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Thread: What counts as a UFO??

  1. #1
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    What counts as a UFO??

    I just finished reading a blog by The Quilted Twins about how Rachel is going to tackle all of her UFO's by the end of this year. The question that came to my mind is what exactly counts as a UFO (unfinished object for all the newbies). Is it strictly something that you have started and not completed the sewing/quilting on and so it's been moved aside for something else. Or do you count the project you have purchased pattern and fabric for but have not yet started? If it's the first, then I only have two UFO's and if it's the second then I must have a million. What about you?

  2. #2
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I think the term UFO can be interpreted differently by different people. In my mind I deem something a UFO as your 1st scenario. I have actually started the quilt, cut the fabric, maybe even pieced a few of the blocks then set it aside (with pattern and fabric designated for that top) and started a different project.

    I have loads of my stash sorted for a "someday" quilt, kind of like my own kit. Some I have the pattern stashed away as well but that is always subject to change, I may come across a pattern I like better or is more well suited to the fabric or I may "cannibalize" some of the fabric I have set aside with others to use in a completely different quilt. If I haven't made specific cuts out of the fabric for a particular project I don't consider it a UFO. Oh and the change from WIP (work in process) to UFO is also subject to interpretation. But I consider it a WIP if I am actively working on it. Now some of my WIPS are pushing the envelope as I have been working on it for literally years. I have a hand applique project that is like that. I don't work on it always but it is definitely touched a few times a month.

  3. #3
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    ​I only count projects that I have sewn but not completed as UFOs.

  4. #4
    Super Member Snooze2978's Avatar
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    I agree with your 1st choice as to what is an UFO. I have a couple shelves I keep for future projects which could change by means of which pattern I'll use, fabric choices, etc. If I've started a project by means of cutting into the fabrics then I call that a UFO if its been pushed aside. I'm trying to finish all my UFOs to the point of hanging them up on the rod for quilting, then I don't really classify them as UFOs any longer though they're still not finished. Just finished 3 quilts this week and should have another one finished today if all goes well. Then that leaves me only 4 more to go, all large than life quilts too.
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  5. #5
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
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    I can't stand the pressure of future projects kitted up.

    My definition of a UFO is any started quilt that isn't a top.
    I only have a few, can't stand that pressure either

    I don't consider completed tops as unfinished because I doubt they will go into the trash like unfinished projects when the estate is cleaned out.

  6. #6
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    I consider UFO's to be a started project that is lingering semi-forgotten in a hiding place. With that definition, I have no UFO's, but I have many WIP's in all states ... started blocks, incomplete tops, tops, and sandwiched ones, not quilted or tied, and those without their bindings. Yikes! I have to get busy!!

  7. #7
    Super Member rryder's Avatar
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    I count projects that I have started but havenít worked on for a while. I donít generally buy fabric for specific patterns so I donít have projects planned ahead with fabric pulled and stored together with a pattern. Therefore, I donít count uncut fabric. I count it as a UFO if Iíve actually cut the fabric, however, most of my UFOs have varying degrees of sewing completed. I love quilting, but am not as fond of piecing, so my UFOs are mostly partially pieced tops rather than flimsys waiting to be quilted. I find that once the piecing is done I am motivated to go ahead and get it sandwiched and quilted.

    As far as timeline goes, most of my UFOs have been sitting unworked on for at least a year, including a couple that are nearing the decade mark and one that is (ahem) 30+ years old. But I have had projects that became UFOs in my mind after just a few months of not being worked on. Unworked on and not thought about are the keys for me deciding somethingís a UFO.

    My WIPs are all things that are in some active state of progress- even if that only entails thinking about what I want to do next with them. As long as Iím actually contemplating it, I consider it a WIP even if physical progress has been paused.

    I make an exception to the cutting guideline for panels because I bought several over the years and then didnít know what to do with them. They languished in my stash, forgotten about, but taking up room until this past year when I decided to pull them out of my stash and store them with my UFOs so that I will actually use them. And I will count each one as a completed UFO if it is removed from the UFO pile either by making a project with it or deciding to pass it on to someone else.

    Some folks only count unquilted flimsys as UFOs, while others count patterns and fabric that they have pulled together for a project but not yet cut out as a UFO. Some folks have commercial kits that they bought years ago, but never got around to making and now consider them UFOs. Just depends on your creative process and how much it bothers you to have unfinished things hanging around as to when you want to decide something is a UFO. For completion, Some folks only count it as complete if itís quilted, bound and labelled and some consider a UFO to be completed if itís removed from the pile even if that was accomplished by being donated, sold or thrown away.

