I am declaring 2008 the Year of the UFO's!
I don't think of them as bad, but when they have piled up over several years (OK, lots of years!) it's a good time to take stock of the situation and give them some attention then move on to new things.
Here are some ways to deal with UFO's...
1. Random grab: Deciding which one to work on first tends to be a real roadblock for most of us. I used the "random grab" method in November to get some floor space cleared up in my studio. Whatever I picked up was what I had to deal with...no time to dither over choices!
2. Make a list: Knowing the extent of the "problem" can be helpful, so this tip shows up in many self-help lists.
In my quilt guild we're making a list of just eight UFO's, then randomly drawing a number each month to help select the one to "attack" next. For those with lengthy lists, you may have to put it up on your dresign wall and throw a dart at it to make your choice!
Don't become a slave to doing the projects in the order listed!
3. Change the project to be smaller: Just because it started off to be a King Size Quilt doesn't mean it can't end up as a baby quilt...or even pot holders. If the size is holding you back, change it to a more reasonable item. I guarentee you will feel better!
4. Or larger: Sometimes you realize that small piece would be sooooo beautiful if it were large enough for the bed. This is challenging, as you will have to do a bit of designing and choose additional fabric, but creating something you really want (or can use) will make for a happier exprience.
Don't despare over not-enough-fabric. Solving that challenge makes a better quilt almost every time.
5. Trade with a friend: One quilter's headache is another's brainstorm. Exchange UFO's with a friend and get a fresh perspective. Besides, it's easier to "fix" somethig you didn't "mess up" in the first place.
6. Sell in a yard sale: That set of "antique blocks" your friend is showing off was really some UFO from a previous generation. Continue this tradition!
Many quilt fund raisers/ boutiques feature lovely UFO's...help yourself and the guild by donating.
7. Wrap for a gift: A bit tricky, but you might get away with it! Be sure to include all the fabric, pattern, and anything else that goes with it.
8. Throw it away: Yes, it may come down to that. But do consider the other suggestions first!
9. Return the fabrics to your stash: It could be a fabric choice issue, and putting away the ones you picked out might cause you to see a new way. UFO's are often the result of just feeling stumped.
10.Call in the troops: Ask for help from your quilting friends. They can feel your frustration, then help get you going with new ideas and even hands-on assistance. There is nothing like it when you need a lot of tops to be basted!
My number one rule is: Don't feel guilty!
However you deal with a UFO is progress...feel proud of yourself, and feel good about the next project!