Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Losing Ground on UFO's

Hi all!  I’m Barb and I am guest blogging today for Doris, while she is away on a cruise.  I can’t say that I’m not just a liiiittle jealous ;->. Doris and I ‘met’ last year while we were both Scrap Addicts for Quiltmaker Magazine. We’ve never met in person, but we keep in touch via email, Facebook and telephone. I’m fairly new to the blogoverse, and she has really helped me learn the ropes!  I’m not even sure if blogoverse is a word. If not, it should be Blog Universe = blogoverse, right?   Right or wrong,   I am using it to mean the online world of blogging! I started blogging about a year and a half ago, and I blog in fits and spurts over at

While I was thinking about what to write about for this post, I ran across my list of UFOs.  Last year, one of the local quilt shops ran a UFO Challenge.  In January, the owner announced the challenge and gave us to the end of the month to locate and list each unfinished project that we had in the house.  At the end of the month, we had to register the UFOs by turning in the list to them.  We then had the rest of the year to work on them.  Whenever a project was finished (meaning it had to be quilted and bound!) it had to be taken to the quilt store and shown to someone on staff, who would then check it off your list.  In addition, you had to pay them $1 for each completed project.  Yes, I said PAY THEM $1.  If you had a quilt that was intended as a donation, the cost was $5.  I know, you’re thinking that there wouldn’t be any incentive to finish your quilts if you had to pay to do it, right?  Well, at the end of the year, the money that you paid was matched by the owner in the form of store credit. So you ended up with twice as much money to spend at the store, which meant that whatever you bought with the store credit would be 50% off!  
In preparation for the challenge, I rooted through the bins and bags and containers and boxes in my storage area and found a bunch of projects in various stages of completeness. I found some tops from Mystery Quilts that I participated in, but never quilted.  I found two sets of blocks from a block swap that I participated in when I first started quilting about 10 years ago. I found several (OK, seven :<) years worth of the First Friday/First Saturday Quilt blocks from the local quilt store. First Friday/First Saturday is a meeting that is offered by the quilt store every year from October thru June. At the first meeting, you pay $5 and get the pattern and fabrics to make a quilt block. If you make the block and bring it back to the meeting the following month, the materials are free. If you don’t make it, or forget to bring it, or it gets eaten by your dog, or whatever other excuse that you can imagine, the materials for the next block cost another $5.  There are usually 3 bonus blocks included each year. So you can conceivably make 9 – 12 quilt blocks, and get a pattern that uses the blocks for $5. The class has been running for about 12 years, and I’ve attended about 10 of those years.  So it appears that I actually made a quilt from 3 of the sets.  Or maybe I have yet to unearth them ;->

So after all the spelunking, it turned out that I had 40 projects on my list.  And I’m still not sure that I found them all!  So, I’m thinking that, if I got them all done, I would have $80 in store credit. Talk about incentive! I knew that at least one of them was going to be a donation quilt, and several more had that possibility.  So I could potentially have over $100 in store credit.  I was, of course, already thinking about how to spend it!  In reality, I knew that I would never get them all done, but it sure was fun to dream!

The good news is that I did turn some of my UFOs into completed projects. Yay!  The bad news is that I didn’t get nearly as many done as I was hoping to.  
Two things prevented me from getting more done than I did:
1.) I made three Scrap Addict projects. The original assignment was two, but being a glutton for punishment (or for cool quilting projects ^.^), I volunteered to make a third.  Since the Scrap Addict projects didn’t start until February, I couldn’t count them for the UFO Challenge. But each quilt was featured in a post on Quilty Pleasures (Quiltmaker Magazine’s blog) and I got to send them to Quiltmaker’s headquarters to be used in filming an online course called “Scrap Quilts with Bonnie Hunter”.  That was much better than getting store credit. Like the commercial says - “Priceless”!!
2.) I was working on a donation quilt for a raffle at the Knights of Columbus International Convention in Philadelphia last August.  I had started it the previous August, but the requirements kept changing, so I was constantly making changes to the design.  It took me to the end of July, 2015 to get it done.  In the end, it was all worth it, since the quilt raffle raised over $500 for charity!

So, even though I ended up finishing 9 projects last year, only 6 of them counted for the Challenge. (Sad Face)  But on the bright side, I had $20 in store credit!  I decided to use it to buy some light batiks for a new project.  You would think that with at least 34 UFOs left on my list, I would continue on to finish them, right? Well, I will – eventually.  

But there are so many fun online projects going on right now that I just couldn’t resist!  I’m doing the 365 Block Challenge, The Splendid Sampler, the Aurifil Designer of the Month and the 2016-17 First Friday/First Saturday Quilt at the local quilt store.  I added links to the first three to my blog, so if you are interested in finding out more about them, feel free to stop by and check them out.  In addition, there has been a mini-population explosion in my family. Three of my nieces and nephews have either started or added to their families in the last few months.  So I have three new baby quilts in the works.  Which takes my UFO list up to 41… 

Uh, oh - I seem to be losing ground!


  1. I so wish there was an actual quilt/fabric shop in my area. I love the idea of UFO challenge... though I am somewhat OCD when it comes to finishing a project that I really struggle having more than one project going at a time. But, then again, if there were a shop close by, I would be more likely to have UFO's. Thanks for sharing :)

  2. What a fun read. And I think I would find at least 40 UFOS in my cupboards. I know I have one from 1980.


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