Thursday, May 12, 2016

let it go...

A few weeks ago, I gave away my epic quilt top. Yes, that's right. I sent it to a friend.
I had so many emotions wrapped up in this quilt. I didn't know if I loved....or even liked it, for that matter. A few different times I put it on my bed, just to see if I could convince myself that I loved it. I wasn't feeling it! Granted, it was just a quilt top, so the quilting could have helped it. Washing and drying probably would have helped, as well. I couldn't decide what to back it with and it was nagging at me. For some reason, I was quite unsettled about it all. It was really strange! So, one day, I called a friend and asked her if she wanted it. She said, "wouldn't say no", and I sent it off the very next day. At first I felt a little bit weird about it, but I'm so relieved that it went to a good home. She already has plans for it! I've had a few weeks to think about it, and I'm super happy with my decision. After all.....It's all just fabric, right?
(There's a reason why I have this hanging in my sewing room! Some days I need the reminder.) I still have plenty of scraps from making the quilt top, which I have plans for....but more on that later.

As for my new bed quilt, I have a plan for that as well!
This is a twin sized string quilt, but I've been using it as a second layer on my bed. I love the way it looks in my room, so I'm going to make a larger version of it. I'm super excited about my new plan. After all, you can't go wrong with scrappy! :) And....
...it just so happens that my string basket is literally overflowing. Perfect timing!
 
Have you ever passed along a project that you were stuck on (or had a hang up with)? Did you feel relief? Or did you later change your mind? If you have had a similar experience, I'd love to hear about it!

55 comments:

Dara said...

Good for you. There is no better gift than a quilt!!

Herding Grasshoppers said...

YES! I just gave a baby quilt to my neighbor, who makes many for charity. I just wasn't feeling the love and didn't want to work on it anymore - and it was fabric I liked! Go figure. Anyway, she was thrilled to get it, and I'm glad it's off my plate and will eventually go to help someone :D Let it gooooo.....

Bernie Kringel said...

You seemed to have reservations about this one while you were piecing it. I think it is great to give it to someone else. She will treasure it and you can move on, feeling good about giving your friend a gift. Win-win!

Carie @ Space for the Butterflies said...

I'm in the process of abandoning a pair of socks - two inches into the first one I just didn't want to knit it any more so off it goes and now I have lovely colourful yarn on my needles once more - phew!

Carole Shaffer said...

I've done that with a rainbow quilt top. I couldn't figure out how to finish it and it was my first time using a jelly roll so I wasn't feeling too much love for it just frustration cause the fabric kept shifting. So I passed it along to someone else.

tara said...

I have never regreted a quilt I gave away. I just make more and give them away too. Sometimes a quilt will sit in my closet for a bit before I feel ready to let it go. A few stay for future grandchildren (my youngest is 10 so they will sit for a while)

April said...

Quilting isn't necessarily all about the end result. It's the creative process, the therapy of making. Usually we see our creations to the end, but sometimes it was just meant to be a quilt top or even a partial top. You got the fun out of choosing colors and cutting and piecing. Though I'm sure it feels weird to not complete something. Way to give it to someone who will finish it, instead of leaving it in a WIP pile. :) And now you're released to make that super cute string quilt! Ha.

LJ said...

Some summer ago I jumped on the scrappy trip quilt bandwagon. I made the top. It was alright but I didn't love it. I didn't feel like finishing it or anything. I offered it up for sale or trade on Instagram. Someone snatched it up and I got a new video game out of it. Everyone was happy.

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

I love this quilt and just might make one too - I have so very many scraps to use and it looks like you could make the strips any size you want - love how you quilted it too - are those just wiggle lines or did you use a zigzag stitch

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

I meant to also say yes I have passed quilts along - sometimes I really like a quilt as I make it but then after it is done I am done with it and could care less for it.

Brenda said...

Yes, I've passed on projects that weren't speaking to me. Sometimes, creative work needs more than one creative mind to make it work.

donnaleeq said...

