more - I have always wanted to do a Baltimore!!
Love those Christmas stockings.

Purple Pam said...

I like your UFO rules. I agree with them all. I also am cleaning out UFO projects and donating them to my guild. It is funny that I can obtain someone else's UFO and finish it, but I cannot seem to get all my own UFOs done. What's up with that?

Willy Wonky said...

The baby quilt is looking great! I'm so glad to hear it won't become a UFO. I'm not sure what to suggest for a name. I'd been calling it a Kansas Sunflower, but I like Russian Sunflower. Perhaps Russian Sunflower with Satellite Stars.