WIPs, UFOs or Stash?

I’ve been thinking lately about the above listed terms.

WIP = work in progress, usually something you are currently working on.

UFO = unfinished object, a project you have started, but are not actively working on.

Stash = well, we all know what this is…. but then again….

Sometimes, I think of my precut stash as more UFO than stash. For example, I received this lovely FQ bundle from Daughter #1 for Christmas last year. Since the moment I saw it, I knew I wanted to make something with big blocks from this bundle. Perhaps a Swoon quilt or something like that. In my mind, I had this ear marked for such a project. So it has felt like a UFO.

 I recently decided on a block pattern (not Swoon) and cut my pieces out. This kit  is now all ready to sew. So, is it a WIP now?

Here’s another example:  I  listed  these layer cakes on my UFO parade, along with this QCR,  for the year even though I had not even removed the ribbon.

Feels like a UFO to me!

I have some great stash and while I am not on a fabric buying diet, I want to intentionally use what I have instead of just collecting it.  So I recently  created a board on Pinterest of quilts that I want to make soon. I looked through all of my pins, keeping my stash in mind and chose several projects that I wanted to make with fabric I already have on hand. I plan to remove these pins when I finish actually making the quilt. It is a working board rather than an idea board, if you will.

And then I started cutting.  These 30s repro prints were cut up to make an hour glass quilt I had pinned.

I cut up the Dear Betty FQ bundle I showed earlier in this post for another traditional pattern I liked. I cut scraps into rectangles that I showed in my Scraptastic Tuesday post. The quilt I showed for Design Wall Monday got cut out at the same time. I had a quilt pinned that I wanted to make and the fabric I wanted to use fit. Now it is in the done column instead of in the someday column.

I think UFOs can weigh us down and having a huge fabric stash apparently does the same for many people. I mean, it is a waste if we never use it! There has been a proliferation of the hashtag #thegreatfabricdestash over on Instagram. I honestly do not feel a need to sell off the fabric I have purchased. Even the old stuff finds a home eventually. But the great joy in owning fabric, is in finding the perfect project for it, not collecting it. At least, not for me. So I am picking out patterns that I have wanted to make and matching these up with fabric that I have. I am taking note if there is something I need to purchase so I don’t go crazy when I do go shopping.

I bought this layer cake at Missouri Star. I picked out a quilt I had pinned that will work well. It is laying on top of a solid Kona from my stash. For the pattern I chose, I want one more solid, maybe a steel blue. I’m adding that to a wishlist I keep on my phone.

I have more matchups to make.  I know I want to make a pixel quilt with this bundle of blues. I have to find the right picture to use for it, but when I do, the fabric is ready and earmarked for it.
I bought this bundle in Paducah a few years ago, still looking for the perfect pattern, but even that is progress. I just looked at it and petted it for the last few years! Same with this Kaffe bundle. Looks like it would make a great wedding quilt, and I will be needing a few of those in the not too distant future.

Charm packs. I love them as much as the next quilter. Such joy in having one of every print in a fabric line! No plans for most of these yet.

A CD tower (remember CDs?) is great for storing charm squares and FQs. And don’t get me started on layer cakes!

I’m getting over my fear of opening those pretty bundles. There really will always be more. Having projects kitted up and ready to sew really helps me to be productive.

I’m off to sew before work! Have a great day playing in your stash :).

Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts

About katyquilts

I am a wife, mom of four amazing kids, and a librarian. I have been making traditional quilts for ages but have ventured into art qulting in the last several years. I also love to knit socks and mittens and dye my own fabric. I am thankful to God my Father and Creator for the gift of creativity!
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12 Responses to WIPs, UFOs or Stash?

  1. allisonreidnem says:

    Melanie at Cat Bird Studio just published a post about UFO’s too. Both inspiring in different ways. I love fabric bundles – they help me bypass the terrible indecisiveness that comes over me when I have to choose a heap of fabrics for a project.

  2. Jennie in GA says:

    Great planning. Somewhere that I need to go, too. Do you use a die cutter most of the time?

  3. That’s a great stash of precuts. I always wondered about WIP and UFO — I thought they were the same thing. I like your description of them.

  4. More than one time, I have thought about using a fat quarter here or there from a bundle, but couldn’t bring myself to break into the bundle for fear they should be used all together…thanks for sharing your great stash with us!

  5. audrey says:

    So interesting to read your post. At what point is a quilt really unfinished, abandoned etc. I always pre-wash my fabrics, so those pretty bundles don’t stay together long, but I know what you mean about earmarking them for certain pattern ideas!

  6. Sandra B says:

    Great post today!! I have a pretty big stash as I am a long time quilter….I buy fat quarters on a fairly regular basis, to keep the stash fresh (at least that is what I tell myself!!), but don’t have too many other pre-cuts….not sure why…..
    One thing I love about my stash is that when I get ready to plan a new quilt, I get to go “shopping” in the stash before I head out to hit the local quilt shops (I am lucky to have three great shops within a 10 mile radius of my home!)….
    My goal for 2016 is to make several quilts using only stash fabrics….will let you know how that works out…. First, though, I have to finish up 6 quilts as part of a UFO challenge that one of my local quilt shops has each year….it is so much fun, and a great motivator to get those UFOs into the “finished” pile!!
    I loved hearing your take on those WIP, UFO and Stash terms….and loved seeing your fabrics!!

  7. I’ve been thinking about all this too. I love every fabric, bundle or precut I have. However, I wish I would just buy as I make. I get overwhelmed and don’t know what to choose next. Or I “need to save that, I may need it”. I’m really going to double think the buy button before I hit it. Like you said, there really will always be more! LOL

  8. I think the problem with buying the precuts is that the mindset says they have to all be used together as a group in a quilt. In reality the companies just wanted to give you a little of each fabric in the line so you didn’t have to carry all of those bolts to the counter, and of course they hoped you would come back and buy more of the ones you really like. I would be the first to hesitate though to open the pack and spread it out in my stash by color or type. I’m looking forward to seeing your projects.

  9. I have been pondering this same dilemma–UFO, WIP, and stash. I do NOT consider precuts as UFOs. They are usually special lines that I buy because I will regret if I do not have them available to me in the future! I have a large stash of fabric–most of it was purchased on sale and has provided me the opportunity to make a quilt from what I have on hand. This is crucial when you live in a rural location without much fabric available locally! I do not feel bogged down by my stash, but empowered by the possibilities it offers!

  10. Janet O. says:

    Interesting take on your precuts “collection.” I don’t have many precuts, but I agree that it is fun to have a piece of each print from a line.
    I, too, have a CD tower in my sewing room, but it is only single width. I have a little wire basket on each shelf. The baskets contain either a small WIP, or scraps from a larger project that I intend to turn into a small project.
    Makes a great sewing room organizer. : )

  11. Betty says:

    Lisa Bonegan of Primitive Gatherings calls it her fabric collection rather than stash. There is also PhD–projects half done

  12. Cécile says:

    OMG ! All these fabrics ! You can open a store Katy ! Ah ah !

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