A Pep Talk!

Who am I to be telling  you what to do?   Just hear me out, ok?

It’s September!  Eight months have passed since January 1.  What did you say on January 1?  Let me guess . . you said:

  • I’m going to finish UFO’s
  • I’m going to use my stash
  • I’m going to get Christmas gifts done early

Did you say that?  Am I psychic?  🙂

OK . . you said it.  Whether you admit it or not, and if you didn’t say it . . you thought it!  So, eight months have passed.  Have you:

  • Finished UFO’s
  • Used the stash
  • Gotten a jump on Christmas gifts?

Hey, these questions are for you . . not for me!  But, just to be fair, here are my answers:

  • I haven’t done a great job of finishing UFO’s.  I’ve finished a couple but should have finished a dozen!
  • I’ve used some stash but I’ve bought more fabric than I should have
  • I haven’t even thought about Christmas gifts.

So, what are we going to do about all this?  We have four months til the end of 2009.  That’s only two months short of half a year.  Here are some ways to finish off 2009 as a productive year.  These are some things I’m going to do.  Do them if you want.  Tell us what you’re going to do . . if you want; or don’t tell us.  The only person you have to answer to is yourself and if, on New Year’s Eve, 2009, you’re happy with what you’ve done and what you’ve accomplished, then I’m happy too!

  1. I’m not starting any new projects between now and the end of the year.
  2. I’m going to finish 8 projects between now and the end of the year.  That may be as simple as finishing the binding.  Things I’ve been putting off finishing because I don’t know what to do with them . . don’t matter any more  . . they’ve been sitting around too long and I’m going to finish them and be done.
  3. I’m shopping the stash first.  If I cannot find what I need in the stash, I will buy what I need to finish projects.  I’m not nearly to the point of wasting time deciding what to do.  If it isn’t in the stash and I need it . . I’m getting it but I’m not spending hours shopping online or browsing the quilt shops.
  4. Christmas gifts just aren’t going to be handmade this year.  I’m not going to beat myself up about it . . it’s just not happening.  Done! I can stop worrying about that.

If you’re kinda feeling stressed that you haven’t met your 2009 goals, my suggestion is to re-think your goals.  The first eight months are past.  We can’t go back to January 1, 2009 and re-do our goals but we can make the most of the remainder of the year.



  1. 1

    Jerzydeb says

    OK – I’m game. Christmas presents are already finished and wrapped – but before anyone jumps all over me – I only have to make for my parents and one favorite Aunt – my own family doesn’t celebrate Christmas 🙂 But, I will make my “before 2010 hits list”

    1. Put the binding on 2 king-size quilts and get them finished and stored for later gifts.

    2. Complete and gift 2 baby quilts.

    3. Dig out fall table topper top and have it sandwiched, quilted and bound and actually on the table this year.

    4. Finish Spring wallhanging so come February – it’s done and ready to go up.

    It doesn’t sound like much – but with homeschooling 3 kids, and having another very active 6yo underfoot, as well as running our own business, and trying to complete my own college education – it doesn’t leave much time for quilting – but I did commit to doing at least an hour each weekend.

    Oh, and I still have to lose most of the 50 lbs I commited to lose in the beginning on 2009 … maybe I should put that on the list ???

    • 1.1


      I don’t think it’s really a matter of how much or how little we get done but more so that we set realistic goals for ourselves and do our best to meet them. Sounds like you have a LOT on your plate and not to mention having your 2009 gifts already done. Good for you!

  2. 2


    I can finish a couple of UFO’s. (My problem with some of them is….I can’t quilt them myself as I”m not good at that and can’t afford to have them done right now by anyone else.) I have been trying to shop my stash and have done VERY good with that this year. (Unfortunately, I don’t keep tabs on exact amounts, but I have used way more than I bought this year….so that’s good and I’ll keep up that way.) As for Christmas gifts, I MAY get one “snowball” throw done and give it as a gift and I hope to get a gift made for the granddaughter’s kindergarten teacher but I think that will be it for handmade gifts. OH…please…let’s not talk about the weight-loss issue!!! LOL

    • 2.1


      If “finished” for you is having the top done and sticking the quilt in a stack to be quilted when you can either do it yourself or get it done by someone else, then that’s a great accomplishment! I’m with you on that weight loss thing!

