View Full Version : One Flew Over the Owl's Nest

September 28th, 2013, 01:07 AM
"The sign of an artist. Thrilled when the creation starts and gradually the feeling creeps in...."this could be better....how could this be better."..always growing..... The transition time sucks! It feels awful until we get to the next idea that will bring the piece to where it "should" be and then we start the whole cycle again. Sometimes, we get it just right and can go on to the next thing."

This is a quote from my good friend Sherry. She sent it to me in response to an email I sent her complaining that I was no longer as thrilled with the beginning of my leaf quilt as I had been the day I started it.

Do you ever get bogged down when you're mid-project? Or are you one of the fortunate among us who is able to start, work on and finish a quilt before it languishes as a UFO? I wonder, if Sherry's theory is true, that this is why some of us have so many UFOs?

Her insight surely will help me the next time I lose the initial excitement I always feel.

Here is a picture of the beginning of my leaf quilt. Do you have any pictures or descriptions of one of your UFOs to share? Or any insight as to why some quilts become UFOs and some don't? Let all of us Night Owls know what you have to say!

September 28th, 2013, 01:20 AM
I am a sufferer of the creeping doubts, "this isn't good enough, perfect enough, etc". I think quilting has taught me to persevere, just when I think something won't work or look right, I either come up with a new idea or manage to get out of my own way! Patience is a virtue, as my grandmother used to tell me all the time, so I am soldiering through with patient perseverance (or at least trying!) LOL

September 28th, 2013, 01:33 AM
Your friend is brilliant. My mother used to paint and I remember one painting that was a simple branch with leaves and song birds. It sat on her easel for months and one day my Dad asked her why she was working so hard at something she was obviously not happy with and I don't remember what she said. I was little at the time but I do remember every time that anyone ever comments on that painting hanging on their parlor wall that my Dad always says that Patty bled for that one. Simple beautiful songbirds that were just not right until they were. Maybe that is what she was going through then. I do know that the paintings she did that seamed to paint themselves and just appear always ended up as gifts to friends and only the ones she bled for go to her nearest and dearest.

I am different. I get so excited over a new idea that unless I have a deadline I move on to the next thing too quickly. I accept imperfection in the final piece. I will do anything to avoid redoing my work. My dresses often end up with extra beading because of that. I have far too many UFO's and always have the next 5 ideas ready to go. I am right now really struggling to get things finished. I work on a UFO for x amount of time and then allow myself to play and start something new for x amount of time.

Your work Cyndi is the work of a quilt artist not just a mere quilter.

September 28th, 2013, 01:46 AM
I don't have enough photo space for all of my UFO's! They each have a different reason for being side tracked. I had a real hang up on quilting my own stuff for a while. After the last quilt the HAD to get done, I'm doing better about that . Now I just have to find the time.

The day was interesting. The person I work for is loosing it. They think they have bugs and maybe they do. I'm pretty sure it's a mental thing compounded by some chemical issues. They have been working on fumigating the house and all of the contents over the summer. I came in today and they had thrown Diatomaceous Earth all over the house. This stuff is like flour and isn't easy to clean up. I'm thinking about changing jobs. They have been paying well and flexible with the schedule. I'm just not sure I can handle the weird.
I came home, showered and made supper. It was an experiment kind of dinner. I had made some chevre cheese and used it along with some browned Italian sausage to stuff the large pasta shells. While those were boiling for stuffing I sautéed some fresh tomatoes and diced zucchini with a bit of olive oil and garlic. I topped the stuffed shells with the veggies and some marinara sauce. After about 20 minutes in the oven I topped the whole mess with cheese and baked for another 20. It came out really good. Surprise! Next I'll make some lasagna with fresh ricotta and mozzarella. I'll have to pick up the noodles the next time I go to the grocery. I though I had some, but they were the jumbo shells. Good thing it turned out OK as I have two more 8x8 pans in the freezer!

