How to Get Rid of Your UFOs

Dear Sewfie,
I have so many UFO‘s, I can’t deal with them all. I promised myself my New Year’s Resolution would be to finish them all up before starting anything new, but I’m so overwhelmed I don’t even know where to start. And, truthfully, some of these projects I don’t even care about anymore. Some of them are just ugly or boring or BOTH. I don’t know what I was thinking when I started them. I want to start some new projects but I feel to guilty with all this unfinished stuff lying around. What should I do?

– Abducted by UFOs

Dear Abducted,

UFO’s are indeed the bane of many a crafter’s existence. Sewfie recommends the F.R.o.G. approach to managing your UFO backlog: Finish, Recycle or Give Away.


Just try to finish just ONE thing. Sewfie likes to lead by example, so here is a table topper she started for her SIL three years ago. Check it out, hot off the press.

Three year old UFO finally finished!

This table topper is Stargazer, one of the Pieced Tree Patterns Tiny Ones. The fabrics are from the Northern Territory collection by Marcus Brothers. I tried to fussy-cut the animals so you could see their faces, or in some less successful cases, their butts.

Don’t you just want to swat those cute little mosquitoes?
All ready for the cabin by the lake


Maybe you were going to use that fabric for one thing, but that project just isn’t coming together. Its OK. Just rip it apart and use it for something else. You know you will be happier when you do. I was going to make a bandanna quilt, but doesn’t this little whale look so much cuter? He’s now my sewing studio mascot whom the kids named Moby Purple-icious. The adorable pattern is by DIYFluffies.

I used to be a bandanna!

Give Away

Sometimes you bought stuff with the best of intentions but now you realize you are NEVER going to use it. Accept that reality and just give it away. Don’t think about what you could have, should have, might have or may someday make from it. Just Give. It. Away. Its new owner will be so happy you did and will make something fabulous out of it.

I was going to make my son all these cute toddler pants… back when he was TWO. Now he is old enough to have an opinion about being dressed like a dork, so I just gave this fabric away to another mom who was looking to get her sewing chops back.

These kind of prints would be OK… if you were 2.

There. Now don’t you feel better? You:

  1. Got something finished
  2. Re-purposed something, and you
  3. Gave something to someone who really appreciated it.

Time to go fabric shopping!

Warm Stitches,

2 thoughts on “How to Get Rid of Your UFOs

  1. I didn’t realize I was using that. I gave away a HUGE bag of fabric to a animal shelter thrift store. Just get a donation receipt from them and take the deduction off your taxes. Or, at least, you have helped someone else. Now, about those fabric scraps……..?
    I need help with THOSE!

    1. You can bag up your scraps and sell them on eBay or ETSY, or you can give them away on Craig’s List. I had a big box of scraps – smallish pieces but big enough to be usable for small projects. I gave them to my LQS so they could use them to give to kids taking sewing classes. I’m surprised they did that because then the kids wouldn’t be forced to BUY new stuff from the store. But, the store owner was super nice and I think it was a group of Girl Scouts or something.

      I’ve also given away fabric to local quilt guilds – they were making quilts for charity (cancer survivors).

      Also, there are a lot of pillowcase-making charities – even small strips can be useful for the borders.

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