Must we finish everything?

It’s a new year, and everywhere you look there is encouragement to turn over a new leaf.  Wal-mart is full of shiny new office supplies (right next to the Turbo Tax software), and blogs are full of ideas to keep doing your New Year’s resolutions more than just a week or two.

Even at the quilt guild meeting, they announced a new program to help us finish our UFOs–which to the uninitiated, is an UnFinished quilted Object.  Some quilters are notorious for starting projects, but not ever finishing them.

All of this sounds great for projects that really do need to be done and finished.  Today, though, I want to talk about projects that don’t need to be finished, and give you permission to leave them unfinished.  Enter photo exhibit one:

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This is one of nine blocks for a miniature quilt, as you can see by the ruler.  Due to its small size and umpteen pieces, it requires about a morning’s work to assemble.  Months ago, I had cut the pieces and made the half-square triangles, and then abandoned the project.  I pulled it out a few weeks ago, and started again.  While stitching along, I began to have misgivings about my fabric choice–not that there’s anything wrong with red and white, but I was wishing the red fabric was less tomato-colored, and had some tiny print on it so that it wasn’t a true solid color.  These types of fabric add a lot more interest to a quilt.

Despite those internal feelings, I persevered onto block two.  After finishing the last seam, I finally laid it down so that I could see it in better perspective, and saw this:

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Something was terribly wrong…

In actuality, the problem was not as bad as it looks–I had sewn the third vertical seam onto the wrong side.  (For you spatial thinkers, just imagine rotating the last two vertical rows 180 degrees and attaching them on the left side instead of the right side.)

This would not take a long time to fix, but was rather frustrating.  So at this point, I put it all aside and gave a good long thought to whether I REALLY wanted to invest the time to make seven more of these blocks, plus the pieced border, only to possibly decide that I didn’t even like this fabric combination.

I’m sure you can guess that I’ve decided to make two pincushions from these instead, and call it done. 🙂  But I refuse to feel guilty about this decision, and refuse to feel like a quitter.  My time is valuable, and so is yours.  It’s true that fabric is expensive, but almost infinitely reusable, until you cut it down too small.

So if you have some UFOs lurking around in the closet, mocking you every time you open the door, get them out and given them an honest evaluation, as to whether they are worth your time.  And if they are not, recycle them in whatever way possible, and call it done!

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