2021 PHD Challenge

Have you decided that this is finally the year you clear up those unfinished projects of the past? Join in the fun, and earn your PHD in completing those projects half done! Here are the 6 rules: 

  • List limited to 6 projects for the year ( average 2 mo. per project)
  • Ufo projects only (  must be already started)
  • You must have the pattern, fabrics, backing ,and batting for completion on hand
  • Photos of each unfinished piece must be posted after your list.
  • Make a list of what is left to do below each project's name (eg:  quilt, bind, etc..)
  • ☆ optional...tell us why a project has " stalled"... do you need help? Etc.


You need to be a member of UFOs to add comments!

Comment by Chris Michelle on January 8, 2021 at 11:14am

Baltimore Christmas in process

Comment by Elizabeth Phillips on January 7, 2021 at 12:58pm

Thank you, Riana, for the sage advice!  Doug and I had a little talk over lunch and he told me he is depressed.  I understand depression very well since I have suffered from it most of my life and for my years it was undiagnosed and untreated.  I know the triggers and how to relieve them so we can confidently help each other.  Jim is coming over this evening to pay us a visit.  We will remain masked for it.

It took me ages to park the car in our tight little parking spot in the garage!  It will take me a while to become accustomed to driving again.  But I felt empowered behind the wheel!  LOL

Comment by Riana Noyes on January 7, 2021 at 12:25pm

Chris, please post photos of the projects. I'm glad you're sticking with the 2 carry overs. Do you really need to do all the applique by hand? Personally, l like the look of a mixture of hand and machine together... each shape lends itself better to one than another.You can do a very nice hybrid as well...needle turn, fastened with invisble thread using tiny blind hem or spaced narrow buttonhole stitch. It looks especially nice with a non- shiny filament thread.

Comment by Riana Noyes on January 7, 2021 at 12:18pm

Liz, you have been blessed with enough fabrics and time to create your 2020 quilts plus MANY extras .I don't think you'll be able to sustain that pace forever. Look after Doug, take on some of his chores, and be content to slow things up. You and your family need time together more than ever. I can't believe this is me saying this ( lol), but quilting is only part of life. I need to remember this too...l don't want to look up from my sewing machine one day to discover l missed the most important things.

Comment by Elizabeth Phillips on January 7, 2021 at 9:40am

Riana, Doug is getting frailer.  I've officially as of tomorrow taken over his laundry duties which he liked to do.  He finally admitted it is too much for him.  I'm not sure whether more chores for me mean I can't do as much quilting because it makes me want to accomplish more when I do get into my sewing room.  Today I am going to the pharmacy and then buy some groceries at Farm Boy.

Comment by Chris Michelle on January 7, 2021 at 8:07am

My list for 2021:

1. Baltimore Christmas Applique-I need to make 8 blocks, assemble, quilt and bind

2. Red and Black Valley Blossoms-Finish quilting and bind

3.Pink and Brown Valley Blossoms-Create Applique Borders, quilt and bind

4. Finish Grassy Creek Mystery-Finish piecing blocks, assemble, quilt and bind

5. Finish En Provence Christmas-Finish piecing, assemble, quilt and bind

6. Finish Green Argyle Bargello-Finish Piecing top, quilt and bind.

Two of these projects were moved from last year. I need to try making more applique pieces for the Christmas quilt and maybe get some better thread. I am not happy with my pieces or my stitching on that and it has stalled my progress.

Last time I tried working on the bargello I made several errors in the layout and got frustrated and put it back in the box. I need to really be able to concentrate on that.

The red and black Valley Blossoms...I am a terrible FMQer and am not happy with my results. I may tear out some of what I already created there. The pink and brown...the applique takes FOREVER so I have not wanted to tackle it. 

We are also in the middle of creating a quilting studio for me in our garage. It is coming along and I hope to have it finished by month end. That will stall my sewing some as I try to get everything moved and organized in that space. I am so excited to get it done though! I can have my long arm and my sewing station in the same room finally!

Comment by Riana Noyes on January 7, 2021 at 8:06am

Zoe, think of the smile it brings, and how much she'll enjoy using something her daughter made especially for her. With that thought in mind, sew in the love.♡

Comment by Zoetc49 on January 6, 2021 at 11:12pm

I have had neck pain the past few days, but I have been working some on the quilt for my mom. It is hard to work on something I am not excited about, but it will get done soon.   

Comment by Riana Noyes on January 6, 2021 at 9:16pm

You're making amazing progress, Liz! I remember that pink popcorn...sugary sweet :-))

Comment by Elizabeth Phillips on January 6, 2021 at 5:34pm

I sewed this morning and got the Baby Boy Quilt ready to be sandwiched.  Also I have a Baby Girl Quilt ready to quilt.  I'm going to call it "Lucky Elephant Popcorn".  I loved eating the pink popcorn in a box with an elephant on it, and there was a prize in the box, when I was a little girl.

Comment by Riana Noyes on January 6, 2021 at 5:26pm

Great list, Wilma. I love the dreasdan houses! 

Comment by Wilma Schirra-Kays on January 6, 2021 at 3:58pm

Ok, I have 5 ready for the list.  I am going to keep it at 5 until I finish a couple of these, especially since 2 are big jobs.  Hope that is ok.

