Dealing With UFOs

Posted on January 8, 2016 by prairiemoonquilts in Studio News

With over 100 UnFinished Objects on my list, I figure I’d better come up with a good method for dealing with them, right?

My Procrastination Challenges last year didn’t help me out too much. I did move a few projects further along, but nothing from that list actually got finished. That needs to change!

Of all the suggestions, ideas, and posts I read about UFO challenges for this year, my very favorite one was left in a comment by reader Janet V., who commented on THIS post and said:

“I took all my UFO and numbered them put the number in a bag and each month I draw one out and that is my project for the month if I stay on track I should have them done by the end of 2016, unless I make more.”

I love, love, LOVE this idea! Now granted, finishing only 12 UFOs won’t make a dent in my “problem”, but I think I’m gonna try a slight variation on this idea for myself.

I’m going to number my UFOs and draw numbers out randomly for the ones I’ll work on, but I’m also going to schedule at least one quilt a month to quilt for myself, or all that’ll happen is that I’ll move the finished tops to the to-be-quilted list, and the number of UFOs will not actually change.

So I’m hoping to report in every week or so, show you what I’m working on, and hopefully move a LOT of projects forward, and actually finish some once in awhile. If I happen to finish something, I might go link up with Amanda Jean’s Finish It Up Fridays, but so far I can’t do that because I haven’t finished anything.

In fact, until today, I haven’t sewn a stitch since December 26th! We tore apart our utility room, so I’ve been painting, and organizing, and doing paperwork, and since My Cowboy’s been sick, I’ve been doing all the chores and the cooking, and (gasp!) all my own errands — I miss my house husband!

It’s seriously time for me to get back to work, so here’s what I’m working on today.

My extra Sew Sisters Bee block. I made one and sent off to Doris, but I’ve been making an extra of each one for myself, so this one is mine. It turned out more pale than I imagined, but it’ll just have to do.


And I’m hoping to get caught up on the rest of the Sew Sisters Bee blocks I’m behind on, so I’m working on those as well.

Our guild is collecting pillowcases for a charity project, so I hope to whip out a couple of pillowcases before our next meeting on Monday. I’ve pulled some fabrics for them, and I’ll be using THIS tutorial by The Crafty Gemini to make them. I’ve chosen stuff I think will work for a gentleman for one, and a lady for the other. We’ll see how it goes.


I’ve been spending at least 30 minutes a day cutting up my scraps, and so far, have managed to NOT start any new projects! But I can feel one coming on — please talk me out of it for now.

I drew a number and landed on the first quilt I intend to quilt for myself, and I’ll show it to you when I get it done. First, I need to see if I know where it is, and if I have backing for it!

The UFO number I drew for this week is a little wall quilt that is almost finished. Thankfully, it’s a small project that I might actually be able to get done! Wish me luck.

I’ll report back in a week or so to hopefully show you some finished projects!
What are YOU going to be working on?

15 responses to “Dealing With UFOs”

  1. Meloney says:

    I know you can do it!
    I did pick 12 projects that I am saying is for your challenge. LOL
    It will allow me to focus in on the number drawn and get at least 12 done.
    I have a couple other challenges. One has only 6 where I have 2 months to finish it.
    then, Stashbusters, a yahoo group, has where they draw a low number and a high number for their UFO numbers game. That one sometimes overwhelms me. They also have the Queen’s game where you try and NOT become the queen. As members on the list finish one of their UFOs, their name goes to the bottom of the list. If you get to the top, you have a week to finish one of your UFOs or pay a penalty of a FQ. If you don’t finish at least one UFO in a quarter, you pay a FQ penalty. It costs 2 FQs and $1 for postage to join the fun.
    There are so many UFO challenges around. I just hope I have not over burdened me on this. I feel stuck right now, but it will improve.
    I finished the quilting on one UFO and time to load another one.
    Good Luck on your challenge. I know you can do this!

  2. Sue Hook says:

    I think you have this one.

    I have been working on a paper piece quilt which turned into a way bigger project than I thought and I am also working on my flying geese for the Moda Sampler. Both are project that I would love to put aside and just work on a new quilt I bought before Christmas. Every morning I get to sew about 2 hours before I go to work and I make myself do 4 blocks on the paper piece quilt and 4 squares (16 flying geese) on my geese first before I get to work on my new quilt. It has worked well so far (although and haven’t done much on the new quilt)but it keeps me moving forward and I am on schedule to have the PPQ and geese completed before I leave on vacation on the 15th. I still need to do this weeks triangles – hopefully tomorrow.

  3. Come on over to WIPs Be Gone and link up, Shelley. You don’t have to show a finish, just progress on your quilt project for the week – much less stressful. Next time you are getting the urge to start something new with those scraps, run over to where you have your UFO list and see how many you’ve finished – that should cool your ardor. Cute block you made there.

  4. Colleen says:

    You have me beat by a bit if we were competing for who has the most UFOs. One thing I picked up from Bonnie Hunter is the leaders and enders concept. I have a couple of mindless piecing quilt efforts in process so, if the thread matches, I sew the next seam of that block. It’s like doing two at once and the second one is sewing itself. At least this is helping me go in the right direction aiming for completion.

