Ranking All The UFO’s Priority

by Kim Stenehjem

Having identified the true UFOs I have cluttering up my sewing (and head) space, it was a matter of deciding which one to do for our 2023 Resolution Challenge. That proved surprisingly hard to do. I’d settle on one and then think “Oh I should really tackle that first.” Having a bad case of [SQUIRREL] Syndrome and being a natural organizer, I ended up developing a flow chart to help me rank the available options.

#1 – Were any of the UFOs promised or intend as a gift for someone?

This was not a rhetorical question. I’ve been known to give gifts to people much later than the occasion they were meant to celebrate. I got my brother’s 50th birthday quilt to him shortly before his 54th birthday. A Christmas gift quilt exchange for MaryAnn Waxler took 2 years for it to be finished and given to her (although in my defense I moved, and the top got packed away and not unpacked for a very long time.)

Any UFO I said yes to would move to #1. Looking over my UFOs none of them met this criteria. Still a pool of eight.

#2 – Is there a deadline I am trying to meet?

For example, a show it was entered in or a publication that it was needed for.

My undersea landscape would have been in this category which would have put it at the top of the list but that deadline is well past so it stays in the UFO pile. That makes seven still under consideration.

Chicken Hat Lady also had a deadline for last year’s challenge. Met that deadlien and showed it at show and tell. But I just wasn’t ready to let go because there’s always another bead or bob to add in. I’m ready to say enough is enough and hand it on the wall. The second reason I made this piece is that it can be a sample to display in Debbie Richman’s booth at shows and in her backyard shop-in-a-she-shed. Maybe if it’s out of my house, i’ll be able to leave it alone. I’ll put a permanent backing on it and call it done so it’s now out of UFO status. I’m calling it done and handing it over to Debbie to show customers what can be done with the wonderful hand=dyed crazy quilt starter kits she sells.

Again, a yes answer would move any quilt to #1 priority but we’re now down to a pool of six, none of which have deadlines.

#3 – Do I still love it?

Ha! Here we go I can finally drop one all the way to the bottom of the list.

I’m not crazy about this piece. I was excited at the time but now that some time has passed (a decade at least) I have to admit while I like the design and the concept, I don’t know what I was thinking with that shocking pink/purple/orange fabric. I think I was trying to get out of my comfort zone but that fabric is probably why it has been languishing in the UFO pile. It may even have evolved into a WOMBAT. I’m going to put it at the bottom and not look at it until I’ve met the challenge; then I’ll pull fabric for the pieced panels, put it with the beaded fringe I already have for it and see if the project’s worth pursuing.

That makes it a pool of five.

#4 – Would I be sad if it never got done?

The silk ribbon wreath is gorgeous and I had fun doing it but I wouldn’t be sad if it stayed like this. Frankly, I have run out of wall space for an art piece and my husband is not a fan of decorative pillows. And it’s too fragile for a tote bag. Maybe someday I’ll make it into the center medallion of a silk quilt but for now, I just haven’t a clue. Not a good candidate for this challenge so back it goes into the UFO pool.

Down to four.

#5 – Can I get it done in the time allotted?

I don’t think so and so another one bites the dust in terms of a candidate for the challenge. I love this piece. It’s partly hand quilted and I love hand quilting. But I have other obligations (like this website) that will make it difficult to finish this in the time allotted. So I gave it a good snuggle, whispered a few promises that I would never forget it, and put it back into the UFO pile again. BUT it will be the first one I tackle once the challenge is over.

Down to three.

#6 – Have I made all the decisions and am ready to jump right on it?

Nope. No idea where to go next. Or maybe too many ideas where to go next. Can’t decide. Won’t tackle it this time.

So that leaves two I have to decide between.

#7 – If I put each UFO in a bag and blindly drew this one out, would I be a little disappointed?

No I wouldn’t. I love this pattern and I love applique, and I realized I’ve had this project in this state since 1998. It deserves to be finished before it dies of old age. Or I do.

BUT (there’s always a but) I wouldn’t be disappointed if I drew this one out either. SO I still have two candidates.

I hemmed and hawed for a while and decided I’d tackle both. Hearts and Flowers has to be worked on at home where all my crazy quilt stuff lives (so much stuff). So I’ll work on it at home. The other is 100% portable. It can be taken with me to work on while I’m waiting for my husband to finish physical therapy, or to Sunday morning coffee, to Applique Group Meetups or to Wednesday night stitching group.

Wish me luck….SQUIRREL…finishing these two projects up by deadline.

If you want to join me in the 2023 Resolution Challenge, you can sign up here.