Tuesday, January 11, 2011

what.a.mess.

Floral Medallion Pillows - a mess
I really wanted to finish these pillow covers that I started, but I'm done with them. I'm to the point that I have a few projects that I've started and not finished. Those projects really hold me back in starting something else fun or trying something new, because I see them sitting there and I feel like I should finish old projects before starting something new. So, with a new year just starting, I'm going to free myself of projects that I no longer like, enjoy working on, or just don't turn out how I thought they would.

These pillow are a great example. I still love the floral medallion block, but it's just not going to work. I have tried quilting these at least 5 or 6 times and I always end up ripping out my stitching. That in itself is time consuming and really boring to do... not to mention frustrating because I can't quilt it how I want to. I think the applique parts are too small and I'm afraid of parts of the fabric fraying and coming off. Maybe if the design was larger and I could blanket stitch around each shape, it might turn out to be something I would like and be proud of.

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Some people may think it's not turning out too bad, but I know I am a little bit of a perfectionist and I really would never use these in my house the way that they are turning out.
So, out to the trash they go! I do hate to be wasteful and really don't like to give up on a project, but there's a point where it's holding me back and I'm ready to move on and make something else.

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 So, I do hope that I'm not the only one who abandons, throws away or gets rid of projects that at one time you loved, but don't anymore! And from now on, I'm going to be ok with getting rid of unwanted, unfinished projects. It's going to make my sewing time that much more enjoyable.
~Jessica

ETA: Ok, so it seems like there are many people wanting to have these. That's great... leave a comment if you would like to have them and they can become your problem project! :) I'll pick someone tonight and contact you to see if you would really like them or not.

ETA: They have been rescued and will be on their way to a new home shortly! Thanks!

68 comments:

KV said...

Send them to me! I'll do something with them :-)

Mrs. Darling said...

Ditto, Please don't throw them away! I will pay for postage to have them sent, or would be happy to swap something for them. I think they are adorable and would match my (unfinished) hope valley quilt!

Love your blog!

A Quilter Awakens said...

Goodness. My mother always tells me "put it away" or "toss it out," if you don't love working on it. I can't though, so I have a sewing room that is 100% cluttered mess. Guess I should grow up and listen to reason? (I would give it away first though, it is too beautiful to toss out.) Karmen

Michelle said...

If it's holding you back, you definitely have to let it go somehow. I have some yarn that is edging closer to being gotten rid of and last year I gave a bag of fabric to a friend to use for doll clothes for her kids. Felt wonderful to be free!!!

Amanda said...

Absolutely agree with the others. DO NOT throw these lovelies into the trash bin! I know so many people, myself included, who'd love to have these to finish up. They are beautiful! I have several projects per year that have to get put away for a while because I get too aggravated with them, or look at them and suddenly become uninspired to continue. After several days, weeks, or months I usually pull them out and feel a new love for them and get to working...and often finish quickly after that.

Stephanie said...

Your post has done 2 things for me: 1) made me feel so much better about the bags and bags of crappy fabric I just trashed over the weekend (and I still have so much more to go!) and 2) inspired me to keep throwing things away! If you could see my sewing room you'd agree that I have a problem. Congrats on lightening your load!

Caroline said...

As others have said they would like them..including me ! (Will add a tad of colour in our dull living room ;) )

Maybe time for a giveaway? :D
If not..I will happily take them off of your hands !

Rachel Locke said...

Maybe we should start a project exchange group on flickr?
Don't throw them out. Send them to me!! :)

Jodi said...

Eeeek! No one should EVER throw fabric away!! There's lots of people who can't afford or don't have access to fabric! Donate it, please, please! Even to Goodwill, or a yard sale, or a women's shelter! And the pillowcases ARE lovely! I would trade for them in a minute! I just gave my daughter a bunch of Hope Valley and she would love those, too!

Isisjem said...

The first time I attempted machine quilting I completely messed it up and wasted a lot of fabric. It wasn't particuarly nice fabric but some of it had cost me money at the time and I didn't exactly have money to spare. I guess I could have unpicked it but it was so horrible and messy I couldn't see how to redeem it - and unlike in the comments above - nobody would have wanted it.
If something is holding you back you have to let it go. It's not easy and you should feel good that you can be brave about it. Try not to focus on the things that didn't work. Learn from them and admire all the fabulous things that went right.

Anna said...

It's funny because I would LOVE to have this from your trash but at the same time - I just whipped up a set of pinwheels from the Sugar Pop line and I hate it so much I'm considering pitching them as well.

Holly said...

I LOVE ur post! I agree that if something is holding you back it's time to let it move on! I love to clean out my house and sewing area making it easier to focus on what's important to me =)

Ranelle said...

A project exchange group on Flickr sounds like a great idea. : )

Jenny said...

