Listing UFOs or Not

Over at Judy's blog, Patchwork Times, she is hosting a UFO challenge.  First step is to find your ufos and make a list of 12 of them you want to finish in 2011.  If you're fortunate enough not to have 12 to finish, you  divide them into steps so that you can work on one part each month.  On the last day of the month, she'll draw the number we're suppose to work on.  Thing is I have so many, it will take me longer to do that than to finish one - LOL!

Here's my dilemma - my sewing room is a big mess.  My stash is in all kinds of places.  I can't find anything most of the time.  That may be why I've become a Serial Project Starter because it's easier to begin something new than to find that project I was working on.  Sighhhhhhhhhhhh!

Can't be that bad?  Check these out:

My primary stash on left - yep, I'll have to find a place for my books other than a shelf.  Right is rest of that wall with shelves of magazines, odds & ends, some orphan blocks.Continuing to the right is my cutting table, ironing board, and machine and under it 9 boxes of strips, scraps and projects.  That's 2 walls.   The third wall is mostly windows but there are 3 boxes filled with clippings, file folders and, yes, more projects and fabric plus an antique rocker piled high with projects and odds and ends. You can see the buried rocker on the left of the third photo.
 On the last wall there are more boxes plus bags of fabric, my Janome, a 4 drawer plastic bin and the heater which keeps me unfrozen in winter - it's portable.

Then come the large drawers under the closets - 3 of them - 2 stuffed with projects and fabric and one only half filled with more stash.

and finally in the guest room closet there are 2 boxes of fabric.  In the addition there are 2 boxes of fabric and stuff.  How did this happen?  Sadly 2 dear quilter friends died in 08 within months of each other and their husbands decided I needed their quilt stuff.  I gave tons away and the rest you see.  This year I hope to get rid of a lot more as I do stash reduction and get rid of some of those ufos - mine, Becky's and Dorothy's.                                                                                                                                     

So where do I start?


  1. Well you really do have a dilemma! I wouldn't begin to be able to tell you how to fix it, seeings that my sewing room looks quite similar (and maybe a little worse!).

  2. your story started with the dilemma of choosing 12 projects to work on and complete, so that is what I would do, grab the first dozen that you put your hands on - make sure you have the required fabrics etc with the projects.
    Number them as you said and put them in a seperate box/place and work on them as prompted.
    In between times work on sorting the rest of your supplies. Suggest folding your fabric using the 6.5" wide ruler, you could even do a basket full while watching telly sometimes.

  3. Hi Angie. This seems to be a common problem not only in our sewing rooms but in our homes, we have to much stuff. I agree, time to weed things out. You can donate fabric you won't use to many different organizations who will be thankful to have them. Be realistic about those UFOs, keep the ones you will finish, decide why you have not finished them, get rid of those you have lost interest in. Instead of the solid cardboard boxes your things are in consider getting clear totes or better yet drawers so you can see things and hopefully not lose them, drawers are easier to access then totes. Fold and organize your fabric, it will be fun to see what is there and you can eliminate that which you will not use. Do not start any new projects until you finish up say 10 of your UFOs, it is always tempting to start a new quilt but with so many UFOs you need to avoid this, and really it is wasteful. Do not buy any new fabric, you (and I) have enough, if your not using what you already have (speaking to self here, too) you do not need anymore, there comes a point when it becomes hording and is a waste of money. I get bored working on the same quilt so I usually have 2 going at a time, but no UFOs left (except some crazy quilt blocks). Makes me fell uneasy to have those around because my DH works so hard for the money I don't want to waste it by letting these things go by the wayside. I have piles of fabric about, too, some with a purpose, some just because I could not pass it up. I look at my stash as money in the bank for a rainy day, but there does come a point when that can get out of line. It really helped to have that stash when we were out of work, I still had something to keep my spirits up, but again there comes a point when one has to stop. One bite at a time, girl and you will get er done.

  4. It reminds me of the old saying, "How do you eat an elephant?....One bite at a time of course." Good luck figuring out what to do first. Maybe finding 12 UFOs for the challenge would be a good first step.

  5. Hi,

    I had a similar problem with paper clutter, which I have mostly overcome. Following advice in a book, I designated a large space to be the "corral." I moved two bookcases to be walls. This may not be necessary for you - you could use a corner and stack boxes to make one wall. I put boxes of papers and some stacks of papers that I was not ready to organize. There was nothing important or urgent in those boxes. Then I covered it all with a nice king sized sheet. That made my desk clear to deal with the things I needed to process right away - bills, statements, etc. So I got a fresh start with the paperwork because I had made my space less cluttered all at once to start.

    I would suggest that you designate a corner of your sewing room to be a corral and put everything in there that you are not ready to organize in the next month or so. Don't try to organize it as you do this - just stow it and know you will get to it when you have the time and energy. But do make sure there's nothing in the corral that you will need, that would cause you to have to search through it. That is no fun.

    If you do this, you will have more space in your sewing room and it will be easier to organize the things you want to be working on now.

    Eventually I cleared out my corral over one long highly motivated weekend. I have not gone back to that paper mess since then.

    Hope this helps! I posted on the list too.



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