Tuesday, 23 November 2010

UFOs - a problem or a step to more efficient production?

UFOs are in the quilting world "unfinished objects" - most of us have a fair number of them. In the stash busters group there has been a poll of why a project becomes an unfinished object.... Which has got me thinking about my UFOs.

Stashbusters runs a challenge to get the UFOs finished.. ... which has been great for me to finish off those really old projects that got left behind some years ago. I now only have 3 of them left. Certainly during my involvement in this challenge my production has really increase (also helped by having a mid arm machine and quilting frame).

Quilts completed in a year.
2007 prior to stashbusters 7 quilts
2008 stashbusters challenge and quilting frame 21 quilts
2009 more confident 39 quilts
2010 (to date) 41 quilts

However the number of UFOs that will have to begin the 2011 challenge will actually be greater than in previous years not less.............. I currently have 24 finished tops, 42 projects that have been begun.

Why so many?

Finished Tops

5 come from blocks discarded by the local red cross when their building had to be sold - they will go to the local nusrsing home once quilted.

4 are "in the queue" to be quilted ASAP

1 is waiting for the backing to be signed by the wedding guests before quilting

Most of the remainder are there so that if i am asked to a quilt in a hurry I dont have to start from scratch.

Other  Projects

The other projects range from the just begun: some of the squares, strips etc cut; to the nearly finished top that just needs that final boarder added. The cutting often begins with a special piece of fabric - and as i find bits that will go with it I prepare them until I have enough to actually start using the project for the "starter and ender pieces" (thanks Bomnnie Hunter) which I make to control my loose thread problems.

Having several projects on the go means that if I do hit a design glitch I can work on another until I work out the solution.

So what do I conclude? for me UFOs mean I am productive and dont get stuck not knowing what to do.


  1. Excellent. Why didn't I say that on stashbusters? that's me too.

  2. I have never felt the need to be finished. My UFO's are just works in progress. I love picking up something days,months, years later and re-interperting the direction I want it to go.
    I too, pick up orphan projects to add to my TO DO someday list.
    For me I just don't write my 'waiting pile' down.
    I started a top eariler this year, just dug it back out last week and worked on it for a bit, and now I have another distraction that is getting more attention.
    I am just now quilting my Celtic Knot from last year. btw- I have 4 friends that want to do this as a group project after the holidays. Looks like I am going to have two beautiful quilts from your pattern!!- be good cheryl

  3. I've finished UFO's this year--I didn't think I would have any new ones to start off the year, but may have one--a quilt I just started! But......I have not only finished UFO's this year I've finished (up to now) everything else that I've started, so in that way, I've become more efficient and learning to enjoy the 'finishing' process. Not worried about those which are not finished; they await their turn and I'm looking forward to a good, quilty year next year!Brenda

  4. Congratulations Brenda on your achievement - you are obviously one of those people who are more creative when focused. I unfortunately do get stuck in projects and then do nothing if i have only one on the go .... so I need to have more to get things done.

  5. Thanks so much for your speedy quilt blocks! I look forward to receiving them.

  6. I'm with you in that I like having projects at different stages. I have sets of blocks (many from exchanges) that I can assemble if that's what I want to do, I have flimsies ready if I want to quilt. The only ones that bug me are if I stopped in the middle of making the blocks, it's so hard to figure out what I was doing at the time.


I really enjoy the encouragement I get from feedback. As I am part of the process pledge I love to know if I am giving useful information... looking forward to hearing from you