What if your UFO turns out to be E.T.?

Jeana Crisp shows off her recently completed UFO, four years in the making. The blocks for this quilt were hand embroidered by the late Helen Callen of Princeton, MO who passed away this January at the age of 97. Jeana pieced and quilted this quilt in honor of Helen. - Photo provided.

By Kristen Banks

You probably started reading this thinking it was going to be about Unidentifyed Flying Objects and Extrateretrials. Not so. In the quilting world, it’s Un-Finished Objects that are quite commonly labeled “UFO’s”, and all quilters have them.

They’re those things you got super excited about, and for whatever reason cast aside midway through. Those things that are sitting in a closet somewhere that you just can’t quite fininsh, but you also can’t quite get rid of either. At one time they held promise and excitement, now they are a simple reminder of failure. They are also a reminder of all of the things in your life that desperately need attention, but you just don’t want to do. One pebble on top of the mountain of boulders that sits on your shoulders of things you ‘just didn’t get around to.’

In most of these cases, there is an underlying reason why we just can’t find the time. It might be that we require other materials that are going to be hard to track down, or we might have just gotten tired of looking at ‘that color.’ However, the most common reason that I’ve found for bailing out of a project midstream is that we’ve come up against something that intimidates us.

Many times we’ve chosen the project based on some new amazing skill that we desperately wanted to learn, but truth be told, are a little scared of. Then again, sometimes it’s a technique that we’ve tried before and could never get right. It also may be that there are instructions, though we hate to admit it, that we just don’t understand. In any case, fear and intimidation are never good reasons to give up on anything. Just like so many times in life, when things don’t go right, it’s needful to take a step back and re-evaluate the situation. Just be sure and never give up entirely.

I have a dresser full of UFO’s, there are at least a dozen or more projects hiding in the drawers of that piece of furniture. Occasionally I peak inside one, and then quickly slam the drawer shut. Every once in a blue moon, I approach that dresser like a lion tamer. Seam ripper in hand I whisk the drawer open, and ‘grab a tiger by the tail’ so to speak.

I’m always surprised at how quickly I can get the project subdued and back on track. I always wonder to myself, “Now, why was I scared of that?” Nothing feels better than the accomplishment of facing a fear and removing an obstacle that has been holding you back. Once you’ve captured that UFO and made it your own, you’ll feel like there’s nothing you can’t do. And who doesn’t like to feel “Extra Terrific”?

Every Quilter has a story and we’d like to hear yours! Send us your stories, tips, and ideas to luluandhazel@yahoo.com

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