The Studio Organizing Challenge, 2015

Posted on January 1, 2015 by prairiemoonquilts in Organizing

Every year for the last six years, I’ve hosted “The Final Countdown” here on the ol’ blog. It’s three days of organizing tasks meant to help us all enter the New Year with a bit more clarity and peace of mind, at least as far as our sewing spaces and projects are concerned. And it ends with prizes, so if you’re lucky enough to be chosen, you get a little extra reward for your efforts!

Every year, three days never seems like enough time for me to get done all the organizing I need to do, so this next year, I’ve decided to make it a year-long attempt to finally get my stuff under control. To that end . . .

I’m starting the Studio Organizing Challenge!

Each week, I’ll post an organizing task related to our sewing spaces or projects. It’ll be a task that I myself need to do. If it’s something you also need to do, I welcome you to join me and do the task, too.

I’m not offering prizes for the weekly tasks, but we will wrap up the year as usual with the 7th Annual Final Countdown at the end of 2015. We should all be so organized by then, I’ll have a hard time coming up with the Final Countdown tasks!

I have chosen Thursday as the day on which I will post the weekly task, simply because Mondays are already crammed with tasks and can sometimes be unpredictable. Thursday just seems a bit calmer.

And you can give yourself the entire week to get the task done, before the next weekly task is posted. There’s no deadlines!

I might also repeat a task more than once during the year, but again, it’s because I feel like I need it, and maybe you do, too.

There’s no sign-up involved, but feel free to leave comments each week letting us know how you did with the tasks if you chose to do them, and offering up any discoveries you made regarding organizing your sewing things that might help us all. I learned a lot of tips just from this past year’s Final Countdown.

I’ve created a new page related to the challenge with the dates and tasks (with links to the posts for each task). You can see it HERE. If you need to refer back to a task, or find them all in one handy place, that’s where you can look. The links will become live as each task is posted. The posts will also be in the Organizing category that you can access in the Categories pop-up menu in the sidebar at right.

There will be 52 weekly tasks, and we’ll end the year with the usual 3 tasks of The Final Countdown. Are you in?

With this being a Thursday, I’m announcing our first task TODAY! What better day to start than on January 1st, right? Are you ready?

Our first task is:

Organize your oldest UFO

I’m not saying you have to work on said UFO, or finish it this week (or ever) — I’m just telling you to organize it. (Although you may certainly work on it if you’re so inclined.) Find it, find all the pieces to it, make note of what needs to be done to it or with it.

You may determine that you don’t want to finish it. Ever. In that case, you can give it away, throw it away, or recycle the pieces back into your stash.

Maybe you do like it still, and might like to finish it, but you could get by with making it smaller, or changing it in some way that would make it easier to complete.

Maybe you got stymied somewhere in the process, and couldn’t figure out how to move it forward. Perhaps, after letting it sit for awhile, you’ve gained in skills, and that’s no longer an issue, or maybe you can find someone to help you get it back on track so you can finish it.

Feel free to ask for help or suggestions in the comments — maybe someone has the perfect idea that will help you get it off your UFO list and into the done or gone stage!

Maybe you love it, but it’s just been forgotten under the pile of latest and greatest projects you just had to start (this is what happens to me — the “Look, Squirrel!” syndrome). Now is the time to bring it back out into the light and give it some hope . . . and some attention.

Do you have all the pieces?
Do you have your pattern or instructions?
What do you need to find, acquire, or prepare in order to start working on it again?
Or (as in my case), can you even find it?

I had already started thinking about this one last night, and I have to tell you, I was hard pressed to think of which project is actually my oldest! But I consulted my list (you know I have a list), and determined that it’s a quilt called “Morning Glory”, that I hand pieced in the late 1980’s with the intention of hand quilting it.

The top is finished, I think I have a backing for it, and it’s even marked for hand quilting. But I know I’m never going to hand quilt it.

However, I am now a fairly good longarm quilter, and I can custom quilt it, which could just be the next best thing . . . and at least I could call it finished.

My first problem is . . . where did I put it? So the task before me this week is to find it, and make sure it’s got all its parts and pieces, and put it on my list to finish. I’ll be sure and post about it when I do. You’re gonna wanna see it, I just know it! After all, it’s from the 80’s — it’s gotta be spectacular, right?

So how about you? What’s your oldest UFO? Can you find it? What are you going to do about it? I’d love to hear, so be sure and leave a comment.

0 responses to “The Studio Organizing Challenge, 2015”

  1. Kathy krog says:

    I’m ahead of the game. The Saturday 8 group challenge was to pick out a kit that you have and finishow it by Dec 2015. I dug out my first kit I bought the first time I went to Paducah with you and rm. I bought the kit in Hannibal.

  2. Deanna says:

    We are thinking very much alike. Last night I pulled out an old UFO. It may or may not be my oldest, but it is definitely at least three years old. Anyway, it started as an idea that I would make my practice blocks of similar fabric and after a while I would have enough for an eclectic sampler top, but the fabrics would match. I didn’t get very far. I pulled out the pieces and, using my very handy new notebook, drew up a sketch of a plan. It will be a throw size when I am finished. Might make a pillow to go with it as I really like the colors. We’ll see! Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. Cathy Poyner says:

    Finishing my oldest UFO was a task that I wanted to complete this year. I have a list of 12 UFOs that I’d like to complete to get down to 24 UFOs. My Golden’s Journal lacks 8 blocks. I will try to choose some fabrics for the blocks, as I have the project in a box already. That is sometimes the hardest part of a sampler quilt.
    This is a fun challenge!!! Thank you, Shelly. Happy New Year.

