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What counts as a UFO??

What counts as a UFO??

Old 01-10-2019, 05:22 AM
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Default 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?
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Old 01-10-2019, 06:06 AM
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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.
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Old 01-10-2019, 06:12 AM
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​I only count projects that I have sewn but not completed as UFOs.
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Old 01-10-2019, 06:14 AM
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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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Old 01-10-2019, 06:26 AM
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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.
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Old 01-10-2019, 06:39 AM
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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!!
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Old 01-10-2019, 06:39 AM
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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.


Last edited by rryder; 01-10-2019 at 06:53 AM.
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Old 01-10-2019, 06:59 AM
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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.

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Old 01-10-2019, 08:10 AM
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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.
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Old 01-10-2019, 08:37 AM
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Please let it be only the projects already started, not finished, and not "actively" in progress!
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