Tuesday, June 23, 2020

UFO Club

UFOs. These are not unidentified objects in the sky. Nope - these are UNFINISHED sewing projects in our sewing spaces. You know - the quilts that we were so excited about starting, only to abandon them when we ran into a problem, ran out of time, or the reason for making the project didn't exist any longer. Yep - there are loads of reasons why stuff becomes a UFO. 

Many times, that project gets shelved with little or no instructions on what happened or where you were. When you open the project box, it looks like a huge jumbled mess and where are you going to start. Often, that project gets put back on the shelf as it's too daunting to tackle.

That's what happens when YOU open that box, and you're the one that at least worked on it to some extent. Imagine if a complete stranger opened that box. Would they feel sorry for that project and try to resurrect it, or would they just pick out the yardage and toss the rest?

I'm as guilty as the next quilter for having UFOs. I actually have a couple of categories of projects sitting around.

  • Kits - these are items that I purchased with fabric and pattern and haven't started. I'm not worried about those as someone could easily pick it up and start from scratch. 
  • Pulled fabric - not started. I know there are fancy acronyms for all these - I don't care. I'm not worried about these either, although it would be good to get them sorted and all in one place. I'm going to be getting some clear plastic tubs this weekend (passed along to me by someone), so that will help with the sorting rather than putting in cardboard boxes. Actually, it would be good to scour the shelves for these projects and make a decision - yes, I want to make it, and then it goes in the box. Or NO - I don't want to make it, and the fabric and patterns and whatever else is in the box get shelved. 
  • Non-complex UFOs - these are just ordinary quilt tops. Nothing fancy, no applique, easy piecing and just got abandoned for whatever reason. 
  • COMPLEX UFOs - these are the big projects - the ones that will take a few months (or more) to finish. 

I'm focusing on the COMPLEX UFOs. The ones that'll take a while to finish or there was a significant problem with it.

The UFO club is helping enormously to work my way through this problem. Actually, I'd like to see a list of the UFOs broken down, as listed above. I just like lists. I focus on the complex UFOs with the club, but I'm still working on the non-complex UFOs on the side. I'm not touching the pulled fabric or kit options at this time.

I would say there are a lot of people in the same boat as me. We need a divide and conquer approach to get it all done. Imagine not having any UFOs? I can only dream - but I'm working on it!

Today, I'm going to share with you the progress in our UFO club from the weekend. Some amazing stuff happening.

This is a flannel quilt that Dede worked on. She needed to add that last border and then quilt it. Adding the border wasn't an issue, but quilting it herself? That was HUGE. While she's not happy with the quilting, it's done. Here's the thing - if you don't start with some smaller and less important projects to practice your quilting on - then guess what? You'll never get better.

Dede's flannel quilt
Here's the beauty of the UFO club. Not only can you get advice from the others in the group, but I offer up lots of tips to help with whatever area they need help with.

While we're not officially meeting in July (in other words, if we don't meet our commitment, there's no financial penalty involved), we all agreed that we wanted to continue to meet as we're on a roll. That is music to my ears!!!!!

So this Dede's next project. A very complex quilt with loads of pieces. 

Patchwork Sampler quilt pattern

The good news is that the top (minus the borders) is DONE. It's stunning. Her commitment is to get the half-square triangles in the middle border done. We chatted about which fabric to put in the first and third borders. Yep - we help with everything.

Dede's version of Patchwork Sampler

Susan is working on Farm Girl Vintage. This past month, she made a commitment to get five 6" blocks completed.

And here are her five blocks. I had to laugh because I got pictures of four of the blocks, and where was the fifth block?? Oh - it got finished minutes before our meeting. Thankfully, she was able to show us on the camera!!

Strawberry jam block

Scrappy strawberry

Not sure the name of this block, but look at those flowers!!!!

