Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Motivational Monday - The numbers are STAGGERING

If you're going to be appalled by sheer numbers of UFOs, then I advise you to NOT read this post.

This is a bonus post for the Motivational Monday group.  In light of trying to get things done, one must take stock of what needs to be done and that makes it easier to prioritize. Basically, it's a super organizing tool.  Put "like" things together, then find storage, catalague, priortize and get the stuff done!

Here's the deal, I'm a prolific piecer. I've taught quilting for almost 20 years and as a result, made MANY samples for classes and sometimes, just because. I'm not so good at getting them quilted, although I do quilt but mostly for work or for others.

I keep my "to be quilted" quilts in tubs, along with the backing and the binding. The tubs were labelled on the outside with the quilts that were inside. But it was hard to see the labels on the bottom bins. And when I needed a specific quilt for a trunk show, well, things got out of hand and this is what the "to be quilted" tubs looked like.

A HUGE mess
 It was getting impossible to find things and well, the mess was just ugly!

Since my main work area was now clear in preparation for the sewing day. I love sewing days if for no other reason, that it forces me to tidy up!

I lugged all the tubs to the main sewing area.
Tubs waiting to be emptied

Tables ready to receive quilts
 And then I started to empty the tubs. While I emptied them, I also sorted them.  All the small stuff went into one pile. Like quilts went together - stack n whacks, special class samples, etc.

Let the sorting begin

More tubs emptied

Down to the last three bins to empty

Would that be a gaggle of tubs???
 Here are all the quilts that need to be quilted. Sorted into their respective piles. Now the process of cataloguing and putting back into the tubs.
All this needs to be quilted! - Obscene

Some of these quilts below are half or more quilted. Some already have the binding on, but I decided there needs to be more quitling. Or the batting is already with the project. Seriously????   This pile is HUGE!!!!  I told you, I'm NOT a finisher!

Quilts that are half quilted - waiting to be finished
 This is the stack that I would definitely want to keep for myself. And LOOK - I found a red/white quilt in there. Had forgotten about that one!

Quilts for me!
 Then I grabbed a few more quilt tops, bindings and backings that were hanging in other places than the tubs and those got added to the mix as well.  OK - NOW we're ready to put everything back.

ALL the quilts are now on the table!
 What I did was to label each bin with a number. Then on the laptop, I created a document and each page corresponds to the tub number. The quilts are listed by name/description so if I'm looking for something, it should be easy to find by perusing the list. Which I will print out and keep in a small binder with the tubs!  It will be easy to keep updated when someting gets quilted by crossing it off, it will be easy to find which tub holds which quilts without crawling on the floor to read labels.

Here is the very sad part!  I estimated that there was well over 100 quilts in those tubs (some are wall hangings or table runners).  There were 143! in the tubs.

I'm putting the quilts away and I'm at number 101 and the tables still look like this!!!!

101 projects have already been removed from the table!
 OK - get a grip - we have a serious problem here!!!!  Some of this stuff NEEDS to get on a priority list!!!

Almost done!
 Believe it or not, I found orphans. Quilt tops with binding, but no backing. Quilt tops and nothing else. Quilt backings.  One top I know isn't there - it's at work. I was able to marry up the only backing with what I think was the top, but there's no binding. And a couple quilts?  Who knows how they snuck into this pile.  They are now in the border/binding/backing pile where they will be processed in due time!!!

Orphan quilts/backs

All that remains is my laptop!
 And here are my neatly labelled tubs.  There is ONE that doesn't have a number - I didn't think I was going to need that many tubs!  But it's the PRIORITY tub - including the quilt that didn't fit in the tub.  I want these done ASAP.  They will need to be scheduled into The Task Master.

The "to be quilted" pile!
 I did unstack some of those tubs as they are very heavy and I had visions of the entire stack toppling over last night!!!!

