UFO's Are They Taking Over?
Here is a free 12 step program to help you!

I know as a quilter and crafter for many decades, I have many UFO's. So when a woman stated she was overwhelmed by the amount of projects that she had; so much so that she closed the door on quilting ever again.  She felt very alone in that problem.  I told her not to feel alone that all creative people have several projects in the oven!

So I am listing the steps I took to help me remedy my mess of projects so I wouldn't feel overwhelmed.

Hopefully, they will help you too!

1. From now until you get everything organized you must promise yourself that you will not work on any projects of any kind!

2. Get rid of any guilt you may feel because you have all these projects and you promise not to feel guilty ever again!

3. Now, take all the projects out of where ever they are stashed. Gather them all together with the supplies that you will need for each project.

4. Get the largest baggie that you have or buy at least the one gallon size.  The 2 gallon size is preferable for the larger projects. 

5. Use self stick labels, the address size. If you do not have that or can not buy them, use paper cut into whatever size you like. Remember the label or paper will hold all the info regarding that project so they shouldn't be smaller than 3" x 5".

6. While you are bagging the projects, decide if it is a project or an orphan block. If it is an orphan block put it aside in a pile, but not in a baggie yet.

7. Take a single project, any project, and all the supplies you need for that project, i.e., thread, fabric, pattern, templates, etc. and put them into the plastic baggie.

8. Label that baggie with the name of the project/pattern, size at completion and what the purpose was. 
For instance:

Double Wedding Quilt
Full size quilt
Gift for Mary

Do not put a deadline date on the label, unless you plan to work on it till completion.  But if you are overwhelmed already, the deadline probably has already passed.

Without a deadline, the stress will fall off your shoulders and you will be more relaxed and able to enjoy quilting again.

Now do this with all your projects until you have bagged every single one.

9. Take all the designated Orphan Blocks and put them together in a large baggie and label it as such.  This baggie should be a large one as it will get used often to hold those test blocks that we didn't really like or the fabric wasn't too great.

From time to time you can take blocks from this baggie and make a smaller quickie projects such as coasters, pot holders, placemats and give them as gifts. Or wait until you have a tremendous amount of orphan blocks, sew them all together and make a table topper, lap quilt, baby quilt, any number of things or you can gift the whole baggie of blocks to a guild, another quilter or Goodwill, just don't throw them away!

10. o.k. now everything is bagged and labeled. Now put all these baggies into a retangular box, file cabinet drawer, dresser drawer, plastic storage box, anything with a little depth.  For instance, a printer paper case box, bankers box.  

You need the depth so you can store the baggies standing up with the label facing you.

Sort the projects in the order you want to start working on them.

11. Now the fun begins, take the first project in front of the box and decide if you still want to make it the size the pattern intended. You can down size any pattern that you find for quilting.

If it was originaly a bed quilt and you don't think you can do that anymore, down size it to a lap quilt, bed runner, table topper, place mats, etc.  Any of those are nice projects and gifts. 

12th and final step!

Take the project from step 11.  After you decide what size you are making, work on it for one day!

Many people say stick with it until finished!  But, if you are like me, I get bored easily, tired easily, or distracted easily.  So my solution, work on it for one day, put it away in the baggie and put it at the back of the box for next time. It has now become the last project in the box. Don't think about it, don't feel guilty. . . remember "no guilt"!!

Next Day, take project no. 2, which is now at the front of the box. Decide if you still want that original size or want to down size it. Now work on it for one day. When you are done working for that day, pack it up and put it in the back of the box. No.2 has now become the last project in the box. This procedure will rotate all of your projects and they will all grow a little at a time.

Proceed this way every day, and I promise you that you will finish projects and will make progress. . . but, you have to stick to the routine.  Even if its just half an hour every day! It has to be every day!

Good Luck with your UFO's!

Let me know how you have done and send pictures, I love to see pictures of others projects. You can email them to me through the contact on the website or the blog.

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Aveli's Quilts & General Store
P.O. Box 284
Guadalupita, NM 87722
575-387-5972 between 9:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M. Mountain Time
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