Tuesday, February 25, 2020

An Unfinished Object

To the rest of the world, a UFO is an unknown object seen in the sky.

In the quilt world, a UFO is an UNFINISHED OBJECT. Basically, a quilt or other project that has been shelved. Why did the project get shelved? Let me count the ways...............

  1. Ran into a problem understanding the pattern
  2. Ran out of fabric
  3. Didn't like your initial fabric choices
  4. Lost interest
  5. Lost part of the project
  6. Your friend stopped working on their same project
  7. The store where you were working on the project closed
  8. You made a huge mistake
  9. The maker died
  10. Needed to buy some supplies and can't find it
  11. Lost the pattern

And I'm sure that list could go on and on.

I think I know the main source of my UFOs. Way back in 2003, I started a concept at The Hobby Horse. OK -- I didn't start the trend, I was following the trend ($10 quilts), but I initiated it at that store. The very first pattern that we worked on was called The Pieceful Year.

A Pieceful Year 

After all this time, I even remembered that the quilt company was called Four Corners. The only person I remember being in the class was Helen Anne. I believe that by the end of the year that I had completed the quilt top, BUT I had not added the final two borders. It's hard to tell in the photo above, but that outer border is made up of a LOT of pieces.

My version of the quilt

I used yarn-dyed fabrics (or we sometimes call them homespun). They are NOT printed, but rather the patterns are created by how the different colored yarns are woven together.

Before I continue to chat about the Pieceful Year quilt, let me recap something about those ongoing projects at The Hobby Horse. The first one was in 2003. Then it exploded and we sometimes two or even three in a year. Don't forget that I also taught this concept at four other stores!! I have maintained a list of all the projects, although this morning, I can only lay my hands on the one from The Hobby Horse. Do you really really want to know how many quilts we've done over the years?

Well, it's shocking to realize that we have done FORTY different patterns. Yes - FORTY. And I would guess that there's about TWENTY from the other four shops. These are all very time-consuming patterns. So now you know why I have so many labor-intensive UFOs.

So - if I were to go back to my list of 10 reasons why projects become a UFO, let me see how I fare with this project.

  1. Ran into a problem understanding the pattern  NO
  2. Ran out of fabric  NO
  3. Didn't like your initial fabric choices   YES
  4. Lost interest   YES
  5. Lost part of the project  NO
  6. Your friend stopped working on their same project NO
  7. The store where you were working on the project closed   NO
  8. You made a huge mistake  NO
  9. The maker died  I DON'T THINK SO 
  10. Needed to buy some supplies and can't find it   NO
  11. Lost the pattern   YES

The first problem is this. There's an inner border and I've had a yucky yellow fabric tucked with the rest of the border fabric forever. I don't like that fabric with the quilt but I've never attempted to find a new one. The yellow fabric isn't yarn-dyed (like the rest of the fabric) and well - I just couldn't bring myself to sew it on the quilt.

Inner border fabric??
While I had been digging stuff out for the community projects sew day, I did notice some yellows on MY shelf in the storage room. They are yarn dyes and they are slated for another project, but it stuck in the back of my mind. So when we were chatting at the Sunday Sit n Sew, I pulled those yellows out and found one that fits much better. Notice that there's a number pinned to that darker yellow fabric?

New and better choice of fabric

I need to find out how big the block is and cut the block BEFORE I cut into that yardage for this border. Wouldn't that be a kicker if I used that all up and then caused a problem with the other quilt? No - I'm going to be responsible for dealing with this situation.

So that solved one of the problems with this quilt.

Well, I did lose interest in the project big time it would appear, due to the length of time that has passed, but now this quilt is on my UFO list for 2020 and even better? It's on my list to get done by the March meeting of our UFO club. That means if I don't get it done, I'll have to cough up $10. And that would be the ultimate kick. I WILL NOT let that happen.

ONE of the pieced borders is sewn together. You would think that if you made one border that you would make the second, the third, and the fourth? But obviously, that didn't happen. The fabrics weren't even cut.

One of the borders is pieced

At Sunday Sit n Sew, I cut some of the fabrics. I thought I had cut enough, but yesterday, I realized that I was short a wee bit. I had merrily tossed my leftovers to France who was making the green scrap blocks. I had to go back through the pile last night and dig out some of what I had thrown in.

WAIT - I should tell you about the pattern. Somewhere along the line, the pattern has been lost. I found an e-mail dated 2013 from Helen Anne along with the fabric and the quilt. She had included the pattern page for the border. I was excited to finish it in 2013 but never did a thing once I had received the pattern.

Now all the reasons why I stopped working on this quilt have been resolved. And there's a bonus as well. This is yarn-dyed fabric. It's stretchy and not nice to work with. Guess what? I used the IDT system on the PFAFF to piece these border blocks the other day and it was a BREEZE.

The PFAFF IDT system
It's like night and day to have that built-in walking foot, especially for this kind of fabric. I was in heaven.

I managed to get a good part of the components made.

Components for the blocks are made
And I succeeded in getting a fair number of the blocks made as well.

Blocks for the border
I know that I like to have the numbers, but I don't remember (OK - I remember - who am I kidding). There are 13 blocks in the border that's already made. I made 16 blocks for the side border and made an additional 3 to add to the 13 to make the second side border. There were two other blocks which were the start of the top and bottom border. In total, I need 58. I'm down to needing to make 22 more blocks. I don't have a picture, but there are sections of the blocks sewn together but I need to cut more fabric. That's a job for later today or tomorrow once I get some paperwork and office tidying up done.

I've even started to hunt for something for the backing. But I haven't calculated how much I need so it's a bit difficult and I can't seem to pick anything until the quilt top is done. Then whatever fabric works will jump out. But not until the top is done! Isn't that exciting? I think it's exciting and now I can go back to that list and keep working! Well, I have lists and I know what needs to be done. Just focus on the UFOs - one at a time. They'll get done. They WILL GET DONE.

I also trimmed the Quilts of Valour quilt on Sunday and I used the leftover from the backing of that quilt to add to the backing of the other one. The print went in the opposite direction, but I think we can live with that. That's on the agenda to quilt today.

The backing is made for the Quilts of Valour quilt

I wasn't very productive at Monday sewing, although I did manage to take inventory of that double wedding quilt that I'm doing for Paula. I'll share that with you another day. I want to get started on that as well. I have my own version of the same quilt that is still not finished and I might do them at the same time. I'll dig that out and do an inventory of my quilt and see if that works.

I finally finished my reusable Swiffer cloth. This is an ancient Swiffer, but that's OK. It still works. My clothy is a wee bit wide but doesn't matter. It works like a charm. I was madly Swiffering around Studio B last night. It definitely picks up lots of dust, lint, and pins. I'm making another one, but this time, I'll make it a wee bit narrower.

My reuseable Swiffer cloth

It's essentially a double crochet. This one was 23 stitches, the new one is 19. Make it a little bit longer than the Swiffer, then fold the ends in and stitch. DONE!

On that note, I'm out of here! I've been wrapping my head around the fact that I have PAPERWORK to do today and I'm not budging from that, except to quilt that quilt. This stuff needs to get done so I can move on.

Have a super day!!!!



  1. One quilter I know uses scraps of batting to make swifter covers. She says it works quite well. So that's another thought.

    1. Thanks Torry --- I have used batting before and you're right - it works like a charm.