Too Many Quilts in Progress

UFOs!  Quilters all have UFOs, right?  Why do we have them?  Why do we have so many?  What’s wrong with starting one project and finishing it; then starting another project and finishing it?  I’m not the one who can answer that question!  There are quilters out there who do that though . . finish one project before starting another one.  Those same quilters probably put away all the extra fabric, vacuum the carpet and label their quilt before starting a new project.  I’m definitely not one of those people!

In January, I was seriously knocking out some UFOs.  Not totally knocking them out because the handwork on the binding isn’t done, nor is the label.  But, I was making progress.

Yesterday I headed straight down to the sewing room.  But I jumped from one project to another.  I have to do better or I’ll never finish anything.

First Project:

Monday night while knitting, I thought about a simple quilt.  Tuesday night I started playing with it in EQ and it kinda evolved into something different from what I was thinking.  Wednesday morning I cut some pieces and made a few blocks.  I like it a lot and you’ll see it soon.

Second project:

This is going to be simialr to Bears in the Farmhouse.  I cut out all the pieces yesterday.

Third Project:

You know what this is . . the Star BOM.  I needed to make the 13th block to check my directions.  Got that done but you don’t see it yet! 🙂

Fourth Project:

The second yellow Bears in the Farmhouse.  Started the day as lots of pieces.

Ended the day with all the blocks done.

Fifth Project:

One block had been scorched with an old iron and I had to remake it.  Got that done.

And, I knitted a little bit!

Today I will do better.  I’m going to spend the entire day working on the first project .  . I think! 🙂


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    I think we would all feel better about UFO’s if we changed the acronym we used. The owner of my local shop encourages folks to come to the shop and work on their PhD’s…. Projects Half Done.

    Quilters might work harder on their PhD’s than on UFO’s… LOL

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    I like that term PhD’s……LOL For me, I like to go to various activities…sometimes I feel like hand-sewing…sometimes I want to sit at the machine…sometimes I feel like cutting fabric. SO……in order to jump from one to the other, I NEED UFO’s (or PhD’s)……because if I stuck with just one project from start to finish, I’d be so sad if I was in the mood for hand-stitching but that project was only up to the machine-stitching stage, ya know? That’s my story and I”m sticking to it! (I know a couple of those finish ONE project gals you have mentioned…and the DO clean every single thing up and label their completed projects before they start anything else…WEIRD, huh?? LOL)

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    Aaaaaahhhhh UFOs….I know all about them LOL. I have way too many UFOs and have come to the conclusion that I have Quilter’s ADD (self diagnosed of course). I love to start new projects and even love ctting ad sing stash fabrics, but I get distracted very easily and move onto something else. I’m now starting get enamored with some of those projects that I started oh so long ago so I am finishing (or at least progressing) on older projects by tricking myself into thinking they are new again….LOL

    Funny the little tricks we will play on ourselves here and there 🙂

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    I’ve never thought of any of my projects as UFOs. They’re all quilt projects. Some are just a little more done than others, but they’ll all get there eventually! It’s not a race and you obviously enjoy the process, so work on what you want to…

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    Judy, I tried to go down the ‘finish one project before starting another’ road – I found that I wasn’t working on anything because I just wasn’t in the mood to work on the current project – I’m more productive when I’m working on different projects – now I have to add knitting socks to the list!!!!

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    Marilyn says

    My frustration when jumping from project to project is I start to lose pieces or when I don’t put the pattern with all of the pieces and then when I come back to the project and can’t remember what I was supposed to be doing…argh. I have a New Year’s Eve Mystery that I’m half way done with and have lost the half square triangles that need to be squared up and the little ruler is somewhere else and who knows what I did with the pattern. I really want to work on it and finish it up, but it is so much easier to start something new because there are piles of stuff everywhere. Also, I get these new projects that have deadlines (like the baby show that is today) and that jumps things to the top of the list and pushes projects down the list a ways and I agree with others when they say they just aren’t in the mood for certain steps. Some days I like to quilt and will do 5 quilts in a day on the machine and other days I am binding queen and will sew on 10 bindings and then other days I’m just happy to be piecing. As long as the kids are fed and the laundry gets done, everybody is happy around here.

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    I have lots of UFOs, though I tend to drop back into my accounting language and just call them WIP (work in process).

    I start some projects to learn a technique – this usually happens at retreats. Once I see how it is done, I sometimes decide that a few blocks are enough. I am not good with mystery quilts. They do sound like fun, but once you start sewing, the fabrics you selected just don’t work.

    I left these projects on my UFO list for this year and I plan to really look at them again before the end of the year. Who knows, the project may end up being declared dead and the parts returned to the scrap boxes or stash. However, I will probably keep a block or two for a “what was I thinking” mini-quilt

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    I hate UFOs!! It is just such a pain to quilt them on my small sewing machine. I do send them out but that gets expensive so I only send one out every once in awhile.
    Love the quilts you posted pics of today!!

