Every so often questions and comments come from readers that I think others would like to hear my response to. That’s when I feature them on the blog. This is one of those days. Today’s questions touch on my UFOs.
In the comment section, Hedy said:
“I think a blog post about why you have 18 UFO would make interesting reading. This particular quilt is incredibly beautiful and I can see why you finished it. I’m looking forward to seeing what else is going to be finished soon. Your quilts always are just beautiful.”
I decided I would take a moment and address my 18 UFOs. It’s a bunch and I know it is.
I have that many for a lot of reasons and I’m hoping to share a few examples of the whys and hows. First off, I was working on this quilt…
This is really not my UFO. This is my daughter Kelli’s UFO. I’m just a nice mom and finish stuff for my kids.
Another that was on my original 2023 UFO list was this one…now finished. The name of this quilt is Tea Party from American Jane. You can read all about it HERE.
This one was my daughter Kayla’s UFO…but it too was on my UFO list.
I’m just a nice mom. When the kids get stuck on a project, I finish it for them. They don’t ask me to. I offer…thus their UFOs become my UFOs.
Another project of my UFO list originated with Kelli. It’s my oversized flying geese project. Kelli, my daughter, was going to throw away some hour glass blocks as she made them when she first started sewing the seams were less than ideal. In fact, they were bad. I ended up trimming them down so all the seams were okay and they were the same size. I came up with this block. You can see the hourglass block in the center of this block.
I ended up making this quilt top. To date, it’s not yet machine quilted. I think this needs some custom quilting and I’ve put that off. So frugality made me take this project on and fear of custom quilting has made the top stall out…and I don’t have a backing for it. Nothing in my stash works with it so once I find a sheet or break down and spend the money for a backing it might stay in the UFO pile of flimsies.
In reality…many UFOs that originated with other people have become my UFO projects. I certainly don’t have to accept them, but I’m happy to. I don’t have a huge budget and I’m perfectly content to sew other people’s cast-offs. I like the challenge of it. I think it builds my imagination and has me working “out of my box”. That is true with this project…It was a January 2023 finish.
A blog reader sent me two big boxes of unfinished or leftover pieces. These were hourglass blocks…and not a lot of them. I’m guessing 65 or so.
I worked and they became this…I made MANY more hourglass blocks from my own stash. I love this quilt…and love the border I came up with.
My red bow tie quilt was another bath of blocks the same blog reader sent. Most of the bow tie blocks were finished. I think I only made about 10 or so. I had so much fun making this quilt.
My True Blue quilt started out as leftovers from her as well.
Several of my UFO projects on my list are from that same blog reader in the same box. These red hourglass blocks are on my UFO list. They are from her. I’m excited to get a chance to dig into these. Soon I hope.
The boxes that blog reader sent were overflowing with great project starts. I just kept most of them and committed them to my own UFO list. I love all things with Civil War fabrics so I kept as many as I could. I can’t thank her enough. I’ve had so much fun over the last 18 months sewing from her castoffs.
I’ll happily take on more projects like this. It’s so fun for me. I don’t care a bit that they are on my UFO list.
A sweet blog reader sent me this…This is the start of Emerald City from Bonnie Hunter. I’ve wanted to make this quilt so when a blog reader sent the start of it, I was thrilled to get it. Thus her UFO became my UFO.
Another blog reader sent this project. This one is slated to go on and be donated as a community quilt. I accepted it with that commitment. I did that before I started working and now it’s hard to find time to sew. I would be willing to part with it if someone would finish it and then send it to Ray for his Veteran’s Day program. Just drop me a note at email@example.com if you’re interested. Otherwise, I’ll get to it eventually.
All the fabric is there as well as the pattern. Only about 10 or so star blocks are done.
Sometimes I have UFOs because I open my mouth. (and in walks an elephant-HA!!) I have so many Frolic leftovers. Remember Bonnie Hunter did the mystery quilt Frolic several years ago. The instructions had participants cutting out much more than they needed. Blog readers started sending me their leftovers and I accepted them. So far I think I’ve made four quilts from leftovers. I have at least two more quilts here left to make. They need to be designed first!
I have a few UFOs that are truly and honestly my own.
My Tribute to Judie quilt stalled out for three reasons…
1- I knew I was keeping it and it was for me. I prioritize myself last.
2-I started this over 10 years ago. My pieceing skills weren’t up for such small pieces. The stars in this finish at 3″.
3-There are lots of borders in this and it requires lots of decisions. I’m terrible at decisions.
A UFO currently on my list, Hawaiian Sunset, is a similar quilt. Decisions have to be made and construction isn’t easy so I put it off. It’s getting to the top of the MUst finish list though.
This is a more recent start…I’d love to finish this one. A deadline project got in the way and then another and then I forgot about it.
Several quilts were cut out years ago…or fabric was collected years ago.
This is my Sugar Bowl quilt…another Bonnie Hunter quilt. When I was doing in-home childcare, I had to be on the main floor of the house while the kids napped. I had to do something quiet and not wake them. Cutting out quilts was the perfect task. Thus I have this quilt cut out. At one point I have about five cut out. I’ve dwindled that list down.
…and this quilt, Floribunda.
Sometimes I just make bad decisions and need to pass something on…I don’t like this project. I keep thinking I’m going to add some borders and send it to Ray for a Veteran’s quilt. I had something in mind and it didn’t turn out as I envisioned but it’s still an okay project. I just don’t want it anymore and haven’t taken the time to pass it on. It’s a big piece star made from half-square triangles.
This one started because I wanted a leader and ender project. I didn’t have anything so decided to make nine patch blocks with the intention of someday designing a quilt for them. Someday hasn’t come yet.
Leaders and Enders have gotten me into other UFOs. These were pieces Ila sent me. They were already cut into triangles. I sewed the triangles together and pressed them, but alas, that’s as far as I’ve gotten with them…all because I like to have a leader and ender project and because I like to use up fabric that is sent to me when I can. I do have something else brewing with this but need a little time to dig around to get another piece of fabric that might go with it. We’ll see.
A blog reader sent me charm squares. They all coordinate. I thought I’d just make a big charm square quilt as a leader and ender project. It’s sitting by my machine waiting. Another UFO.
I also have a couple of long-term projects. This is Wild and Goosey. It’s paper piecing and a lot of it. It’s not a project I can sit down from start to finish and do. I have to be in the mood to paper piece.
Another long-term project is this English Paper Piecing project. I started this before I was cross-stitching. Now cross-stitching takes up any sitting time I have. I’d love to get back to it but that means giving up cross-stitching. UGH.
So I guess my UFO list boils down to:
1-Completing my kids’ UFOs
2-Completing others UFOs
4-Leaders and Enders
5-Previously cut-out projects from childcare days
7-Not prioritizing my own projects
8-Long term projects
9-The biggest one…TIME!
I am not bothered that I have so many UFOs. I love all but one of the projects I talked about. The others are great! I want to finish them. I love it when people send me projects or project leftovers they have abandoned, especially reproduction fabric projects. I have so much fun with them.
For me the list is just something I keep so I don’t forget about the projects that are waiting on me. I don’t feel burdened by them or ashamed of them. I happily own every single one. Hopefully, over the next six months, I can whittle the list down a little more..or even add to it. I’m game for anything!