1. GFG.  Have finished all the hexi pieces.  I will be sewing them onto the big quilt.  Once done, I will add border.  Have backing and batting.  This one I will quilt on our new long arm.

2.  Baby quilt for new great nephew due in March.  Need to add border.  Have batting and backing.  I may straight line quilt it on my sewing machine.

3.  Dresden style houses.  This is for me, will either be a wall hanging or table topper...not sure.  Will also be teaching this in my FW class in February (pattern Dresden Neighborhood by Persimon Dreams).  Have to finish applique.  Have backing and batting.  Think I will quilt on machine doing a sunburst straight line.

4.  Grandson #5 T-Shirt quilt....all the T-shirts are in the bags along with the interfacing.  Have the backing...will probably be pieced and the batting.  This one will take a bit of time.

5.  Seasonal Sentiments is a wall hanging.  Top is finished, just a few embellishments needed after quilting.  This one I will have a quilter do as she specializes in mixed media quilts...this one is cotton, wool and special blocks.  Have lots of scraps for the border, but not sure if I will do the diamond or blocks.

Comment by Riana Noyes on January 5, 2021 at 8:37pm

Mary, listen to Liz. She got it right ♡. If you don't like the word "challenge", don't use it! Call this a " quilters' encouragement  group". We are here to help each other :-)) 

Comment by Riana Noyes on January 5, 2021 at 8:33pm

Ok, Deanna...now you need to post photos of these projects. The reason l'm asking for " before pictures" is because last year, l got confused when members posted their list ( often using pattern's name only)... then l wouldn't know what project they meant by " star quilt", or  "blue and white quilt" etc. Hopefully this works. You'll need to get your batting, threads and backing materials for all 6 by end of Jan. It's ok to use stash scrap fabric etc., but you must be sure you have enough. I'm sure everyone was glad l insisted on that last year...who knew? Lol.

Comment by Deanna Davis on January 5, 2021 at 8:04pm

Looking at everyone's projects -- wow .. just from memory I am making this list.  I know I can do six if I just did 10  lol

1 -Gnome for the Holidays - working on this now, 1/2 together, working on last 3 applique blocks. Have borders, batt and back (for ME)

1 A - Baby Quilt LENNON .. binding in progress. This girl cheered with my daughter in HS and is now a principal in a school district in Charlotte NC - this is her 2nd child and her dream girl baby .. lots of love in this one

2 -QOV - Home of the Free Because of the Brave - center done, borders went wonky (took it to a retreat and took all the borders off and I have to redo them), Just need to do this and turn it in

3 - Hobo bag and matching zipper bag .. Hobo bag is almost complete, I may need to have jack meet me for coffee for a bit on this one. Extra fabric is enough for zipper back for toiletries - this is project for sister for her birthday - Christmas - Mother's Day .. she is all over the country driving OTR and needs a bag for shower stuff that's easy to carry and stuff. I did show it to her @ Christmas

4 - Civil War Tribute .. my favorite, and for me. I got to Block 4 and did an oops, had to get more fabric to redo block which I did, but other things got in the way.  I could possibly work on these blocks while working on other things as I build the blocks .. 

5 - Pieceful Nights - Sampler by Lori Smith, center done, maybe some blocks. Need batt & back .. started this back in VA and been carrying it around for a looooonnnngggg time  

Jinny Beyer's Tuscan Sun - Kit I purchased for my brother's wedding 13 yrs ago -- is a lot of paper piecing and a lot of work, so I put it aside. Sadly his wife passed away in December .. my heart stopped. She was in the USMC but would not let me do a Quilt of Valor for her, but I am going to do this for him as they both selected it. It's in the bag, not cut, have batting, but no back.

I know there is more, but I think Liz has us beat with 159 UFOs !  

Comment by Elizabeth Phillips on January 5, 2021 at 1:22pm

Mary, challenge just means that we are all working on our lists together - sharing the process and encouraging each other to work consistently.  Not all of us have the same time to devote to our quilting and for some the process is a little more difficult because of aches and pains.  We just don't want to let anyone abandon the task at hand.  Take your time, Mary, and do what you can joyfully while you are keeping everything else in your life afloat.  The numbers in this case are just part of the game.

Comment by Elizabeth Phillips on January 5, 2021 at 1:15pm

I'm working on 2021 number 1 1/2, a Baby Boy Quilt for my friend's Great Grandson, Sutter, who survived and is making good progress.  I'm hand buttonholing his name in the centre of the quilt.  I am hoping the 2 quilts will be a comfort to the family.  

Good to hear that you are working on number 1 on your list, Wilma.

Comment by Wilma Schirra-Kays on January 5, 2021 at 1:00pm

Will work on list today...pulled out GFG and have that as #1.  Will finish it for sure.  Will look at other 5 and move forward with list.  Happy PHD.

Comment by Mary Moore on January 5, 2021 at 11:39am

Even the word, "Challenge" makes my heart sink.

Comment by Elizabeth Phillips on January 2, 2021 at 6:23pm

Thank you, Riana.  No, I decided to substitute the Wickedly Easy Quilt and the East and West Quilt for 5 and 6 of my list.  But you are correct, as soon as I find those 2 UFOs I'll save them to be 7 and 8. And before I start back on UFO #2 I will make Sutter's crib quilt because I want to mail it with the Memory Quilt.

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