Tuesday, December 21, 2010


This time of year my son, Will, is immersed in Charlie Brown world!! He loves all the Peanuts' holiday classics, and he watches them over and over.  While Will watches the dvd's in my sewing room, I've been busy throwing blocks up on the design wall -- trying to make a decision about which UFO is next!!

Judy over at Patchwork Times has issued a UFO Challenge for 2011. And as I try to decide what 12 projects go to the head of the line, I hear echos of Lucy van Pelt in my head:

I think I have an obsession with making blocks.  I store them on skirt hangers and put them on pegs on the wall to keep them in front of me -- seeing them everyday is supposed  to motivate me to take the final step and set them up in a quilt top.  Not my most effective plan to date. Sigh.

Let's see...
There are my Victory Quilt blocks, Quilt in a Day's 1940's sampler. 18 blocks completed in lovely patriotic colors, mostly Thimbleberries fabrics (I thought that would be interesting -- to make a QinaD pattern with TB fabrics :-D).  The pattern calls for sashing and cornerstones and a cool "ribbons" border....I have the fabric. I have the tools.  I've let this thing hang on a peg for two years or more.

There are my Biblical Blocks. A great group of gals and I did these at Paula's Quilting Pantry with a Bible study that corresponded with each block.  We met every other week for several months, then weather and circumstances had me calling a halt to the class.  We finished 19 of the 32 blocks in the book by Rosemary Makhan...and I pulled another ten patterns from other sources (for those who didn't want to attempt the harder blocks) and there are a couple of those hanging on the peg with the others.  Three years....? Maybe more.  It's languished for a while.

There is Hometown Christmas.  It's a little newer on the UFO list -- only 18 months or so.  The pattern is a little older than that, but I collected the fabrics I wanted to use in it over time, and finally started it last year.  I have 9 of the twelve sections completed on it.  The other 3 are cut and ready to sew.  It, like the others, got pushed to the back burner for whatever interesting thing or class idea or deadline took my fancy.

And there are still others on my pegs (and in boxes, and drawers and bags and closets)....

Paul writes in Colossians 4:17, "Tell Archippus: 'See to it that you complete the work you have received in the Lord.'" (NIV)

Traditionally, Archippus is thought to have been a pastor at the church in Laodicea -- the one that the Lord said was "neither hot nor cold" (Rev. 3: 15) -- the church that kicked back, was self-satisfied, in need of nothing, whom God challenged, "Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline" (v. 19).

As I look around my sewing room I see that I, too, am "in need of nothing."  It's easy to become a "blockhead," satisfied with the status quo...going along and getting along, while needful things languish like projects on pegs. 

The Lord's admonition to the church at Laodicea is to exchange the illusion of good living for more difficult -- and more lasting! -- things.  "I counsel you," the Lord says, "to buy from me gold refined in the fire so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so that you can cover your shameful nakedness, and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see." (Rev. 3:18 NIV)

I'll be joining Judy's UFO Challenge.  It's too easy to get caught up in the latest excitement and to ignore those things that need our attention, that have been let go for too long.  (And I ain't just talkin' about quilts! :-)  If I complete the work I have received from Him, as he told Archippus to do, I can look forward to the greatest of all compliments to a believer (or a quilter!):

"Well done, good and faithful servant!"



Becky said...

I joined her challenge as well. I have up to 6 years of projects that need completed. I have more than 12, but I selected 12 and hope to make one new one as well. We'll see how THAT turns out!!

Anonymous said...

Gosh...I haven't near the tops started as you...just tops finished for quilting. LOL I'll be with ya all year...rooting you on for some finishes.
I love that sign you have in your sewing room!

Carol said...

What a wonderful post Mary Lou...I do the very same things with the skirt hangers...blocks right where I can see them...LOL! Thanks for getting me thinking!

StitchinByTheLake said...

I loved this reminder - to be about God's business is my assigned work (along with the quilting!) I have a list of UFOs I'm working on through my guild so that's my plan for January. But I'm also beginning a new Bible study January 6 - and I'm the leader so I better get about the business of learning! blessings, marlene

Lindah said...

Thought provoking post, Mary Lou. A former pastor often reminded us not to become too comfortable (and thereby lulled to sleep and slack in our calling).

BTW, I see a lot of beauty hanging on the pegs. I would call those treasures, awaiting their finishing touches.

Merry Christmas!

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

As long as we are confessing our sins. I am a "Blockhead"...grin. My friend even calls me a blockhead.

I loved your post. It has set me a thinkin'.

Since I'm a slow sewer I'm committing to getting two quilts finished through the quilting stage.....will I make it are crash under the pressure.....LOL

Miss Hillbilly said...

I will be looking forward to encouraging you on your challenge. I am quite the opposite. I get downright frustrated to have unfinished projects. I am so bad that I won't even start sewing alot of days because my thinking is 'what's the point I won't get far anyway'. Isn't that silly? I could get some done...if only a little. Little bits at a time. But I don't.

Reenie said...

I have about 14 things on my ufo list to finish up. I made myself a challenge to get them done and am slowly working my way through them. I won't be formally joining the challenge, but will be working along with you! Btw..those are beauties you showed us. When you start on them, I think you will fall in love with them all over and they will come together fast!

Lori said...

I think the UFO challenge is a good idea........for you! LOL

Barb said...

I love Peanuts christmas, just watched it in the sewing room myself!
My kids gave me his little tree one year. Love it.
You are a brave brave soul, but then again all your UFO are good - mine look old and tired when I visit the boxes.
I may not join officially, but I do intend to finish up some things in 2011.

Synthia said...

I have been reading your blog for some time and I just love it. You give me lots to think about, for both quilting and my Christian faith. Thank you.

LuAnn said...

I probably need to join the UFO challenge as well. I have a lot of things I would really like to see become finished projects, but I am led astray by the latest thing I see on other blogs. On one of the quilt lists I'm on they call them BOBs (blocks in baggies) and PIGS (Projects in Grocery Sacks). I have quite a bit of both. I'll be watching to see your finishes in 2011. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Crispy said...

So many beautiful UFO's you have there my friend. I would suggest doing the ones with the least amount of work needed first. A quick finish is always very satisfying :0)


Patty Sumner said...

Now I am going to be the one who will say or shout.....DO NOT START ANOTHER BLOCK OF ANY SIZE, COLOR OR SHAPE UNTIL YOU FINISH THE REST!!!!!! I do see how you have time for anything else with all those quilts. Your passion has turned into an obsession! You need a break....maybe painting a wall, laying somne see where I am heading......I have a house that needs help!!!! Love you and when you die of old age, if I live a day longer than you I will buy all those projects from Emily and at least enjoy then hanging on my quilt ladders or on my beds a few days before I met you in!

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