Here we are at the midpoint of the year and I’m looking at a lot of projects that have stagnated. For the past year I’ve been trying to get going on my UFOs (unfinished objects/projects), but have found it daunting, to say the least. I really need to hunker down and make a firm commitment to get old unfinished, and sometimes unstarted projects completed.
A couple months ago I did a total inventory of my sewing stash. It was amazing to see how much material I had that has been sitting around for many, many years. Some of it because it is specialized, like silk, that I got at a ridiculous price ($2/yd), so bought it without anything in particular in mind. Some projects I’ve started and then gotten sidetracked with something else and then had completely forgotten about them until I did this inventory.
Not only do I have sewing projects that are sitting around waiting for me to finish them, but knitting, crafting, home decor, remodeling, and gardening projects that are in various stages of completion.
When I look at my stash I think of the phrase “my eyes were bigger than my stomach.” This refers to putting so much on your plate that you can’t finish it all. That is how I feel about some of my stash. I have so many projects, all of which I want to do, but I don’t feel like I can finish them all.
Often this gets me in a dither. Which projects should I finish? What do I need the most? What would be the most fun to do? What would be quick (when I don’t have much time or am tired)? I also get into a guilt trip over all the money I’ve spent on supplies and how few of them I’ve actually completed. It seems all creative people do this, though. Everyone in the knitting group complains about the size of their stash. Some have made the same commitment I’ve made to work only from their stash unless it is a gift or something they need (like my lightweight denim pants for work) that they just don’t have the supplies for. Many of them are making things that they don’t even know what they’ll do with once completed. That is something I just can’t get into. Then I have a completed project just laying around the house gathering dust. Plus I might find I could have used the supplies for something better sometime down the road and there it sits all made up into something I don’t know what to do with. Not my cup of tea.
The other thing I find a problem is I lose my steam. I’m all excited about the project when I start it, but something goes awry during the process and I lose interest and it ends up in the corner languishing. This often happens when I run into a problem, like the down coat I was replacing the zipper in that getting the old zipper out took an act of Congress to accomplish (or almost). I got it partway done and then got so tired of trying to get all the layers of stitching out of the old zipper that it ended up sitting in a UFO pile for almost a year. Finally, I really needed it, so I picked it up, pushed through the nasty ripping out task, and replaced the zipper. The zipper now works perfectly and I have my winter gardening coat again. Then I wonder why I waited so long to finish it.
So, how many of you out there have a large pile of UFOs and/or unstarted projects and/or a huge stash with no plans? Would you like to make the same commitment I’m making for the next year (or so)? My commitment is to work mainly from my stash, picking up only supplies needed to complete the project. An example is the gift I just made for my girlfriend. I had all but one piece to make her gift, so I bought just that one piece. Everything else came from my stash. Plus I only bought the piece I needed, so my stash was less after the project was completed. That’s my goal. A smaller stash, a shorter list of projects, and more time to allow my creative muse to awaken.
If you want to join me on this year of completion just make a commitment in the comments below and join the UFO completion group in the Forum.
Also, do you have any ideas on how to get remotivated on a project that is sitting in UFO purgatory? I’d love it if you’d share them in the comments box below.