And her trailer is right on the water. Now how fun to sit by the water and sew. Yep - that's the beauty of the virtual UFO club. Usually, we're not virtual, but because of the current situation, we are virtual. That way, as long as you have access to the internet, you can join us!!!

Another block 

I see some of these are NOT the specific blocks that she listed for this month. Do I care? No - I'm good with five blocks being done. Notice Susan's little design boards as well. She made those from instructions by Lori Holt.

Here's the fifth block from Farm Girl Vintage
OH, Susan's goal for July - NOTHING!!! And that's OK. There was originally no meeting, so no goal is OK. Each person sets their own goals. Unless there's a very good reason, a goal of NOTHING is not acceptable during the months where the money is involved.

Jane was to applique three sailboats on a quilt. Apparently, they got appliqued in place. While she didn't have the quilt to show us, we did get to see the e-mail she sent to her long arm quilter with instructions for quilting it. We'll just have to take her word on that one - I trust her! Should I???

And she was to get 6 more blocks completed on her Christmas tree quilt. Here are the 6 blocks.

Jane's quilted trees

More quilted trees
Now here's the thing with Jane's tree quilt. She has NEVER quilted anything this large before. And she's getting it done, even though it's getting done at the last possible minute to make the deadline. I swear we have a penalty of $100, not $10. It doesn't matter - these projects are getting completed.

She's using her walking foot to echo quilt around the trees, one block at a time. I'm very impressed. 

And even more quilted trees

 Jane's goal for next month is to get the borders on a quilt that was assembled by some middle school students where Jane helped out in the classroom and to get the binding on another quilt.

Linda's goal was to assemble this Wizard of Oz quilt top. She had purchased the kit a while back.

Wizard of Oz quilt top - DONE

It's such a great feeling to get these blocks or tops or whatever advanced. A massive sense of accomplishment, to say the least. Her goal for next month is to get one of her MANY Christmas quilts quilted. I believe we settled on High Strung, which I know she made years ago!!!

Then there was me. My goal was to get the nine blocks put together for the Let Sleeping Dogs Lie quilt. It's a snail's trail block. The nine blocks are assembled. But yes - they did get finished early that morning. I'm happy with the contrast in all of these blocks, so nothing will get ripped out. The block that I didn't like is already ripped apart.

Nine snail's trail blocks

Here's the pattern. Each block represents four dogs with their tails/bodies entertained. There's supposed to be another round on the outside for the big body part and where the head sits.

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie pattern

I decided that I did NOT want to applique 36 dog heads onto this quilt. It was going to be square and not a good size to do anything with. So I abandoned the last round on the blocks. Instead, I've decided to make enough blocks to make a lap quilt that can be donated to Quilts of Valour. I know - which is more work - making 26 more blocks or appliqueing 36 dog heads??? 

Well, I'm working on the blocks! I have a lot cut out, and I'll share more of that another day. So my ambitious goal for July is to get the quilt top for the snail's trail blocks done AND to get the red/white log cabin blocks sewn together. Those are the LAST two projects on my 2017 UFO list. I WANT them done so I can move onto the 4 remaining projects on the 2018 list! Wouldn't it be great to have both of those lists done by the end of this year?

80 log cabin blocks to be sewn together

That's all I have time for today. I'll share the rest of the homework with you tomorrow.

I have to say that it's encouraging to see the progress being made. Each person sets their own goals based on how much time they have that month. So we only have ourselves to blame if we need to rush before the deadline. But I'm getting things done! Gosh - now I really want a detailed list of the UFOs to see how long it's going to take for me to get them done. I have no intention of leaving those complex ones behind.

If you like what we're doing in the UFO club and need some encouragement, I'll be doing more UFO clubs starting in January. You can be anywhere in the world - the virtual thing makes it all seamless.

Lots of work to get done today as I am planning on being AWAY for the next five days. I know - I hardly know how to prepare. But there will be NO panic packing. That laundry basket may be overflowing with the stuffing, but there will be NO panic packing. 

Have a super day!!!!


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