Tuesday, April 01, 2008

On Sunday I updated my spreadsheet of UFOs, and decided to rearrange it all. It's toooo depressing to look at it and see 76 projects, waiting to be worked on. I decided that I had no problem at all with my tops, I would happily have drawer fulls awaiting their turn on the machine. So I took all the tops off the list and put them into their own spreadsheet. That immediately took the number of UFOs down to 42. I KNOW! How can I have 34 tops? Don't ask.

Then I went through and colour coded a heap of items; ones very close to completion, ones that could be abandoned, merged or just finished at the size they are, current projects and ultra-long-term hand projects.The current projects don't worry me; I am making steady progress on them. The ultra-long-term projects are all hand piecing that I am content to work on over several years. There are 7 things very close to completion, and 5 that couold be abandoned. So with a couple of weeks effort I could knock 12 UFOs off this list and have only 30 left. That means I would have cut the list in half after only a few months work.

I know a lot of people would say my time would be better spent actually sewing, rather than mucking about with spreadsheets and highlighter pens. But it did have very concrete results. I picked out an easy project, only needing to be set together and borders attached, and 4 hours later I had this Rose Dream top in one piece. I wouldn't have touched it if the spreadsheet hadn't inspired me to make some progress on it. I probably would have cut some more fabric up, read some blogs and nothing would have changed.

Like all my tops there is a story attached. In 1994 I had a tantrum and refused to buy any more patchwork fabric. I didn't like what was in the few shops we had, it was over-priced and I thought it was contrary to the spirit of patchwork. I went through a period of only making patchwork from the remnants of the dressmaking I did for my family. And I sewed all our clothes, so it wasn't that much of a hardship. This was made from scraps of my dresses and my DD's playclothes, and every block brings back a bunch of memories. Even ironing it made me remember the laundry detergent I used then! I had a lovely time piecing it together, by machine because I was too lazy to complete it by hand, and I'm thrilled that it's finished at last. I will ditch-stich this on the Statler and quilt the blocks and border by hand, so I can relive lots more memories of those days.


Vicki W 10:56 AM  

This is a really sweet quilt!

Sweet P 11:50 AM  

I keep track of my projects, my time spent quilting and the money I spend quilting in an Excel workbook. I'm a little bit of geek. But I enjoy having a place to keep track of quilting.

Your quilt is adorable and so full of memories - just what a quilt should be.

Paula 12:38 PM  

I once had a spread sheet like yours but I felt too overwhelmed to even look at it. I think I need to pull it out and try it again. Update it and start working on some of the projects that are near completion. Thanks for encouragement!

BTW, I really like your quilt top. So sweet and what wonderful memories it must hold. Congrats on completing the top!

Mary Johnson 2:16 PM  

I find time spent organizing myself usually pays off. This is such a sweet quilt.

Anonymous,  4:42 PM  

You can't begin to finish what you don't know you have! Organizing is very important and as can be seen, it gave you a clear direction to proceed. A completed UFO (now that it is in a top phase). It is lovely.

meggie 8:05 PM  

As a totally-happy-to-be-disorganised person, I greatly admire you resolve!!
Love that quilt, so pretty.
I have been sewing at last!! gasp.
But I am not about to drag out old projects...

Anonymous,  11:32 PM  

Your Rose Dream quilt is beautiful. It's the one old-fashioned quilt I've always wanted to "hand-piece some day."

Anonymous,  12:29 AM  

I'm with you on the quilt being made from scraps of fabrics that have meaning to you. Not all designer fabric is nice and I think people get caught up in buying the manufacturer or the designer name. Also so much of designer fabric is very, very expensive. Not using fabric that has meaning to you takes away from the zen of quilting, at least in my opinion. Really like your quilt by the way - it doesn't appear to be a quick-to-make pattern.

Tanya Brown 1:29 AM  

I think it's cool that you spent the time to put together a spreadsheet. What a good way to prioritize, rather than just mumbling and scratching one's head as most of us do.

Also, I really admire the fact that you have 34 unfinished tops. I'm not even sure I've made that many, period.

Your Rose Dream is looking wonderful. Lots of memories in that quilt!

YankeeQuilter 6:11 PM  

Very pretty quilt. Isn't it liberating to make the decision to abandon a project! Much better than leaving it in a bag and on a list and just feeling guilty about it!


sewprimitive karen 7:34 AM  

I love how there's always an interesting story with your quilts. Which means there must be 34 stories in that tops pile alone :-).

Anonymous,  10:13 AM  

Uauuuu!!! Your blog is beautifull and yours works too!!!
Sorry but my english is note very well!!!


julieQ 12:40 PM  

Well, your list is longer than mine and that is an accomplishment :) ...but at least you are making progress! and you get so much done, I am impressed at both you and your sister's talent and productiveness!!

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