UFO Musings

FORTY-SIX! That’s how many UFO’s I had in my bins! I figured that would make everyone feel better, but Lois Jarvis beat me with 67! Lois is also a teacher and she has a delightful blog: http://rust-tex.blogspot.com.

While digging through my bins I decided to have my husband take a picture and….notice the smile. I’m adopting Pam’s positive attitude towards UFOs. They are just waiting to be needed :-). The one I’m holding is from 1991. Can anyone beat that? 

Many of my UFO’s are class samples. That’s not an excuse – just the truth.

In looking through my bins I found 2 crib sized class samples that are already quilted and only need binding. I’m stating here that I will finish them and send them off to Project Linus before the end of the month.

I also found a wall sized top in patriotic colors. I’m going to add borders until it’s the right size for Quilts of Valor and get that sent this month too! I’m writing this here so someone will check up on me and make sure I keep my word :-).

I’ve belonged to a number of guilds that have attempted to address the UFO dilemma and here’s a few of their ideas:

Years ago Linda Marcou, a member of Common Threads Quilt Guild, challenged the members to choose one  in January and bring it finished in December. As a reward all those who were successful were given one of her  handmade labels. I still treasure that special addition to my finished quilt. 

I currently belong to Patched Lives Quilt Guild. Last year they offered one entry into a drawing for each UFO finished  in a year with an exciting prize for the winner.  Many took up the challenge.

Evelyn Link is a friend who’s guild in Arizona asks members to bring 3 UFO”S to a meeting and the guild votes for which one should be finished. Let’s take that to another level – you grab 3 to show to a friend, let her pick one to finish for you and you do the same for her! I wonder who I can get to take up that challenge – hmmmmm.

So often UFO’s are just tops. If you

1. can’t afford to send them to a long arm quilter 

2. don’t have time to hand quilt

3. like free motion quilting, but don’t like to meander,

try this: quilt that next project with the design you doodle when you’re bored. You’re probably really good at it, it will flow easily and the quilt will be done without too much effort. Or, take a free motion quilting class and when you return home, practice all the techniques you learned on a UFO you aren’t really attached to. Then donate it to charity. The recipient will love it and they won’t see all the mistakes that jump out at you. By the time the quilt is done your free mo-ing will have improved!

Hope this is helpful. Please let me know if you’ve been inspired to get something done! I’m rather excited about the accountability I’ve forced myself into in this post. If you’d like to gently commit yourself as I have, feel free to write it in a comment here :-).

5 Opinions

  • Di said:

    Love the picture of you!

    I’ve got two suggestions. The first came to mind because I’m eyeing that blue and gold quilt in front center! You alone, or quilters joining together, could hold a sale of unfinished items. You know what they say…one man’s junk is another’s treasure (NOT that anyone’s quilts are junk, by any means – they’re all SO beautiful!!!)


    You could start a blog (another one:-) to track the progress of finishing your UFOs. Knowing others are following you is a great incentive to stick to it. I’m doing this for a beading project I have going – one I definitely need to be monitored on so it doesn’t become a UFO! http://beadedbells.wordpress.com/start-here-first/

  • Lois Jarvis said:

    Like you Chris, I taught for MATC. I started a new quilt with my students every week for ten weeks…twice a year!!! When I quit MATC, I had over 100 UFO. 7 years later I am down to 67. Whenever I do my lecture, “Tales From the UFO Club” I give away one of my UFO, a copy of the 12 step program the Mad City UFO Club established, and a hospital tub, which is perfect for storing UFOs.

  • Sharon Rotz said:

    Like you, I have a ‘few’ unfinished projects. I found these pickle dish blocks that were class samples for a long ago class. After unearthing them, I am challenging myself to use them for an art quilt – totally different from the pickle dish quilt I previously made.
    Love your new blog.

  • Gina E said:

    Hi Chris,
    I found you on Cheryl’s Chatelaine, and came over to visit. Your blog is delightful! I have only just started playing with patchwork in the past year or so, and completed one small (lap) quilt which was made up of nine blocks I found in a remnant bin! I took a course on patchwork last year which helped me greatly to understand the terms used, and ‘tricks of the trade’.
    I can relate to your UFO situation, but mine are not quilts – they are embroidered items. Hundreds of them. I buy other people’s UFOs at garage sales and thrift shops, with the intention of finishing them myself. Well, pigs might fly. Backwards.. Anyway, my stash is always fascinating to dive into!

  • Jeri S. said:

    Great pict and good ideas. What I need is T I M E. I need to rethink my commitments like lots of quilters.


Share opinions



You may use these HTML tags and attributes to empatize your opinion:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>