Tuesday, May 11, 2010

UFO's, WIP's and a Poll or Two

In 2010, I decided to get my UFO's and WIP's whittled down to a more manageable size. To that end, I joined the Yahoo Group, Quilting and Finishing in 2010 and I've posted a list of my UFO's and WIP's on my blog so that I am frequently reminded. As of now, my list consists of 9 projects. I've managed to get two off my list this year--a quilt I gave a friend for her birthday in April (I'd been working on it for nearly 2 years), and a baby quilt for my cousin and his wife who are expecting in July. The last one was a project I welcomed, but was added last and finished first. After all, when a baby is on the way, the baby quilt is a priority. So my list went from 11 to 9 in the first 4 months of the year, and I'm feeling pretty good about it.

Why 2010? It's not that I haven't considered taming the project list before. The turning point came when I got my Juki TL-98Q in December. I love to hand-quilt, but obviously the process is slow and I can only hand-quilt about 6 months out of the year when the temperature is cool enough. I tried machine quilting on my little Kenmore sewing machine. It's a great little machine, but pushing a quilt of any size through its standard harp is a major chore, and I could never get the tension right for FMQ because it's difficult to set the bobbin tension. The Juki's larger harp makes a world of difference, and I didn't need to make any tension adjustments on it for FMQ--although I easily could if I needed to.

That said, I have two true UFO's, the Sister's Choice quilt pictured above, and the Black, White and Red quilt. I'm embarrassed about the age of the Sister's Choice. The result of wonderful block exchange, it's nearly 15 years old. Why didn't I finish it? A major move, no longer having any of the off-white background fabric, and not being able to decide what I wanted to add as far as borders to make it big enough to go on my bed. Luckily, my quilter buddy, P, (see her blog, The Way I Sew It, here) has discussed the project with me, and I can see light at the end of the tunnel on this one, although I haven't yet started. The Black, White, and Red quilt is ready to sandwich and quilt, as soon as I'm done quilting Matt's quilt.

The other projects are WIPs, although 2 on the list, the Drunkard's Path and the Storm at Sea, are in the collecting fabric and cutting phase. That leaves 5 projects that are getting my attention, however, the Scrappy Star is being hand-quilted and I have had to put it away for the season. (How does that count? Still a WIP or is it again a UFO?)

I'm asking myself, what is the perfect number of projects? I know that 9 (or more) feels like too many. I do both hand and machine quilting projects. With the hand projects I'll probably need two of those; one for hand-quilting in the winter and one for hand-piecing in the summer. I could probably get by with just one machine quilt project though. And perhaps, I need one project waiting in the wings, one for which I'm collecting and cutting fabric. So, I'm thinking 4 would be ideal. I intend to whittle this list down enough to try it and find out. However, I admit that I do love starting projects more than finishing them, and so I'm having to flog myself into submission to keep from starting something new, despite that I've got too many projects now. Crazy huh?

So what do you think? What is the perfect number of projects to have on hand? Oh, and don't forget to answer the new polls about your UFOs and WIPs!


  1. I love that Sisters Choice quilt. If you need motivation, you could pretend you have to finish it for my birthday in August. :) If you're hand quilting it, though, that won't work.

    I am counting unfinished small quilting projects in my poll vote. Altogether, I have 6, including the zigzag I'm currently working on, and not counting the one that is waiting for long arm quilting by someone else. Too many for me. Oops, I just remembered another one, make that 7, darn it.

  2. My oldest UFO is 1 year, but there's no vote for that.

  3. Darn P, you're just too organized! I'm not sure if a project is only a year old it qualifies as a UFO! :-)

  4. I love that quilt top!!!


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