How to create a UFO in 13 Easy Steps

If you’ve been stitching for awhile, you probably have at least one UFO stashed away somewhere.  And no, I’m not talking about little green men or your Star Trek figurine collection.  In stitching terms, a UFO is an “unfinished object” or basically, something that you’ve stopped stitching on for some reason.

I don’t have a lot of UFOs.  I think it’s because I try to keep my projects small.  I’ve also tried in the past two years to finish up the UFOs I have.  I was cleaning my crafty area and I discovered a UFO.  Most UFOs start out with the best of intentions and somehow end up degenerating into something worthy of abandonment.

Today for your enjoyment:  How to create a UFO:  

Step 1:  Find a really cool pattern.

Oooh, dragons! [On a side note, several people have asked me to part with this pattern because it’s out of print.]

Step 2:  Find an awesome fabric to go with your awesome new pattern.


It’s 28 count and sparkly

Step 3:  Start stitching.  Quickly realize that an 11×17 Q Snap is hard to hold, even with a stand.

Step 4:  Finish wording.  Discover that the cool sparkly effect in the evenweave bothers your eyes a bit.

Step 5:  Make a mistake.  A BIG mistake!  When you can’t find the root cause of the mistake, banish the pattern to the bottom of your box O’ stash.

I was working the outline when I discovered that things didn’t line up when I made it all the way around. grrrr

Step 6:  Get married and move 1000 miles.  Move again shortly after the big move.

Step 7: Get pregnant and then work an opposite shift from your husband.  Start a blog to stave off the loneliness.

Step 8:  Get pregnant again 6 months after having first baby.  Decide to try to finish unfinished projects.  Pull out dragon pattern.

My little helper helped me find it in a box of kits.

Step 9:  Work on upper part of dragon while trying to determine what went wrong.

Step 10: Get really REALLY sick of the color green.

Seriously, there are like 6 colors of green I’m working with here and some of them are really really close in color.

Step 11:  Frog.  Frog some more.  Frog more than you have to because you think the problem is in the tail but really it’s up by the leg.  Sniffle a little because you’re 9 months pregnant with second baby which makes you cry at everything.

Sniffle Sniffle

Step 12:  With the problem fixed, begin stitching again.

We can rebuild him…

Step 13:  Have baby.  Get evicted from house which means your pattern gets packed away AGAIN (which is fine because you absolutely tired of the color green).  Realize that you have to stitch a mirror dragon on the other side which only adds to your depression.

Wait, I’m only half done???

And there you have it folks.  How to create your very own UFO complete with drama.  I hope I’ve inspired you to think about rescuing one of your UFOs from the bottom of your stash box.  I’ve decided to rescue this one.  I think it’s still worthy of stitching.  You can follow my progress on my personal blog

About Joy

Rabid stitcher and mother of a preschooler and kindergardener - both with Autism. Stitching is like going to war....with string!

I started playing with string when I was 16 and my mom bought me a Learn-A-Craft kit of a frog (because I love frogs). I discovered that cross stitching is a wonderful hobby when you go to college in the middle of nowhere Minnesota. Now that I'm married with two children, I stitch when I get a chance. Just finished my masters in teaching and hoping to get my first teaching job.

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  1. Mike Stewart says:


    What a wonderful story, complete with pictures. I have a number of UFO’s around the house for a variety of reasons. Mostly because I goofed and don’t want to take the time to find the goof and fix it. Others, like yourself, I got bored working with a certain color. Those are usually easy to overcome, I just tell myself to suck it up and plow through it.

    I hope the eviction part was resolved fairly quickly, I hate to hear really bad news like that. Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone in creating UFO’s.

    Peace and hugs from PA,

    • Hi Mike,

      We’ve been at our new house for almost 2 years now. Our former rent house was affordable on two salaries but not on one and totally unaffordable when on short term disability (due to maternity leave). Fortunately, we’re in a better place now (literally and figuratively) even with the unemployment.

      Another thing that helped me with the dragon was parking threads which I learned about a few months before I started work on it again. It made the frequent color changes easier. I just got my first HAED so I’ll be all about parking threads once I start that.


  2. Don’t do the second dragon. It looks good with one.Stitch a sun or a moon on the opposite side.

  3. Sorry, I don’t mean to laugh, but I found this post quite amusing. 🙂

    I have a UFO, which also happens to be a BAP. DH asked about it the other day and commented that I have yet to finish ‘his’ fairy. Since when was I stitching that for him? LOL

  4. I have soooo many UFO’s!! I just started to work on one again. I have been in a slump for far too long and I am trying to get back into stitching again. I guess we all have the same problem. Good luck on your UFO’s.

  5. In October/November I did an inventory and spreadsheet on my current list of UFOs. I was SHOCKED to find out I had (((75))) ufos in various stages of completion. I LAUGHED so hard reading this post because I too have a toddler, moved, had a bad emotional pregnancy, and I have three projects off the top of my head were for the EXACT some reasons!!! I was stitching a teddy bear thing and I just got SICK of brown. Then I had a beautiful pattern that was mirrored as well and I still can’t find the mistake, I have tried highlighting the chart, and a couple of things and it is still yet to reveal itself. The third one has 36 colors of green. Not HAED but just an old school floral pattern with a lot of leaves in it. Joy you are the bestest!!!

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