We'll it's late enough here that I can put Missy to bed and not be punishing her! Then I'm off to get some Zzz's, as tomorrow looks like I'm schedule for a few hours behind the pitchfork handle mucking the barn.

Catch the rest of you night owls on the flip side!

Sew Perfect
September 28th, 2013, 01:51 AM
I am laying in my bed waiting for the night to get over with and reading threads and posts. Last night I finished 9 car bags which were ordered. I had the feeling of urgancy, so now they're sent out. Here is a picture of my night owl projects...56708

Once in a while, I also have a feeling of not good enough. Here is a more recent picture of a UFO I want to finish when I return hom.56709

September 28th, 2013, 01:53 AM
Misa: How could that UFO be more perfect. It is already so very stunning.

I am praying for you honey!

Sew Perfect
September 28th, 2013, 01:53 AM
Oh. I thought you wanted pictures and here I'm the only one who posted some besides you, Cyndi.

September 28th, 2013, 02:43 AM
Some of my UFOs in my albums are STILL UFOs for no other reason than life got in the way. One is unfinished because I am having issues with the piano key border. I started several other projects in the meantime, finished some and now know that I MUST finish these by Christmas. I always overthink things before I actually dive into a project and still have doubts about what I am doing, if I like it as it, is it good enough etc. etc. Sometimes I change things or add something midstream: that is when I get behind. Most of my things are finished to the point of putting borders on. For some reason I just can't get excited about doing those borders. I recently had an idea in my head for two baby quilts, changed my mind 3 different times about how to do them, and finally came back to the original idea. DUH! I think I have several projects going on at one time just for those times when one of the projects bogs me down. If I get away from it and do something totally different, then I can see the problem project in a different light when I get back to it.

September 28th, 2013, 02:44 AM
I'll post one. I'm so not in love with this.


oops it's sideways and this was with an expensive camera. lol

September 28th, 2013, 04:04 AM
Don't have photos of quilts that didn't turn out as well as I expected. No wait, I do have photos - they are all the quilts in my albums of completed quilts. I'm not a perfectionist but try the best I can, sometimes I do things over a few times but then I give up and accept that sometimes my work if less than great. My style most of the time is quick and easy because I make lots of quilts for family, friends and charities. I don't press a lot and sometimes have to cut the blocks a bit smaller than the intended size but they are colorful and meant for comfort and warmth. Here is a sample of a quick and easy baby quilt I made this summer, it was a challenge to make it because I used small bits and pieces leftover from the quilts I made for my 2 great grandsons. 56711

Working on quilts for shows is a whole 'nother thing. I plan a lot before even cutting the fabrics, changing my ideas until the right one clicks in. I go slowly to make sure seams are 1/4 and press not iron. This was my Starry, Starry Night quilt for Guild's Show last year. Not my most creative quilt but I did put a lot of thought into honoring Vincent Van Gogh's painting. I put a gauzy gold fabric over the white stars and when I handed the quilt in for the show I noticed that a tiny bit of the gauze on one of the stars had melted. Too late to do anything to repair it as it was Take In Day so I just entered the quilt as is. Of course, first thing judge noticed was the little melted section but I was happy I finished the quilt. It hangs over our bed and really looks much better to me because I can't see the small imperfections. LOL! 56714

Granny Judy
September 28th, 2013, 04:12 AM
Here are just 2 of my UFOs. I haven't a clue as to the backing fabric on the Tumbling charms (blue) one.. And I have the backing fabric for the Tavern block one, just not enough room to stretch everything out and get it sandwiched.


My inspiration comes way ahead of getting fabric for it.. and I'll experiment with blocks. Somewhere near the end of a quilt top, I start to loose momentum. It's the final touches, the finishing that seems to stump me and cause me to lay aside a beloved project. I can see it finished, I just don't know how to get it there I figured it was my in experience that was stopping me, but NOPE, I just come to a wall and can't get past it.