Yes some I really did not like at all, often once quilted I found I liked them more. However, I have had some that I just loved and just could not give away. As time goes I end up falling out of love with them and do give them away to someone that will love them more. After all when the love affair is over give it up.

Brenna said...

Yes. My time is far too short to work on projects that I don't like!

PamKittyMorning said...

I TOTALLY GET IT!! I had those kind of projects and also things I made for the shop I worked at and then tops I made because I loved making it then never cared if I quilted them or kept them. Some I gave away, some I just put in the goodwill pile. You know someone will find them there and be thrilled. Thanks for sharing this.

mailergoat said...

I wondered about this one! I thought it looked good (and while I love DS's quilt designs, her fabrics are definitely not my thing), but the color range was so different from your normal bright, scrappy look. Somehow I'm not surprised that your new plan involves strings and bright colors!

Lesley said...

I bought a beautiful quilt top at the thrift store. Someone couldn't finish! I brought it home, backed it with fabric I had enough of, quilted it minimally, and love to see it on my bed. Since I didn't do all the work piecing and spending on fabric I can just enjoy it!

Simply, Sarah said...

What do you consider a string scrap?

BTW--I get a lot of inspiration from your posts, and am working on using my scraps more. :)

Kathaleeny said...

The topic of "what do you do with quilt blocks you just don't love" came up at my quilt guild. Someone suggested you put them in a shoebox and shove them into the deepest darkest corner of your attic and hope someone is excited to find them one day.

artsycraftsyivy said...

I have on a smaller scale, yes. I have a friend who makes Linus quilts. I compile orphan blocks, bee blocks, unfinished workshop projects, smaller quilt tops, unwanted fabric, etc. and send it all off to her. It's quite freeing. Good for you :)

artsycraftsyivy said...

I have on a smaller scale, yes. I have a friend who makes Linus quilts. I compile orphan blocks, bee blocks, unfinished workshop projects, smaller quilt tops, unwanted fabric, etc. and send it all off to her. It's quite freeing. Good for you :)

Heidi said...

Yes! I try to avoid new projects until I can get a handle on my UFO's. Some are old, & when I pull them out, I may not be feelin it,

Cynthia (quilting is more fun than housework) has been a huge help! I've been participating in her ORPHAN ADOPTION biannual event to help whittle them down!

Carole @ From My Carolina Home said...

I actually do finish off every quilt top, even those I don't really care for once I get going. There have only be a couple, and I just made up my mind that they would be charity quilts and finished them off.

stamperwithdayjob said...

Yes actually that just happened to me. I had so many 5" squares on hand so I pulled a bunch of them and made a scrappy cross quilt and it turned out 72x90 which was a great size for our bed but once I put it on the bed I wasn't feeling it. The next day I went to work and a friend of mine told me she was making bracelets over the weekend for a breast cancer fundraiser that her Niece was running as a 4 year cancer survivor so I immediately offered to donate it. I backed it and quilted it up and it's ready for the auction. I couldn't be happier with my decision.

Ella said...

Yup. I did an epic Tula Pink sampler quilt (with the small blocks) and wasn't loving it. I gave it to charity.

Carley Morgan said...

I passed a quilt top along to my mom just a couple weeks ago. I liked the idea of it, but didn't love the way it turned out. I looked at it as an experiment and let it go.

house on hill road said...

you are a good friend! and, yes, i do let go of quilts all the time. it's a win-win. i get the joy from making and giving, the recipient gets a cozy quilt.

Sarah @ Georgia Girl Quilts said...

I have not passed on a project that I've stalled on. However after reading this, I need to seriously consider it. Also, I definitely need to make myself a mini like yours to hang by my stash to remind me that it's just fabric! 8-)

Little Quiltsong said...

Yes, I can relate. I'm always so glad to make a baby quilt to give for a new baby or for charity, and then.....it sits for awhile because I just can't seem to part with it, but after awhile when gifted and sent I am so happy - no regrets. You are so right - it is just fabric!

Suzanne said...

Woohoo! I have also given away quilt projects that didn't float my boat any more. I was so relieved. I evolve as a quilter and my moods change. I think it's ok to make room in my creative life for the things that make my heart (and yours) happy.