  3. 3


    I just went in to look at my UFO list made Jan 1. I’ve completed 10 out of 30! That is a record for me. I have started and completed several quilts. I’ve got new tops made this year that I hope will not become UFOs. I have said several times I will not start anything new and within 2 days, I am shopping my stash and cutting fabric. My stash is shopped down enough that that if I need any amount of yardage, I have to go shopping. So it’s scrap quilts for me right now.
    I refuse to talk about Christmas!!! Not really, our family is simplifying this year but Gramma still has to make goodies for the kids and this year the moms want towels for them again. I have a few of those in my stash already. 🙂
    Right now I just need to get the garden and canning finished then I’ll think about the rest.

    • 3.1


      WOW! You’ve finished one third of your UFO’s! If you keep up at that rate, in two years, you’ll have no UFO’s! Good for you! And, great that you’ve used so much of your stash. One day I’m going to be right there in that same boat . . I hope!

  4. 4


    I haven’t done too well on the UFOs – actually I’ve added a couple! I’ve lost 5 of the 40 lbs I need to lose so that hasn’t gone too well either. As for Christmas – I have one quilt sandwiched that I’m giving to my daughter – still need to quilt it. I have a top done for a grandson – need to sandwich & quilt. In addition I’d like to make a quilt for my son, lap quilts for 2 of the grandgirls, pj bottoms for the grandkids and tote bags for the grandgirls. AM I NUTS!!!

    • 4.1


      You’re not nuts! I know you can get all those things done. Congrats on losing the 5 pounds! At least you didn’t gain . . like some people . . the one sitting in front of my computer right now! 🙁

      There’s always next year to get those UFO’s done!

  5. 5


    Judy, you are so great with your pep talk.
    UFO’s? I have decided not to worry about them I know they are waiting for me when I need something to do – some of them have been around so long it is like starting something new!

    Christmas gifts? I am thinking about them

    Stash? I love my stash so I don’t have issues with using it up.

    Do I have goals? Number one is get the quilts ready for the quilt show, the entries are due in January and I have vowed mine must all be close to the handwork stage by then (the show is in April)

  6. 6


    I started the year planning to make Christmas quilts for my brother, sister, three children and my parents. I had great plans to also include my niece, nephew and great niece in the great Christmas quilt gifting. I have 2 tops finished ready for quilting and 2 others started. I have decided on patterns and fabric for 2 more. The niece and nephew ones are starting to look like wishful thinking. I promised my husband that if they weren’t finished by Thanksgiving I would just give it up and wait until next year. I spend too many Decembers stressed and unable to enjoy the season. I do have a weeks vacation planned for week after next to just spend sewing. I wonder if I can get them all to the finished top stage (is that setting myself up for failure).

    The weight loss hasn’t gone well. I went to the doctor last week and he was pleased to see I hadn’t gained any during the last year. I am trying to be pleased along with him.

  7. 7


    In June I started listing my goals for the month on my blog. Didn’t do so good in June, forgot to list them in July, but in August , by golly I got all but one done. I’ve done the same for September. Nearly everything on my list this month is deadline driven — but the deadlines are truly realistic.

