The 2015 Final Countdown Task Two

Posted on December 30, 2015 by prairiemoonquilts in Challenges

While you’re all probably still busy digging through your fabric stashes, it’s already time for Task Two!

You may have noticed, I’m not taking it too easy on you this time. This is serious business — Haha!

Honestly, I need this for myself, and I’m just dragging you all along with me — at least you’re all eligible for prizes!

This task is another one that is meant to make you put some thought into things. We’re all going to:

Organize ALL our UFOs

We all have at least one Un-Finished Object, right?

At last count, I had near 100. That’s ridiculous, even if I do sew for a living!

This is another undertaking where I want you to take a good hard look at the UFOs you have. And ask yourself some questions . . .

  • Do I still like it and want to finish it?
  • Do I wish I’d never started it?
  • Would I rather have bamboo shoots driven under my fingernails than take another stitch in it?
  • If I opted to make it smaller just to call it done, would that be a good option for it? Mug Rug, potholder, table mat, etc.
  • Should I just get rid of it?
  • Should I quit now, put the extra fabric back into my stash, and use the finished parts in another project, if possible?
  • If I do like it and want to finish it, what’s the holdup? What is stopping me from finishing it?

It’s time to look at each one of them and make a decision. While a certain project may have seemed like a good idea at the time, is it still something you want to spend your precious sewing minutes on?

If not, something else needs to be done with it.

If yes, then you need to determine what it will take to move it forward, and come up with a plan to do it.

Identify the thing that is stopping you from completing it, and resolve to fix that issue and move ahead with it. Or move it on out . . .

And while you’re at it, make a list.

Make a list of all the UFOs that you do intend to keep and finish. Sometimes just seeing the list is motivation to work on them and check them off the list. And it’s always a good idea to know just where you stand. Without the list, you’re probably guessing, and if you’re like me, you’ll always estimate low!

I keep my list in three columns: one column is finished tops waiting to be quilted, one column is quilts already in progress, one column is a wish list of sorts — quilts I’d like to make, but haven’t actually committed to just yet.

My wish list is relatively small. Most of my projects jump directly onto the quilts-in-progress list! Impulsive much? Am I alone in this?

There are over 20 quilts on my waiting-to-be-quilted list. I’m going to commit to quilting a few extra of my own quilts this year, fitting them into my longarm schedule when I can. I don’t want to continue making tops that don’t ever get quilted. And I’ll be updating my list to make sure it’s current. I’m almost afraid to know if there are more than 100. Ugh!

Here’s just one stack of my UFO bins. I’ll be going through these . . . again. I have others stacked everywhere — I could probably find at least one UFO in every single room of my house! I’d love to get down to where this is my ONLY stack of project bins. Think I can ever do it?


I don’t want to have every spare nook and cranny crammed with an unfinished project. I don’t want so much “stuff”. I’m becoming a huge fan of clear and uncluttered space (in my entire house) and paring down the UFO pile is going to help with this a lot.

How about you? Do you have a pile of UFOs to manage? Even if it’s just a few, keeping them all moving along is important so that they don’t get stale. Now’s the time.

Here are a few links to some UFO challenges that are going on next year — maybe one of these (or all of them) will be just the ticket to help you keep your UFOs moving in the right direction.

Pat Sloan’s UFO-Busting Plan 2016
All People Quilt’s 2016 UFO Challenge
Crazy Mom Quilts Finish-it-up Fridays

Be sure and leave a comment letting us all know how you’re managing your UFOs. Got any UFO storage tips for us? Are you brave enough to tell your number? Heehee! Are you devising a plan to lower your number over the course of this next year? Please share!

Go forth and organize the Un-Finished Objects in your sewing area, and I’ll be back tomorrow with one last Final Countdown Task!

26 responses to “The 2015 Final Countdown Task Two”

  1. Kathy F says:

    I have 4 small bins that are full of left overs. I have decided to go thru them and to GIVE most or even may be all of them to a lady in our guild that is very poor. She uses whatever is given her to make really nice quilts. ALL by hand. She has no machine. She doesn’t want one either. I have offered her a good machine, but she likes doing it all be hand.
    So I will bag it all up except some I know I will use and bring it to our next meeting next week. Alice will love it.

  2. Janet Volz says:

    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 also have all my
    stash in baskets on bookcase shelf a basket for
    each color so I can find what I need. i find that works for me.

  3. Lori says:

    Dealing with UFOs is priority 1 for me in 2016. Blog post tomorrow will tell how. And yes, it’s crazy. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Krista says:

    Shelly, I love these ideas. I do have everything neatly stored in a cabinet but since I am only into quilting for a short time, I see the beginning of a storage problem and many UFOs. I would like to finish one a month too as someone else suggested. Great ideas! I am trying to refrain from buying new fabric until I complete at least one UFO.

  5. Cindy says:

    Okay, now this one is a breeze! I actually did this last year and managed to stay on top of it. List is on my phone and I look at it at least weekly. Everything is up to date. I have a lot of tops I just need to quilt. I have quite a few where all the blocks are done and I need to set everything together. I did pretty good at knocking things out last year, but my big downfall was I started 9 more quilts. I still managed to finish more than I started so I guess that’s good.

  6. Pam in KC says:

    This one is easy. 33 Quilts in progress – i.e. haven’t gotten to the flimsy stage and 20 quilt tops waiting to be quilted. Total 53, down from 69 at the beginning of the year. This past summer I culled out the BOM which only had 2 or 3 blocks done, put the fabric back in my stash and the blocks in my Orphan Block box (then subsequently used a couple of them in a quilt backing). I have a spreadsheet listing all of them and the current status and if it’s a top if I have backing for it. The next 2 UFOs I work on have been hanging around for a while and were supposed to be Christmas gifts — I ran out of time. As far as what gets worked on after that, it’s anyone’s guess. I can’t think that far.