    • Cathy Poyner says:

      I cut four blocks. There are 20 blocks, so I have 16 blocks to go instead of 8. I put my project box back up when I finished too!

  4. Dee Dee says:

    I just pulled a 17 year old quilt top to work on. Instead of making more blocks I have decided to finish it as is and donate it to QOV. I hope to have it finished this weekend.

    Looking forward to participating in your organization tasks.

    Have a wonderful happy new year.

  5. Cindy says:

    I’m in. I need this!!!! So I am going to finish my 1930s BOM from Patches (which has since closed).The top is almost done and I am going to hand quilt it. So it won’t be a quick finish, but I may be able to work on it a little bit each day.

  6. I’m in. One of my oldest (and most guilt-inducing) is an Irish Chain baby quilt that I’m hand quilting for my now 23 year-old baby! lol. I know right where it is and I plan to put together small scissors, thread and thimble and will try to quilt on it a few minutes/stitches each afternoon while the kids play!

  7. Pam in KC says:

    I am happy to report that my oldest UFO is now only half as old as my oldest UFO was last year (the DWR started in 1989 that I finished in November)! It’s the Oxmoor House Christmas BOM that I started in August 2003. Two blocks left. One needs the fuzed appliqued stitched — threads are in the bag with all of the blocks, the other needs some embroidery and it’s in my handwork bag. I even bought some fabric for the border last week, so this might just become a top by the end of the year.

  8. Sue H says:

    Ok I found my UFO. It is a Christmas runner from about five years ago. I picked two fabrics to make but when I cut it out there was no contrast in the fabric. I found some white to add to it. Will make two runners and will have a jump start on some Christmas gifts.

  9. Joy Sleeman says:

    Not sure how old it is, but probably at least 25 years. Before I started quilting properly , a friends SIL showed me how to hand piece hexies. It’s from scraps of clothing fabric, probably about cot sized and I found it in the end of year tidy up challenge. Time to finish it and donate or sell I think. Thanks for the kick up the bum.

  10. Kathy says:

    About 15 years ago a very dear friend, since passed. Gave me a quilt to finish. It is teals, mauves, creams and grays. It is very lovely. I am hand sewing it all. I am now going to pull it back out and work on it a little at a time. Hopefully I will get it done by 2016. Will send you a picture when done, someday soon I hope.

  11. Susan says:

    I’m not even sure which one that would be, so I’d have to go through several to see. =) We’ll see how it goes.

  12. Susan says:

    Oh, when I thought about it, that didn’t take so long after all! DesertSky Quilts

  13. Linnie says:

    Mine is a hexagon pre-cut kit that I got in the late 70’s or early 80’s on a trip to Branson, Missouri. I was digging around the other day and found it still in the bag I carried with me so I could work on it. It is navy with yellow flowers. I still want to finish it.

  14. Janet Volz says:

    In cleaning found a mother goose quilt that I started 5 0r 6 years ago. Pull out the box that
    is suppose to have everything in it, but it looks like a big mess. My goal is to get it done in 2015 for some little baby.

  15. Meloney says:

    I have no idea on which is my oldest UFO. Who knows. I did so many swaps and challenges in 2003 and later that they are all about the same age. So, instead I’m modifying your challenge to working on my UFO cabinet to organize it some and fitting everything into it. I found more UFOs than I thought I had. 🙁 so, this would benefit me more.
    I have 3 quilt tops waiting for backing out and 4 in the pieces stage. Most of mine have only a few blocks made or are swaps with the blocks and no setting.

  16. Bobbi says:

    This is a great idea! Yesterday, I decided that I had had enough mess, and I spent all day organizing and cleaning my studio. I just moved into it a few months ago, and never got everything to a manageable point. I am so excited to have a clean space. Now I just need to get up the nerve to tackle the closet, but that can wait.

  17. Kitty says:

    My oldest UFO is a large Single Irish Chain quilt that I started in 2004. I finished the top relatively quickly, then it languished in my closet for years until last winter I took it out and started hand quilting it. The silly part is that it is an Eleanor Burns Quilt in a Day pattern! My goal is to finish it in 2015.

  18. Karen says:

    After some research of old pics, I found my oldest UFO dates back to 2008. I blogged about it here:
    Basically, I don’t know how to border it and would love any help with it!

  19. Patti says:

    Wow, this is a grey one! I know exactly which one it is too! LOL It is a queen size top that is queen size. The top is completely done, except I need to button hole stitch appliqué over most of the appliqué pieces. I’ve seen pieces (including the backing) in different spots in my sewing room. I’m going to get it all put together and find the pattern and will post when I have it all together! I believe I started it in 1996, have to double check. :). Thanks for doing this, it’s going to be fun!

  20. Bari says:

    Well, I am in! I have one of my oldest UFOs out and have a plan to use it. You can read about what you have gotten me into here –

  21. My oldest fits right in this group. It is 24 years old as I started it in 1991. I’m at the hand quilting stage and almost have all the blocks quilted and need to do the sashing and borders. I actually found it the week before 1/1 and began my big stitch quilting again. Hope it’s not another 24 years before I’m done.

  22. Ginny Smith says:

    I am in. I am last starting but the guild I am a member has a challenge for the year of listing 6 PHD’s. I am and have been working on all of them done. I have finished 3; 2 which were over 6 years since I had touched them. Shelly know I have been on getting old UFO’s done. She has quilted 4 in the last 2 years that are in the 25 year old range. Three of them only needed quilting and binding. For now I am waiting on one that was started in 1999 and now will only need to be bound when I get it back.
    The ones I have left on the list of UFO’s are less than 8 years old. I need to work on a longer list. So many ideas with fabric bought but nothing cut.

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