Area 51 Challenge Update #10 – T’was the week before Christmas…

Does this ever happen to you? I’ve been pushing, pushing, pushing to get some projects done for Christmas. Big projects, well, some small, too, but you know what I mean. Yesterday morning, I saw my brother off to the airport with two suitcases of gifts from me and mine which he will be bringing to “Grandma’s Christmas” on the 26th. My plan was to spend the rest of the day at the mall with two of my girls, go to Costco and pick up the ham for Christmas dinner, then put a little time into restoring (or maybe getting is a better phrase) some order in my house. Oh, the best laid plans of mice and moms….we did spend fun time in a dress shop were my oldest found her winter formal dress, we surveyed the Santa photo line and decided to wait until it was less crowded, had lunch together, and then, in the bathroom of the bookstore…my back went out. Not completely, but it gave the fatal twinge when I sat and I wasn’t sure I could get up again! I had visions of having to call my oldest daughter on her cell phone from the stall and get help to get up. Fortunately, I was able to rise and get my clothing arranged with only a few minor whimpers. That put an effective end to our day, however, as we went home and I bonded with the heating pad and dozed for the rest of the afternoon…so much for a full day out! Sometimes I think that our bodies respond to all the pushing with the approach of “slow down or I’ll make you slow down, buster.”

In retrospect, I’m just thankful that my back didn’t act up one day sooner or I’d have been sunk. I had just enough time to get MQ3, MQ4 and CMQ finished. Well, CMQ doesn’t have a label yet but that’s because my print-on fabric sheets went missing in the big push to get ready for the Gingerbread Party. If you’ve been following along, you know that an MQ is a Mystery Quilt that is a surprise for someone this Christmas and on the 26th, in the afternoon, just in case anyone at Grandma’s Christmas reads this, I will post pictures of the fronts of all the MQ’s. CMQ is a commissioned quilt that I’m very excited to show off but can’t until the 26th.

Here’s a teaser picture of the three finishes I managed this week.

MQ3, MQ4, and CMQ

Speaking of the 26th, I’ve set aside the day of the 26th to beginning sewing on the Carolina Christmas Mystery from Bonnie Hunter at This is a free mystery quilt pattern that Bonnie made available on her site beginning after Thanksgiving. My gift to myself over the Christmas break is going to be a bit of time sewing on something without a deadline! Of course, I’ll still be working on those finishes. With three more this week, I’m past the 1/3 mark to my goal. Now, I’ve got a question for everyone. What is, in your opinion, the “just right” number of UFO’s to have? I doubt I could ever be someone with no UFO’s. I like having something to quilt, something to applique, and something to piece available to suite whatever quilting mood I’m in but I’m certain that over 70 is too many! How many seems “just right” to you?

Well, I’m off to the sewing room while I ponder this mystery. Not to sew right now but to wrap….and wrap, and wrap! Not as fun as quilting but at least I get to play with color and scissors!

Merry Christmas to all and may your stocking be stuffed with quilty things!

Week 10,  finishes 18

P.S.  OK, by now you may realize that numbers are not my strong suit…I noticed that I got the week # wrong on last week’s update – it was week 9, not 10…so this is real week 10.  I do hope you’re laughing with my and not at me on this one!

One response to “Area 51 Challenge Update #10 – T’was the week before Christmas…

  1. Beth — I have well over twice your number of UFOs, so I may not be the “right” person to answer your question about what the perfect number of UFOs is. But I’m going to give it a shot anyhow. Right now, I have 151. That’s clearly not the perfect number. Almost exactly half that number either just need quilted and bound (48) or borders added, quilted and bound (24). I’m going to be working on finishing those 72 in 2010. That’s ambitious, but not completely out of the question. Anyhow, I don’t think the 79 that will still remain is the perfect number either. I think it may depend to some extent on what the UFOs are — ideally, I’d like one or two that were at the just mindless strip-piecing stage, one that was at the stage of cutting out the applique shapes, one at the stage of tracing the applique to fusible web (the only kind of applique I’ll do), one that’s at the stage of needing the appliques stitched around (machine blanket stitch or zigzag), one (or two) foundation piecing projects, one more complex piecing project, one that’s ready to go to be quilted, and one or two that need bound (which I do completely by machine, and is fairly mindless for me). Perhaps also one that I’m playing with layouts on, and one scrappy thing either crumbs or strings. And one or two that I’m cutting out. So with a little bit of fudge room, maybe 15? That’s not so many that it seems overwhelming, but it’s enough that there’s a variety of things to be worked on. But even if that’s the perfect number for me, it doesn’t make it YOUR perfect number, you know? You have to find your own comfort level.

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