Observation

A Story About Completing Projects

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Just before everything had to shut down in March I saw this beautiful pink floral fabric in a local quilt store.  I passed it by as I had no project to use it for and no need to continue to stockpile (hoard) fabric.  I kept thinking about it and just before the shut down went into effect, I went back and bought several yards of it and coordinating fabrics.  My idea was to make spring placemats, but I kept seeing the floral fabric as a table runner with Easter decorations on top of it.

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I found a pattern, played with the color arrangement, and commenced to work.  Okay, I didn’t like the first color arrangement, ripped it our, and re-arranged.  Still didn’t like it, ripped it out, and re-grouped.  Finally, the strips were sewed together and the triangles came together into a finished runner ready to be layered, basted, and quilted. By this time Easter was long past and I was tempted to put the runner away to be finished later for use next spring.  After all, the colors were a little bright and not really what I would use for summer decorations.  There was plenty of fabric left to make placemats, too.

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Several months ago I turned my breakfast room into a combination breakfast room/sewing studio (that’s another story for another day). With the new sewing arrangement I had told myself very firmly that I would no longer start a project and then abandon it to start something else.  I have too many of those – quilters call them UFO’s (un-finished-objects) and WIP’s (works-in-progress).

I layered and basted.  I set up the machine to quilt with the walking foot and marked the design telling myself to just push forward, no more unfinished projects.  Finish it and feel the joy of accomplishment, not frustration with leaving something undone.

I started well and then left it spread across the sewing machine table anchored by the needle for several weeks.  I was in refusal and rebellion; I didn’t want to keep quilting.  I wanted sew together pieces of fabric, not chug along with the walking foot. I was tired of it, didn’t like the colors, and wanted to move on to another project.

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I knew, though, that I had to finish it. No more UFO’s, no more WIP’s, just finished quilts.  So this week I’ve been doing a little at a time.  Yes, it is boring to me. But with each stitch I know that I am that much closer to having the quilting done. I have bribed myself with a little reward – I will finish the quilting and make the binding, but allow myself to leave it to be stitched on  later.

Leaving things unfinished seems to occur in many areas of our lives.  Procrastination and lack of focus are two bad habits that seem to take root easily. Leaving them behind isn’t really too difficult, but does take determination and discipline as well as commitment.  Perhaps just remembering their negative affect on our mental well-being should be enough motivation to move away from them.  And, if you aren’t satisfied with the project then it is okay to either re-design it or to discard it.  Just don’t let the UFO’s pile up because they really aren’t WIP’s if you aren’t going to complete them.

9 thoughts on “A Story About Completing Projects”

  1. Your table runner is absolutely gorgeous! I love the roses. It is so much harder to finish a project than to start one. 🙂 I like your resolve to finish it! I can already hear all the compliments you’ll be getting. Enjoy the day!

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  2. Your table runner is beautiful. I am proud of you for your determination to finish this project. I seldom leave a project undone – if I don’t like the results I normally discard the project. Undone projects certainly can cause negative affects for most of us.

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  3. Sometimes I wonder if we make too much of completing something if it does not seem to meet a purpose or goal. I like the bright colors, and see why you were attracted to the floral design. Just make a sundress for me of the floral, and a self belt of the bright pink solid, perhaps with a turquoise covered buckle. 🙂

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    1. I seriously thought about a sleeveless A-line dress for me! I like your design for the sundress! I haven’t made clothes since I made my daughter’s last prom dress in 2001. As I sewed that big, long zipper up the back of the satin dress with a tulle overlay I swore I would never make another garment! I haven’t – so far.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Interesting thought about making too much of completing something. There’s a fine line of balance of wisdom that has to be applied to deciding whether to finish something and feel the accomplishment of a completed project or to move on to something more fulfilling,

      Liked by 1 person

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