Hello 2016, Goodbye UFO’s

Hello 2016 and goodbye UFO’s!

hello goodbye 2016 blog copy

I love the beginning of a new year.  I do well with fresh starts and I’m excited about the upcoming year.  I have lots of great stuff planned here at The Crafty Quilter!  One of the things I’d like to tackle is my growing list (or pile) of UFO’s (unfinished objects).  I know this a common dilemma among quilters.  I have good intentions to finish each project I start, but then a deadline or opportunity arises that I have to take care of.  So, I drop what I was working on so I can get to the other thing I need to accomplish. Sound familiar? This happens to me all the time!

This year, I’m going to make myself accountable for tackling those UFO’s with your help.  And I’ll do the same thing for you.  At the beginning of each month, I’m going to choose an unfinished project to work on and complete it by the end of that same month.  I’ll tell you what my chosen UFO project is on the first of the month and then show you the completed project at the end of the month.

I would love to hear what your chosen UFO project is and support you along the way.  Do you have something that you got bored with?  Did you find yourself out of time (or patience)?  Maybe you ran out of the right shade of blue fabric.  Afraid to quilt that beast?


I am beginning to think that a linky party at the end of each month would be a great way to share our finished projects.  And maybe there should be a prize involved.  It always helps to have a carrot dangling in front of you for that extra motivation!

Let’s start this month by picking one UFO to work on.  You can prioritize any way you want. I’m going to piggyback the 2016 UFO Challenge at All People Quilt.  They ask you to number 12 projects for the year, and each month they randomly choose a number (1-12) to work on.  They have a nice chart that you can download for your own use.   I love the excitement of finding out what my project will be for the month based on the number chosen.  How easily entertained I am!



Your UFO can be any sewing project, needlework, or craft project you choose.  I even included “organize scraps” for one of my months.  I know that some of my projects are so big that I will break them up into several months.  For example, I have the The Quilt Show’s 2014 BOM that still needs the applique to be finished along the borders.  Then I need to piece all of the sections, baste, quilt and bind it.  That’s something I can’t finish in one month (with my schedule).  That’s o.k.!  Know your own limits so you don’t set yourself up for failure.  Baby steps are better than none!

Here’s a look at my list. I’ve left the “status before” blank for the TQS A-Z BOM because it will depend on the section that I’m working on.  I’m giving myself four slots to get it finished.

APQ 2016 list copy


I hope you’ll join me this year in conquering your UFO pile.  I’ll update you soon with my progress.  Happy 2016!


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About Julie Cefalu

Hello! I'm Julie and I love to quilt, craft, read, garden, hike and spend time with my family.

43 thoughts on “Hello 2016, Goodbye UFO’s

  1. I have a Pat Sloan applique block quilt that I will try and do. I love it but I am into quick and table runners and mug mats are taking my attention now. I am REALLY going to try.

  2. I’m always afraid to quilt the beast: I have quite a few of them!! Thanks for the link to the project list: I’ve got it printed up and will be filling it in tomorrow. I hope it keeps me motivated this year to finish UFO’s! 🙂

  3. ohhhh..myyyy..gosh!! you too!! i had ALREADY planned this too for 2016. I have started projects, i have projects that I INTEND to make and have purchased patterns (or received free ones) along with all the fabric (front, back, batting) to COMPLETE the project, I have some in plastic container cubes, and the over load has gone to those zipper bags you had demonstrated on one of your tutorials 🙂 One each month is a good goal-maybe be a stretch for me, but I will give it a whirl. In between this I have intentions to make some fun craft projects for birthdays, upcoming seasonal holidays, and those projects you or someone else posts that is nearly a drop what I’m doing as I HAVE TO TRY AND MAKE THIS as soon as possible :)!!! Ok..i’m done ..i should of just said COUNT ME IN and left it at that! THANK YOU:) and HAPPY SEW YEAR! 🙂

  4. Oy, the UFOs…

    I have far too many to finish in one year (don’t judge me!), but I am absolutely determined to finish at least six of them this year. The first one up is my niece’s quilt, which should have been done months ago and kept getting put aside for other projects. This morning, I set it up in the hoop and spent a good two hours quietly hand quilting.

