Tackling UFOs, part 4

Welcome to Part 4 of tackling UFOs. One day one, we made a master list of projects and bought a notebook for organizing them. On day two, we separated out projects that are still in the idea stage, tracking them on in a separate list; we also looked at ways of simplifying or eliminating UFOs we don’t actually want to finish! On day three, we sorted and prioritized items on the master list, and created a Short List of projects to tackle first. Today, I’m going to talk about breaking out a large project into smaller steps.


Alright, you’ve now hopefully got a short list of UFOs you want to tackle. Some might be very straightforward – add a binding, and you’re done!

But others might be more complex: make a ton of blocks, make sashing, assemble blocks and sashing, add a border, quilt, bind, sleeve, label… and you might have to buy some supplies in there, if you don’t have everything you need right now. In this case, it’s not enough to be able to cross of “Sea Quilt” at the end of the project – you want to be able to track all the little steps that go into making this quilt! And maybe have a place for notes and reminders for yourself. To do this, simply give each quilt its own page in your notebook.

When I started doing this, I turned to about the halfway point of my notebook, and started working from there. I wanted all my individual quilt pages to be grouped together, so I started creating these about halfway through my notebook, marking the starting point with a post-it note. However, Elaine at Crazy Quilter on a Bike! had a better idea – she started on the last page of her notebook, and worked backwards assigning individual quilt pages.

IMG_1941.jpgAll you do is this – write the name of your quilt on the top of a blank page. Now, list out the steps you have to go through to complete the quilt. This will totally depend on your project. To me, I found it most helpful to break the project into steps that would allow me to see my progress.

If there’s anything you still have to buy in order to complete the project, you can add that to the list, too.

So, while the Short List is good for helping me which UFOs I’m currently working on, the individual pages let me track the specific details of a given project. Maybe I’m not yet ready to cross “Trail Mix Quilt” off my list, but I’ve been working on it, and that shows on my page for it.

I went ahead and made a list like this for every project on my Master List. I also got the materials organized. For each project, I put it in its own clear bag, along with any notes, pattern, or tool specific to that project. All my UFOs in their separate bags were then put in large plastic storage tubs, so I could easily sort through them and find a project when I was ready to work on it.

Hey, thanks for reading to the end! I know I’ve done a lot of talking in the last few posts, but I hope you have found it helpful. This process definitely helped me to turn the tables on my UFOs, and start turning them into completed projects. If you are looking for a support group to help you with UFOs for 2017, I would definitely recommend checking out Elaine at Crazy Quilter on a Bike – she is using a pretty similar method, and she aims to get one UFO finished each month in 2017.

Well, time for me to get back to my own sewing machine – there are a few things I need to finish myself! Happy sewing!




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