Organizing Quilting UFOs

Starting the Year Organizing  UFOs –

There is nothing like the beginning of a year for organizing quilting UFOs!  Quilters have UFOs.  In my case, I have a lot of them!  Many will still be with me in 2021.  Some won’t be.  Others may join them.  First I will identify them and their needs on a list.  Once I know their needs, I will know which room is best for them so I can keep track of where they are.  Properly contained and identified will guide me in my quest to conquer at least a few.

UFOs in the Sewing Room –

My focus on January 1, 2020 was to inventory all UFOs (unfinished objects for those unfamiliar with that term as it relates to quilting, actually any maker craft).  I listed each project started and not finished, noting where I am in the process before bagging each  to make them work ready.  Seasonal and holiday UFOs went into boxes clearly labeled.  When my list rolled over to the back of a college lined paper I called it a day.

I was feeling guilty about three projects on that UFO list.  It would take only minutes to complete them.  So, I went to work and finished the 2 pillowcases and sewed binding on a table runner.  Why had I designated them to the UFO pile in the first place?

UFOs Lurking in the Quilting Room –

I am blessed to have two rooms in the daylight basement delegated to my craft.  I now need to inventory the quilt sandwiches waiting for the final step of being a usable quilt.  Some will require custom quilting including thread painting.  A handful are candidates for edge to edge computerized quilting.  They all then will need binding before they can be used.  Smaller ones I like to attach binding completely by machine.  However, bed size quilt finishing I like doing by hand in the evening with my feet up and listening to whatever is on TV my husband is watching.

Kits – List Number Three –

Over the years, I have purchased some quilt kits.  Kits include all the fabric needed for the top and binding to be made in from the pattern included.  Generally, the backing and batting are separate purchases.  Infrequently, I purchase fabric with a definite pattern I have in mind, so I construct my own kits.  The fabric for top and binding, backing, and pattern are all placed together in a clear plastic work box or bag.  Clear storage is essential in keeping fabric dust free, plus it is pretty eye candy when stacked on open shelves.

I like to cut kit fabric when I have the time and desire, even though I may not have any intention of piecing it right away.  It is always nice to have pieces pre-cut so you can get right to the sewing part!

How I Use My Lists –

I’ve always been a list writer!  I love being able to line out something when I finish.  On sluggish days, I may put some of the most mundane, routine things on my “do today” list just so I know I will have at least something marked off at the end of the day.  It is an indicator I have not wasted my day.

The three lists from above will be posted on the side of a cabinet I see each time I enter or leave my sewing room.  When I finish something, I will date it and then highlight it so it really stands out.  I will also have a fourth list where I will write each new project started and hopefully the date I finish it will be in 2020!

Storing UFOs –

Ideally, each project would have their own clear plastic storage box that would stack with others on a high shelf in the sewing room.  Some are in zip lock bags; some are in containers, some are in baskets.  Such a mishmash, it is difficult to know what is what.  Plan is to put quilts waiting to be quilted in totes under the long arm with a list on each what is contained in the tote.  Dust and animal safe in the totes is a priority.

UFOs that haven’t reached the quilting stage and kits will be in the sewing room.  Some shifting of things on shelves in the sewing room should be sufficient room to fit everything in.  I have a plan.  Now I must execute it.

Organizing quilting UFOs gives me a sense of control.  Keeping them out front and very visible may encourage me to  eliminate more.  Documenting the estimated time to complete each will be helpful on days I don’t have much time in the sewing room.

Do you have UFO’s hiding in your sewing room?