Happy New Year! Yes, I do realize that it is January 10, I am a little bit behind. But I can still wish you all Happy New Year . . . and with each new year, new resolutions. This year my daughter hosted a New Year’s Eve Brunch, Delicious Declarations sponsored by Food Buzz. Each guest was asked to bring a dish representing their new years resolution. (You can watch the video to find out more about the party and the food and “BUZZ” her post at the top.) My resolution was to be more productive. Productivity for me includes being productive in many aspects of my life but I like to relate productivity to my quilting. Of course, I’ll have to get past the packing up of the Christmas decorations to earn sewing time. I have “grounded” myself from the sewing room until that is done and then right back to all those projects!!!!!
Where to start . . . well, how many of us have a few leftover holiday projects that didn’t get finished? Yes, there were a few. Do I finish now or pack away for later in the year? I’m thinking pack away but make notes to myself in my planner around late August that they exist (because I will have forgotten by then) and should be worked on maybe around September. However, should be worked on in September doesn’t mean will be worked on in September, probably be November. And in 2012, I am really big on writing notes to myself.
And what about all those kits, patterns, magazine pages and things that seem to pile up and never seem to get sewn? Well, we know them as UFO’s or Unfinished Objects. UFO’s tend to make me feel less productive so I always hope to reduce the number of UFO’s in the closet each new year. I even host an annual UFO Retreat each November just for that purpose.
One summer I decided to count all the kits that I had on my to do list. I don’t even want to tell you how many there were . . . let’s say the number was over 25 and less than 50. . . that really narrows it down, doesn’t it? Anyway, I decided to cut all the kits (idea from a good friend), get all that done so that when I was ready to sew everything would be ready. How did that work for me? Well, there are still some stacked up in the closet, some have actually been finished, some were sold at a “garage sale” to benefit my favorite charity (ConKerr Cancer) and finally, some were de-constructed. I happen to like the de-construction of certain kits. Actually I de-constructed one kit and used most of the fabric for a block of the month class that I taught in 2010, Circle of Friends (Monique Dillard/Open Gate Quilts). I think the only fabric I ended up buying was 1/2 yard for binding. The de-construction was both practical and economical! And I love the scrappiness of this quilt.
I also have to share with you a what a few friends do with their UFO’s. They shall remain nameless but you know who you are. One friend purchases a square Rubbermaid box for each new project, includes thread, bobbins, rulers and even a pair of scissors in each one, ready for her whenever she is ready to start. Another friend has a box labeled “Quilts to done but not by ME!” Would love to hear what you do with your UFO’s.
Here’s another idea, something I read in the USA Weekend magazine on New Year’s Day. “Abandon a frustrating project – The quickest, easiest way to finish a project that has been hanging over your head is to abandon it. Instead of feeling guilty every time you look at that half-knit blanket, just admit you’re never going to finish, give the yarn to someone who will use it and let yourself move on to a new, more exciting project.” I love this quote and urge all of you to re-examine some of your UFO’s that will never be “DONE BY YOU”!
My final thought about productivity for the new year is regarding these blog posts. I’m hoping to be writing more frequently than I did in 2011 but I tend to get a little distracted by so many things, don’t we all? I can’t promise I’ll post every week but I’ll try to make it every few weeks. I have lots of topics to cover: sewing rooms, winter quilt retreat, my firehouse group, garbage quilts, Breakfast Club. Aren’t you all intrigued? Wish me luck in this new year with my productivity, hope we’ll all be motivated to finish projects and if not, to just walk away!