So what is left???  You mean there's more???   Oh gosh yes!!!!!   There is still this in the "to be quilted" area.
More quilts to be quilted

These belong to customers - only five
And all of this is community project quilts
 I know - the numbers are obscene. I didn't count these. I will do that another day. I have to figure out how to get these into the prioirty pile as well and get them out in the community.  And unfortunately, I don't have time to take any more on.  When these are done, so am I!  Some of these have been sitting for a while. Time to get them done!!!!!

I feel that now I know what needs to be done, it should be easy to sneak one or two in a week. Of course, putting it all on the list!!!!

And I unearthed this stand for holding quilts when I got everything sorted out!!!  I may put the community projects on this rack as a means of keeping them neat and orderly. BTW - most of the community projects quilts are ones that I made (or made kits for my Monday sewing group to sew), although there are about 5 that belong to a guild.

Quilt rack

Plus there are hangers on the walls for storing quilts, so I don't think it will be a problem to get the rest of this area tidied up!!!

Once the sewing friends leave today, I have plans for those big tables!!!!

All of this wasn't to show you how ridiculous my situation is.  It's to show how important it is to put "like" things together. You can then tell how much/many you have, how much storage space you need and how to prioritze things.

BTW - the total number of quitls in those tubs?????  Any guesses?????   178!!!!!   Disgusting!!!!

And on that note, I'm out of here.

Have a super day!!!!!



  1. The good thing is that you have a system now for getting them done. Maybe some of those quilt tops can be quilted by a friend who needs practice long arm quilting. You had a friend come over and use your machine before Christmas. Maybe she can quilt while your working on other projects that you need done. This would be a good way to get help with your task of finishing all these quilts. Or you can ask a friend to finish a binding for you. I'm sure there are some ladies who would like to help you. Especially with the donation quilts. That way they can get done and out of your task master. You are doing really well taking stock of your projects.

  2. Loved that you shared. Two years ago we put a quilting friend on the UFO Diet. Rule was she could only start a new project once she got at least 5 UFO's done and we would help her get those done if she stuck to the rules. Two years later she is now down from 130 UFO to 60 UFO's and now when she does start a new project she always finishes it. We are so very proud of her.

  3. Elaine, if you have a quilt you would like hand quilted, or some bindings hemmed, send me an email. I will be happy to help. You have helped me many times in the past.
    Pat C.

  4. I know I have over 50 ufos, but I've been stalled sorting and organizing because I've injured my knee. In the meantime, I listed what I can see and started working on my bonus project from my Dirty Dozen list, with an eye to have it done by New Year's Eve. Thanks for launching your task master - I've been using it for about a week now, and made my list for this week!

  5. I commiserate with you and chuckle along with you. For the past *decade* or so, I've been trying to whittle down my own list of UFOs, which I have kept on my computer. The process has worked to some extent, except for the (many) times, I have allowed myself to become distracted by a NEW! SHINEY! project or an "immediate need" for a specific deadline.

    However, in the Fall of 2014, I helped my sister-in-law clean out her Mom's sewing room after the Mom passed awa. The room was totally filled with "stuff" (you couldn't even fully open the door). That experience really brought home to me that I don't want *my* daughter to have to rummage through my bins and crates and wonder what the heck I was going to do with *that*.

    So, from the beginning of 2015 onwards, I have been *diligently* sticking to my bins of UFOs, steadfastly working through them. I am very pleased to say that I have completely emptied the first one and am working on the second bin.

    I am also giving myself permission to NOT work on a UFO if it no longer gives me the warm fuzzies. In that case, I dispose of the fabric in some way ... repurposed into my own General Population, given away, sold, whatever.

    I now realize that just because a project has been hanging around since Forever doesn't mean that I *still* am required to work on and finish it. I *can* decided not to start on it at all! When that decision was made, it was as though an 800 lb gorilla was no longer sitting on my shoulders!

    But, I absolutely understand the process you are going through. While my focus as been to get all of my UFOs pieced, I realize that I am simply deferring the quilting process further down the line. But even my non-sewing daughters know that they can "quilt by check" ... but those tops need to be pieced for that to happen! :-)