Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Few Thoughts on UFOs

Pulling out all of my UFOs last week to reorganize and take pictures seemed like a lot of work at the time and I spent a few days feeling very overwhelmed. Part of that was probably due to uncovering 7 more UFOs to add to the list. I'm glad I didn't attempt this 6 months ago because if 60 seems daunting 101 of them would have put me off quilting for sure!

The funny thing is... this week I feel energized when I look at my UFO Collection tab. Seeing pictures of them makes me WANT to work on them. Just the thought of moving them one step further up the list - from Need Borders to Ready to Quilt for example - is something to look forward to. I hadn't really looked at some of these projects in years and I'd like to highlight a few of them.

Stars Over Mitford from "More Nickel Quilts" by Pat Speth:
Civil War fabrics were never of much interest to me when I saw them in quilt shops. The Nickel Swap group I belonged to changed my mind when we had them on the list for a few months, because what looked dull and drab to me on the bolt came to life in 5" squares! I love these blocks and I'm glad I was able to find the beauty in these fabrics. I even kept the pretty waste triangles in the bin.

I also love that on those paper plates I have the color combinations already picked for the rest of the blocks so I can can grab a plate and start piecing (if only all of my UFOs were that organized!). Another thing to love is that my entire stash of CW fabrics is in that shoe box sized bin. When I'm ready to add the borders I'll buy what I need.

Scrappy Lattice from "Focus on Florals" by Terry Martin:
This quilt is going to be a stunner! Scrappy Lattice is the cover quilt and is a play on Watercolor Quilts. My 5" charm collection came in handy when I started this quilt. The darks for the cornerstones and the lights for the block centers are trimmed and ready. I sliced up a bunch of medium value charms and scraps for the pieced lattice sections. When finished this will be my largest quilt made by far - it measures 91" by 108". I need to count the lattice pieces and see where I am at.

Florals are the largest component of my stash, in contrast to CW Fabrics I have a shelving unit that is pretty much all florals. One of my favorite quilt shops to visit has a floral room... it's like being in the prettiest garden ever.

Can you see why I love nickels/5" charms and swaps so much? Such a jump start to a lot of pretty scrap quilts!

Last thoughts on my UFO Collection for today - while 60 UFOs is no small number when I look at the breakdown of where they are at in the quilting process my point of view shifts a bit.

Ready to Bind: 2
Ready to Quilt: 11
Need Borders: 6
Assembling Top: 6
Ready to Applique: 2

Adding up these numbers tells me that 27 of my 60 UFOs are on the homestretch to being finished. Only 9 of these are lap sized and the rest are smaller. That's VERY motivating to me!

And, when I look at the other 33 that are in various stages of piecing, many of them have a LOT of piecing already done. Lots of blocks and sub units are done and pinned in groups of 10. Some have notes telling me exactly where I am at (wonderful!) and I will be doing the same with the rest. I'll blog about that next time I talk UFOs.

I'm linking up to Linky Tuesday@Freemotion by the River and Wednesday UFO Report@Patchwork Times.


  1. The paper plate idea is SO clever. I've never seen anyone do that before. And those blocks are beautiful. Of course I love any block that has a star effect.

  2. Your UFOs are so beautiful! Keep up the energy. I want to see them when they're finished!

  3. enjoyed your post and looking forward to seeing your progress!

  4. I really enjoyed reading about all your UFOs! I should really, really get mine out and count them too but the last time I did that I didn't do well at finishing them. I'm better off grabbing one once in a while when I feel guilty for starting too many new ones. What would we do without our UFOs! Thanks for sharing.
    Freemotion by the River Linky Party Tuesday

  5. UFO's are overwhelming. I've been trying to find mine and can't even remember where I put some of them. Maybe I don't want to know how many there are - but you've encouraged me to keep searching, maybe I'll find that some are on the home stretch also.

  6. I love your blocks and I agree that I don't find the CW fabrics interesting until you start to combine them, they have a mod feel to them even though they are so old in pattern. I am a finisher and have only 6 tops to be quilted because UFO's make me nuts, good luck in your quest of finishing those in the homestretch.

  7. Taking a photo of the UFO is a great idea. I think I'm going to take pictures and post them on the wall in my sewing room - perhaps seeing them will give me the needed inspiration/kick-in-the-behind. Too often they get forgotten when put away.

  8. Love how organised you are with the paper plates, what a great idea. I look forward to seeing the quilt completed, its going to be beautiful.

  9. Oh my, that would certainly overwhelm me! I looked at my UFOs (all crafts) last year in June and was overwhelmed by 26! I tried to work my way through them but when that didn't work, I started my linky party! What you have shown us looks really pretty -- I will be watching your finishes with interest!

  10. Looks like you are in good shape... several of your projects are near the finish line!

  11. Stars over Mitford look wonderful! I have that book and didn't think twice about this one until I saw your blocks. Now I'm just gonna have to reconsider this one.

  12. Your Civil War blocks are just precious! I really miss Nickleswap, too.

  13. I like Pat Speth Too. I have a stack of those Charm packs and need to get out one of her patterns and use them, of course that is after I finish a few more of My UFO's. Thanks for explaining your process.

  14. Loved you post. You sound very organized. My ufo's are mostly bags or piles of stuff, with a hand written checklist on the wall. You may have inspired me to set it all up in a way to get more done.

  15. Oh Deb, love those Civil Wars in that block! Inspired!! Know what I'm doing with my 11yo Civil War collections. Those were the first fabrics I bought because a friend loved them and that's the quilt shop she took me to. Love that block! Well done on cataloging, defining and envisioning where you want to go and what you want to do! Awesome lady!!

  16. You have some great projects... Putting them all out there to see sure makes a difference

  17. Enjoyed your post on your UFO's you are not alone we all have a few too many UFO's.


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