You could frame the un-quilted blocks in a nice black frame with a white or dark gray mat. That would look good and then hang up in your sewing room. I've always loved these block you created! Good luck!

Mel said...

I just cut up the first quilt I ever made -- I was overly ambitious, it was huge and halfway through handquilting it I realized I didn't even like it. I trimmed off the unquilted bits and will bind the rest for a play quilt for my daughters.

I totally get where you're at because although it was a huge waste, I know I will feel a great deal of relief when I don't have to think about it anymore!

For what it's worth, though, I do think your pillows are gorgeous!

Jennifer said...

The day I learned to get rid of unfinished projects was a big day for me. I totally agree: they can hold you back. Luckily, I have a friend who likes to "rescue" my unwanted projects, so I don't feel quite as bad. I have a twin sized quilt waiting for her...I did 80% of the quilting and decided I hated it! :) So its off to a new home!

Four dogs and one quilter said...

I couldn't agree with you more. Life is too short to spend time on something you don't like or want to finish. Give the pillow covers to Goodwill, someone will find a real treasure and love it.

Katy said...

I think they're simply perfect without the quilting. Would you be happy with unquilted pillows? If so, pop em on some forms and reeeecline! Ahhh.

Sarcastic Quilter said...

I don't generally quit on projects but I do understand the need to do it and don't judge, girl!

However, I don't think you should throw it away. A blog giveaway, a store giveaway, a charity giveaway, anything like that is a more fulfilling approach to letting that particular project go. :)

nattyg said...

ARE YOU KIDDING ME!! Your post about these blocks and the subsequent design you posted are on my list of project I AM DYING TO DO! But just haven't had time yet.

Don't throw them away.... send them to me I'll give them a good home. Your inspiration is amazing!

mcregan said...

I appreciate your thoughts...I started a quilt for my girlfriend's new baby boy three times last weekend before I was happy with the design. Now I have a relatively large pile of small squares, some pieced,(4" and 5") including pale blues and greens and trucks. I want to throw them out but would rather give them away--any takers?

nattyg said...

Mcregan: I'm currently scavenging, cutting and scrapping together a scrappy 4'' block quilt. If your going to toss your pieces send me a picture. I'll send you some $ for postage if they look like they will blend...

nattyg@yahoo.com

Johanna said...

Just do a blog giveaway with it, there are so many people here that would love to give it a try (including me:) ) !
I do understand the urge to get rid of it, though. There are many projects sitting here that I don't enjoy anymore but I am determined to get them done and then just give them away :)

Cindy said...

I agree with you - if it's holding you back, get rid of it! I think the freedom of being able to get rid of projects that don't work out allows you to be more adventurous in your creativity.

Jane said...

A blog giveaway, PLEASE!!

I am making a Hope Valley quilt for my daughter's wedding this August and your pillow shams would be PERFECT!!
PLEASE don't throw them away!!

I've actually been wanting to copy this design!!
Jane

The Pink Fawn said...

I think they are just lovely, but I can understand your frustration. I think it's a great idea to give them away to someone who will enjoy them :)

Natalie said...

I have definitely gotten to the same point as you have but the trick is actually to keep going...I know that sounds funny but it's going to look much better finished than it does in progress.

As for your applique, I think you should try hand stitching a blanket stitch or some other embroidery stitch around the edges and potentially within your applique shapes. It will definitely take longer but you'll have more control by hand.

Just remember, you can almost always quilt 'that' out, even if you're ready to give up!

QuiltyGirl said...

A few years back I gave away my ufos that I knew id never finish for the same reason you described-those ufos were staring me down every time i worked on a different project! Maybe you could give it away rather than throw it away, it really is lovely! :)

Sofia L said...

I would love them!!! They look like they could be put into a frame or turned in to a cute handbag. I do understand the frustration of working on a project that doesn't turn out but that's how we learn...

Carol said...

I have trashed some fabric before I started anything and trashed a quilt top I didn't like and trashed some blocks before I ever made the top. I just don't want to finish something I don't like any more. I hope somebody wants your dislike. It is pretty but my husband would never let it in our house with the purple/pink fabric.

traceyjay said...

add me to the list of those who would love to have them to work on. :)

Sorry it's so frustrating to you!

I admire you for being able to purge without guilt. :)

Stephanie said...

I would love to get my hands on those and hand-stitch away!! They are beautiful. :)

Anonymous said...

oh my gosh...don't throw them away! i say that, but i just threw out some AWFUL fabric...as in....oh my gosh...did I really buy that??? sometimes it is better to give them away to someone who will use them versus having them tucked away in your house and never using them. thanks for the give-away!

ashleymjones@live.com

SteffiD said...

Goodness gracious, don't throw those lovelies in the trash!! They're far too beautiful to just toss like that. I'd LOVE to have them, instead!

margie c said...

I agree with everyone, these should definitely go to another to love too :)
Thanks for sharing!
hugs, margie

Baskets Of Quilts said...

