UFO’s: Which to Stick With and Which to Chuck?

The UFO's I found top of hand. I'm sure there are more secreted away in dark corners.

My craft decluttering has unearthed several UFO’s.  Many of them are quilting related as those pieces have stalled.  The Hello Kitty machine suffices for garment sewing, but does not allow me to drop the feed dog for freehand motion quilting, nor is the arm large enough to wad a quilt underneath. 

I have a hard time making decisions on quilting supplies and projects.  The scraps seem eminently useful.  But they tend to add up to behemoth piles of fraying pieces.   Even if I don’t like how a quilt top is turning out I tend to go ahead and finish it because I think to myself all that I am learning.  And I am at least putting that fabric to practical use.

But with baby on the way and all of our spare funds going towards doctor’s bills and home repair, I need to make some hard choices. 

What projects do I stick with and which do I chuck?

Serendipitiously I came across this little book at the library the dip:A little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (And When to Stick) by Seth Godin.

The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (And When to Quit) by Seth Godin

Seth Godin is a business writer and you might imagine he doesn’t have much to say to crafters.   But it is a cool little book and I found it very apt.  Some of the reviewers on Amazon said that they thought sticking through the rough patches was general knowledge.  It is.  But sometimes you really need to know when to quit.

In the middle of a trying spell it is nice to hear a friendly voice urging you on, and additionally, providing valid criteria for when it is appropriate to quit and move on.

Pages 66-69 gives three questions to ask oneself in regards to quitting.

  1. Am I panicking?

  2. Who am I trying to influence? (As a crafter I think that can read; What is my Goal?)

  3. What sort of measurable progress am I making?

Godin points out that high emotion is not a good reason to quit as it becomes expensive to continue starting projects afresh.  

If the goal of my project is to learn new technique then maybe I want to continue even if the results are wonky.  But if the goal is to give as a gift and it doesn’t look gift-worthy, possibly scrapping and starting again is the better option. 

And what rate of progress am I making?  Is this the kind of project that crawls along, and is that acceptable?  Or do I have to finish in a short time to give as a gift, or to simply keep workflow going on other exciting projects?

One by one, over the next few days I am going to look at each of my UFO’s and run them through the above criteria.  I will fill you in on what I decide.

And I might read through this little volume one more time for emotional support. 🙂

Next Post: Tuesday, April 12.2011: Maternity Wardrobe Woes


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Steph
    Apr 07, 2011 @ 19:56:06

    Sounds like a good book. It’s really hard not to be able to put any money into your work, lately I was scrounging in the couch for change to buy a zipper.

    Are you a quitter or a person who doesn’t know when to quit? It helps to have some criteria I think.


    • Sewista Fashionista
      Apr 09, 2011 @ 10:43:22

      Given my number of UFO’s I must be a quitter. I finish and use a lot of projects but if I get waylaid I will store the project and maybe never come back to it.
      Though sometimes I totally obsess over some project that isn’t working and never will be.


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