[ Quilting Tips ]

Tackle your UFOs

I have started many more quilts than I have finished.  I suspect this is a fact of life for most quilters. Let’s take a look at why a project might become a UFO, then figure out ways to tackle your UFOs.

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tackle your UFOs

Start a new proj… Squirrel!

Early in 2020, I decided to make the Spectacular Savanna quilt by Elizabeth Hartman. It is not a small project, with nine animals and lots of leaf blocks in the border, but I figured it would take me a few months at the most.

quilting is full of distractions

Then, I spent February working on a quilt that was published in McCall’s Quilting magazine. And, I had a prolific customer who wanted lots of custom longarm work. Can’t say no to being paid to quilt, that’s for sure! So, the Savanna project was pushed aside for a long while.

UFO quilt 1

My tip for how to tackle your UFOs if you see an increase in deadlines… schedule some personal sewing time on a regular basis. Even 15 minutes a day is enough to get alot done over the course of a week.

Some other ideas on finding time to quilt are in this blog post.

Some projects are just hard

Occasionally, the confidence we have for tackling a difficult quilt pattern dwindles when we are in the middle of sewing. I began a Double Wedding Ring quilt early in my quilting journey. Man, those curves were way over my head! So, into the closet it went.

patriotic DWR

What should I do to finish this UFO? The easiest thing for me is to make a sewing date with my quilting mentor – my mom lives about 20 minutes away and she can guide me to a beautiful finish. If you don’t have a quilting buddy or sewing companion, check with your local quilt store to find a teacher. Often, it only takes one short lesson to get you past the problem area.

No recipient

Did you watch me sew a Jelly Roll Race quilt a few weeks ago? Although the quilt top is done,  but it sits in my longarm UFO pile because I haven’t figured out who to give it to. I need to follow my own advice and start a Gift pile. It is much easier to give away a completely finished quilt than have to scramble to quilt and bind a project when you hear that a coworker is expecting a baby, or you get invited to a wedding on short notice.

Charity quilting

Honestly, since my family has enough quilts to rotate every week of the year, I plan my projects to meet charity requirements. Quilts of Valor prefers a patriotic color scheme and a size of 60×70. (Please check their website for complete recommendations.) Do you have a favorite charity where you can donate quilts?

More tips to tackle your UFOs

Bobbi Sue of the Geeky Bobbin has declared this month UFO-vember. Be sure to visit her blog for ways to resume, rework or rehome your unfinished quilt projects.

And tell me…how long is YOUR list of UFOs?

UFO list

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Longarm Quilter, Pattern Designer, Teacher


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