Most of us crafters, I think, are guilty of having a few unfinished objects, or UFOs, lying around. Some have only a few, and some have a whole lot more than others.
I don’t mean the multiple projects that you may have on the go at any one time. I mean the ones that have been sitting in a bag somewhere at the back of your craft closet, shelf, or wherever they end up, maybe for years. The ones you never got around to finishing.
Maybe you got stuck with the pattern, maybe you had a technical difficulty, or maybe you just didn’t like the way it was turning out. Maybe you got distracted with something else for long enough to have forgotten about it. In any case, you are not alone!
My biggest UFO is a fully hand-sewn patchwork quilt (I planned to do all the quilting by hand, as well as the piecing), the kind where you baste the pieces onto card, and whip stitch them together. (You take out the card when the pieces are all sewn together, and then quilt the whole thing with wadding and a backing fabric.)
I started it in 2000, when I was going in for some major surgery, and I knew I was going to have months of recovery. Months that would need to be filled with something simple (and to begin with, anyway) small that I could do with my hands. Mine was of course, planned as an ambitiously large queen size quilt, large enough to hang over the sides of the bed.
The bulk of the piecing was done during my convalescence, and that was great. But when I was finally able to work again, I suddenly didn’t have much time to work on it. I did eventually get all of the squares finished, but then I had to start piecing them together. And that’s where I got stuck. Sewing all those easy-to-handle squares together creates one huge item that becomes a lot bulkier and harder to handle, the bigger it gets. I never even got to the quilting stage: I’m still stuck at piecing all those bits together.
I’d never made a whole quilt before, and I learnt a lot while I was making it. Like you don’t draw your design and then cut the card pieces exactly that size. You have to reduce every piece by about 1 mm (0.04 inches) all around, to take account of the bulk of the fabric folding over the edge of the card. I didn’t do this, so my quilt will look a bit bubbly. I’m hoping it won’t be too bad once it’s quilted, since I’m sure as hell not going to change it now!
So, because I like knitting or crocheting in front of the TV more than I like hand sewing something awkward that may take forever to finish, it’s still sitting under my cutting table, waiting, and collecting cat hairs. (She’s not allowed in my studio, but she sneaks in there anyway).
In any case, I’d love to workshop your UFOs with you. Maybe there’s something that can be done to rescue all that yarn or fabric you’ve already used up, either by finishing the article or by transforming it into something else. If you’re happy to have it discussed in this blog, email me with the story and any images, or just use the comments to let me know what you’re stuck on, and why.