Jacquelynne Steves

A Treasure-Trove of UFO’s!

The other day, I was tearing my studio apart, looking for a particular project. In the process, I found a box of long-forgotten UFOs (UnFinished Objects) in a box under my sewing machine table! I had totally forgotten about most of these projects. Sadly- I never found the thing I was originally looking for! (But I’m sure you could have guessed that…) But, I thought I’d share with you what I did find!

First, I found this wool applique. I think I had purchased it as a kit. I got all of the stitching done, and then just neglected to actually finish it into a project… Pillow? Wall Hanging? What do you think?

Wool Applique, Flag, pumpkin, flowers- Jacquelynne Steves

Here is the evidence of how old this UFO is- I stitched the date 2003 on it. My stitches are terrible… at least it’s nice to know that I’ve improved over the last dozen years! Probably most of the UFOs I am showing today are from 2002-2003.

Wool Applique- Jacquelynne Steves


Wool Applique- star closeup- Jacquelynne Steves

I like the little “X” stitches in the centers of the flowers. The stripes on the flag are double rows of running stitches, and the stars are French knots.

Wool Applique- flag closeup- Jacquelynne Steves

Here is something I had TOTALLY forgotten about! I made 4 of these oak leaf blocks:

Oak Leaf Block- Jacquelynne Steves

AND actually sewed them together into a quilt! You can see, I really kind of “cheated” by making most of the quilt with large borders! I can guess what happened- at the time, I was quilting all of my quilts myself on my little machine, and the thought of quilting this behemoth was just overwhelming, so it ended up in the “someday” box. I don’t really like the colors anymore… but since it’s done, I think I’ll have my long-arm quilter do something quick and cheap, just to get it done, and then Alfie (my Chihuahua) will have a nice quilt to snuggle with in the family room!

Oak Leaf Quilt- Jacquelynne Steves

I found a lot of “orphan” blocks in the box. Here is one that I designed and hand appliqued:

Flower Applique Block- Jacquelynne Steves

Flower Applique Block closeup- Jacquelynne Steves

Although it never made it into a project, I did use this design to create a punchneedle pattern, which I did in fact make into a pillow (pattern is available here):

Megans Flower punchneedle pattern- Jacquelynne Steves


Here is a cute double star block- I have no idea what I made this for, but I actually still like the fabrics in it.

Double Star Block- Jacquelynne Steves

And another block with a star. I can’t remember what this was for either! I think I was probably just messing around with some block designs in an Americana palette:

Star block- Jacquelynne Steves

And here is an attempt at curved piecing- not very good! Notice that there are hardly any seam allowances on the edges of the block. This must be why I now avoid curved piecing, and add curved pieces with applique instead! (Like, for example, this quilt and this quilt!!)

Curved Piecing Block- Jacquelynne Steves

OK that’s what I found in my UFO box- what about you? How many UFOs do you have? What is your oldest UFO? Or what is the UFO that you would most like to finish?? Let us know in the comments!!

Have A Creative Day-Pin Cushion Art_JacquelynneSteves


  • margaret
    Posted August 20, 2015 at 4:07 am | Permalink

    lots to see here today and will have a go at the first two of the three blocks, 3 is far to difficult for me

    • Jacquelynne
      Posted August 23, 2015 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

      Please give it a try with some scrap fabric Margaret- you may be pleasantly surprised at what you are able to do :)

  • Wendy
    Posted August 26, 2015 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    I had cancer 11 years ago, and I determined to finish up all my UFO’s, so that my family wouldn’t be left with all this ‘stuff’, if I didn’t get better. I DID that, and then determined when I got better that I would never have more than 2 projects on the go at one time.! (This FORCES me to finish up, because there’s ALWAYS something new I want to start!) I have 1 to bind this week, and then I can begin again!

    • Jacquelynne
      Posted August 31, 2015 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      Wendy- first of all, I’m so glad that it sounds like you are better! That is a great strategy- having to finish a project before you start another is really good incentive to complete things!

  • Posted August 26, 2015 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    I have over 50 quilts and wall hangings just waiting for me to quilt them. I spent 6 months house/pet sitting for my daughter down in Florida (I live in Washington), so all I had to do all day was piece quilts. With a longarm at home, I certainly wasn’t interested in trying to quilt anything on my DSM!! My oldest UFO is probably 4 years old. Up until I went to Florida, I would work on one project at a time until it was totally finished.