    One of the quilts I absolutely must finish is the 2011 McCall’s series quilt, America the Beautiful. Except for the outer borders, the top has been lying there, all done, waiting and waiting and waiting…

    We’ll see which of the other poor neglected UFOs I tackle after those two…

  5. I had great success last year using up “Orphan” blocks. I made them into 15″ sq. reversible bags (using up small pieces of leftover fabric) which I then gave to a “Battered Womans” home. I’m told that they loved them, I enjoyed making them so it was a “Win Win” Project for everyone. Several friends even
    gave me some of their orphan blocks to use up.
    So yesterday I got out an unfinished project and I’m going to try to figure out what to do with it because I ran out of one of the original fabrics. Wish me ludk!

  6. This is a great idea, although I have tried this before, but I usually rebel against my own list! I’m modifying it a bit, but have hopes to do some major UFO busting this year! I’m looking forward to seeing what you accomplish this year! Should be fun to follow along with everyones success!

  7. I want to join too! I already gave myself a stern talking to over Christmas about thus very thing. I will be watching for the start of this. I have SO many tops!

  8. Ooohh…this coincides with one of my quilting new year’s resolutions. I would love the extra motivation to help keep me on track with tackling more of my UFOs this year!! Thanks!!

  9. I love this thread. Our “every other year family reunion” T Shirt quilt has had me In a quandary since day one— 4 years ago. Two many colors , two many designs and all different sizes ( my t shirt quilts are never cutting a big 18 block out of the front. But putting in a multitude of fabrics to make it interesting. etc. Instead of treating each block on its own merit, ( which was a mess although each block was beautiful… and ripped it all out, because I could not get a cohesive look.
    Finally found a bunch of precuts that had a variety of color but enough print design to pull it all together. So all day today got going. And I like the look so far… so yes… I may not finish in a month. … I work full time outside the home.. but the plan now is working and a huge chasm crossed.

  10. I have seen something similar to this on other blogs, they call it OPAM- One Project a Month. I am going to tackle my Cross Stitch basket that is overflowing with UFO’s, since I don’t really sew/ quilt like I use too. Thank you for the handy chart. Can’t wait to see everyone’s progress.

  11. Thanks for the encouragement, Julie. With all due respect…”God knows I need some extra PUSH!” We have a new grandbaby due on January 11. I did start his baby quilt in December but couldn’t until then because of Christmas projects already ‘in progress’. 🙂 That project is at the top of my list; it’s what I’ll be working on in January 2016. I’ll be away from my sewing machine for nearly a week which means no sewing. Ooops, I think I’m already coming up with excuses as to WHY I may not finish it in January!!! Being positive, let me reiterate, “I WILL finish this baby quilt this month….”

  12. I started quilting in 2012, I heard so much about UFO’s, so I decided by the end of December every year, I would have finished all the projects I had started the year before. Plus, each year has a theme, 2012, was learn how to quilt, 2013, was the year of accuracy, etc. It is such a great feelings to start the new year, with everything completed!!! I am having my first grandchild in 2016, so the list is long for my grandson!!!!! Plus, I am sewing for myself this year!!!!!

  13. I too, am filling out the All People Quilt list of UFO’s. I checked the website and in January the item picked was #2. That corresponded to Laura Nowns’ 2013 Craftsy BOM I made the blocks for and never assembled into a quilt top. I was a little disappointed that I had to start the year working on finishing this project as I had lost interest, but then I realized that if I get it finished now then it’s not nagging me for the rest of the year. Let’s hope all of us accomplish all 12 of our UFO’s.

