UFOs: Quilting During Covid-19

“I am SO guilty of starting a new project before I finish the last one.” – Julie Cefalu, The Crafty Quilter

One of the positive consequences of “sheltering at home” during the virus epidemic has been the completion of so many UFOs- Unfinished Objects. Every quilting site on social media brings a daily visual of spectacular quilts which days before lay stuffed in a bag and hidden in the back of an overflowing closet. Cleaning out the clutter also results in finding the abandoned treasure hidden among the stacks of fat quarters. The UFO: the almost-finished quilt.

The reasons for the UFO getting packed away in an unsewn state is as myriad as there are quilters. Life got in the way. Husbands and kids demanded attention. Little mistakes in the squares were too difficult to fix at the time. The fabric ran out before enough squares had been sewn. The directions overwhelmed the new sew-er. The bobbin would not cooperate. The list of excuses is endless, but the piled-up projects are real.

The possibilities for fixing the UFO call for a bit of creativity during a pandemic when no quilting shops are open. If the bag of fabric is cut up into scrap quilt squares, the solution is a “no brainer”. Just find coordinating material and colors in the overflowing stash bag, cut more patches, and sew up a sassy patchwork.

Take a fresh look at the project which is clearly in the rough. Does it have to be a twin sized comforter? Or would just binding up the sides create a cover-up to make a cozy night of movie watching with a bowl of popcorn?

Envision a home for the completed quilt. Can it be donated to a charity? A neighbor? A homeless shelter? Can this masterpiece of fabric be used as a gift for a person going through the depression of losing their job in this time of Covid-19? Would it cheer up a family facing each day with a shaky future ahead of them?  A UFO to you could be a blessing in disguise for them.

After finishing the UFOs that have lingered in the corners and closets of the house, take a break and reward yourself. Savor a cup of tea. Check out a quilting blog on social media. Deliver your UFOs to their new homes while keeping a safe distance. And wearing a homemade mask from coordinating material.

This time of staying at home can be the most blessed time of your life- and the lives of others who can now wrap up in a cozy “one-of-a-kind” quilt. A reminder that even in the darkest hours, a light shines.

“If you are a spiritual person or person of faith, pray over the project as you work on it and ask that it and its recipient would be blessed-this is a form of meditation which can elevate your work beyond the physical.”                 -Jacquelynne Stevens, The Art of Home

UFO quilt finished during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic by Joyce Beenes from a kit purchased in 2004.


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