Please don't trash! That project is way too fab! But I totally understand changing your mind about a project. And sometimes it is better to work on a new fresh project.

Abby said...

I would love to have these. I think they are really beautiful and much better than anything I make as a beginner quilter.

Sherry said...

These are way to nice to throw out. I thinking a hand blanket stich and some hand shadow quilting in vibrant colours would be wonderful. I would love to practice my hand quilting on these if you have not chosen a taker yet.
cheers,
sherry

Mary Perrine said...

OOo me I will take them and fix them I think they will be stunning. You just need to sew around the edges in a straight stitch. Like.. Kellie of "Don't look Now" They will work.. but I'll take them if you don't want them ; )

Paula said...

I'd LOVE to own them! Too nice to throw out =S

Kirsten said...

Oh, I love these! I would love to have them! I never thought I liked applique till I saw these on your blog a few months ago... you inspired me to try it out!

Karenkay said...

I have thrown out projects that just don't come out the way I had planned. You feel kind of guilty at first, but you get over it! I have also taken projects half-finished to our local thrift shop. A quick giveaway though is a great idea!!

jodi@Pleasant-Home said...

I have been going through my studio for the last couple of weeks and tucking away unfinished projects that are making me crazy. I donated some and fabric too. It feels so good! You are not alone...

free indeed said...

Such little lovelies; I'm sure someone could work them into a great decor item. I'm willing....

Kim said...

Kuddos for being willing to abandon a project in the name of getting on with something that brings you happiness!

Rachel Hauser said...

Woa, it must be all the bad vibes they've given you, cause the project looks beautiful from here. I'm glad someone is going to give them a new home.

Theresa said...

It happens all the time! I have several abandoned things in my cupboard! Don't stress.

Megan said...

Don't trash them! Send them to ME! :D I'll play with them happily!

Sue said...

I have a queen size quilt I'm dumping for the same reasons I feel guilty because of the waste, but I need it gone so I can move on.

corinne said...

The colors would match my family room. I will be glad to give them a nice warm home. Pillows on the sofa

Angie said...

I would like to have them! i think they are beautiful.

Heather said...

haha!! i love this post! i just packed up a market bag full of crap projects ( to me anyways ) and offed them on my friends, so they'd stop giving me the stink eye!

;)

Beth said...

I am learning to do that too! Moving across the country into a much smaller house last year has helped me do better.
These are so pretty! I would love to get my hands on them!
laylabeth81@yahoo.com

Sally said...

One woman's trash is another one's treasure! I am glad to read that you are having so many people interested in taking them! Another thought for projects you end up not loving (in the future)...give them to your local thrift store.

Alecia said...

Oh Jessica, I have loved these since I first saw you start them. I hope you'll draw my name!

The domestic Groove said...

They are gorgeous! I would be very happy to take them off your hands!
thedomesticgroove@gmail.com

Kristina said...

certainly too much work to just throw out. but, since you decided to...I would love them.

Paula B said...

I want them.... I want them... Please send it my way.

Anonymous said...

after moving out, i returned "home" for my fist visit and found everything from my old room had been boxed to make new space in the room. there were several boxes labeled "Laura's unfinished sewing projects." I relate. :)

Erin said...

Okay, I'm with you, sometimes projects just aren't worth it. But, I'm also with the rest of the commenters. Don't throw the away! I love this pattern and would love to finish them up.

Rosalie said...

Beautiful! All that hard work, don't get rid of them, if they do need a new home though I'd be happy to adopt them!

Angela said...

Oh wow... I would LOVE the chance to finish these - I'll pay postage - pretty please?
are59096@bigpond.net.au

Lauree said...

i know my wee girl would LOVE these... she saw them months ago and asked if i could make her some. please dont throw them away... someones trash is always anothers treasure!

Shelley said...

don't throw those out!!! I would love them as if they were my very own :) (You had to know there would be an uprising over throwing those beauties in the trash!)

Domina said...

Ha! Now you have lots of folks willing to pick up your "problem!" Why not turn them into a table runner, placemats, or single-block throw pillows for the sofa? They are too pretty to toss out...

Lori said...

Oh my goodness, don't throw them out. I see your update and I will have to say put my name in the bag please. I would love it.

Now as a former psychotherapist I would have to tell you to stop being so hard on yourself and then we would have to go into why you have such standards on yourself. As a Mom, quilter (albeit beginner), and admirer of your work I would have to say I really like those little bubble stitches you did all around. It makes the flowers pop right out.

rachel said...

Glad they've been rescued cause they are so pretty! I hope we get to see how they end up!

Modern Amish said...

Jessica, I know this is a pretty old project, but do you by chance remember the solid pink you used? I'm try to make a match for the hope valley myself, and its so hard over the internet to match colors.
Thanks!