That is why I need to enlist DD's help with the sandwiching part and bounce ideas off her. Thankfully I have two Daughters so I don't wear one out. Right now I have 5 UFOs, good size quilts to get finished.

But the ideas just keep popping into my head for NeW ones.

Cathy F
September 28th, 2013, 06:30 AM
I end up with UFO's because the piece I'm working on didn't live up to the image I had in my mind. I put them aside waiting for the inspiration of what to do to them to make that happen. Sometimes it comes to me and sometimes it doesn't and then it becomes a permanent UFO.

September 28th, 2013, 09:25 AM
Have to stop replying to the Night Owl posts in the middle of the night between sleeps because I really don't know what I'm saying.

Have a few UFO's for several years and I am adding to them to make them at least twin bed size. They will serve a good purpose by keeping someone warm and comfy and it finally be finished! DS#3 is in the process or buying a house and will need quilts for the kid's bedrooms so I'll have the kids each pick out a UFO they life and begin adding more blocks in similar or contrasting fabrics until they are much bigger.

September 28th, 2013, 09:30 AM
I end up with UFO's because the piece I'm working on didn't live up to the image I had in my mind. I put them aside waiting for the inspiration of what to do to them to make that happen. Sometimes it comes to me and sometimes it doesn't and then it becomes a permanent UFO.


September 28th, 2013, 10:04 AM
No, no! No PUFOs! DH saw your quilt and said he thought it was awesome! So there you have it. You must finish it.

May, you're a riot. Keep writing in the middle of the night! You DO know what you're talking about!

Judy, I LOVE your Tavern block quilt! You have to finish it. It is lovely.

Misa, finish that quilt!

Jen, love the phrase, "sufferer of the creeping doubts." I'm going to use that.

It is really too much fun to read all the posts you guys put up in the night. You all rock!

September 28th, 2013, 10:15 AM
I was laughing at the PU part. What am I , ten? lol

September 28th, 2013, 11:42 AM
Unless it's linked to my blog, I can't seem to post a photo. Or at least it hasn't worked since about Nov of 2010. Sorry.

September 28th, 2013, 11:58 AM
Cathy that stuffed zucchini sounds really good. I have one in the fridge and some turkey meatballs in the freezer. I make my own meatballs because the ones at the store taste like cardboard.

I think I will make that today!

September 28th, 2013, 12:03 PM
I'll post one. I'm so not in love with this.


oops it's sideways and this was with an expensive camera. lol

How can you not be in love with this one? It is absolutely beautiful!!!!

September 28th, 2013, 03:13 PM
How can you not be in love with this one? It is absolutely beautiful!!!!

Thanks Amy :) I think because I rearranged it so many times I was getting tried of it. Now I know to square so I might drag it out. I'm in the UFO group and this is one of my failures. Good thing it's not a swap!

September 28th, 2013, 09:00 PM
I started quilting in April. I have made seven quilts (three were baby quilts) and three table runners (and some misc stuff like potholders, placemats, etc). I have only one UFO and it may stay that way because I am absolutely bored with it. It's a disappearing 9-patch and I just find it so repetitive and uninteresting. If I do finish it, it will ONLY be because I spent $11 each on several fat quarters for it. (I know. It was back when I didn't know anything. I couldn't find fabric with tennis rackets on it and I ended up buying custom fabric -- without knowing it was custom -- from Spoonflower.)

I think boredom is a big factor. I think another factor is despair. (Not good enough syndrome.) I wrote a humorous blog post about quilter's despair and you can read it here if you are interested: The 5 stages of quilting. ? Debt of Gratitude (http://debtofgratitude.wordpress.com/2013/08/12/the-5-stages-of-quilting/)

For me, though, I have absolutely no ability to defer gratification. It's a horrible trait when it comes to purchasing fabric, but it is the thing that pushes me to finish quilts. I start and I finish before I move on to the next (with my one famous exception). I hate cutting, though, so I will sometimes make myself cut out fabric for a project (to get it over with) long before I start sewing it.