  • Terri Drake
    Posted August 26, 2015 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    When we moved from Michigan to Florida, I quickly put everything in a room designated as my sewing/craft room. Unfortunately, I could NEVER find anything. So the past few days I have gutted the room, installed shelving and basket drawers in the closet and on the walls around the room. In the process I have found well over a dozen UFO’s, kits that were never started, tops that need to be quilted and quilts that need to be bound. I will be making a list of all these “projects” and then working on them one at a time until finished. I also found an unbelievable amount of fabric, some of which I wonder why I got it (think we’ve all done that). Those will be made into community service quilts as well as quilts for the local humane society. Until I’ve made a dent in this, no more purchases until quite a few are done and gone. (Please don’t look at the crossed fingers behind my back.)

    • Leslie Sausville
      Posted August 27, 2015 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      I know exactly what you are doing. Even thought I have a deticated space in basement for my sewing and quilting, I get caught in the “new” stuff. Last November I started a double wedding ring quilt for my brother and sister in law for their 50th anniversary. Thank goodness the technique was quilt as you go and I finished, labeled, and mailed in time for their big day. Needless to say, my room was a disaster! So this month I have and still challenging everything. UFO s containerized with pattern fabric etc and labeled. Reorganizing all the fabric, paper in binders and label. I found I have 4 BOM’s going so have a schedule for when to print etc. I have until end of this month to finish then I can start sewing! I am sooo close I am giddy. What a wonderful feeling.

  • Lisa Gardner
    Posted August 26, 2015 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    I have 2 quilts that need binding, a couple of table runners, probably a few more things.

  • Posted August 26, 2015 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    I’m new to your site, but have enjoyed seeing all the projects. The thing I have trouble with is wanting to try everything when I have the UFO’S waiting to be finished. I tend to get side tracked.

  • Glenna Denman
    Posted August 26, 2015 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    My oldest UFO is an applique I started back in the 1990s and put aside because my puppy kept stealing and eating my fabrics. It is still on my UFO list. Meantime I started many other quilts, and finished most, but the one UFO I really want to finish is a queen sized top given to me in appreciation for serving as President of my quilt guild. I want to quilt it myself and have vowed that it will get done this winter, on my home sewing machine.

  • Vickie
    Posted August 26, 2015 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    Just if finished3 ufos that were over 4 years old and was happy with myself. I can’t stand the feel of a blanket on my skin so thank goodness im a quilter. I hand tie all mine so can’t claim anyone but myself.

  • Vickie
    Posted August 26, 2015 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    Just finished3 ufos that were over 4 years old and was happy with myself. I can’t stand the feel of a blanket on my skin so thank goodness im a quilter. I hand tie all mine so can’t claim anyone but myself.

  • Cecilia
    Posted August 26, 2015 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    I only have about 4 UFOs and my oldest is a set of blocks made with civil war fabrics from 2010. I don’t like the colors that much and just haven’t gotten around to sewing them together. I think your wool appliqué would make a cute wallhanging.

    • Jacquelynne
      Posted August 31, 2015 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      Cecilia- my opinion is, if you don’t like it, don’t do it. Time is too precious working on something that you don’t enjoy. Why not give it to someone who likes those colors, or maybe who would make it for a charity quilt?

  • Kathie
    Posted August 26, 2015 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    The wool applique is definitely a wall hanging. I think the appliqued flower would be cute as a framed piece. It is very pretty. Our guild has a box in the front of the meeting where we all put our orphan blocks (blocks that don’t seem to have a purpose). Some of the women in our group take them and make the best quilts out of them for charity. UFO’s, I have a few going on but don’t really like to have many so I don’t hide them. I keep them within sight and accessible so I can pick them up and work on them when I have a minute. Eventually they get done. We also swap UFO’s at our guild so if we find one that doesn’t appeal to us any more we can find a new home for it.

  • Posted August 27, 2015 at 1:11 am | Permalink

    I believe I have less than 100…but only just! My goal, once again is to finish a UFO for every new project. Loftly, I know but some of mine have just got to get done and out…if only there weren’t always so many new ones tempting me!

  • Posted August 27, 2015 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    I started a printed cross stitch quilt with the intent I would make them into quilts for my two daughters’ beds. One daughter is 34 and the other is 32 with children of their own. It is still in quilt squares…It will get done. I am planning on giving it to my son and his wife now…

  • Pam
    Posted August 27, 2015 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    My oldest UFO is not a quilt but a Cross Stitch table cloth which I started over 40 years ago. I lost the pattern so it was shelved & I have not picked it up again. My first ever quilt, totally hand pieced, is still only a top, I no longer like my colour choices so I don’t like its chances. There are at least 5-6 other UFO’s, WIP, not to mention all those new projects earmarked. Guess I should stitch faster!

