A Year of Finishes - 2023

A Year of Finishes: Audit of Existing Projects, Part II

Here is Part II of a three-part series on the audit I recently completed of all my existing sewing projects (did not include knitting knitting or crochet projects) that began with yesterday’s post A Year of Finishes: Audit of Existing Projects, Part I .

Before I share the next 8 projects of the 24 total projects I had on my docket, I’d like to share some highlights from an article titled “The Ultimate Guide to Tackling Your UFOs” in the February 2022 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting (APQ) that I came across a couple weeks ago.

Why UFOs (unfinished objects) Can Be a Problem:

  1. They take up space
  2. They cause stress or guilt
  3. They block your creativity

Steps to Tackling UFOs:

  1. Get organized
  2. Set clear goals
  3. Track your progress
  4. Use the buddy system

Is social media creating new UFOs? Social media is a great tool for connecting with other quilters…but it can also be an overwhelming place where you are constantly bombarded with new patterns, fabrics, and quilt-along (QAL) opportunities. This can make your…UFO pile grow larger

APQ, Vol. 30, No. 1, Issue 174 (Feb 2023)

It was a great article. My local public library has American Patchwork & Quilting as one of it’s online magazines that can be read through the apps Libby or Hoopla, so if you have this access you could read the full article in the February 2022 issue.

And now back to the continued audit…



I’m not sure why I hold onto these…

Years ago at some quilt shop I found a panel of adorable blocks/prints of coffee drinks – Cafe du jour. I’ve made several sets of gift coasters from the original panel I bought and now I have around 10 random blocks left over. I made the coasters by putting Timtex, a really firm interfacing, inside between a cute backing fabric (like coffee beans). Here is a well used coaster (I made myself a set too) that I had for years:

No one that I have gifted the coasters has ever told me they were life changing (ha) and I am not too sure how many people want handmade coasters as gifts anymore.

AUDIT DECISION: In 2023 try turning one of the blocks into a pot holder (with a border to make a bit larger) and then decided after that experiment whether to make the remaining blocks into potholders (gifts? sell on Etsy shop?) or to donate.


Hmm…some of these are getting embarrassing to share…

I learned to quilt while living in Seattle, WA around 1999. After making a couple quilts (that are now embarrassing in regards to my lack of technical skills back then) I decided EVERYONE important to me in my life needed a handmade quilt from me (whether they wanted one or not).

My late husband Terry came from a large family (7 kids) and to handle all those people for Christmas, including their spouses, they decided to draw names and you only got a gift for your assigned family member. Well back in the early 2000s I pulled the name of a family member that loved lighthouses. So I made her a lighthouse themed quilt, which she loved (whew!).

Yes early 2000s. And I still have left over blocks/sections from the lighthouse prints panel I used to make her quilt. Why? Because I was going to make another lighthouse themed quilt someday…

AUDIT DECISION: Donate. No more to say about that obvious decision! (But I hope some crafter at the thrift store comes across them and exclaims: “Wow! I’ve been looking for these exact lighthouse prints to make into a quilt!” Hey – it could happen!)


No, not more drawstring/project bags! Once I finish the stack of partially completed drawstring/project bags (see Part I), I don’t want to make any more of those for a long, long time.

This fabric is reserved for tote bags I want to make.

AUDIT DECISION: Keep, and I have to make at least one tote bag from the fabric in this basket in 2023!


I was obsessed with Asian themed fabric in the mid to late 2000s and I still have a lot of it in my fabric stash I do not appear to be able to part with. I made a lot of quilts with Asian themed fabrics and I made a lot of miniature kimonos during my obsession with them (see my page Gallery page for examples of the zillions of miniature kimonos I made as gifts, for my home, and sold in the early days of my tierneycreates Etsy shop).

So I have a lot of Asian fabric scraps left over from all those projects. I decided I wanted to someday make an Orange Peel style quilt (see example below) from those scraps.

Source: http://www.leilagardunia.com/blog/orange-peel-quilt-block-tutorial

AUDIT DECISION: Keep for now but I must make at least one tester block for this quilt in 2023 or I need to donate the fabric scraps…or just return them to my Asian fabrics scrap pile!


Here is an old post from October 2017 about these types of table runners I got obsessed with making 6+ years ago – Can We Talk About Table Runners?

They actually sold very well on my tierneycreates Etsy shop and I sold out of them. I also made some as gifts which were well received. I used ombre fabric as the background which had a cool gradation. Here is what they looked like completed:

I made quilted versions and non quilted versions. These unfinished table runners are the non quilted versions.

AUDIT DECISION: As the three runners are nearly complete, finish them in 2023 and list them on my Textiles & Smiles Etsy shop when I open it again for business later this year.


