Just about any conversation among a group of quilters will contain the acronym UFO. UFO stands for UnFinished Objects, or more specifically a quilt project that has been started but not finished.
UFOs are the source of anguish for a quilter, so we try to call them something else, such as Unique Fabric Opportunities, which sounds much better.
We always laugh at a new quilter who says “I’m only going to work on one project at a time, and when I finish it then I’ll start a new one.” An experienced quilter will nod her head and smile and say “Good luck with that.”
So here we are in January. The month of resolutions. The month quilters take an oath to finish up their UFOs. And as with all resolutions, we start off with a bang and by March we’ve found a new quilt, wall hanging, quilted garment, table runner, etc. that we want to make and the UFOs are left in the dust.
It goes without saying that the more experienced quilter accumulates more UFOs. Sometimes an event like a wedding, graduation, or new baby that requires a quilt as a gift forces us from working on our UFOs to meet a new deadline.
Some quilters have more will power and will stick to their quest to finish all their UFOs. At the Crossroads to Texas Quilt Guild meeting this month, the program regarding UFOs discussed different ways to deal with them.
It was suggested that we only keep UFOs that we REALLY want to finish. If you’re not in love with that project from 1994, perhaps you can pass it on to someone who would finish it.
Other solutions could be to donate it to a charity, or if it’s really old and out of date just throw it away.
Throwing away anything quilt related does not sit well with quilters. After all, quilts were made from leftover fabric from clothing and feed sacks. Nothing was thrown away.
If some UFOs aren’t too far into the piecing stage, just put the remaining fabric in your stash, put the pattern on the shelf and do away with the project altogether.
Any orphan blocks from the project could be made into baby quilts or lap quilts for veterans.
I think it was two years ago, one of the people I befriended on Facebook was on a quest to finish her UFOs. On Jan. 1 she posted a picture of some mug rugs she finished that day and said “#1 and #2 UFOs finished.
As the days went by she would post pictures of her progress, numbering each UFO as she finished them. I think the last UFO she finished was numbered around #16.
I haven’t developed a list of my UFOs. I’m afraid to. The list would be too daunting. But I know in the very near future I need to quilt the wedding quilt top my mother started and I finished because the granddaughter who it was made for just might be engaged by this summer. I know I’ll get at least that UFO finished for sure.
As for the rest of them stored in closets, drawers and storage tubs ... I’ll do my best to finish as many as I can.
Nancy C. Judd is a Herald correspondent.