Nothing Left Behind

Improvisational blocks

UFOs. Does the mere mention of UFOs bring up visions of spacecrafts and beings from another galaxy? A favorite sci-fi movie? The utterance of “UFO” in the quilting community may leave you with a sigh or a head nodding in agreement, “Yes. I have UFOs. You, too?” I’ve yet to meet a quilter without one (too many) UFOs. We group them by stages of progress, ideas on paper or those remnants of half-finished dreams, lurking in a sewing room, waiting for attention.

UFO, the Un-Finished-Object.

There are ways to address this phenomenon. Resume, rework, rehome. Depending on the project, it may mean resuming when time & enthusiasm allow. You can also rework that project into something new or just rehome it. Rehoming may be the best option if you can’t see finishing it, but also don’t want it to go to waste. There’s no shame in passing it along to another maker who may have the perfect vision, time and interest in bringing it to the finish line. One person’s trash is another’s treasure. You know the saying.

For those who know me well, you know I LOVE a good scrappy project. I keep the bits and pieces left behind from finished projects and try to rework them into new things. I have a hard time letting go of fabric or other notions, as I don’t want to be wasteful. I know small scraps aren’t for everyone, but an experienced quilter once told me, “you know, your scraps cost the same per yard as the full yard.” WOW. One sentence has stuck with me for almost a decade. I REWORK whenever I possibly can.

Lotus Blossom Quilt, 2020

Earlier this year, I made this crib quilt and had quite a few scrap pieces leftover. You can read the full story, Lotus Blossom Quilt, in an earlier post. This ombre confetti dot is such a vibrant and fun fabric collection, those scraps went into my “save” pile. How on earth could I let them go?

Improvisational block by Two Terriers Studio, 2020

When I rework fabric scraps into something new, I often start by sewing strips into improvisational blocks. I don’t always have a plan or reason behind the placement, sizes or angles. My approach is to just use what I have and square it up later. If the choices worked together in a quilt or other project, they will likely work together in random order. I don’t overthink it. The goal is to finish.

More improv

In this case, I compiled four, relatively similar sized improvisational blocks and decided to turn them into zipper pouches. In addition to quilting, I enjoy making bags of all shapes and sizes and the zipper pouch is a favorite. These small, quick projects allow me to organize things into cute, handmade accessories! A zipper pouch is good for storing cosmetics, electronics cords, art supplies, face masks and whatever small items you may want to group & carry along. I literally have a shelf with zip pouches lined up, one after the next. They are filled with hand-sewing notions, EPP templates, fabric and glue sticks, one with masks, another with wonder-clips. It helps me to be organized.

Zipper Pouch Progress

Once the scraps were sewn into “new fabric”, I chose coordinating YKK zippers, fusible fleece, lining fabric and went to work. Rework, actually. What’s also cool about using these leftovers is that nothing is left behind and the pieces bring the history of the original project. When I see these finished pouches, I not only like the pouch, but remember the process of creating the original quilt.

The final four…for now
Improv pieced zipper pouches by Two Terriers Studio, 2020

While this addresses “Rework”, I have projects in the resume and rehome categories too. My personal goal for 2020 is to FINISH all my UFOs before January 1, 2021. I’m becoming better about letting things go and rehoming fabric to other maker friends. It makes me happy to see what they create with fabric I purchased. Often, it’s not even close to my initial idea and that is so fun to see, when it happens.

I want to thank my fellow maker, Bobbi Gentilli, @geekybobbin (IG) and for coordinating this Blog Hop for the month of November 2020. She invited and included makers in various mediums to discuss their ideas for “Resume, Rework & Rehome”. Everyone is listed below; maybe you’ll learn a new way to address your own UFOs. May the force be with you.
UFOvember Participants

All story content & photos, property of Two Terriers Studio and not to be duplicated or shared without consent. This is not a sponsored post.