This fabric is from a friend who had an old pieced quilt back that no longer worked but it had some great fabric in it. I took the quilt back and dissembled it to recycle the high quality quilting cottons that were there.

AUDIT DECISION: Not really sure what I was thinking at the time, except “Oooh free nice fabric I can recycle”, as I do not have a project in mind for this collection of scraps. So I am giving myself 2023 to come up with something to make with them and if I do not I will re-evaluate…I could always just add them to my pile of blue fabric scraps…


A friend who is the same dress size as me made a beautiful sheath dress for her son’s wedding. It was a casual wedding and the dress was not formal but something you could wear out to lunch or dinner. The pattern was very accessible for the casual/beginner clothes maker.

She offered to send it to me and I said yes. But it has been sitting around. I really want to make the dress I think it would look great on me as I am tall like her and she looks great in it. It would be a great step towards my dream of learning to make my own clothes.

AUDIT DECISION: Keep it for now but revisit in 2024 if I do not start making the dress in 2023. And as I mentioned in yesterday’s post – going forward do not accept any more projects from others in the future. No matter now appealing!


I actually assembled this quilt in 2020, see post What’s On the Design Wall: “Pride”, but fell short of actually sewing it together. I also posted the design wall photo of Instagram and someone asked if they could buy the quilt when it was completed/quilted.

I am not clear why I stopped working on it, but I really want to make it (this is another project given to me by a quilting friend who did most of the piecing of the blocks but did not want to finish it). It must have been one of those “squirrel” moments where my attention to it wavered and I was called towards the next appealing looking “nut”!

AUDIT DECISION: Get this quilt back up on the design wall in 2023 and get the blocks sewn together!

Whew that was exhausting to go through but I feel this process is making me accountable to do something with all the projects I have in queue (and are sort of weighing me down).

Next post I will take break from this audit and share an update on the post From Junk Drawer to Charging Station, as well as some big news!

Feature image: Pexel Free Photos


Alien Sightings

If you are a quilter you are very familiar with the term UFO (Unfinished Objects). Quilters and other crafters are plagued by them, many UFOs carrying over year to year until they fester into a large stash/backlog of projects to finish. I once attended a quilting retreat which focused solely on working on UFOs, but I also brought new projects and worked on them!

Why do we have all these UFOs – why do we start projects, put them down to start something else, or just put them away (like in the back of the closet)? We would not live the other aspects of our lives this way:  imagine only brushing a couple teeth once a month and coming back to your mouth say 4 months later when you stumble across your toothbrush under a pile of fabric scraps? (of course then you discover you are out of toothpaste, so you put the toothbrush away for a couple weeks until you have time to find the perfect toothpaste to finish the rest of your mouth…)

A couple weeks ago I talked to a friend who belongs to a quilting guild which has decided to help their guild members focus on knocking out UFOs in 2014. Each guild member had to list 8 outstanding UFOs. Throughout 2014, the guild leadership will randomly pick a number and you have to work on completing the UFO you listed under that number or pay some type of penalty (like a $10 donation to charity) and bring it finished the following month to the guild meeting.  I decided to unofficially participate and my friend gave me a copy of the form to list your UFOs. There is no real penalty to me if I do not finish them but I wanted to participate in that kind of “pressure” to clean out my stack of UFOs and squelch the alien invasion in my craft area.

Yes, you read correctly –  my “stack” of UFOs. I have them all organized in plastic containers and they include the fabric, the pattern and the progress to date. Stacked, quite high. While trying to decide on which 8 of the 17 or so in the corner (some containers had 2 or more UFOs in them!) to list, I thought: “If something has been a UFO for say 5-10 years, maybe you are not really interested in finishing it. Maybe it is time to let it go”. So I did. I whittled down my extraterrestrial clutter down to just 8 UFOs!   Many of the UFOs that were not started I just reintegrated the fabric back into my general fabric stash and returned their pattern to my pattern binder or folder. One UFO that was partially finished I donated to the Humane Society Thrift Shop which has a nice craft section. It was quite a freeing to let them go!

Pattern calls for 409...14 are done...
Pattern calls for 409…14 are done…

So I thought I was safe. I now had 8 UFOs that I actually wanted to finish and I was ready to find out which number would be selected first by my friend’s quilt. Of all the numbers they could have selected, they chose the number that corresponded to my most tedious UFO of all – a yo-yo quilt UFO made with 409 yo-yos! To be finished in a month! Guess how many of the 409 yo-yos I had done already?  Three. So I have been slowly working on yo-yos made from pretty Asian fabrics in the evenings and I am now up to 14….only 395 more to go. I am seriously considering only making a small wallhanging and calling it good. I think the pattern was too ambitious and was for someone with a lot (I mean a lot) of free time on their hands!