Monday, January 13, 2020

PhD in 2020 (Projects Half Done)

My friend Gail of Quilting Gail has hosted a PhD program for the past two years; her PhD stands for Projects Half Done.  She's had two rules: complete a certain number of UFOs and complete any new project started in that year so as not to create more unfinished projects.  I've participated both years and was successful both years, though admittedly in 2019 it was down to the wire! You can join in the fun here. 


She changed the scope a little this year to focus on twelve UFOs that you would like most to complete.  I looked at my list of UFOs and I have fourteen on my list.  Problem is, I have to have at least cut something out or otherwise done prep work to consider it a UFO. I have scores more projects that I have the fabric plus a plan for, but have not actually done anything beyond plan.  And I'd like to tackle some of those as well--my overall goal isn't just reducing the number of UFOs/PhDs I have, it's getting stuff used and out of my sewing space as well.

So I'm going to set my goal of twelve completed projects that I'm already planning and/or started, with the rule for myself that at least 8 (or two thirds) need to be from the UFO list.  And of course, I need to complete anything started prior to November 30th of this year--I give myself a pass on projects started in December due to the nature of my work schedule and extra time off in December.  None of my Island Batik projects will count toward my PhD.

One more Emily rule: I keep a hand-sewing project or two on hand (pun intended!) for times when I don't have the option of using the sewing machine.  The purpose of these projects for me is to have them, so finishing them, while of course good, is not necessarily the only goal.  My way of dealing with these hand-sewing projects since Gail started the PhD is that they are not considered UFOs while they are hand sewing projects, but once the hand part is done, then they go on the UFO list.  I have two hand sewing projects right now: an embroidery project and Violet Craft's EPP Lion. 

The UFO list, in no particular order:

Food themed picnic blanket

Lion Pillow

Giraffe Pillow

Magical Forest

I Spy leader/ender

Smitten Kitten

Blue Forest Animals

Laura’s quilt

Bookshelf quilt

I Spy for our bed


Extra for Miren

Awesome Ocean

Western kids’ quilt

Gail's charge is to name the projects that you most want to finish.  I'm not calling out my twelve projects, but I picked a few that I especially want to finish.  

First, Laura's quilt.  This is for my best friend and may be my current oldest UFO.  I'll see her in person in May and I'd really like to be able to gift it.

one of the Ohio Star blocks from Laura's quilt

Second, I Spy for Our Bed.  I really wanted to finish this in 2019 but got sidetracked, mostly with the Island Batik projects.  Our bed is the only bed in the house that doesn't have a quilt that I made on it and it's past time to fix that.

And third, Awesome Ocean.  Kathleen started this QAL in December, so I did start mine prior to January 1st.  I'm still not sure if this will be one quilt or two.  I have a coworker who is expecting and this may end up being the baby quilt--not sure yet!
Octavian from Awesome Ocean
I've enjoyed the motivation of the PhD these past two years and I'm hoping I can pull off the hat trick! Thanks, Gail, for creating such a fun way to finish projects!


  1. I think you have some good goals this year, Emily! Love seeing all that purple in your pics!

  2. Great goals and good ways of thinking about it! Good luck with your PhD and so smart to end in November.

  3. Good luck on your PhD and congrats on a new year as IBA.

  4. Gail does have a great idea there. Love those octopuses!

  5. Good quilting luck on making progress on your goals.

  6. You've done so well in the past PHDs it's no wonder that you've whittled down the UFO list. I'm also a fan of modifying how you participate in a challenge so it helps you accomplish what you want to get done. Thankfully I've never run across and blog challenge police, so I think we are safe on that front. Good luck with your PHD plan for 2020!