[ Advice and Life Lessons ][ Quilting Tips ]

The Quilting Circle of Life

Welcome to UFOvember! Let’s close out the year with a strong push to tackle that pile of UFos. In the quilting circle of life, an idea springs forth. The quilter plays with fabric to bring the vision to life. Then after, weeks, months, (or sometimes years!) adds the final stitch and presents a new quilt at show-n-tell.  Of course, life can get messy and the best-laid plans go awry. The quilter is left with a UFO, and the longer it sits, the less likelihood there is of a finish.


How can we get back to a healthy relationship with our UFOs? There are several options when it comes to un-finished quilt objects. You can resume by picking up where you left off, repurpose by changing your original plans, or rehome by finding someone to adopt your project and give it the love it deserves.

Other quilters in the UFOvember blog hop have shared their ideas on how to resume or repurpose a quilting UFO. I’d like to share two stories about finding a new home for your quilt project.

From Me to You

Years ago, I was in a quilt block swap at a local shop. Everyone was given a small piece of fabric that had to be included in a pumpkin-themed block. I happily created a patchwork pumpkin, enjoyed the camraderie of exchanging blocks, and came home with a pile of applique pumpkins.

Patchwork Pumpkin to Rehome

The swap happened in 2011. And the blocks just sat in my UFO pile, waiting their turn. If you have been in the True Blue Crew for a while, or perused my pattern shop, you might notice a distinct LACK of applique in my repertoire! I knew I would not be finishing this quilt. But, maybe it could become a charity quilt. Time passed as I dove into the techniques I really loved – designing modern quilts or using AnglePlay templates.

Applique Pumpkin Block

Finally, in the midst of a sewing room re-organization, I decided to get rid of the pumpkins! Free to a good home. Out of sight, out of mind. I felt such freedom when I shipped those blocks off to a friend. You can watch the video where I showcased the blocks and found someone willing to stitch them into a quilt.

From You to Me

Have you ever been the place where a rehomed project lands? This year I was able to adopt a Judy Neimeyer project from a friend. This lady is a true Judy superfan – her garage has large BINS full of kits. She has at least a dozen Judy Neimeyer patterns and already purchased the fabric for them! (These patterns can require up to 12 yards of fabric, just for the top!!)

Rehomed Judy Neimeyer Quilt

I was getting ready to facilitate a paper piecing open-sew day at my local shop and I really wanted to work on a Judy Niemeyer quilt. So, I called up my friend and asked if I could work on one of her kits. I has a great time “shopping her stash” and came home with the Dragon Star pattern and a lovely palette of batiks in desert hues.

The Quilting Circle of Life

Fabric exists to be made into something. I will certainly never be one of those rare unicorns who only has one quilt project in progress at a time. But, when I realize that I have no desire to work with a pattern any longer, or that a set of fat quarters is no longer to my taste, it is freeing to rehome that UFO.  And whether you are the giver or recipient of a UFO, we can all find joy in the making.

Do you have a quilt rehoming story? Let me know in the comments!

More tips to manage those UFOs

Check out all the other UFOvember bloggers, for inspiration on getting your UFOs DONE!


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Longarm Quilter, Pattern Designer, Teacher


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