  7. randy says:

    HA my UFO’s are much smaller…. I have themin three bins. HA off to look at them and make lists.

    • randy says:

      made the list rewrote it. Tossed a couple of things with out shame. Have a wish list now as well.

      I trashed my studio tho… now to put it away.

  8. Leah G. says:

    Must be that time of year! Stashbusters a yahoo group always starts the new year with a
    UFO challenge. I will spend today tallying up my numbers & making my list & checking it twice

  9. Meloney says:

    My number is way more than it should be. I have completed 55 in 2015, but some were multiple items from one UFO. I gave myself permission to get them done and if that meant doing pillows or table runners or a baby quilt, then that is what I did. Needless to say, I was successful and friends gave me their UFOs to complete for charity. Sooooo, I have 164 listed UFOs. I imagine some of these are going to make more than one too. If I work as I did this year, maybe I can be through my list in 3 or so years.

  10. Carol says:

    I’m ahead of the game! I took a look at UFOs, I donated some to the Good Samaritan in LAMAR with some fabric that was in the “what the heck was I thinking???” I have decided that grandchildren (old and new-son is getting married so I will be acquiring 5 new grandchildren) will get quilts for Christmas 2016. I’ve looked thru finished tops and chosen several to gift – now to quilt them. I’m doing The New Year’s day Mystery quilt for a cause that will be Kimberly’s quilt. I have worked on organizing my sewing room for the past couple of months. So I have projects in baskets that I’m going to work on this year.

  11. katie z. says:

    I have only two “real” UFOs. Both are finally to the point where they need hand quilting. One I hope to finish by May, and the other needs to wait until my son with autism goes to school so he won’t roll up in it every time I try to work on it!

    I’ve worked hard in reducing my UFOs this year, so I have a list of in progress and a list of want to/need to. It certainly has prevented me from starting new projects willy nilly!

  12. Sherry V. says:

    Oh boy. . . . do I have UFO’s!!!

    I just listed 12 for a Facebook group challenge. And I did that without even thinking!! I know that there are at least 20 or 30 more besides those lurking in the basement as well.

    Part of my 2016 goals is to get these finished or move them on so I guess great minds think alike! LOL

    Again, this is something that I will not have done by 1/4. . . .but at least I have them on my “radar” and have taken off the “blinders”!

  13. Sue Hook says:

    True UFO I have 3 quilts and two embroidery blocks but I also have 5 quilts that I have bought more than 2 years ago that I would like to start and finish. So I will make my count 10 and I also plan to finish at least one each month. Your Procrastination List last year really helped me with this problem.

  14. You’re not alone (look at the comments)! My UFO challenge last year was a disaster, although I did start/complete several new quilts and other projects. I’ll definitely try your three-column idea this year. I’m also going to look closely at my UFOs and make some decisions about whether to finish them or change direction. Reading your list of questions has already given me some ideas for finishing some of my UFOs without actually adding more blocks to a quilt I’ve lost interest in completing. Thanks!

  15. Oh, forgot to mention, several months ago I removed all my UFOs from bags and drawers and organized each in a Macy’s sweater or shirt box w/ label on the end. The boxes are ample to store blocks and finishing fabrics and are now neatly stacked on the bottom two shelves of the large bookcase where I keep fabrics. The best thing is they’re all uniform sizes and I can easily identify the projects and pull out the one I want.

  16. Krista says:

    Got the UFO projects inventoried and even finished one! I have 19. Should be manageable. Now that I have finished one I get to shop.

  17. Barb B says:

    Ok, I updated my list and I’m standing at 65 UFOs. Some are very close to completion, so 2016 should be a good year for FINISHED projects!!

    Thanks for “nudging” me to get my list updated. ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Michele says:

    Done! On the blog sidebar this year to see if that keeps things in the forefront. I have a couple more to add, but I have about 20. I’ll also be able to add more if I discover them over the year!

  19. Deanna says:

    Another great challenge! I have three WIPs and 7 UFOs. Not too bad. Hopefully having this list will help me get most or all of these finished during 2016.

  20. I have 2 quilts that are UFOs and close to 50 tops waiting for me to quilt them!!! Need to get serious about getting the quilt tops off the quilt rack and make them usable!!!

  21. Judy Smith says:

    My count is 14, only one of which is a completed top. These are mostly full or lap size quilts , so that is a hefty list for me. I have joined the Stashbuster challenge so hope to have lots of motivation. My guild also does a challenge so I will encounter reminders at every turn. I like your idea of the three lists because I see quilts I would like to make, then can’t remember where I saw them. I hope to start an inspiration list as well.

  22. Karen says:

    I’m glad I did this task. It really made me look at my UFO’s, figure out why they aren’t done, and make plans to finish them up. Here’s my blog post:

  23. Rita says:

    I have listed 14 of my most recent UFO’s and these are ones I hope to finish in 2016. As for tops (mostly for charity), I will just say that I have an overflowing large tote. My priority for January and Febuary is to quilt my QOV for my cousin to be presented at our quilt show the first weekend of March, plus 5 other quilts in various stages of completion that I hope to have done for the quilt show also.
    Pizza boxes are a great storage tool for blocks and they stack nicely.

  24. Marsha Yahl says:

    I organized most of my UFO’s last year and stored them in labeled totes on shelves in my sewing area. However, I have lost my list so I am working on an new one and realized that I had three new ones to add from the Bonnie Hunter Retreat…I am over 30 and counting. Hope to have a finished list in a day or two. It really does help to have a list and this time I am putting on the list where the UFO is stored.

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