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    InglishRose says

    I don’t have UFO’s, I have Works In Progress, and they sometimes simmer on the back burner while I’m trying to decide what to do with them if they don’t turn out like I thought and need some tweeking, or they need a little aging and a distant eye before being completed… I do eventually get back to them, and when I do I’m excited again about the project. It’s all just a matter of perspective!

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    I’m never saying “UFO” again — it’s PhD! I love it. UFO does have a negative feel to it, and it’s just the way I work (and most of you too, I see!). I’m a great starter, but I am also a great finisher. Just not usually in the same year.

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    Some days I do jump from thing to thing and others I make myself work on something until completion. The thing I have the hardest time with is not starting new quilts when I get bored with the one I’m working on. I was doing really well keeping myself to 1-2 piecing projects but now I have 3 in pieces. One is only 1/2 way pieced (the oldest) one I’m working on a pieced border (don’t know yet if I’ll have enough scraps for it) and the other is blocks that waiting to be assembled. And yes, I do want to start another but I won’t until at least one of these is a completed top.

  12. 14


    The reason I jump from one project to another usually comes down to one of two reasons:
    1. Something is not going right with the project. The blocks are not going together right, I’m running out of fabric, I made some sort of mistake or something like that. SO I get frustrated and put it aside for another day (or another year).
    2. I’m just getting bored with the project. There are too many blocks to make and they are boring (sometimes this means a smaller project), I’ve tried a new technique and don’t like it or I am sick of looking at the same fabrics.

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    It sounds like your day was very productive. I didn’t even go into my sewing room because I knew I would start something new and nothing else would get done.

    As for my UFO’s they fall into a few catagories:
    1. A class I took with a friend that I really didn’t want to take
    2. A class that the teacher wasn’t that good
    3. A pattern that the directions are bad
    4. Friends that had a marriage last less time than my quilter’s waiting list
    5. And last stuff I just got tired of!

    Good luck on your UFO’s!

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    I do have a couple “UFO’s” – one is a stacked posie made out of flyings saucers (aliens) and the other is a wall hanging of a kid in a flying saucer. All my others are “PhD’s”!! (I am going to have to write that down so I don’t forget it!!)

    This is the reason I decided not to do the quilt-a-thon, I just have to much started and not enought getting to the diploma stage. BUT! I will be sewing with you – just on my own projects so I can sew with you next time doing yours!
    I am right now working on about 4 (or is it 5) BOM’s. I do one, then move onto the next one – so these are all right now being PhD’s – no one is close to being done. Problem with this is, I am running out of storeage room with all my PhD’s taking up space. I need to get them to the diploma stage too. Okay – Happy Sewing Everyone!!!

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    Katie says

    I don’t think you need to worry too much about how many unfinished projects you have going on. I could sew three days and still not get as much accomplished as you do!

    As for UFOs we don’t like any more, my mom has attended a quilt retreat where they have a “Wallie’s Sale.” The origin of the name escapes me, but basically you (and everyone else) bring whatever you don’t want any more, put it on a ginormous table and everyone else is welcome to go through it. It’s all free. Books, blocks, fabrics and other assorted quilt stuff can be found. I’ve seen nice rulers and brand new books turn up – it’s a nice way to “recycle” UFOs, as well as other items you no longer want and the people recieving them are so excited!

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    You may not work on just one project from start to finish, but you sure get a lot done in a day. All the blocks for a quilt, plus working on all those other projects?? I’m impressed. And I don’t know about you, but I get really bored just working on the same project day after day.

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    “4. Friends that had a marriage last less time than my quilter’s waiting list”

    LOL! Oh dear!

    Back to the topic, I have a Shelf of Shame where all the projects are stored. My sister does not like this term. She finds half-finished projects inspiring and wishes I would learn to do the same.

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    You’re singing to the choir when you talk about UFOs!! I’m making great headway on them, and it helped to dump a couple of them on you for charity quilts! I was looking at the crumb blocks last night; just need to see how many more I need to make it to the top stage. We’ll get to the end of them eventually – won’t we?

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    Lady you are just too much! Gorgeous projects!!!! I’m still working on my daily motivation to get things done.

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    Deb says

    I REALLY like that last one. I hope it becomes one of: an EQ pattern, a bought pattern, from a book, or one of a Block of the month from you. Please share in one form or another, of course, if you have time! I started cutting the fabric for the QuiltAlong, but that is about all. i need to get moving! I keep forgetting there is a deadline!
    I cant believe i love EVERYTHING you do!

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    Anne Marie says

    Oh My UFO, PHD’s I do like this term better. One day I decided to make my list thinking this is why I don’t get them done . It’s because I forget they are there . So I started one , and found it starting to get to long, and started leaving some out . Of course this is the denial that I could have soooo many. No way. Yes way .
    Well I’M trying to do one of the little ones , maybe that will start me going.
    I love reading your blog, and I agree you do get a lot done. Wish I could.

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    I get bored working on the same thing from start to finish, and get in a hurry to finish and mess it up. That is why I work on several things at a time. Right now, there are way to many of these UFOs hanging over my head. This year has been tough. I am so amazed at how much you get accomplished every day. I think at one time in my life I might have been that efficient, but not any more, lol.