  8. 8


    -Did I finish more UFOs? In a way. Frankly, I’ve been having a lot of problems with my free-motion tension since… March. I ignored it for a while because it wasn’t affecting my piecing. I was also packing and starting to prepare for the move in May. Settle in June, vacation July, school started and got sick in August. So I haven’t been able to finish a quilt yet, but I DID get several old UFOs into tops, including my oldest one. I also paired half a dozen quilts with some batting. I just need my free-motioning again!!!!!!! ARGH. Oh yeah… the closest Bernina shop (90 miles!) hasn’t been answering their phone. 🙁 Something about it being an out of service number…

    -Did I use my stash? Absolutely!!! I don’t think I’ve bought more than a dozen yards this year so far. And lucky me, all the fabric was for backgrounds, and one for borders. I’m doing very good about using my stash. 🙂

    -Did I get my Christmas gifts done? It’s not October yet! 😉 Really, I wait until December most years. I’ve been planning to start in October this year. Definitely an improvement for me. Hoping to make some custom calendars (through Costco) and some homemade soap. No quilts!!! I can’t finish them right now. 🙁

  9. 9


    I just checked the goals that I set back in January and I am doing ok. Well, the goals were kinda easy for the first year. I’ve organized the stash and sewing room. I reviewed the UFO situation and selected 15 projects and there are five on that list that have been worked on. I am sewing more, thanks to an organized workspace and because of reporting on Sunday and Monday. I am working on my other stashes around the house. I may not make my goal of busting 50 yards, but I am more restrained in my buying and I just might make it in 4 months!

    I am organizing for a weekend retreat. While I am taking a class to improve skills, I will also have some open sewing time. Only UFOs are going – no other new projects.!


  10. 10

    Denise says

    Let’s see – I have finished a lot of UFOs – that’s mostly what I’ve been working on this year so think I only started one or two actual “new” projects – one that’s completed and one to top stage (from stash fabrics) for whenl I get the time and inclination to quilt it. So not bad.
    I have purchased fabric but then, who am I kidding, I will always purchase fabric and don’t expect that to stop, however I have also shopped the stash more to finish off projects so haven’t purchased as much on impulse as I would have in the past.
    Holiday gifts – I have two pairs of stocks knit that will be gifts (and more in progress) and a stack of orphan quilt blocks that are made into potholders (more in progress there). The potholders are a favorite christmas gift, requested often by the women in the family, so that’s easy to accomplish with very little time expended. I’ve still got a lot to do but I do the most sewing when the weather turns cold (which isn’t far off since it was 36 last night) so will have many power sewing weekends before the holidays. 🙂

  11. 11

    Patty says

    Goal for 2009 was to get all of my stash pre-washed, folded and sorted by color into the great shelving units my DH bought for me. (they fill the long walls on each side of the room). Was pretty proud of myself for filling up those shelves (wow, who knew I had that much stash), thought I was done when DD found a huge box of fabric in a closet in another room. Sigh. Will it ever end? Where the heck am I going to put it? I find myself looking at fabric in a whole new way and definitely need to use more of what I have before anymore comes in. Goal for 2010-actually use some of my stash!

    • 11.1


      Concerning where to put the additional fabric – can you pull some off the shelves to put into “speciality” boxes that can be stored elsewhere? Examples = very large pieces for backing, holiday prints, plaids, flannels, etc. Label the boxes, take digital pics so you can “remember”.

  12. 12


    I’ve doen better than I thought with my goals this year. I set a goal for 5 finishes a month and was averaging about 10 so i upped my total goal. Now, i’m wondering if i have enough projects to actually finish 120 things this year. As for shopping my stash? There are gaps in the shelves were there were’nt gaps last year at this time, so i must be gaining on it. I was doing really good keeping track until summer hit and I lost the routine of writing it down. I know i had used something like 200 yds more than i bought as of first of june! Christmas…Yeah…uuummm….I got 2 sets of stockings done for 2 of my siblings, and i got mom’s new tree skirt done. But thats about it. I should get 2 more sets of stockings done at least. And I’ve kinda promised my kids new quilts for thier beds but they might not happen this year.