Ptcquilter said...

I have passed on more than one unloved project. I also organized exchanges for unloved UFO's at my quilt guild. I would pick a meeting and encourage members to look at their UFOs and think about why they were not in progress. If they were unloved they needed to find all the pieces and parts, the pattern etc and wrap it up as a present and bring it to the meeting. They needed to understand they would be giving it to a new home and not getting it back. The night of the meeting everyone who came to the meeting got a "raffle" ticket and all the wrapped presents were placed on a table. During the evening we would randomly call raffle numbers and the holder of the "winning" ticket got to pick a present from the pile. It was great fun lots of UFOs got completed by someone new. It was easier for some people to let it go as part of a guild program than to just give it away. Some how it didn't feel like a failure or abandonment of a project and $$$ spent on supplies.

The fun part was always show & tell a month or 2 later when the finished projects would show up and be beautiful again.

Andrea said...

Interesting - I made a similar quilt (much smaller, though!) out of DS prints which I absolutely love, only to be terribly disappointed! I think the problem was that her prints are mostly small scale, and they do better in smaller blocks with lots of solids to let them shine. I'm keeping my top as a way to document the learning curve! :) I haven't decided how to quilt it - am trying to come up with a design for the back that will help redeem the disappointing front!

Lesley Gilbert said...

Loving the quilt on your bed and would love to see progress photo's of the larger size you will be making, to give me some inspiration to get back into sewing :p

Shelly said...

I have given away or thrown away many a UFO, and can't think of once I've regretted it. Life's too short to work on things you're not feeling! There are so many I still want to make, and I need my time for that. To work on something you don't like takes the fun out of it. I need to go through and get rid of even more of mine, so I'll have an uncluttered space to work on the ones I still love!

Quilter Kathy said...

Yes I have adopted out several of my quilt tops/projects to new homes/quilters.
It's always such a relief when I do, but sometimes I forget about that option!

CAESAR SHOP said...

Thank you for sharing in this article
I can learn a lot and could also be a reference
I hope to read the next your article updates

[-] KLG

Jasmine said...

I inherited a lot of fabric and UFOs. I was going to use and finish everything. One time I finished a quilt top which was not my style. I was excited the top was done and had my husband come see it. He said, "you were excited about this?" It helped me let go and realize I didn't have to finish or use everything. I did a big destash the next week. I know that top and other projects were finished and donated to a children's hospital, but I didn't have to do it. Now it is a lot easier for me to get rid of some things.

Linda said...

I just sent a giant box of UFO's to a lady I met through a Facebook group a couple of months ago. It was liberating for me, because these were projects that, not only was I no longer feeling the love for them, but I had no use for them if I ever did finish them. Lots of little girl stuff that no one I know would fit into any more. This lady has some disabilities, so cutting out things is difficult for her, but sewing them up is what she enjoys. She also has grandchildren the right ages to wear them. It was a win-win for both of us. :)

Marci Roberts said...

I will gladly take any UFOs . I make quilt tops for Quilts Beyond Borders, so will use any scraps,orphan blocks, etc. Reply to this post if you want to "lighten your load".

KateKwiltz said...

I hear you! I've just finished a top, and I'm just not feeling it. Problem is, it's a commission, and I HAVE to get it done. Forcing things has never resulted in great work, in my experience, so I try not to. It's situations like this, though, that I just have to tell myself to Just. Do. It. Would love to have given it away to somebody who would appreciate finishing it.

Love those scraps!

Sarah@123quilt said...

I just made a quilt top that I just don't love. I'm not even sure if I like it. I'm thinking about donating it to charity. Sometimes you just have to let them go.

josiekitten said...

I am not at the stage of making a quilt yet but have made two Contact Print cushions and am now planning on sewing some for gifts. Hopefully I will be able to part with them!

Shirley Elliott said...

