The UFO (Unfinished Object) Problem

May 13, 2008 | By | 1 Reply More

I have lots of UFOs because starting projects is my favorite thing. The thrill of new yarns, fibers and fabrics and the shining possibilities of the finished projects – that’s heady stuff.

Of course, reality is somewhat different, isn’t it? Like many, my expectations are often higher than my ability to finish them all. I’m usually happy with the finished projects and they are very often as nice as or better than I envisioned. It’s just so darned difficult getting to that point. In my own land of the UFO, I’ve decided that there are three methods of dealing with them.

First, just drag it out, grit your teeth and finish it. This works very well for things that are almost done and for the projects that are going pretty well to begin with. Usually, I find that it’s enjoyable to work on a long put away project and the extra bonus of finishing is wonderful.

Second, repurpose it or condense it and make something new. Because this usually takes more thought and planning, it works better on projects that aren’t going very well, aren’t turning out as planned, or are just way too large to finish as started. This reworking is good for projects that you like the materials and are still interested in. Of course, the new project may run the risk of becoming another UFO.

Third, admit to yourself that you no longer even like it, will never finish it and then get rid of it without any guilt whatsoever. This option is the fastest but not always the easiest because we all agonize over the guilt part. It’s as if we’ve asked the project to go steady and now want to break up. Try having a UFO swap with friends – one woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure – or donate them to charity. Either way, get it out of your life and see how much easier you breathe.

The best part of tackling the UFO problem is the twin rewards. You’ll have many lovely finished projects that make you the envy of your friends and associates. And, better yet, you can now start even more new projects!

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Category: Creating, Needlework

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  1. Karin says:

    I agree wholeheartedly! A few years ago I bought a chair for $8 at Goodwill with every intention of re-upholstering it for my daughter’s room. It’s a project I really, really want to do. But, the combination of lack of time, lack of suitable work space, and relative innexperience has kept the chair at the half way point for far to long. I just decided to research professionals and pay to have it finished. Very hard for me to do, but there will be plenty of other projects for me, and Meredith really deserves a chair!

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