Top 5 reasons why your quilts don’t get finished and how to move forward

Are you astounded by the number of projects you have laying around that are nowhere near finished? Are your friends competing to see who has the most UFOs (UnFinished Objects)? Since we’re getting close to World UFO Day (July 2nd), I thought I should give you my top 5 reasons why projects aren’t finished to help you reduce your number. I’ll also show you how the PFAFF creative icon was built to help you finish projects.

The PFAFF creative icon was built to help you finish projects

I have to say that since receiving the creative icon in early January, my UFOs have decreased and I have already made more quilts this year compared to last year! But let’s start by explaining why you have so many UFOs:

1. Not thinking through the complete project before starting

How many of you have really thought through the whole project before beginning? Many times we begin a project without having read all the fine prints on the pattern, especially the fabric requirements.

We get stuck in a project because we are missing a key element to finish: fabric, batting, backing, thread, ruler, etc. How many times have you run off back to a quilt shop to get more fabrics to finish a project and realize there are none left! The project will be set aside as we need to make adjustments, and we can’t quite figure that out. So ensure you have everything you need before starting a project. Keep it all in one box labeled with the name of the project. This will ensure that you don’t use it on another project.

2. Trying to learn too many things at once

That’s another big reason why we have so many projects collecting dust. Ensure you are not raising the bar just a little too high when choosing a pattern. Learn one thing at a time.

For example, if you’re wanting to learn to paper piece, start with an easy paper piecing project. Don’t go for a pattern with curved paper piecing! You’re setting yourself up for a very hard time. Start simple, once that’s done, do try one with a higher level of difficulty: miniature or curves for example.

3. Going for a big finish

Here’s a very common problem. Most of us want to make useful projects and aim for twin to king size quilts. We never want to go small: cushion, placemat, sofa throw. When you’re testing out something new, do try out on a smaller level, you’ll be more likely to finish it and move onto the next project.

4. Unrealistic deadlines

My favorite one! I’ve seen this so many times!

Deciding to make a quilt for a big event at the very last moment: wedding, graduation, birth, special anniversary are good examples. I like to remind everyone that we will be more likely to finish a big project if we give ourselves two years! So if you’re only months away… don’t even start, or aim for a smaller project (Reason #3).

5. Are you having fun yet?

The final piece of the puzzle! Having fun! If you’re making a project because all your friends are making it… it doesn’t mean you’ll enjoy it. Do think that through before committing to a sampler, block of the month or any other great idea that comes your way.

You need to work on projects that will make you happy! I like to say that quilting fills a void, answers a question and builds my self-confidence. Before I commit to spending hours on a project, I ensure that it will fill me with joy. Too many times I have finished a project feeling anger and resentment at the project for taking so long for so little sense of accomplishment. Don’t get stuck in that.

Presenting the special feature of PFAFF creative icon: built-in tutorials with videos

Now here’s something I found very useful on the creative icon. It has built-in tutorials to help me along. I just love being able to choose a quick project directly on my screen and follow the instructions with videos as I’m making it. And who doesn’t want a built-in tutor on their machine?

Most Expansive Tablet-Like Screen – PFAFF® creative icon™ sewing and embroidery machine – YouTube

Swipe, zoom, pinch and personalize on the brand’s largest, most customizable and intuitive 10.1” full-color tablet-like display. Built for creativity and eas…

The screen is the biggest ever: 10.1 in full-color screen works like a smartphone or tablet, and is the largest, most intuitive display available from PFAFF. So it’s easy to watch a video explaining how to thread your bobbin from the needle, you can also check my earlier post ‘Stop unthreading your machine to make new bobbins!‘ for more details

You can venture into more in-depth sewing techniques such as pleating fabrics! Not that you need that for quilting… but it caught my curiosity! As you’re watching the tutorial, the machine will change its settings so that you can practice what you see. How awesome is that?!

If you’d like to make something new this week, might I interest you in making a fun small project while perfecting the famous flying geese block?

I loved designing this pattern and you’ll see how much fun it is while learning how to make perfect flying geese in no time. And the Canvas collection from Northcott Fabrics has just the right colors and textures to give this quilt a modern look.

Here’s a simple fun project you can make this week

Here’s the material list and cutting instructions for a finished quilt size 30″ x 40″.


1⅛ yd of gray fabric, cut:

–  one (1) 4½” strip (A)

–  one (1) 14½” strip (B)

–  one (1) 5¼” strips, then cut into three (3) 5¼” squares (C)

–  one (1) 2⅞” strips, then cut into twelve (12) 2⅞” squares (D)

–  four (4) 2¼” strips for your binding

⅝ yd of red fabric, cut:

–  two (2) 5¼” strips, then cut into eight (8) 5¼” squares (E)

–  three (3) 2⅞” strips, then cut into thirty-two (32) 2⅞” squares (F)

⅜ yd of beige fabric, cut:

–  one (1) 5¼” strips, then cut into five (5) 5¼” squares (G)

–  two (2) 2⅞” strips, then cut into twenty (20) 2⅞” squares (H)

1½ yd of fabric for the backing

batting size 40″ x 50″

piecing (50wt) and quilting (40wt) threads to match

Get ready to have one less UFO this week! See you tomorrow with more great tips on the PFAFF creative icon.

This is part 1 of 5 in this series.

Go to part 2: 4 best kept secrets to perfecting the flying geese quilt block

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