In Which a UFO Becomes a Wisp

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I find New Years resolutions inspiring but often unachievable. Before Christmas this year, I had to tidy up my sewing space to make some room. As I gradually stacked up the projects that I had started, but still had to finish, it was looking a little hopeless. I resolved there and then to make a good go at reducing the stack.

When I first started quilting I was diligent about finishing one project before starting the next. I think this lasted until I decided that I was going to hand quilt a top. Needless to say, that top is still in the process of being hand quilted 4 years later. As I talked to fellow quilters I was introduced to the term UFO, Un-Finished Object. It was spoken of in hushed terms and often referred to something hidden in the bottom of a cupboard somewhere. Some people announce with pride that they have no UFOs and others look on in envy.

Earlier this year I was introduced to the term WISP – Work In Slow Progress. It's a term that conjures up a slow thoughtful process from which you are allowed to take a break while you look for inspiration in other things. No project becomes a millstone that must be thrown off in order to progress, but rather an item waiting patiently for the right moment. In January of this year my UFO pile was rechristened as WISPs. The projects are sitting patiently.

Taking one project a month for the first 2 months has seen the Frocks progress from 3 blocks to a completed top in January. The backing is going to be a summery cotton with a soft flannel lining. Something I wouldn't have thought of a year ago but very fitting for a quilt of summer dresses. I had something lined up to tackle in February, but the Four Patches nudged in. It was their time.

The Four Patches began as a swap with the quilting group I belong to, Stitching Sisters. Each fortnight we would make 10 Four Patches, take them along and leave with a mixture of 10 different ones. Some of us started out with an idea as to what we were going to do with them others like me waited to see if inspiration hit. Sharon keeps us organised, so it is only fitting that she started on this with a plan. She required 260 patches which had us swapping for a year, from July 2006 to July 2007. In January this year, the gauntlet was thrown down. We will be showing the 10 + finished works at the April meeting of the Quilting Guild.

I have been putting the pieces together in a type of Jacobs Ladder. The top last saw work in November last year when I was trying to decide between the two layouts below:

It has been a busy week for me. Upon hearing about the deadline, I booked the top in to be quilted, while it was unfinished, and thought nothing more until last week. Amid a flurry I managed to get the outer blocks all sewn together and the top complete. On Saturday the top was delivered to Quilter's Lane, backs, patterns and threads chosen in a bit of a flurry. After that I could relax.

While having a celebratory Hot Cross Bun at 10 o'clock Cookie Company I spotted an awesome jersey that looked like one I had seen before. I was initially unsure if I should say hello, admitting hat I had been reading the Heart Felt blog but not yet posted a comment. The kid in the jersey was playing Little e's favourite game, Boo, over the back of the couch which solved the dilemma. It was a pleasure to be able to meet Janelle.

I will be taking a short break from the WISPs while the Four Patches are being quilted. I am thinking of getting some smaller projects started so that I can approach the next WISP refreshed.

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  1. That quilt top looks really good. The colors are so pretty.


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