    1. Adding to my comment….I pulled out the blocks on Saturday and redid the log cabin blocks. I’ve since made the flying geese units and unearthed some HSTs from an even earlier project which I can use for the sawtooth border. All items are on the design wall and I will let my latest configuration marinate for a day before I sew things together. I’m getting enthused again.

  14. I would love to join you! I’ve been thinking about how to do this and joining with quilty friends is just the extra bit of motivation I need. I’ll go to the APQ site and get the form. If I can help out in any way, just let me know!

  15. I am part of a UFO challenge in my guild but it ends in May so I am going to put some of the same items on this challenge. I may have to force the first few months to be the same UFOs that I need to get done by May but that leaves the rest of the year with some further accountability.

  16. Love your idea !!! AND–I NEED to participate !! I’ve just been thinking about what my resolutions for “16” would be and you have solved my problem. HAPPY 2016 to you and all !!!!!

  17. Thanks for setting this up. This month I’ll start out with something doable – will finish piecing my doggie quilt, quilt it and bind it.

  18. Hi, Julie!! Thank you for your post! UFOs have been on my mind A LOT! Yesterday I finished one, so I am already ahead on the UFO Challenge 🙂 I just got a new computer & printer. As soon as I get the printer set up (today’s job), I’ll download the UFO “worksheet” and fill it out! Doing UFOs along with you and my fellow followers will give just the right amount of motivation/accountability/gentle push I need 😉
    Happy New Year!

  19. This is a Terrific idea ! I see a lot of quilters joining you . I certainly will, probably my first
    Challenge will be to organize my craft room, then , go from there. Happy New year !

  20. Thanks for the New Year inspirations. I will be right there with you, just downloaded the “to do” list.
    Now to pick the projects!
    Happy NewYear

  21. I did a year of UFO challenges in 2011. It was wonderful and I finished 20+ projects. Sadly, I have two containers of UFOs again and I’m ready to join this challenge. Thanks for the link to good list. I’m ready to join you!

  22. Oh boy, do I have some monster UFOs! I have 3 queen sized quilts to quilt. The Radiant Star is partially finished on my friends Gammill, but the 13 inch borders with intertwining feather ropes, big star center and corner blocks need to be done by hand on a sit down machine. I’m nervous about starting.
    I have a EPP diamond star quilt that is basted on the Gammill, but I plan to FMQ it on my Janome 6600. My Thimbleblossoms Fresh quilt is ready to baste 96×96. In addition, I have 2 more EPP quilts that are in progress, as well as many other quilts started or planned.

  23. Happy New Year To you!!! This is just what I need ( I Hope) I just got a new embroidery machine and Brother Scan n Cut so I have a lot to learn! I have printed off the form and will work on it today. Are we going to follow with APQ or doing this on your blog? Thanks so much. Lynda

  24. I think I can get on board with this one! So many others are listing several UFO’s in a quarter. That just seems to be too daunting for me. Wish me luck.

  25. Thank you for the motivation! I feel a tad guilty every time I start something new, because I know I have a few (ahem) projects languishing on a shelf. This is the year to get them completed! Off to print my list-and drawing numbers will keep it random enough that if I am getting too bored, I will know a new number is coming at the end of the month!
    Happy and healthy new year!

  26. Great idea! I will start compiling a list. I like the random number way of working on them. Adds a little mystery to the project.

  27. That’s sounds a great idea and like you I like a fresh start to get myself organised. And boy do I have some UFOs to sort through! I also think the simple, possibly deceptively simple, UFO Challenge sheet is perfect for the task.

  28. Three quilts still waiting to be finished and kept me from making new ones as I promised myself to get rid of half made stuff! The trouble is I am a real Aquarian, always looking for something new! Its amazing I have been married for 34 years as I am a restless person! All kudos to the husband who tolerates me! So new year resolution again, no more buying of patterns or material until I get those pesky quilts done!

  29. I’m happy to see you’re joining the UFO challenge. It really seemed to work for me last year; I’m glad I found it.
    Don’t know about your organize scraps month; I could spend a whole year on that project.

    Good luck.

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