    Rob
    Last edited by rryder; 01-10-2019 at 06:53 AM.
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    Super Member Battle Axe's Avatar
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    Thanks for clarifying a UFO and a WIP. If I come to a place where things went wrong or I am unsure of the next step, it gets a tub with a label, and hopefully, the pattern goes in the tub and is shelved. That is a UFO. If I am still tending to it and working on it then it is a WIP. But I have several WIP going on at the same time.

    Something else friends here have taught me: A date with "Jack" is not a tall glass of Jack Daniels, rather some time becoming acquainted with your seam ripper whose name is Jack the Ripper.
    Last edited by Battle Axe; 01-10-2019 at 07:02 AM.

  9. #9
    Power Poster Boston1954's Avatar
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    I would think it is something that has been started. Anything not started yet is just on the bucket (waiting) list.
    Life is not a movie. No one is going to yell "CUT" when you make a mistake. - Anne L. Fulton

    I am from the South....39 miles south of Boston.

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    Please let it be only the projects already started, not finished, and not "actively" in progress!

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    I don't count unquilted tops as UFOs, they are a finished project -- just not a finished quilt. I have way too many unquilted quilts but I have very few UFOs (mostly because I got rid of most of them either by doing or finishing). I do have a couple "works in progress". Some times that work is rather far apart.

    I mostly work with scrap/charm projects, typically using no more than 1-4 pieces of any given fabric and it can take me years to collect the fabric, at a certain point I will make a "project" box even if the only project is collecting the fabric.

    I write myself notes on where I am in the project, typically with an EQ pattern enclosed. It might not say much, like I finished making Postcard blocks, just a simple postcard sized piece of fabric with a narrow attic window setting. Then I'll put it together with black sashing (fabric just came Saturday, is washed and ironed and ready for cutting). The note isn't much, it just is a printout of the top with simple hand-written notes like: Need 68 blocks. Attic Window & Sashing finishes 1.5, cut 2", but that's enough to keep me going.

    The way some of you consider UFOs then every magazine or fat quarter collection someone gave me might as well be an UFO!

  12. #12
    Super Member Krisb's Avatar
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    I quit counting UFOs and started counting projects. Projects have stages—pick pattern, pick fabric, cut, etc., etc. Projects are all in some stage of completion. And all projects are UFOs to me, unless they fall off the list. I think this started when I first joined the fabric moratorium, some years ago. Because no fabric is purchased just “for stash”, all fabric has a purpose. It’s part of a project. For example, Bali Wedding Star is on my list. Have Bali Pops and pattern, but not really anything else.
    I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it difficult to plan the day.

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  13. #13
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    I noticed no time limits, i.e. 1 year from start date. My definition has been very loose: January 1 and lanquishing.

    I like Rob's: "I count it as a UFO if I’ve actually cut the fabric, however, most of my UFOs have varying degrees of sewing completed. I love quilting, but am not as fond of piecing, so my UFOs are mostly partially pieced tops rather than flimsys waiting to be quilted. I find that once the piecing is done I am motivated to go ahead and get it sandwiched and quilted.

    As far as timeline goes, most of my UFOs have been sitting unworked on for at least a year, including a couple that are nearing the decade mark and one that is (ahem) 30+ years old. But I have had projects that became UFOs in my mind after just a few months of not being worked on. Unworked on and not thought about are the keys for me deciding something’s a UFO."

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    Junior Member Cheshirepat's Avatar
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    UFO to me = cut and began sewing project but it's unfinished
    Bought the fabric and pattern = back stock lol!
    *this space for rent*

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    I agree that every one of us has to decide our own definition of a UFO. I chose two projects each week to work on, which are my WIPs. Almost anything I am not working on this week is a UFO, even if I just worked on it last week Finished to me means quilted and bound.

    Once I have a pattern and all the fabrics bagged up, if am not currently working on it, it is a UFO, even if I haven't made a single cut or stitch.

    The only exceptions are if I have a quilt in mind, but do not yet have all the materials I need, and my L/E crumbs and 4Ps. As soon as I decide on a design for the L/Es, if it is one of this week's WIPs, it is a UFO.

    With my machine in the shop this week, the only project I have that isn't a UFO is the DJ I am hand piecing.

  16. #16
    Super Member givio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KalamaQuilts View Post
    I don't consider completed tops as unfinished because I doubt they will go into the trash like unfinished projects when the estate is cleaned out.
    Hey! This is an interesting thought! I've always felt my finished tops were UFOs-- but I like this thought, it's new to me. I tend to think of anything that I have a plan for but I'm not actively sewing on as a UFO. Some are plans, bits and pieces of fabric, notes, ideas, yeah, they will not have the same value to descendants as the finished tops. Interesting thought, KQ.

