Many years ago, I was the charity quilt coordinator for my guild. In that role, I was the recipient of many, many donated UFOs. What absolutely surprised me was how much I loved dealing with other people’s UFOs. I have rarely felt as creative as I did when staring at a stack of blocks and trying to decide what to do with them. Since they were not my UFOs (of which I have plenty!), I was completely freed from any preconceived notions of what the blocks were supposed to be and could instead look at them as a challenge: what is the easiest/ fastest useful quilt I can make, either with what I have here or with just a few additions? It was a much greater challenge than starting with a blank sheet of paper and a well-loaded quilt shop and it led to some of the most creative solutions.
I started each UFO project by asking myself a series of questions to ascertain the situation. “How many blocks did I have? How big were they? What could I create with them?” If the answer was “nothing good,” then I thought about whether I could add a little more fabric in sashing, alternate blocks or borders and come up with something of the right size.
I encourage you to look at your UFOs with fresh eyes and see what creative solutions you find. Tackling one may be just the challenge to get your creative juices really flowing and it has the added benefit of dispatching with a UFO! I’ve created a two-page worksheet to download that steps through those questions I asked myself as a free gift for subscribers to my Creative Play Newsletter. Click here if you are interested. I’d love to hear about ways UFOs spurred your creativity so please feel free to post a comment here on the blog or over on my Facebook page. Happy Finishing!