Have Your Say

13th August 2021

Hunting UFOs

When we wrote about UFO’s in All Stitched Up! issue #290, we anticipated that it might resonate with a few readers, but we have been overwhelmed by the number of people out there with their own close encounters with these not-so-rare phenomena! 

It might take us a few weeks to get through everyone’s stories, but we will endeavour to share them all as that’s what this newsletter is all about! Even if you haven’t sent us your own tales of Un-Finished Objects, you will quickly see that you’re certainly not alone in experiencing them.

We’ll start with Christine McCarthy who wanted to assure everyone that as long as you have a little space to keep it, no project need ever fully ‘rest in peace’. Christine had a canvas project of a Monet painting that she loved. She had it for 25 years while other projects, life and children took priority. She had to go to hospital a few months back and finally took out her beloved Monet canvas again. It gave her a focus during her rehabilitation and now has pride of place in her loungeroom. 

The moral of this story is, according to Christine – ‘don’t say ‘die’ prematurely!’

Teresa Cain has a crazy quilt that she designed with embroidery, beads and buttons all over it. She’s been working on it for 15 years now. She says she will finish it one day but, in the meantime, it is OK to take your time and love every stitch. We totally agree, Teresa.

Maria Montgomery shared a story of one of her UFOs that we can all relate to. It was a piece of Kalocsa by Peta McMillian that she started many years ago at a course. She had finished all of the embroidery, but when she accidentally snipped a little piece of the lacework while cutting it out, she put it aside. It is still sitting in the hoop waiting for her to repair it and finally finish it off. Although now she has an incentive – her son is engaged so Maria would like to give this piece as a wedding gift. Maybe we just need the right reason to resurrect those long-abandoned projects?

This is a picture of Stephanie Lamb’s finally completed UFO. She started it in 1980, but crewel work fell out of favour in the USA and she found it very difficult to find materials. Over the years she’s moved house, packed up, unpacked and moved again, and each time, this piece put in an appearance. In 2015, she finally found the time to put the last bullion knots in and finish this 35 year old project.

Stephanie’s 35 year old crewel project – finished at last

One of our regular contributors, Penelope, shares that she has a ‘finishing basket’ and from Twelfth night until Easter each year, she finishes items in the basket. This particular piece below is one she started in the early 1970s, however realising there is a mistake somewhere in her earlier counting/stitching, until she can locate and fix it, Penelope is unable to finish the design. Even friends have looked for the error but have been unable to spot it. So, it gets put away again until the following year!

Penelope’s counted project

Pat Demharter admits to a few UFOs lurking in her sewing room. Mostly they are projects she has fallen in love with, but once she starts, she discovers they try her patience too much or are just too difficult. Often, just to fend off the guilt she puts them away with a promise that she will get back to them.

‘…and you all know the end to that story!’

Her advice is to think ahead and take a good look at what you know you can do rather than what you think you can do.

In conclusion this week, we wanted to share a tip and a thought. Jeanne Çur’s tip is to ensure that you gather all of the project materials when you first discover the project so as to avoid the enormous task of searching for what you need years afterwards. Lots of threads, fabrics and notions have a way of becoming discontinued as years pass! It is very frustrating, and Jeanne admits she’s speaking from experience.

And a thought from Elsa Gresham; she reminded us that another source of unfinished projects are OPP’s. These are ‘Other People’s Projects’ that you offer to help to finish in a fit of kindness. How many of us have these sitting around too?!

Keep the stories coming, we’ve loved reading every single one of them. It goes to show that passionate stitchers are the same the world over. And that is why we love being a part of this community.

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