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Sunday, July 12, 2020

Tips For a Productive UFO Week 2020

I've mentioned that UFO week is coming to Pattern Pastiche.

We do it every year in July.

It's my favorite program at Pattern Pastiche.

No, we don't get out our telescopes and tin foil hats.

UFO in quilter lingo means UnFinished Objects.

You see, as quilters, we want to make every project as it comes along. In order for that to happen we often have to decide "Do I finish what I'm working on now and then start the new project? Or, do I jump right on in?"

Yep... mostly we jump right on in and that other project falls to the wayside and becomes, you know it, a UFO.

It's a quilter thing, you may not understand, but it's real.


Each year in July we have UFO week.

A time to reflect and review our previous cast offs. 

Here are some points of wisdom I've discovered over the past couple years.

In no particular order.
  • It's too easy to spend the entire week sorting bags and boxes of projects. Don't wait until the week starts to do that. NOW is the time for planning, next week is time for working. 
  • Clean your machine. Change the needle and have fresh needles on hand. Dust your bobbin area between each bobbin. Give your rotary cutter a fresh blade.
  • Clear your space. Get everything non-UFO related off your sewing and cutting tables. If you have to, just swish it all into a box. (I confess I have several of these boxes. Maybe I should include: Throw away boxes from previous clear-offs if they are more than a year old. Obviously I don't need whatever is in them.)

  • Select not more than 5 UFO projects to work on. Gather everything you need for each project and bundle it together so you don't have any surprises. Choose items you can finish or at least upgrade to another level of done-ness. Have some alternates in mind in case things go faster/different than you expected.
  • Don't forget thread. If you need something special, get it now and put it with your project bundle. Fill all the bobbins you think you'll need, plus one, for each project. 

  • Do you need templates, fabric washed, pressed or starched, fusible, HST marking, cutting, binding made, backing sewn/trimmed or any other kind of prep work? Planning to quilt? Can you pre- load the frames? Get 'er done this week so you are not spending precious time doing prep work. 

  • Make a checklist and timeline for each project. What do you need to do and in what order? How long should each step take? Use that list to create a master plan for UFO week. Schedule blocks of time for projects, not minutes for each task. 

  • Don't leave your family to fend for themselves. You want them to enjoy UFO week too. Consider make ahead freezer meals. Post a menu so they don't have to wonder if food is coming. Keep snacks on hand for them. Make arrangements for drivers or play dates as needed. 

  • Best of all: Don't forget PRIZES! Stock up on rewards to give yourself along the way. They can be as awesome or as often as you like. Just link them to a completed task. Too often and you'll spend your week unwrapping chocolates. Not often enough and they won't motivate you. You are the boss of your prizes. 

  • During the actual week, drink plenty of water, get away from your sewing machine for meals, take a stretch/bathroom break every hour (don't forget your hands), and BLINK! Keep some saline eyedrops close and give your eyes a rest every so often.
Finally, remember if you are not having fun, you are not doing it right.

It's a free program, you don't have to be a subscriber to The Quilt Pattern Magazine to join.

Come Join us. It'll be fun and you can move some of those project from bin to WIN!

See you there July 19- 25, 2020.


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