Thursday, June 27, 2013

No More UFOs????

 Confessions from the Basement

It's time to come clean on my UFOs (UnFinished Objects).  Here are some bins from the storage part of my basement.   I apologize for this blurry picture.  To the right of the picture, behind the vintage sewing machine, are bins with scraps of mostly wool and denim for making rugs.  On the left of the picture is a dollhouse (the light blue rectangle) atop two drawers full of vintage fabric from the turn of the 20th century (1900 or so).  The stack of 4 bins in the foreground contains quilt tops I have made, ready to be quilted.
Many of these tops were made from old blocks and/or vintage fabrics.  I loved making them.  So I just kept right on doing it.
These are some of the tops in the first box.

Box 2 has lots of reproduction tops, some of my favorites.

Box 3 has my Ruby McKim embroidered quilts and lots of other 1930s blocks made into tops.

Box 4 has a few good quilts, and a few I was not satisfied with.  At least one of them has been in storage for over 20 years.

As you can see, I have a problem!  I have been afraid to even count how many tops are in these bins.  And even this does not address the stacks of blocks not yet made into tops.

This is why I started using the Pick Six system back in November.  It's been over six months now, so I decided to evaluate how well it was working.

As some of you may recall, I made a list of 6 quilts to work on, and I only allowed myself to work on those quilts.  They could not come off the list until they were COMPLETELY FINISHED, meaning quilted and bound.  And nothing could go on the list until something came off.  Quilts for charity were the exception--they did not go on the list, and I could work on as many as I wanted to.

So here are the results!  Since November, I have completed 8 quilts from the list--the wool quilt, Henry's quilt, Debbie's challenge, the Civil War potholder quilt, the Dutchman's Puzzle, the repro Tumbler, Arlington (another Civil War repro), and the small Farmall quilt.  So that's the plus side.  On the minus side, 3 of the quilts that were on the list in the beginning are STILL on the list--the Ocean Waves top, the Basket of Chips top, and my great grandmother's Solomon's Puzzle.  I've done a little more hand quilting on the Solomon's Puzzle, but I haven't touched the other two.

I don't want to be like one of those people who go on a fad diet, lose some weight, and start preaching to everyone they meet about it.  I think this system is actually working for me, but it probably wouldn't work for everyone.  Some people are a lot more organized than I am, and actually don't have an enormous backlog of quilt tops and blocks.  And some people would feel so restricted by this system that they wouldn't want to quilt at all.

For now, I'm going to stick with it.  What it means for me is NO MORE UFOs.  And by that I mean I'm not CREATING any more.  That doesn't mean I don't HAVE any more.  (For evidence, see above photos.)

Let's talk UFOs.  Do you have a lot?  Do they make you feel guilty?


  1. I have only been quilting for about a year and a half. so I only have two real ufo's, one is a block of the month - but the blocks were too hard for a beginner and I got discouraged, and the other I have only started cutting it and it will be picked back up after I finish my scrappy trip along quilt. With that said I have five that I am working on. Since I am moving this fall I am not allowing myself to start anything new and I am trying to finish up what I'm working on,

    1. You are MUCH more organized than I am! Weirdly enough, I keep up with my knitting projects but not the quilting ones! I did finish a charity quilt today, though, so I feel good about that. Are you moving far away?

  2. Your system is intriguing. I have a lot of works in progress that haven't even made it to the top stage. I don't feel guilty about them but maybe a little disappointed that they aren't quilts I can enjoy yet. I used to teach at a shop so I have a lot of tops that were class samples. Most I have no interest in finishing. That's why I stopped teaching too much work went into quilts I didn't want. I may get them machine quilted one day and donate them.


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