Hopefully some of you out there will remember that big 80's hit, "Whip It" by Devo. Now it wasn't exactly great songwriting but the video was strange enough to make it popular. View it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xbt30UnzRWw
Ok, so now I have you really confused. What does Devo have to do with quilting? Well, in my world I don't have any UFOs, (Unfinished Objects, if that's what the "O" stands for).
We're all familiar with this phenomenon; partially finished quilts that we either got bored with, or they were getting really ugly and we didn't think finishing them was worth our time, or we just had to put them aside to deal with other things in our lives.
Now, I understand the UFO concept, but I prefer to not consider my pieces unfinished, instead I call them WIPs, or "Works In Progress."
Of course this doesn't apply to all unfinished pieces. There are some that I recognize I will never finish. Some of these are historical artifacts, I keep them around because they remind me of how far I've come, or they represent a part of my life that I'd like to hang onto a piece of. Most, however, are either donated to a reuse/recycle place where they may show up in someone else's art, or if they're particularly hideous, they make great absorbent pads for the bottom of the trash can.
Now, I'm one of the fortunate folks who doesn't get too attached to her work. For me it's all about the creative process and once the piece is done, (or isn't working out), I have no problem letting it go. It makes it easier for me to sell my work. It's also easier because I don't lose too much sleep over those grand ideas that went bust. The fact is that I learn something from every piece that I work on, whether I finish it or not.
I actually envy those quilters who buy the fabric, cut it out, piece it, quilt it, and then put it on the bed or the wall. For me it's just not that way. It's all about letting things happen and although sometimes its frustrating and you can feel like your time has been wasted, it really hasn't been. If you learn something that you can use or pass on, then the time spent was worth it, and really, what better way to spend time than with a needle in hand?
The quilt at the top of this page is one of my current "WIP"s. I usually piece three or four quilts and then work on them at the same time, going from one to the other as the mood strikes me. This one is the furthest along, but still has a ways to go. I'm a little on the outs with it right now. I spent a long time appliqueing all of the little squares around the outside and it was making me mental, so I'm giving it a break for a week or so. Then I'll jump back in. I'll post photos of my progress.
So, if you have a closet of WIPs don't fret. Take another look at them, you might be surprised at what interests you now, and how things you've learned since may help you make something more of it than you originally thought.
Happy Stitching, and WIPping!