    • Deborah Kanavel
      Posted August 27, 2015 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      Pam, look at the selvage of your cross stitch. You may get luchy and find a company or identfier. The internet has companies with thousands of patterns or just put in a search with dome key words to describe the motif. Someone out therr has it and you could get another pattern. Your local craft shop may be able to look in a catalog too. Good luck.

  • Myrna DuBois
    Posted August 27, 2015 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    UFO’s? Dozens. Problem was, before retirement I was an Extension Educator, and was always getting something ready to demonstrate to my 4-H’ers in my after school program. The kids grew up but my projects tended to go unfinished as I needed a new demonstration. Many of those kids are in their 30’s, 40’s, and still quilting, which makes me feel good. I have a quilt that I started in the 1990’s, ran out of fabric in one of the colors, and never finished. That makes me feel bad. As I neared retirement, many of my co-workers wanted to learn from me so they could help the 4-H’ers in their counties, so I also have 2 or 3 quilts started that I demonstrated in workshops with them. When I retired I started a guild, and we have a wonderful time learning from each other. Unfortunately, that gives me more unfinished projects ad I have to try everything. I will never run out of projects. Or fabric for that matter. Happy quilting! Myrna

  • Karen Poling
    Posted August 27, 2015 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    My oldest UFO is around 30 years old. It is totally rediculous since all it has needed all these years is the binding! This year I am determined to finish binding the last side and mail it to my niece. It was her graduation present. She has since served in the Marines, married, had 4 kids, etc. There are several others that just need binding, one top ready to sandwich, and one that got a wrinkle on the backing during my first experience on a longarm. Currrently have 3 WIPs which I am determined to finish before October. Having a great time since I moved into my studio! Your layered flower is so cute, I would love to use the design on a baby quilt. Is that okay?

  • Meegan
    Posted August 28, 2015 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    My oldest UFO is an Eleanor Burns quilt that I was handquilting. I started it in the late 1980’s. I have tons of UFO’s because I love to START projects. But I do have to say, that after having my mom and dad die of Alzheimer’s, I actually went to the doctor because I found a queen sized quilt top that I had pieced and had no memory of it whatsoever. My friends remember me working on it, but I hadn’t a clue. That was a while a go-10 or so years, and the quilt top is in the exact same shape it was the day I discovered it. I have found lists from the 1990’s of projects to finish, and most of them still aren’t done. I figure that someday, when my kids have to go through my border hoarder craft room, I will finally have my revenge for their teenage years.

  • Meegan
    Posted August 28, 2015 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    By the way, I love the applique flower translation to needle punch!

  • Rhonda Morrison
    Posted August 31, 2015 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    I found a sting block i made as well as the center of what was suppose to be a table runner without the border and backing…i am still learning

  • Posted September 5, 2015 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    Your wool applique is certainly cute and would make a cute wall hanging. I am the world’s worst when it comes to UFOs, but I have turned over a new leaf. I have an Excel spreadsheet with all my UFOs, when they were started, a column for when it gets finished, and another column if it ends up being a gift for someone. Many years ago I had about 150 listed. As of January this year, I started out with 75. I have finished 8 so far this year and plan to do more. My secret is NOT starting ANY other new quilts. I will make 1 exception in Sept. because Bonnie Hunter is coming to give a workshop, and I have to attend that! I’m determined to get them all done and then make smaller quilts and finish what I start!

  • Beverly
    Posted September 6, 2015 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    I don’t want to even think about how many UFO’s I have. I think I am going to start at the newest and work backwards. ? That would be my first mini quilt of houses and the top is finished. I just can’t decide if I want to quilt it or put in a frame.

  • Jan
    Posted September 18, 2015 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    My goal 2 years ago was to finish some quilts that are graduation and wedding gifts. Well, the years have gone and they are still not finished. But, they are in boxes where my quilting machine is so they will get done. It will be a surprise to the intended people. Just a very late gift! I am working on a quilt for my son’s new bed. It is an oversized king, so I had to enlarge a pattern for the middle and add the sides that hang down. Needless to say it had to be quilted in pieces because my room is not big enough to expand to a king size. He wanted it last winter, but he will get it this winter. Summer and camping got in the way.

    • Jacquelynne
      Posted September 21, 2015 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      Jan- I think that one year late is really not that bad! My daughter got married over 3 years ago and I’m still working on her quilt…

      • Jan
        Posted September 21, 2015 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

        Thanks. Unfortunately, the UFO’s are at least 8 years old! This year is not over yet and camping season is almost over here in Montana-getting cold. So they will get done. Hopefully?!

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