Funny you should ask - I have given away a few unfinished projects that I just did not want to work with any longer either because I wasn't happy with the fabric or was wondering why I thought I even wanted to do that project. I currently have a completed quilt that just does not make me happy. Nothing wrong with it - constructed well - but some of the fabrics don't work for me now. It will go to a new home where it will be loved. Actually, last year, I promised myself that I would give away one quilt for each quilt I kept. That has worked pretty well. Sometimes, I just have to keep a quilt for a while before it can go to another home. Love the string quilt on your bed and look forward to seeing your new creation. Like several other commenters, I didn't see the quilt top you gave away as "you" but I was interesting in seeing it progress.

JoAnne in southern California said...

I had the perfect pattern and all of the gorgeous coordinating fabrics with beautiful violets to make a queen size quilt for my mother, who loved violets. The pattern looked difficult to make so I kept putting off starting it. Using other fabrics, I made a different quilt for her. After Mom died, every time I looked at that stack of fabric I felt guilty that I hadn't made that quilt for her. I finally packaged up the pattern and fabric and left it on the "free" table at a Guild meeting. I'm sure someone was happy to get it and I don't have that stab of guilt from seeing that fabric bundle every time I went into my sewing room.

Clair said...

I should have kept the Ugly Duckling quilt...it would have been a better gift for Seth than the one I made him. Oh, well, it went to a good home.

Live a Colorful Life said...

I know for a fact that your friend is thrilled beyond measure.

Frog Quilter said...

Love the new bed quilt. Fabulous quilting. Scraps are the best.

Jeannine said...

After the first time "letting go" it became easier for me. I have let several things go and it feels good not to have that albatross around my neck after they're gone. I have at least one more to let go and will do it soon. It's so easy to hoard (for some of us), but I'm trying to lighten the load and become more ruthless as I get older.

Betty C said...

I used to really be "into" mystery quilts online. Some of them that I made I really love and some of them were a disappointment. So I shy away from them now because there are so many quilt alongs and bom"s online to participate in and I can see what I am getting myself into.
The only regrets I have is that there are so many online projects that I want to participate in and I don't have time for all of them!

Anne Simonot said...

I have started giving away tops that just didn't speak to me. There's been a few. Sometimes vision and reality just don't match up. And you know what, that's ok. It's all part of the creative process -- experimentation, success, failure.. And I have not had any regrets! It's freeing to pass on something that doesn't make you happy when you look at it.

Libby said...

You are one of the most generous quilters I know. Bless you!! You are always making something for friends or giving something of yourself to friends. What a special person !! Thank you for all the ideas and encouragement you have given to me. 00's :)

Dasha said...

Very brave! I have several tops that I haven't got around to quilting and I should just off load them.

writeandquilt said...

I have found it extremely difficult to let go of my quilts. Aside from my mother, children and grandchildren, I hadn't given to anyone further than that. Last year, when my favorite niece headed off to college, I wanted to send something that would remind her of where she came from, the love that was here for her always, and I gave her one of my favorite quilts. Since then I have given three more to nieces and am working on two for my nephews. Parting with your love, not knowing if it will be cherished or treasured is tough. But putting it out there for others to enjoy is a gift to the world.
Thanks for sharing! And good work!

Kim Brosdahl said...

I made a gorgeous queen-size quilt years ago. I worked ever so hard to make the points pointy and the quilting (my friend) was spectacular. When it was done I was disappointed with my work and couldn't look at it. After it sat for a year, I decided to give it to my sister. No regrets. Not one. It is a beautiful quilt and it is perfect on her bed. And I get to visit it and admire it and be so thankful that it has a happy home. Let it go and move on.

Casey Dougherty said...

I love the "its just fabric" quilt. When I get back home to my fabric stash in 3 weeks I now plan on using as much as possible. I normal have such a hard time cutting into, but I'm only going to love it more when I make it into some thing beautiful.

marcella said...

Good for you! I've given away many a project in progress or completed top. One year I went through my giant pile of unfinished projects, bagged the ones I just knew I would never finish for various reasons and gave them to my guild auction. I was happy to have done it and even more thrilled when some members brought in the finished quilts for show and tell and told how glad they were they had bought it at the auction.

Sometimes you learn all you needed to learn from a project before the project is finished.