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    I count anything that has been started and not completed as a UFO. They are not WIPs if they just sit in a plastic box. I have some and they bother me more and more as time goes along. This year (last week) I arranged them on my shelf in order of how much work they need to be finished. I will start with those that need the least work. I also plan to work on one for an hour each day. So far, so good. I plan to give most of them to my guild for the charity work that is done for various concerns. UFOs have become a burden for me-money is tied up in them and it seems to be such a waste of resources.

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    Last week I had 15 UFO's,( tops made and were waiting to be sandwiched). Today I have none. I took them all to the local Linus Project house. They were happy to get them and I was even happier to give them, as I was really beginning get the "haunted by the waiting UFO's" feeling.

  19. #19
    Super Member WMUTeach's Avatar
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    Love all of our different definitions of UFO! What fun for us all. We are all unique. For me a UFO is any thing started, cut, pieced or in any stage where I could not give it away as a UFO. I give myself about 6 months before a WIP moves to the UFO category. Just my way of keeping myself organized.....in my mind any way.

  20. #20
    Super Member WMUTeach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandy l View Post
    Last week I had 15 UFO's,( tops made and were waiting to be sandwiched). Today I have none. I took them all to the local Linus Project house. They were happy to get them and I was even happier to give them, as I was really beginning get the "haunted by the waiting UFO's" feeling.


    OOOOOOOh that was a very creative way of "finishing" your UFO's!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battle Axe View Post
    Thanks for clarifying a UFO and a WIP. If I come to a place where things went wrong or I am unsure of the next step, it gets a tub with a label, and hopefully, the pattern goes in the tub and is shelved. That is a UFO. If I am still tending to it and working on it then it is a WIP. But I have several WIP going on at the same time.

    Something else friends here have taught me: A date with "Jack" is not a tall glass of Jack Daniels, rather some time becoming acquainted with your seam ripper whose name is Jack the Ripper.
    I have a quilt named "Jack the Ripper" Suppose to be Jack's Chain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lindaschipper View Post
    I just finished reading a blog by The Quilted Twins about how Rachel is going to tackle all of her UFO's by the end of this year. The question that came to my mind is what exactly counts as a UFO (unfinished object for all the newbies). Is it strictly something that you have started and not completed the sewing/quilting on and so it's been moved aside for something else. Or do you count the project you have purchased pattern and fabric for but have not yet started? If it's the first, then I only have two UFO's and if it's the second then I must have a million. What about you?
    I went to The Quilted Twins site = spent a lot of time there as there are wonderful free patterns for scrappies. BUT, I could not find her BLOG. How do I get to that?

  23. #23
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    There is the UFO and the USO in my mind . Unstarted Objects are never unfinished or Iíd go crazy with pressure.

    To me, UFO, has not only been set aside, but forgotten. Could be for months or years. Generally itís due to my having lost interest in it.

    A WIP coild be set aside and taking months or years but Iím still interested in it and enjoy adding to it when in the mood.

  24. #24
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    cindyb....the blog I referred to came in a regular e-mail. Have you signed up for daily e-mails from them?

  25. #25
    Super Member peaceandjoy's Avatar
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    Gosh, I like SillySusan's answer. That would change my UFO list considerably, lol.

    My problem is that I everything up to putting a top together. Choosing fabrics, cutting, putting units and blocks together. Somehow, that's where I stall. A combination of boredom with a project, trying to arrange blocks so that not too many of the same fabric comes together at seams (large, scrappy quilts are my typical projects) and the challenge of keeping blocks in the right place. I don't know why I just let those blocks languish!

    I have probably 6 or 8 "kits" because I have learned the hard way that I have a specific pattern in mind for a fabric, then forget about the pattern, or can't find it when I want it, and use the fabric for something else. For example, there was a pattern that I'd seen in a magazine that used a stripe for sashing. It was a CW pattern, and the stripes done in blues in the sashing played an important part in how complicated the pattern looked. A while later, I found a perfect fabric on sale, knowing I had that magazine someplace. After going through scads of magazines, I gave up, thinking maybe I'd recycled it or passed it along. Of course, I later found the pattern. Anyhow, those kits are not UFO's for me. Nor are the rarely purchased kits.

    If I haven't started cutting/sewing, to me, it's not a UFO.

    I am working on being more like KalamaQuilts. I have a list of UFO's that I'd like to make significant progress on, if not finish, this year.

    Finished for me is usually a completed top. Most of the time, I don't have a recipient in mind when I'm sewing. I quilt by check (send to a LA). So for me, tops are easier to store as well as not involving a large expense. They get quilted as money allows, or when I realize I have a perfect top for somebody. I do keep the binding or binding fabric with the top until that happens.

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