Source: Bing clip art

Can I confess? The last few weeks, I am very much feeling overwhelmed by quilting UFOs.

I left my sewing room in a total disarray when I left for vacation. You know, all that digging around looking for projects to work on, and the perfect fabrics to complete the projects.

But I can’t blame it all on vacation prep. I have been given or purchased a lot of fabric this year. The fabric has been piling up in boxes instead of being put neatly on shelves. Plus months of not really being able to cut due to an injured shoulder and then wrist.

Truly, the thought of anyone seeing this mess is super embarrassing. And yes, you guessed it – a fellow quilter was over this past week to trade some of her great scraps for mine. I wanted to cry over the whole mess. She took it in stride – hey, I have seen her sewing room look this bad too.

Source: Bing clip art

So, I took several hours yesterday to put away fabric and supplies. Then I tackled the 2 piles of quilting UFOs. Before neatening those, I grabbed paper and pencil to start a list of what I want to do in this area in the next 4 – 6 months.

Source: Bing clip art

Here is a partial list:

  • Really clean and straighten the room
  • Finish the Nine Patch top I started on vacation
  • Put unwanted and/or unneeded books and supplies on ebay or etsy
  • Bind the 2020 Grassy Creek mystery quilt from Bonnie Hunter
  • Finish the scrap Flying Geese quilt I started on vacation
  • Complete the scrap Snowball quilt that is in pieces in a plastic bin (um…maybe 5 years now)
  • The Christmas placemats set (started 2 years ago) needs done
  • Complete the hand quilting on the medallion quilt that is in the frame (there is 6″ on one side left)
  • Continue organizing the quilt photos into files on the computer
  • Get back to working on the quilt scrapbook (I am three years behind)

The mess is very distracting and slowing down my speed and productivity in getting quilt and related items done. I am feeling very overwhelmed!!

Then I looked at the calendar. In about five weeks, Bonnie Hunter will have the 2021 mystery quilt directions available every week. According to the last few sentences of this post, the yardage and colors will be out at Halloween. Ugh….this mess has to be better before I take on that project.

Set a goal of 3 finished projects:

Being overwhelmed by quilting UFOs means I need to choose three projects that I can reasonably get done by Black Friday when the mystery quilt directions come out. Drum roll please…..here are the projects I chose to have done by then.

  • Deep clean and straighten the sewing room
  • Continue organizing the quilt photos into files on the computer
  • Complete the Nine Patch top that I started on vacation
  • And a bonus project is to finish the Christmas placemats (they are small and will be useful at Christmas)

Readers, take small steps to become less overwhelmed

For me, making a list helps eliminate feeling overwhelmed. It might be a simple way to help you as well.

So go through a cupboard, closet, or pile of supplies and UFOs. Make a list and be realistic and honest with yourself. Set a goal to complete the list, or an item or two on the list.

Get it done.
Source: Bing clip art

Breathe. The world will not end if each item on the list is not completed. But it is a joyful pat on the back when each project is complete. Mark it off the list. Give yourself a prize for working hard.

Give yourself a prize
Source: Bing clip art

All of us have schedules, jobs, responsibilities, etc. and hobbies tend to get left far behind on the daily “to do” list. However, it is good for us mentally and physically to have a hobby we enjoy. We live in a crazy world, and need to do something fun.

Turn off the depressing and/or stressful news while cleaning and sewing. Instead, put in an audio book, or listen to music or a favorite movie. Keep it fun and lighthearted.

And yes, I am already feeling less overwhelmed by quilting UFOs in my life.

Make today amazing.
Source: Bing Clip art


  1. I read this post, and thought it is way past time to get some of my quilting UFOs done, done, done. I made a list and put it by the sewing machine. 2022 is the year for taking control of the mess of unfinished projects. You are such an encouragement. Thanks, and have a great day.

    1. I think the only way to generally get thru the UFO pile is to make a list and stick to it. Getting distracted as a quilter is just so very easy. I just keep plugging away at mine. I am hoping to get most or all of my UFOs done in 2022. It would be great to start a year with no UFOs or so many scraps. Thanks for reading this blog. Happy quilting.

  2. Honey, You must be living in my world 🙂 Those UFOs pile up and it is so easy to be distracted by pretty new fabrics, or some new pattern. I am determined to finish 6 UFOs that are living in the cupboard of my sewing room in 2022. Thanks for the inspiration. Love your quilt blog.

    1. You are so right; it is easy to get distracted by new fabrics or patterns. It is great that you have a quilting goal for next year. Best wishes and happy quilting.

    1. I think many quilters get bogged down in UFOs. They feel guilty because they have them, but do not go back and complete the UFOs. I get it because it is so much more fun to go to a new project, then finish something that is complicated or unliked. But picking a project that can be finished quickly will make for a good feeling. It also gives the mental energy to tackle and finish another UFO. They make great gifts or donations if we no longer like them.

  3. It is not just you. It has been a crazy last 6 months at my house. My sewing area reflects that – ick, what a mess. Thank you for the great suggestions to help clean up the mess, and stop the guilty feelings.

    1. The mess and the guilt have a real way of cutting into the fun of quilting. I am working on the mess, which means the guilt is going away a little at a time too.

      A step at a time…..

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