Friday, September 10, 2010

A Simpler Life

Lately I have been feeling cluttered. My house feels cluttered, my mind feels cluttered. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to live without so many material possessions. Would it be freeing? Or would I miss the conveniences of life and just wish for more? Mmm. Perhaps it is partly the onset of spring after a very long, cold, gloomy winter, whatever it is I have been feeling the need to de-clutter my life a little and be happy with what I already have. I am slowly working my way through the house and bagging up, throwing out, taking to the op-shop those items I have not used in a long while. Starting to feel more at ease already. As far as my quilting goes, I have decided I really need to work on some of the UFO's I have had sitting around for some time now. I thought if I showed some of those UFO's here on my blog, perhaps it will encourage me to stop taking on new projects and get some of these older ones finished. 

One of my newer UFO's is the gorgeous Sue Ross BOM. I have made up 5 of the 9 blocks, so really just need to spend a few days getting these last blocks done. I noticed that Kathy at Material Obsession is now offering a second round of this BOM, I must get mine finished before the second group does!!! 
The next one is my flea market fancy half square triangle quilt (phew, what a mouthful!). Not quite sure how I will quilt this one yet, possibly some straight lines.
Remember this one? I fell in love with this bird fabric (from memory it is an Alexander Henry, I must check on that). The blocks are called goose in the pond that I saw on the cover of a Benni Harper book I was reading at the time.
The lovely Victoria from Bumble Beans ran a Waverunner quilt along, I loved making this quilt top, now it needs a finish!
My Kim McLean Hearts and Roses quilt top has been sitting around for awhile, mainly because I have no idea how to quilt this one! Perhaps if I get in and make up a backing for it, I might be spurred on.
My hexi quilt has not been touched for ages. I have been going through a needleturn applique stage lately, so my hexies have taken a back seat.
Then there is my more recent Philip Jacobs quilt, I will be hand stitching this one I hope.
Wow, this is starting to get embarrassing, looking at this little pile (and this is not all of them, I have some others I might show another time) it would almost seem I am not getting any finishes done. But then I walk around my house, and remember the quilts I have sent to others and see that yes, I have had a lot of finishes too!

Being realistic, I know I will not get these quilts finished in the next few weeks, however I would like to have at least a few of them completed by Christmas. Getting some finishes achieved will help with my de-cluttering, and I know I will feel happy to see them done. I will keep working on a simpler life, wish me luck! xo

41 comments:

Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

Hoping with you that your ufo's see the light of day and that in the act of completion your calm center returns to you.

Donna~~ said...

I felt similarly this spring, and made a listing of all of my UFO's with the hope that I could prioritize them and get them done--I kept finding more and more of them and remembering ones I'd tucked away. When I innocently began piecing a back for one of them, I ended up with another quilt since I liked the new back better than the front, and now have two unfinished tops, so be careful with the finishing... If it's any consolation, you have some awfully gorgeous UFO's!

Carla said...

Oh, my. Now, I'm feeling like I need to get going on my list of UFO's as well. Yours are lovely!

PatchworkRose said...

Love your Goose in the Pond. That Strippy fabric is just perfect. Will be watching to see that one finished. Oh and while I am at it I love the Hexie quilt and the Hearts and Roses Quilt
Have a good weekend
cheers
Lynne

Jan said...

Oh Cathy I know how you feel. I too have projects that need to be finished and so many in the wings. My house is cluttered and the family are sick of moving my stuff so they can eat at the table.
However things are changing real soon here and things will become more organised.
Good luck with your decluttering and UFO completions.

PatchCreationen said...

Hello, your quilts are always great ! Are these wonderful fabrics all from Australia ?

A nice weekend for you
Carola

ms lottie said...

I'm new to your blog and enjoying it. I love your use of colour and pattern together in ways that I just have never envisiged. I must say that a simpler, less consumeristic life IS really freeing. So much less to worry about when you're not trying to keep up with the Joneses next door. Go for it!

Chookyblue...... said...

must get back to my sue ross BOM...........always good to have a throw out.....we have way to much stuff....

Patchwork and Play said...

WOW! What beauties! Your work is lovely! And well done with the Spring Cleaning-it is very therapeutic! And good Feng Shui they say!

liz said...