  13. 13


    I don’t know about the 8 projects, but your list is pretty much like mine. I have been shopping first in my stash and have come up with some pretty nice quilts. The two projects I am starting to finish right now are inherited, from bloggers, UFOs that I am using as Christmas gifts. And, I do buy what I do not have for the project I am working on. The only new project I am going to start for sure is a charity quilt: I try to do one every other month (don’t work nearly as fast or as well as you) and they are for children so I don’t have anything in my collection that goes. Last Jan. I jointed the WISP/UFO Completion challenge and it has kept me on track most of the year.

  14. 14


    Hello Judy,
    yes, I finished UFO’s. But okay I also produced some. LOL
    Oh yes, I used my stash, but I also bought some fabrics. But that is not my fault!!!! That is because my local quiltshop has always so beautiful new fabrics. :-)))
    And I am so proud, I made 2 little gifts for christmas. But I have to make more.

  15. 15


    Boy, Judy, you’re singing my song on UFO busting. I started having UFO Thursdays (which weren’t too productive in August because I was out of town so much), but it’s making me report on my UFO progress every Thursday, and that’s been helpful. Accountability.

    I’ve also chosen two UFOs to concentrate on at a time, and I’ve been pinning up the block components that I need to get sewn together that week (kind of like homework). Focus.

    I’m not putting these two projects away in the closet ever again. That’s where they go to die. Visibility.

    I created a UFO tab on my blog with my first ten UFOs I want to complete. One is done, two are getting closer. I figure even really slow progress is progress. My total number of UFOs was horrifying to me; I can deal with ten at a time. I can record my successes.

  16. 16


    I only have one UFO right now, but I hope to finish it by the end of the year.

    I have my Christmas presents mostly made (hey, pillowcases are fast! and fit everybody).

    I still need to use 40 yards of fabric and buy nothing to meet my stash goal for the year. I’m going to try to bust, bust, bust – there are some bigger non-quilty projects waiting that require lots of fabric, so I can do it!

  17. 17


    Take a little bit of your stash and send it to women in Iraq who have no sewing supplies! How to do that? “Iraqi Bundles of Love”

    Visit Maj. Art La Flamme’s blog http://ibol.wordpress.com for information on what to send and how to pack it [check sidebar]. Sending a Flat Rate box from the Post Office which measures 12″x12″x5″ costs $11.95. Art thinks this is the best price, but send whatever box you want to! This box will not deplete your stash by much!

    The address is:
    Maj. Art La Flamme
    211th RSG
    IBOL – Population donation
    APO AE 09393

    This is a great people to people project. Art needs these IN THE MAIL by this Saturday so he can receive them and distribute them before he leaves the country.

  18. 18

    Penny says

    It doesn’t sound as bad if you say nearly half a year instead of only 4 months.
    I have two quilt tops waiting to be sandwiched and quilted and 1 WIP, so not too bad. I’ve made and finished a lot of projects this summer due to being housebound for a large chunk of it following foot surgery. (I’ve also “wasted” a lot of time in blogland.)
    I’ve got a list as long as your arm of things I want to make, some of which will become Christmas gifts but I’m not saying which Christmas! I was just sorting out the Christmas fabrics yesterday and have enough for several smallish projects without buying anything but backing.

  19. 19

    pdudgeon says

    Finished UFO’s: got 2 done

    Used the stash: yep i did whenever i could

    Gotten a jump on Christmas gifts?: Yep!
    3 queen sized quilts planned, one of those i only have two more borders to put on today and then it goes to the quilters. I’ve got all the fabric and patterns for the other two. Fortunately they can be made in chunks and sandwiched together, so they won’t take long to do. I’ve saved all of November to snuggle down and do the binding, so i’m doing good on that score.

    I might even have time to make myself a Christmas quilt this year!

    I worked like a mad woman last year and burn out for a while, so i decided to cut back on the production this year.
    i’ve done that, and now i quilt when i want to and not to meet a deadline or a goal. i’m a much happier quilter.

