Monday, January 25, 2016

Monday Tip: Don't Give Up

If you follow my blog you know I’ve been on a quest to finish projects that have been cooling at times, percolating at other times. These are referred to as UFO’s (unfinished objects), WIPs (Works in Progress), WISP’s (Works in Slow Progress) to name just a few. I’ve tried 52 in 52 (one a week), 12 by 12 (one a month), FIF (Finish It Fridays) and other ways to get things done or at least moved forward. Some items did get finished, some have been moved along. But I’ve also started a number of new items – some that were requested, some that I just wanted to try, and some that were “what-if’s”.
So here I am at the start of a new year and a new attempt at finishing some projects. A friend posted an idea on FaceBook and I was off and running. has a UFO Challenge for 2016.

List 12 projects and what stage they are in. They choose a number from 1-12 on the 1st day of the month and that’s the project you work on that month. I can do that. 
My List for 2016

So I made my list – just writing down projects as they came to my mind. Truthfully I probably could list 24 or even 36 projects but I just did 12.
The first number they pulled was 2. Oh, oh. On my number 2 line I had listed what is probably my oldest (that I’ve uncovered so far) and most time consuming project. I was tempted to give up right then. I had hoped for one that only needed a little bit to complete and I would have success the first month to encourage me onward. I even thought about making that second list and then I would have an option to choose which ever list seemed best (read easiest). But I decided even though I would not finish it I could at least move it forward.
At first I found excuses to not work on it but then I realized I could do it – I could! So I opened the project box.
What's in the project box?

It’s a red and white crazy block style quilt with redwork in the centers. Three blocks had been sewn. All of the redwork embroidery was done. 
Where I left it in 2008

When I did those I didn’t know about the wonders of damp stretching my work (thanks Karen). So first I damp stretched all of those redwork embroideries. 

Then I had some cheater cloth of redwork squares that I had re-embroidered. For some reason (probably to protect the embroidery) I had fused some lightweight interfacing to the back of those. This caused the fabric to bubble over time. 
Cheater Cloth re-embroidered and bubbling

First I was just going to accept it as is but then I realized I could peel the interfacing off. So I was able to damp stretch those as well. The three blocks which were already sewn would have to stay as they were.
I have sewn two more blocks, and started to do the hand embroidery on one of the sewn blocks. The month is almost over and a new number will be drawn next week.
Will I put this one away? No it’s going to join my WISP’s. I’ve put the five (oh look now I'm up to six) blocks up on my design wall and I’m loving them again. When I started this project back in 2006 or 2007 I didn't have a design wall. Now I do and it is always a pleasant surprise to put something up there that I've done and let it brew for a while. It will take some time to finish this quilt – but I can do it!
Blocks on the design wall 

So I shared all of that just to say “Don’t give up, small starts count, slow progress moves you to the finish line”.

And that’s my tip for today.

Happy creating!



Boud said...

Sounds like a good start. I like that you're applying new learning to old work, so it will in fact be better for having waited.

margaret said...

this is a real beauty you are now going to complete I love embroidery on quilts and looks great in a crazy block. I back my calico with it prior to embroidering so have my fingers crossed it does not bubble
Do hope your plan to complete UFO`s works well

Rose said...

Hi Margaret,
I've used it to back my fabric before embroidering too. For some reason I did it after embroidering and I think that is why it started bubbling. I wasn't a good seal between the fabric and the thicker embroidery floss.

Karen Ruane said...

yes....magical damp stretching! I like in slow progress, that just about covers all of mine, lol.