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UFOs and WIPs

Sandra Hatch


Kathy writes: "I just wanted to tell you to ask your readers to leave some of their UFO'S for others when they leave this world.

"I just had an interesting experience this weekend. For many years I worked in a veterans' nursing home and was very fortunate to work with many other volunteers over the years.

"My sister contacted me and said one of her resident's wife had died, and he didn't know what do with her quilting projects so he was going to throw them away. I told my sister to go rescue them -- dumpster-dive if she had to -- and I would go through them. The first batch of what she brought me was some magazines and books. From these I discovered that the woman was Elizabeth, one of those volunteers that I had worked with for several years.

"This weekend my sister brought me some of Elizabeth's UFO's, including a quilt-of-the-month project that she had started. I enjoyed seeing what she had done. I have almost finished one of her projects -- a Christmas table topper that had material to match. There were three other projects and I will tackle those this winter. So quilters, don't worry if you don't get all your projects done! Put them away with the directions and let someone else carry on your work. Thank you, Elizabeth, for letting me carry on your Ministry! I call it our Ministry because I have reached more people when I whipped out my quilts to work on or show.

"Thanks, Sandra, for listening. I love your newsletter. I especially like the Making Connections at the end where you feature just regular folks talking about their projects."

Kathy makes a good point. I had never really thought about someone else finishing my UFO's after I am gone. I guess it will all depend on who it is who has to go through my quilting stuff that will determine its fate. At this point in time, I have told my children to be sure to contact my quilting friends before they get rid of anything. I have over 3,000 books that I hope to donate to a quilt museum when I am finished with them. There are enough to fill bookcases from floor to ceiling in a 14-foot-square room! Some of them are autographed, some mention me in the acknowledgements. Some I have either edited or written myself. I doubt that my children will take the time to examine each one. I need to make a section on my bookshelf of what I consider to be important books, I guess.

Anyhow, I sure hope someone will get my UFO's and will find the time to finish them into something wonderful that will be part of both of us.

Kathleen asks: "You used the term UFO in your e-mail piece this week, but I can't find the definition of this term within the copy of your article. I gather from the context that it means "UnFinished" something. Unfinished Objects, maybe? Please define the term UFO. Thank you."

You got it right, Kathleen. Many quilters define their unfinished quilts/projects as UFO's -- Unfinished Objects. I am happy to say that I have finished every quilt I have started in the past five years, but I do have several UFO's from years before that time. I am not sure if I will ever get them finished because I am too busy finishing the ones I am making now!


Jeanne writes: "UFOs -- I used the term for many years and then decided that I like a cup half empty or half full. I changed what I call my vast collections of projects to WIP -- Works in Progress. Whether they be partially pieced, waiting for borders or binding or everything I need for a project in a container, my cup is half-full."

I like Jeanne's way of thinking. UFOs has that half-empty kind of feel -- a project that might (but probably won't) get finished. WIP gives the feeling that any day now, the project might get done. I now have a few WIP myself. Thanks for the new direction, Jeanne.