  20. 20


    Christmas Gifts, Don’t want to think about those! I finished 4 quilts just this past week, see my BLOG pics! 8 projects would be easy in the time left in the year, if I didn’t have too many places to be. I have used my stash this year. I also have bought WAYYYYY more fabric to use for backings and still need to do some quilting on those last 2 overdue quilts for my grandchildren. I have 14 Grandkids and I’ve almost finished making each one a birthday quilt this year. Only 3 of those left to start. And I have the fabrics in my STASH. I have finished more quilts than I did last year. That is a good feeling! Thanks for the PEP talk!

  21. 21


    My Goals this year were re-arranged Feb 1st. My Husband left to work a year in Iraq and I became a single mom. The kicker was 10 day later I found out I was pregnant. Their went the weight loss goal!

    I joined your Stash Buster report in January, it has helped me GREATLY. I have busted 75 yards more than I have purchase and I have purchase less this year, I am learning to shop the stash first.

    I have finished a few UFO’s and have only added 1 to the pile. I am hoping to get 2 more done this year.

    I have started my Christmas gifts. I have 1 more gift to make for my mini quilt quilt group and they are done. My mom’s gift was started a week ago. I have joined a Secret Santa Swap and I am trying to figure out what to make her. Anything else will be extra!

    Thanks for your help!

  22. 22

    Sandy says

    Well I am finishing UFO’s. I have 10 quilts sent to the quilter.
    Two are very old , 4 our very new Christmas Quilts that will be
    given this Christmas. The last 4 our from the stash. I did have to buy some fabric for backs. I will get the tops back the end of October . I have 2 more ready to give to Ginnie when I pick up the others.

    I will be making 5 blue jean throws for gifts. The first two I am ready to sew the backings on. The other 3 I sent out request for suggestions on the backs waiting for answers back on them.

    I am for sure the month of November will be sewing on binding after binding after binding.

    Working very hard at using my stash and organizing the fabric I have left to fit in one room. 8 x 10 instead of the second bedroom, a box or 10 in the garage and basement that I now have. No idea where all this fabric came from.

    Since I retired the past December I have used more fabric this year then I ever have. But it is still not enough used.

  23. 23

    Carol says

    OK — I don’t quilt these days but I do stitch and I have been trying to meet the goals you describe:

    * Finished UFO’s — I have finished 5 UFOs so far this year. #6 is in progress and has about two weeks to go on it.

    * Used the stash — I have been stitching from stash

    * Gotten a jump on Christmas gifts? — I have on Christmas gift stitched

    OK, I did “cheat” and start (and finish) 3 non-UFOs – one is the previously mentioned Christmas gift, one was a wedding sampler (gift) and one was intended to be a Christmas gift but the recipient went and changed his travel plans which negated the reason for the gift so…

    And I had to order fabric to do two of those new starts (I didn’t have cuts of the right size).

    So for the rest of the year? As I said, I have one of those UFO’s in progress and two more in my work bag to work on so that will be goal #1 for the next four months.

    Goal #2 will be to continue to stitch from stash as much as possible (although I do not promise that I won’t have to order more fabric — I have two more charts in mind that I KNOW will need fabric cuts I simply don’t have).

    and Goal #3 is I will join the local quilting guild and get working on my old quilting UFOs and stash!

  24. 24

    Sandy says

    I finished 3 UFO’s so far this year with several more to go. I haven’t used as much stash as I would like to but I have stayed out of the fabric shops . (DH even feels my head to see if I am ill when he asks if I need to stop at them as we pass by, lol).

    I have made a serious dent in my yarn stash. I made and donated 25 lap robes for the VA hospital ( 42″x54″ is size they request) last fall. I have 14 made so far for this year. I think I am down to 200 skeins of yarn, not including scraps.

    I have a few tops that are completed but need to be quilted. I only do SID and not that great at that, lol. So the tops are in a pile and for now, I consider it done.

