How Many UFO’s Do You Have?

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Whether you’re new to sewing or have been around for awhile, it’s highly likely you’ve heard the term UFO floating around somewhere. And, if you have been sewing long enough to have a few projects under your belt, you probably have one or two UFO’s stashed in a corner begging for your attention.

UFO is a common abbreviation in the sewing & quilting world but what exactly does it mean and why on earth do we have so many of them?

What is a sewing UFO? How many do you have? How can you keep them from piling up? Learn some of the reasons behind UFO's and when it's time to let them go.

So, what are UFO’s?

UFO is an acronym for Un-Finished Objects, and you know there are a lot of them when we have to find an abbreviated way of saying “sewing stuff that I haven’t finished yet”.


Some sewist may refer to a UFO as a WIP or Work In Progress. A few years, back I asked our readers how many WIP’s they have in the queue and since the response was amazing  we put together a quick post to help you manage your workload. 

Sewers and their WIP's- How many do you have?

Why so many unfinished projects? Why do we start something, stop midway through, and then promise ourselves that we’ll get to it later?

I can really only speak for myself, but my guess is most of us fall into one of these two categories:

  1. We get bored when the project takes longer than expected and we need something to break up the time.
  2. We get frustrated. The picture on the cover looks great, but maybe the instructions are incomplete, hard to understand, or the required skill level is beyond our comfort zone.

Ultimately, the challenge is being able to decipher which projects are worth coming back to and when we should cut our losses. Some projects are definitely worth it. Skill levels and knowledge can increase, so if it’s a skill set issue, keep the project around. You may get to it sooner than you think. Or, if you’re just bored with one, working on it in small chunks of time could make the project easier to tolerate. But, if you’ve lost your passion for it or it’s not turning out the way you thought it would, it may be time to say good-bye.

Turn your UFO's into something new and functional with these easy to make projects.

To battle my UFO blues, I tend to stack them in a pile and put them off to the side. Then, I will randomly pick one out and transform into something completely different. This way, it can be a focal point or help me get ahead on my next project. It becomes my Win/Win for the day! Last month, I was able to clear out 4 UFO’s from my stash and was so excited that I shared a quick video in the Scrappy Girls Club group. Just look at this cute zipper bag I sent to my swap partner. LOVE IT!!

Tame the UFO pile and transform any WIP into something new and exciting with this mega list of projects.

If you need some ideas to help you bust through your UFO pile, be sure to check out this mega list of ideas to help inspire you!

So, how many UFO’s do you have?

No judging, just asking! Leave me a note in the comments below.


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  1. The real answer to how many UFOs I have…probably like 15-20 right now. It’s not that I get bored, but sometimes I just need the mental break from a project. Sometimes walking away, starting something new, will help give me fresh eyes and renew my motivation.

  2. I have 20 or so UFOs. My biggest challenge is to know exactly where to pick up from where I left off. I’m going to keep a log for any new projects with the name of the idea, date and then the same data: Fabric names, where I am in the cutting, blocks, how many blocks are needed, how many yet to finish, batting, backing, quilting, binding. Sometimes I get hung up,on how I want to put the blocks together, so photos are essential.

    My plan is to work on one UFO each week until finished; along with anything new I start.

  3. I felt very proud when I decided to throw away a UFO. It was a wool vest that I had started three years prior. The fabric was disappointing to work with, the sewn facings looked horrible, and the lapel was unflattering on me. I not only threw away the project, I threw away the pattern as well. I have about 7 clothing UFOs now and about 4 quilting UFOs. The reason is not just boredom, but realistic priorities.

    • I totally understand. I have done the same with projects I knew I was not going to finish. Sometimes it is best to just let go.

      Fingers crossed you fall in love with the next project!

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