11 November, 2013

Whatcha Waitin' For? ~ Part 2...

These are a few orphan blocks and a strip of half-square triangles being auditioned on a black background fabric for placement. They're not mine. These blocks and pieces (there was also a tall stack of 4.5" squares) belong now to my friends, the B. sisters. These were included in one of many boxes of inherited items from their dear mother who passed away several years ago. When she took ill, parts and pieces of a quilt-to-be for her grandson were on her design wall. They were later taken down and stashed away with the other black and white fabrics that all resembled one another. Now that the B. sisters have created quilts for themselves from their Mama's scraps they've decided to turn their attention to finishing this and other quilts intended for the grandchildren. Last week they brought what they had here; we put our best detective hats on trying to figure out what their Mama had in mind with these blocks. I had the privlege of knowing this precious lady and one thing I knew for sure was that whatever she had been planning would have been precise and definitive; she always put forth her best effort. We finally settled on a design for an arrangement as pictured. The central portion will contain these blocks and a narrow border on either side will separate a pieced border of like fabrics. Of course, we're still not sure exactly what the plan was but we do feel confident that the original maker would approve. Then, there's that aforementioned stack of squares... another quilt for another grandson. We'll make this work; and, ultimately, all the grandchildren will oneday own a quilt made from their grandmother's fabrics.
As quiltmakers we all have the best of intentions. We hope to wrap all of our loved ones in quilts from our own hands and hearts; we also hope to live forever... but, sadly, that won't happen. The last thing we would want to do is leave puzzles for our family members to struggle with solving. I've learned a few extremely valuable lessons through working with the B. sisters, I would like to share them, and my "five step plan" with you today:
1.  Finish your UFO's; document and label them, and if they are to be gifted make a note indicating to whom and for what occasion. If you own quilts that were gifts to you from others document that too, your family may not know whose work they possess. Include your name, date, and where you lived when your quilt was made on every quilt label.
2.  UFO's waiting to be finished need to have all patterns, designs and notes included with them. This seemingly obvious task will save hours in the future... for you, whenever you get back to the project, or for whoever is blessed with finishing what you've begun.
3.  Clean out. UFO's that have no prayer of ever being completed can be discarded or donated; if this was a "process" piece feel free to let it go. You may not like it anymore, or ever choose to finish it, but your children would have no way of knowing that.
4. Take inventory of your finished quilts and assign them to loved ones today; if you're not ready to let them out of your hands just yet, put down your desires in writing so there's no confusion later on. You may think that they'll "just know"... believe me, they won't.
5. Take joy from the knowledge that others highly value and appreciate what you create!

No matter how young and healthy you are it's never too early to start on this five step plan. 
For me, the work at hand is crystal clear; I'd better get busy...
so, whatcha waitin' for?
Life is Good!

10 comments:

Janet O. said...

This is so good of you to help the B. sisters to create keepsake quilts for other family members. I remember being in a fabric store once where a woman was helping an older gentleman figure out how to finish the quilts his wife had been making for their grandchildren before she died. I almost started crying on the spot. He had his daughter with him, who was not a quilter, but it seemed that with her help he was going to finish up his wife's projects.

regan said...

I've been in this same mindset for the last couple months, since my MIL passed away. She was a hoarder of everything crafty or collectable, and the cleanout of the house was a monumental task! Since then, I've been bringing out the ufo's, prioritizing them, and can't wait to whittle away at the stack! If I hadn't pulled them all out and looked at them, who knows when I would ever have gotten to them! And I love the setting of that quilt.....yep, Gram would be proud! :o)

KaHolly said...

Good advice. I've been doing just that as I've uncovered UFOs. Well, almost just that. Perhaps I need to go back and be more specific! Thanks for the nudge!

sandra said...

Very good advice Mrs Goodneedle! I think I need to put it into practice. I have a monumental stack of UFOs. My starting mojo is much stronger than my finishing mojo!

Paula, the quilter said...

I've known all along that you have a caring heart and this post just proves it. I am going to go through my quilts, tops and UFO and make note of who they would belong to at my demise.

Rita@ Pinpricked Fingers said...

Good advice that translates to many aspects of my life. I'll be sure to go through my growing stack of UFO's and label them properly! Also a " To Do" list for what to do with all my fabric. My family has no idea the treasure this would be for some of my quilty friends!

LizA. said...

Some very wise words here, my friend. I think I need to pay attention and get busy.....thank you for sharing.

cityquilter grace said...

excellent advice....i am making and giving quilts to those i love now to make sure they get them to enjoy as soon as possible...

Quiltdivajulie said...

What an awesome post!!

I continue to gather my quilting information on my computer using Quilt Album (photo and other info) and a master spreadsheet in Excel (year made; name of quilt; dimensions; a cell containing pattern info if one was used, show/display/publication info if it applies, appraisal if there is one, and other special process notes; name of quilter; price paid for quilting (designed to show DH that it really is still less expensive to send my quilts "out" than own my own longarm + tools); and each quilt's disposition (gifted to, donated to, destined for).

I also put a single sheet of paper in with our estate planning documents alerting those who need to know that my quilting legacy information in stored on my hard drive (to be updated if and when).

I am grateful to know about my grandmother's quilts (oral history). That info has also been documented.

Can you tell I was a history minor in college? (tee hee)

jude's page said...

What a lovely thing to do, helping finish the quilts, and yes I need to get busy, have had this same subject on my mind for awhile now, and am working on getting some PHD's done, but I also am wanting to start some new ones, (that I already have the fabric and patterns for)!