What to Do with Quilt Projects You Don't Want to Finish
We've all been there -- you start a project and then years later, you're struggling to finish it. Whatever your reason for letting it go neglected, it can lead to a sense of guilt and can you make you unclear of how to move on with the project. Here are some ideas for deciding what to do with the projects that you aren't certain are worth your time to finish.
Why would you not want to finish a project that you started?
Probably the most common answer is that it is in a color palette or fabric style that is no longer your taste. Maybe it was intended for an event that has long since passed, such as a baby shower or wedding. Some of your UFOs may be from classes you took to try a new technique or learn from a well-known teacher, but never felt compelled to finish. Having a lot of UFOs can be overwhelming and cause feelings of guilt, so it's best to decide which ones you will actually finish and clear out the rest.
- How long will it take me to finish this project? Does it just need a border? Is it ready for quilting? Is it already quilted but just needs a binding? Even if you don't love a project, if it will take a minimal amount of time to complete, it may be worth just doing it to get it off of your mind. If you dislike doing the quilting part or the binding, hire someone to do those parts to get it finished!
- Can I "downsize" this project? Was this project supposed to be a king-size bed quilt, but you lost your momentum? Or was it was too tedious and you figured it will take you 20 years to make all those blocks? Consider turning it into a smaller project with the blocks you already have made and call it done. For a baby quilt that never got finished, if the fabrics are still age-appropriate, adapt it into a throw or twin-size quilt to gift to the child now that they're older. Or finish it for another mom-to-be or newborn.
- Should I complete this project as an act of love? Can this project be donated to a charity? A lonely or sick neighbor? A local nursing home? Do you know someone who has been through some difficult times who could really use a thoughtful gift? Contact local charities, shops, and guilds to see if they accept unfinished quilt tops that can be completed and used for charity quilts. Some quilt guilds have an annual rummage sale you can give anything to and proceeds go to charity.
- Have a UFO swap. Everyone brings a few UFO's they no longer want, and swap with another quilter who likes it. Or just gift it to a quilting friend that does like the project and will gladly finish it.
Keep in mind that we ALL have projects that we have fallen out of love with, for one reason or another. And because we sometimes need permission to do things – if you really hate it, or think the quality isn't worth finishing or gifting -- it's okay to trash it. Especially if it will make you feel better.