Today we’re going to talk about what to do with those projects that, no matter what, you don’t want to keep after they’ve been finished. Depending on how far along a UFO (Unfinished Fabric Object) is, you might consider either donating individual (completed) blocks or finishing and then donating a complete quilt. Let’s take a deeper dive into these two possibilities.
DONATE INDIVIDUAL BLOCKS
Sometimes we’ve already put some serious time into working on a quilt before we decide that we don’t want to finish it. These unfinished blocks don’t have to go to waste , even if you know that you yourself don’t want to take another stitch on this particular project.
Instead, think about donating the unfinished blocks to a quilt guild or sewing club where members are willing to finish orphaned projects and donate the finished quilts to charity. If you have leftover supplies or materials that could be used to finish any remaining blocks, consider donating those along with the blocks to that the rescue quilter can pick up right where you left off, completing the quilt with matching fabrics.
DONATE A COMPLETED QUILT TOP
A great middle ground for donating a UFO is to complete the quilt top yourself (or “flimsy” as they are sometimes called), and then donating that top to a quilt guild so that a member can complete the quilting and binding. This allowed the quilt to be finished in full, but without all of the work for a project you no longer love falling directly on you.
Guilds often have longarmers, both professional and amateur) who just LOVE to do the quilting. Their dedication to the art of quilting and skills with a longarm machine can help a quilt top quickly turn into a completed quilt, meaning the quilt can get to a charity that much more quickly. Some guilds even have setups where charity quilts are planned to be completed by committee: one person pieces, one person quilts, and one person sews on the binding!
DONATE A FINISHED QUILT
It might be that while you’re willing (and interested) in finishing a UFO, you know you don’t want to keep it as part of your personal quilt collection or give it to any specific person in your life. In this case, you could go ahead and finish the quilt and donate it to charity. This has the advantage that you have more control not only over what the final quilt looks like, but also about where it ends up.
If you have a favorite charity this can be a great way to show them support beyond a simple monetary donation. Charities can distribute the quilt to one of its recipients, or even use it in an auction to help raise money. Regardless of how a charity might use a quilt to support their mission, you can rest easy knowing that you’ve supported a cause you believe in AND gotten another project checked off and out of your sewing room.
You don’t have to finish (or keep) every quilt you start!
Remember, these are just a few ideas of what you can do with an unfinished project that you know you won’t want to keep in your own personal quilt collection or give to someone specific in your life. It’s important to continue to give yourself permission to not finish every quilt that you start. Instead of wallowing in guilt or disappointment, try reframing the situation and think about how the work you’ve already put in just means that that quilt is one step further to being finished and landing with a recipient who cherishes it.
Check your UFOs to see if you have any quilt blocks or quilt tops that you don’t want to finish and keep for yourself. Determine which (if any) you want to donate partially completed and which you want to finish and then donate.
Want to learn how quilting industry professionals get their UFOs finished? Click below to download our free curated guide that shares how the professionals get their projects finished!