Seems like you're not alone. Why do we start each new project convinced that this one will be finished, and in a reasonable time frame? And don't talk about too much fabric... at least we are keeping the quilting industry alive.

Andi said...

So many wonderful UFOs.
Looking forward to seeing them come to fruition!!
Good luck with the de-cluttering. I really need to so the same thing.
It's hard!
Andi x

Victoria @ BUMBLE BEANS said...

Oh, I hear you! I have 15 in a box, with backings... three pin basted,and yet, not quilted... Some I want to quilt myself, which will take time, some I need to just send out and get them finished... oh yes, I have probably 5 here to just bind...!! oh well! it's so FUN!
p.s. my blog address changed... i see you have the old address still in your side bar.

Teresa said...

I'm right there with ya, mister sister...I am trying to work on some UFO's and also clean up the "to do" list on my blog bar. I want to start some new projects and find that hard to justify with such a pile of lovelies, sitting there, humming for some attention. All of your projects are so lovely...hard to pick a favorite, BUT if it were me, I would start with the first two!

In stitches,
Teresa :o)

Anonymous said...

These quilts are amazing! Do you paperpiece most of them or ....? I feel the same way about the clutter and I am in America where we are going into our Fall. There's something about seasons changing that makes us take stock. Good luck with your weeding out.

sewpam63 said...

Your quilts are lovely, Cathy! All in good time, right? It does feel good to tie up loose ends, shed a bit of excess and move about more freely. I have a little wooden sign that says, "Simplify" Sometime the very easy is more complex than we realize. Best wishes!!!

Deb said...

Your quilts are all beautiful Cathy, each one unique, just like children, lots of love and care put into them. It is a good feeling to get things finished, so satisfying it will be worth it for the sense of achievement. I must get back to a couple of mine that are just sitting there on the sidelines too, before I start anything else new.

Linda said...

Yes, de-cluttering is good for the soul. I always say it's like getting a monkey off your back, having less possessions makes you feel FREE! Good luck with the UFOs!

Stephanie said...

You have the loveliest stack of UFOs I've ever seen. Usually I get struck by the UFO bug in January. I pulled out the projects and work one by one. For me it's a great way to start the new year. Happy Finishing!

Crispy said...

With winter just around the corner, I hope to get some of my UFO's finished too...they all need hand quilting. De-cluttering is such a lovely feeling :0) All of your UFO's are so beautiful!!

Crispy

alobsiger said...

Ditto what Stephanie said -- that is the loveliest lot of UFOs EVER! The allure of the new project is hard for me to resist, so my list of UFOs would be long. If I could bring myself to make a list. ;-) Perhaps consider the ones you've finished (an equally gorgeous list!) and then rub your hands together with glee that you have "saved" these lovelies to return to! Helpful, no? ;-)

Christine said...

Cathy you have some wonderful UFO's thanks for showing them
Happy stitching
Christine

KQuiltyBee said...

Look at it this way--you have some wonderful projects to work with. It will be so satisfying to complete any one (or two) of them!

Nedra said...

I have been de-cluttering also. But you are further ahead of me in that you are finishing up UFO's. We've been working on the house, and my sewing room is last on the list. I know it will take more time than all of the other rooms combined!

O'Quilts said...

Oh my, you are something else with your beautiful quilt tops! Very beautiful quilt tops. I have a stack of pin basted WIP's. When I feel sad and blue, or if I hurt..eg have a cold or arthritis in my legs, I go to my sewing machine, take a quilt off the stack, and just start. The quilt gets quilted and my cares go away. The stack just sits there all ready to go.

Meredith said...

I know you can do it! I think many of us have tops that might sit for a bit while we think of the quilting designs.

ranette said...

I LOVE your UFO's and I understand exactly how you feel. I have bom's that I haven't even touched and I feel soooo guilty. Lately I have been de-cluttering, but I still have a longways to go. I try hard to not get caught up in the moment with new projects, but sometimes I fail...lol

Helen in Switzerland said...

Great minds think alike - I'm trying desperately to declutter and finish things too! It feels so good when I do - and then life feels a little more under control - which is always a good thing!!

LuAnn said...

