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  • Marlene Starkman

'21 UFOs—Literally! And So Many More... Unfinished Projects

Updated: Feb 13

It's been a few months and I've been moving bins and my fabric stash into the new Flare Fabrics Playhouse, and I promised myself I would take it slowly and organize as I go. Well, I knew I had a lot of unfinished projects; but honestly I had no idea HOW many!


It would be easy to excuse myself by saying that I continually started new projects to promote fabric lines that I carried at Flare Fabrics. True. And that sometimes the fabric lines sold so quickly I didn't need to finish the quilt or bag. Also true. Or that, of course, kits needed a sample to display at quilt shows. Again, true.


But, OMG, some of these are so old, well before I even started Flare Fabrics! Take a look at this small block. This was the 2nd project I started, at least 25 years ago. It uses the Itty Bitty Twister Pinwheel from Primitive Gatherings.


I wish I could remember what I planned with this piece. It's been sandwiched and is obviously ready to quilt.




I have three quilts that are finished and just need binding. Really? I completed this black and white quilt in 2012, that's eight years ago. All it needs is black binding.



I have at least 15 quilts with the tops pieced, that are ready for a back and quilting. Plus there's unfinished bags, totes, purses and zipper pouches. It's embarrassing to say the least. Pulling all these projects from their bins and bags, I realized that, excuses aside, I love to start new projects; the planning, the purchasing, the new fabric, the freshness of a new idea. And that I am not so enthralled with finishing and completing a project. I'm sure some of you can relate!


Can you tell where I'm going?

Yup, it's Jan 1 and Resolution Time. Yes I can resolve not to purchase fabric this year—my stash is extensive. I have batting. I have interfacing. So that's an easy resolution for me. Harder is to commit to finishing my UFOs! Not starting any new project until my slate is clear. 2021 is my year to complete—and gift—my work. It will be a great test of my Playhouse, and I'll finally have time to play with my HandiQuilter Amara. I'll post about them as I go, in full honesty with any trials along the way.


In fact, I finished one UFO today! I had completely only four of eight napkins of this black, grey and white woven yarn dye fabric, Picket Fence Homespun by Diamond Textiles. I purchased this collection in 2018, so only two years in the UFO list. Not bad. And UFO #1—Finishing Four Napkins is done.

I have a baby quilt to send off in the next month, so that will become UFO #2! The parents aren't sharing the sex, so it should be gender neutral. My three options are below. The Birch Fabrics bear (last image) is very large, more a child quilt than baby. Thoughts?


And in no particular order, here are some of the other quilt tops I unpacked today. (Sorry, I didn't take the time to iron them before photographing as I knew I was just refolding them!) The oldest is from 2009; the newest in the unfinished top category is from 2018. There's a quilt top from Marcia Derse's first fabric line; Blue Hill taupes, Dear Stella's Mermaids, a Hexi quilt with Carkai by Carolyn Friedlander, Julia piggy fabric from Windham Fabrics, a small Woolies flannel quilt, Passages by the Guilty Quilter, Hoffman International Cappuccino batiks, Red Rooster Katagami Blues, and the last UFO is a quilt kit created, with permission, to reproduce the style of the Gee's Bends quilters.


Lots of work ahead in 2021!


What is your resolution for 2021? I know that traditionally resolutions don't last. But this year seems like a light out of the dark; so maybe worth taking the plunge. Stay safe and take care. ~ Marlene


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