My Views on Unfinished Quilts

Oldest UFO is today’s prompt for the 31 Day Blog Writing Challenge.

I don’t have many old UFO’s–I dislike having them taking up room in my home.  What I DO have are quilts without their bindings….so I confess to that.

Unfinished quilts exist in many quilter closets. We can call them UFO’s [unfinished objects] or WIPs [works in progress]. The problem is that they take up physical space.  What’s worse, they take up mental and emotional space.  They come in the form of unquilted tops that don’t look quite right or have ‘mistakes’ in them.  They are piles of blocks or piles of pieces that you cut to make blocks.

Unfinished quilts need to move on into another life.

So here are some tips to help you move that stuff out of your life in a healthy and productive way.



  1. QUICK AND PRACTICAL FINISHING PLAN:  Decide that you like it enough and have the skills to finish it.  Commit to a finish date no more than 90 days away.  Work on it every day for 15 to 30 minutes. Set a timer so that you don’t work more than these short spurts.  Quilt it in a very simple and easy way–don’t take on an elaborate quilting plan or it will still languish.  QUICK AND PRACTICAL
  2. FIND A HOME: After step 1, find a home for the quilt. If you will use it, then keep it.  If you have too many quilts to use regularly, give it away to a charity effort.  There are so many out there–check with local guilds or Instagram and Facebook friends to find a good home.  Pack it up and give it away. See my Hoarding Quilts post.


OK, so you decide that you never want to see those blocks or that unquilted top again.  Here’s a shameless commercial– take my Stash Jazz class OR  buy my Stash Jazz pattern and turn some of those blocks or even a top into a crazy fun improvisational quilt.  It’s a fast make and it will transform those leftovers and UFO’s into something magical.  Here’s  a Stash Jazz quilt and here’s a link to buy the pattern.

Other Disposal Options

Commit to one of these options in the next 30 days (or whenever your Guild meets in person).

  1. Take the blocks and turn them into plate or mug rugs or even a table runner.
  2. Give away the UFO to a friend who REALLY wants it.
  3. Put everything in a bag on the FREE table at the next guild meeting.  If no one takes it, then move on to one of the other actions.
  4. Goodwill or Salvation Army donation
  5. Post it as a free item on Instagram or Facebook  if the receiver pays the postage.
  6. Make pet beds or pet mats for a local pet shelter.
  7. Or may be you can actually sell the blocks on social media as part of a destash!  At least you get some of your fabric investment back.
  8. Trash it!  Yes, I said throw it away.  If that feels impossible, then take any of the actions above.
  9. Feel free to add your own ideas to this post.


Here’s a photo of an unfinished quilt and I have decided to finish it by February 28, 2021.  I may then auction it off and contribute the money to an environmental group.  It was inspired when I watched  the movie Chasing Coral on Netflix and explored the issues of climate change and human behavior on coral reefs.  The colors were part of a Pantone color of the year challenge on Instagram, I think.  I like it enough to commit to finishing it. I’ll start on it after January 1, 2021.



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