  5. Cindy says:

    I’m working on your bom quilt. Trying to get it done before your book comes out. I also have several quilts that I just need to sandwich and quilt. Would like to get another one sandwiched so I can work on it here and there as I find time.

  6. randy says:

    You are just a bundle of energy. Must be that ranch life. I just came back from a day of long arming. First pass a breeze , than crank cranky… I was trying a different batting… no no no. While it didn’t pull through the thread kept shredding… So it was about ten re threadings… Hard to keep in the zone. I will post a photo soon…. But one off the list and 20 blocks on the January list towards 350.

  7. Liz says:

    You got this!

    I am only working on one UFO and that is my Dear Jane quilt. This is an intense quilt…so this project will keep me from starting another project, buying fabric(s) and staying FOCUS on this one project!!! So far, I am almost done with a row of 13 blocks!

  8. GrannyC says:

    You’re an inspiration! My 11 year old granddaughter pieced her first quilt top last fall, and I quilted it for her. My first frantic project for this year is to add the label, so she can enjoy the fruits of her labors! Then – I have two (yes, two) “Merry Christmas, Y’all” wall hangings ready to quilt – then embellish – then bind. Didn’t quite make it for this Christmas, but completing both of those concurrently will be my second Project for this year. Can’t wait to get back in the groove. My wonderful husband took me to the Heart of Texas One Stop Shop Hop at the Waco Convention Center today. He loves going to that – 20+ shops represented. Much fun. And…..more fabric followed me home….of course…..

  9. Lori says:

    I am still knitting that darned cowl. Honestly’ if I’d just focus I could be blocking it tonight. Am also alllllmost done with a little hand-quilted piece (not a potholder this time!). I decided that I couldn’t really call it done until it had a label and sleeve…and it will need a wash. It’s been a really long time in the making. Will tell more about it once it’s really done and done.

    The urge to start something new is gnawing at me. This could be a long year if I can’t make it stop!

  10. Judy Smith says:

    Good luck on that UFO list. I have listed 14 with the Stashbusters challenge and am making progress on the first one. But…I also started something new this week. I don’t think it’s supposed to work that way. I can’t seem to help myself.

  11. Bec says:

    I’m close to having 3 UFOs done for this year already. I pick the first one I come to and work on it for a day or two. Move to the 2nd one, work on it a day or two, move to the 3rd one and work on it a day or two. I’ll have 3 flimsys by the end of next week. And move to the next 3 UFOs.

  12. Horrible on New Year’s resolutions so don’t do them. Several years ago, I came up with the concept that I have to finish a UFO before I can start a new quilt. So far, it has worked out fairly good. My plan got a boost last summer when I signed up for two machine quilting classes, walking foot and free motion. Rather than create the projects for the classes, I just used my UFO’s. All I did for the month of August.That made a nice dent.

    Another boost the end of this year. As I was cleaning, straightening, and organizing my sewing room I cam across a very large market bag I picked up in Mexico. It was sitting next to the table where I was sorting and as I came across smaller projects I dropped them in the bag. When I was done, the bag was full. I decided to NOT just store them away, but finish all of them before starting my quilting/sewing new year. So far I’ve repaired a skirt, finished a tote bag, finished two cell phone holders and two mug rugs, finished a pillow and two bibs, finished quilting a wall hanging and almost done binding it, halfway through a skirt I’m making, and made quilt sandwiches for three table toppers

    Even if it takes all month, I will be very happy I got these done and out of my sewing room. Scraps have never been a problem, but UFO’s always are!

  13. Last year I tried to work from a list and actually completed only one UFO (maybe two…I lost count lol). However, I started and finished several quilts and other projects, so I’m happy with what I achieved. I’m going to try a different tactic this year, rather than finish UFOs at different stages of completion, my monthly challenge will be to try to quilt my completed quilt tops. I don’t think I’ll even make a list, my quilt tops are all in one place so I can grab whichever one calls to me.

  14. Bobbi says:

    I saw a longarmer on facebook post that her resolution for the year is to quilt one top of her own at the beginning of each month before she does any customer quilts. I thought that was a brilliant idea. I’m just getting started, so I haven’t run into the common problem of always quilting everyone else’s tops and ignoring my own, but I’m sure my day will come. đŸ™‚

  15. Bridget says:

    First off, I consider a completed top that has the backing ready as a finish, bacause it is ready for the quilter. Of course that doesn’t really work for you. But think, when you need to have a quilt gift then you can just shop the tops and have something quickly. the other idea you may want to consider is pulling out a couple UFOs that are CLOSE to complete and get them done. It is a big mental boost (ask me how I know!) LOL I also really evaluate my UFOs and decide if I want to finish the original vision or just get it done as a utility quilt. Some projects are not worth finishing and I have sorted out the fabric and thrown away the rest. OK, so I stuff them into fleece pillows for the humane society cattery, but same result. Project out of box and parts all being recycled.

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