Saturday, December 26, 2009

UFO History and Recent Finishes

I was a serious cross stitcher before I became a quilter and had accumulated quite a list of stitched, but unfinished projects at the time I began quilting in 2001. My biggest barrier to finishing the pieces (i.e. framing, ornaments, etc.) was my fear that I would somehow ruin the piece in the finishing process. When I took up quilting, I had the same problem with my machine quilting skills. If I couldn't do it perfectly, I was paralyzed to do anything and so my quilt tops sat in a drawer unfinished. It didn't help that the first two machines that I used for my quilting for both less than adequate for machine quilting nor did I have any easy way to baste the quilts. Consequently, I dreaded the basting process, which is obviously a crucial step to getting to the actual quilting. I sent the large quilts to a longarmer, so fortunately those got finished, but the pile of small quilts continued to grow.

Soooo, in late 2005 I went through every nook and cranny and made a detailed list of every project that needed finishing. The grand total of UFO's was 107. About a handful merely involved putting a label on a finished quilt (a task I detest), but I put them on the list anyway in order to get the task done.

Every year after that I have updated my UFO list on or about January 1st and have slowly been bringing the overall total down and finishing old projects. My machine quilting skills began to improve dramatically when I purchased my Janome MC 6600 in July 2006, but I still had the basting problem to contend with. Enter Craigslist in January 2009 and my find of an old banquet table for $25. I jumped on that deal and now basting is a breeze. This year I basted and quilted a king size quilt on it with no problems. Granted, the quilting was all done with the walking foot, but that is good progress for me and I will continue to practice my free motion quilting skills on my small quilts.

I still have quite a number of UFO's on the list that have carried from the original list and I am committed to either finishing them entirely or making significant progress on them before the end of 2009.

So far in December I've completed the following:

  • Framed Marty's Sampler XS - stitched in 2004
  • Framed Scared Crow XS - stitched in 2006


  • Completed stitching and Mr. & Mrs. Claus Bowtie - this UFO is at least 10 years old


  • Finished the quilting on Long Tall - pieced in 2009

1 comment:

jillquilts said...

Congrats on your finishes for the month! When I first started quilting, I was paralyzed about finishing them, too!