Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The anatomy of a UFO

I'm back in the freelance world and that means I'm my own boss. I decided to take the holidays off - I could do whatever I wanted - well, I still had stuff that needed to be worked on, but let's say that I sewed all day instead of doing e-mail or paperwork. 

Now that the holidays are over, it's back to work! I have contract stuff, guild stuff, retreat stuff, class stuff - I have a lot of stuff that needs to be addressed and yeah - this is the week to get back at it! I must say that I'm looking forward to it. I don't think I could sew all day - isn't that funny!

I made good progress on the magazine quilts yesterday. The top of one is done, the backing is made as well as the binding. The darn thing is even loaded on the long arm ready for this afternoon. And I made the binding for one of the small ones. Sorry - no sharing yet!

Then it was time to mess around and do my own stuff. Well, why not?

I decided to tackle one of the UFOs from 2017. I was wondering which one to pick and decided to pick the one that had the most containers associated with it. Here's what I found. 

There were two cutlery trays with cut strips measuring 1 ½" by 6 ½".  

Cutlery trays of strips
 Hmm - what exactly was I going to do here?

Then there was another container with strips measuring 2" by 7". Hmm - what's this all about?

More cut strips
 Found some triangles left over from joining strips for borders. I should mention that this fabric is left over from making at least one - no there were several quilts that I made using this fabric. It was a kit from The Hobby Horse. I made several quilts (including one for my Mom) that were made from 6 ½" squares. But I had so much leftover that it didn't go into the scrap bin. 

Triangles from joining border strips
 There was a stack of yardage.

 A box of bits that I couldn't cut the 1 ½" by 6 ½" bits from.

 There were pieces that I could cut the 1 ½" by 6 ½" strips. So I cut what I could from these pieces. I also cut 2" by 7" if I could.

Stuff that needed to be cut
 There were also four patterns included in the mix. Three of them were actually from a class that I had taken a while back. We had the choice of making one of the three in the class. My quilt top is finished and ready to be quilted. I put that pattern with the quilt. The other two pattern sheets went with my patterns and the fourth pattern is one that I was going to modify and use with my bits.

Now seriously - can you imagine if someone other than myself had of opened up this mess? Who would have figured it out? And since my sizes of pieces didn't match what was in the pattern, it would likely have gotten tossed.

Now here's the other thing, remember how I said NO to multiple projects in one UFO listing?  I think there's enough here for three quilts!  NO!!!!!!

I cut all the extra bits until I had the number of strips that I found on a sheet of paper. That would give me enough to make 48 rail fence blocks.

288 strips ready to be made into rail fence blocks

I cut more of the 2" by 7" as well. I'm going to deal with that project later.

2" by 7" strips
 The yardage got put into a bag, the bits of binding that I found were also grouped and bagged, as did the triangles. All bits to be dealt with when the time comes.

Bits are sorted and bagged
 There are even more scraps in the scrap box. There's probably enough here to make an improv quilt - but we won't go there yet!

Box of scraps
 Then I found ONE more bag and I had a great chuckle as I unpacked the bag. Do you see what's in the bag? 

A treat!!!
 I believe this came from Rose who had made the same kit and I was accumulating scraps in order to make at least two scrap quilts from the leftovers. Little Sammy used to come downstairs on our sit n sew days to keep everyone entertained and people used to bring treats. I think that treat was meant for Little Sammy!!!  Murphy enjoyed it very much!

Now here's the big question that I have - at what point should you make notes about your projects? You know - if you're going to shelve the project. We never know when the project is going to be shelved so that's a tough question. Perhaps it would be good to always keep a neat and tidy project box. No extra patterns and perhaps a note or a diagram stating what the plan is if you don't have a pattern.

This morning, I went to EQ8 and designed TWO quilts that could accommodate the 1 ½" by 6 ½: strips. Which one will I make?  Not sure yet, but I like the one with the fewer blocks.

72 rail fence blocks - quilt size 64" by 70"
48 rail fence blocks - quilt size 65" by 82"

I have enough strips cut to make 48 blocks and it's not as busy. The fabrics in the quilts above are from the EQ8 standard inventory. They are NOT the fabrics that I'm actually using.

I even went so far as to make some blocks and side by side, they are very busy. I'll make the 48 blocks and then decide. That means I'll have to find something to get in between the blocks as I don't think I have enough in the yardage stash and I don't think I'd have cream in my stash. Oh, by the way, I should mention - this is FLANNEL!!!

7 of 48 blocks - DONE
I started to work on my ender and leader project as well. This is what the blocks look like when they are completed. It's a bit fiddly - that red center is made up of 4 squares. I could have designed it (and cut it) differently but it was already cut (many years ago!)

Two squares from the ender/leader project

 I believe there are 113 squares in this project, but it's just a tag along project. It's not on the UFO list.

Then I did something that I've wanted to do for a long time. We have a lot of decorations - well, not as much as some people, but enough. I want to get rid of them all - OK most of them. Since M has left home, we don't put up decorations. I dug out the Easter decorations and put them in a bag to be given away. I figure this is the perfect time for Easter decorations to show up in the second-hand store.

Easter Decorations box
Now I have an empty tub to help tidy up the studio! Oh, shoot - I need to take a picture of one item in the box that I was requested to keep. And I forgot to take a picture of that Canada quilt. That's for tomorrow.

Thanks to M, who was outside freezing her little butt off, here's a picture of the moon last night.

Full moon

 On that note, I'd better get the day started as I have a lot to do - phone calls, e-mails, I owe a lot of people information!

Have a super day!!!!



  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. That is too funny Elaine. You are correct - that bag of scraps with the dog treat was from me, from the old sit and sew days. We have a small, older dog who gets half a soft treat. Glad that Murphy enjoyed it!