  25. 25

    Sharon says

    My goal is to finsih my Star BOM and my 2 Bonnie Hunter mystery quilts. My star has one border on and I had to stop to do some other things. I do not want to start anything new until I get those 3 ready to go to the quilter. My 2 mystery quilts just nee borders also. I find I keep buying more and more plastic boxes from Walmart to put my projects in and I am going to concentrate on emptying up the ones I have. Like you said, no new stuff until I get these other things done.

  26. 26


    I finished 4 UFO’s so far this year. I have 3 more I want to finished before January.

    I have used only stash in my projects so far I haven’t bought any new fabric.

    My Christmas presents are started and some are already finished but I have a small list to make for.

    I feel i’m doing really good this year so far.
    Cleary K.

  27. 27


    I have made a few but not quite enough because I did make all the stuff for my daughters college apartment so that has to count for something.
    I do wish I had time to whip up some more but I have a few things to finish,

  28. 28


    i found a way to chart a quilt of the tattoo on my foot. that has been the hugest goal accomplished this year. the charting is done, now i am figuring out fabric amounts and cuts, then i will start it….my goal is to FINISH 2 of these for christmas gifts….

    i also got to do a sew-a-long on my blog of a quilt that i wanted done. hostessing it forced me to finish it in a timely manner. it was TONS of stash and one piece of yardage.

    one of my goals was to try to become less emotionally attached to fabric. i think i did a good job at that this year. i only bought 2 pieces that i am really emotionally attached to, but found exactly what i wanted to do with one of them and got that quilt finished because i loved the fabric soooo much.

    i still buy fabric to add to the stash if it is a good deal and will play well with others in my stash. i have used WAY more fabric than i have bought.

    the saddest UFO i have from this year is not finishing judy’s sew-a-long–got stuck in the making of the small flying geese…..i got stuck there and did not even keep up in getting the directions and have been afraid to check if i can still get them–my fear is binding me–but that is what i REALLY want to finish this year besides my tattoo quilts. if i could concentrate on those 3 things and finish them, i would be a VERY happy woman. i know that i will do the tattoo ones because i am doing them as a SAL again on my blog and will be forced to stay ahead of the pack.

    i am not doing other hand done gifties, so i don’t have that guilt thank god….i have been pretty on track this year–my only regret is my new judy UFO

  29. 29


    This has been my best year for UFO relief! I have finished 16, only three left! And I finished everything I started this year so I hope to go into 2010 with ……maybe only one, or if I’m really good, NO UFO’s. I am about to begin on SITP & I hope it will not be a UFO. It would be simply amazing to start the year with a clean slate & then I could feel free to start a whole heap of new things next year,ROFL!
    I have smashed 114yds. of stash so far & added 37yds…….but I can’t see where it came from, the shelves seem just as full.

  30. 30


    I’ve finished 16 projects this year, although not very many of them were UFO’s. I have quilt camp next week and I’m about to bust some stash!

  31. 31


    I’ve decided NO more goals for the year. I had a great summer without goals and still got enough accomplished that I didn’t feel completely useless so I’m going to just get up each day and work on what I want.

    As far as Christmas goes, no gifts – just a donation to Habitat for Humanity. It makes the Christmas season much nicer.

  32. 32

    Tamara says

    * Finished UFO’s – have four on the eight done. Two 100% done and two other tops are done. I am of the school when the top is completed it is no longer a ufo.

    * Used the stash – I have been trying to use my stash. As like all good quilters, have one and would like to reduce it. I am not going to buy any until I finish up the ufo’s and a few new ones that are cut and waiting to be sewn.

    * Gotten a jump on Christmas gifts? I usually don’t make Christmas gifts but I need to make some birthday gifts. One is four month late and the other is for next month.

  33. 34

    Eileen C says

    I posted an update for my 2009 goals just now .. thanks for the gentle reminder … progress has been made but not as great as I had hoped for but still a couple months to go until the end of the year. Hope to continue to work on them and see some more progress …