You are the one that did that beautiful Hearts and Flowers quilt from Kim McLean. I saw it in a group of photos somewhere (?). It is just wonderful, and no matter how end up quilting it, it will still be lovely. It is coming up on fall/winter here, and I would like to do a bit of decluttering here, too. Your UFOs are wonderful so they should be easy to work on.

Rafael's Mum said...

Best of luck! Don't look at all of them at once. Just pick one to work on and forget everything else till it's done. You'll see you will get there sooner than you think because on most of them you are well over half way! Looking forward to your progress report!

heath said...

This is funny, or serendipity, or something! I just took pics of nine of my U.F.O.s (there are more!) because our local quilt shop is having a UFO challenge. Bring in a pic of it unfinished, and then a finished one, and at the end, there's prizes for most finishes, and some random draws, I believe.
Are you very far from Manitoba? You could win some great stuff! (Wink!)

Marit said...

Oh, what a wonderful collection of pretty quilt tops. I love the diversity of patterns and colors. Lately, I have tried facing my own stack of flimsies (quilt tops), and have decided to make them into quilts - one by one... Aiming for one a month.
Please have fun finishing your beautiful creations. Thinking about the time and effort that went into making them, I guess it's only fair to take as much time as one need to transform them into quilts. Please share about choice of quilting and batting as you do. It's inspiring to see and hear good ideas for the finishing touch of a quilt.

Maree: said...

Lots of Lovely ufo's there Cathy...know what you mean about clutter..it's good to have a clean out...going through the same thing myself..Again!!..Hope it helps.
cheers

Tiffany said...

Oh yeah, I hear ya on clutter. Sometimes it can grind me to a complete halt. Hate that! But these UFO's are beauties. I really like the Sue Ross BOM, that's striking!

Jackie said...

Yes, you have some winners there that are crying to be finished!! You will get them done, no doubt, even if it isn't before the end of the year. They are too gorgeous to let them sit unattended. But I know what you mean about de-cluttering. I think for me it is more about finding the time to do so. You never know, you might just inspire me to do so.

Cardygirl said...

Aaah! UFO's or WIP's...glad to see all of yours...my mind is set on decluttering too...we should motivate each other I think! Good luck with yours...I should chronicle mine too!

kmcl said...

What gorgeous collection of quilts Cathy! Still its nice looking at the tops though. Have you thought of sending them to get machine quilted? I had a similar situation, got all the quilt tops machine basted so that I can hand quilt them later - of course that just didn't happen. In the end I sent all the machine basted quilt to get machine quilted by Kay Fernihough - poor Kay had to undo all the basting before she started. It took a while but they're all done now except 3 which are in various stages of hand quilting probably in the never never.
De - cluttering - I think you might need someone to stand over your shoulder to make the decisions! Cheers, Kim McL

Janet said...

I started with the fabric cupboard, I can't believe what's jammed in there. I'm sure it's going to take a whole week. The UFO's you have there are at pretty good stages, I'm sure you'll have a good plan, they're all worthy of a finish.

Kim D. said...

You have some lovely quilts and I'm sure it won't be long and you'll have them finished. I understand completely how it is to have 5 or 6 projects going at the same time. I'm more of a starter and slow to finish, because I get bored and want to start the next project. I've been told by my quilting buddies that this is perfectly normal. So there you go.

Brighton Breezy said...

beautiful quilts, all of them, but I love love love the flea market - that grey works so well - I could always finish it for you ;) ... badly!!

Sarah said...

I am right there with ya sista! Literally! I posted about this very same issue recently too. I am reading "The Happiness Project" and it really spurred me on to declutter and try to get a few finishes. I have also been thinking a lot about simplifying my life the past month or two and we are actually considering making some BIG changes in our lives as a result. It's good to stop and assess your life/goals/values every now and again and make sure what you are doing matches what you believe in. Good luck! And have fun!!

Sonja♥ said...

Do you hand or quilt machine?
It could be a nice opportunity to begin with free motion quilting (look at Janet, she's practising and becoming a real pro;)
Now that I begun with needleturn I can tell you free motion is an addiction as appliqué:)))
But it's not so comfortable to machine quilt on your couch than to hand quilt or needleturn...