Quilting

The Tale of a UFO

A long, long time ago I made a quilt top.  I didn’t make it for anything in particular.  I was doing it mostly to use up some really strange and ugly fabrics that I had.  It was a Scrappy Trips top.  Quilters might remember that a year or two ago this became a cool top to make.  Everyone was doing it.  I had a total hipster moment as I watched all the pictures of it pop up while I thought, “I did that before it was cool.”

I don’t remember exactly what year I made the top.  I know where I was living at the time.  The top moved houses with us once.  It got put aside because I tried to free motion quilt spirals into it and the tension was wonky.  It got put in time out to think about its poor behavior and it stayed there.

When I got to my new job a coworker said that she liked quilts that didn’t match.  I told her that I had just the top for her and that I would finish it and give it to her.  That was vague.  I need deadlines.  I have made a few quilts for other people having babies in the office since then.  Each time I mention a quilt she half-jokingly asks where her quilt is.

So I decided to make it for her birthday.  Her birthday is in February.  Last July that sounded like a good idea.

In October I thought that maybe I should think about working on it.  I thought about it in November and December too.  Somewhere along the way it had gotten half quilted with an all over pattern.  How hard was that going to be to finish up?  Plenty of time.

In January I thought I really should get serious.  I looked up her birthday hoping it was the 28th.  It was the 3rd.  I absolutely had to finish the quilting on January 30.  I didn’t even start.  I got up early before work on the 31st and knocked out a lot of it.  I talked to other another coworker that day about party plans.  (This is the birthday of the coworker that plans the birthday parties for everyone else in the year so we have to step up.)  I said that the birthday was Monday.  She told me it was Tuesday.  My brain said, “Plenty of time!” because my brain is stupid and forgets I work all day Monday.   I forced myself to get it finished on Sunday.

So many years and 2 days later, I have a finish.

One totally unmatching quilt ready to go.

Please tell me that someone else does this too or is every other quilter out there good at finishing projects before the moment they are due?


Coming up

This Saturday is National Sew Day for Quilts of Valor.  I’m planning on sewing together the quilt that’s been on my design wall since last May. It was part of a huge push we did for a Memorial Day presentation. When I realized we had enough without it, it sat.

I’m also going to join the Hazel the Hedgehog quilt a long hosted by Gnome Angel. I bought the pattern in December intending to get a Christmas wall hanging done by December 2015.  As I’ve confessed in this post, I need a deadline.  I will finish the top by the end of the quilt a long.

Hazel Hedgehog QAL on GnomeAngel.com

17 Comments

  • heulwenprice

    Great story, congrats on the finish! I used to be more like that with deadlines, but got much better once I went freelance – a quick turn-around means more work packed into a month and a nicer payslip at the end – that’s quite the motivator. 😉 However, I do have an unfinished wedding quilt due for June 2011, so I’m not completely reformed!

  • Lisa

    I have a huge pile of unfinished projects. I’m finding the online goal setting linkups helpful in getting me to finish them if they don’t have an actual deadline like a wedding or something. In January I took a day off work to get my January goal done. How crazy is that!

  • Marly

    I like the quilt and I’m sure your co-worker will too. It was worth waiting for! Now she has to find something else to joke with you about!

  • Mary

    That’s an excellent story, I think lots of us need pressure to get a job done! I planned to make my own wedding dress and had a a nightmare that I’d left it until the day before, funnily enough I got on and made it that very week (with a month or so to spare!). Have fun with Hazel – I’m resisting (so far)

  • hydeeann

    i just finished up a baby quilt i started for the baby shower in december, thinking i had plenty of time before the baby was due in february. i completed the top the day of the shower (after the shower, where i gifted a pile of fabric). then it sat until last friday, when i thought to myself, “that baby is due in a few weeks. better finish her quilt.” on the way to the fabric store for a backing, i got a text saying my new niece had arrived! yikes! i did all the finishing on saturday and took it over on sunday. for me, this is actually really, really good timing. normally i’m months late. so, yes, you’re not the only one i guess! doesn’t it feel good now to have it done and gifted, though?

  • whatsheread

    I love it! Your coworker will as well. Doesn’t everyone finish up projects the day before they are due? Does ANYONE finish them early? If so, I want to know their secret.

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