Yesterday, I gave you permission to abandon unfinished projects that you are no longer engaged with, and I promised you a look at the UFOs in my studio. So here they are, along with my plans for them:
First up – the Birdie Quilt. My housemate loves birds, and so last year I started this quilt for her when she retired. We kid around about putting birds on things, so this was part joke and part celebration of her impending freedom from the corporate grind. It stalled in the studio because it wasn’t needed for the cover of a pattern, or for a store sample (these get done first due to their urgency), but mostly it stalled because quilting is not my fave part of the process. I also stall here when I can’t figure out how to quilt it, or it’s big enough to need serious wrangling under the needle – I tend to put these aside for a more inspirational or courageous/oodles-of-patience day. As for the Birdies… I got it finished last week, and I’m happy to report she loved it!
Next up – a Halloween swap. I used to throw legendary pumpkin carving parties, so I have an insane collection of pumpkin carving patterns. My mini group from years back decided to use these patterns as applique inspiration, and so we all swapped “carved” applique on orange backgrounds. I honestly can’t remember when we did this, but my guess is at least 10 years ago, if not 15. I moved forward a little on mine by getting them pumpkin shaped and appliqued onto backgrounds, but now they are stalled.
I’m lacking inspiration on how to set them all together, and I know that I really want to add a bunch more different styles of Halloween blocks and imagery to the pile – so much more planning and designing are in order. In my head this will be a sort of epic, once-in-a-lifetime type of project, so I don’t mind that it’s still waiting, but I just wish I had a few epic ideas. It also has incredible sentimental value to me, not just because several dear friends are represented in the blocks, but because I appliqued for it. I don’t like applique at all (I consider it to be a four-letter word twice over), and yet I fought through it to participate with my friends.
So I consider this a “finish but not now” project – one with no set deadline. I’ve had one other long term UFO like this – a paper-pieced lone star project that I carried around for 16 years… I only worked on it when I sewed at friends’ homes, and it eventually got done! Your version of this might be a hand-work hexagon affair that will build over the years into a heirloom keeper. As I write this, I’ve decided to take it to my minigroup at our next meeting and ask for some input. I might even start taking it to sewing days.
And so to the third project – a Star-in-a-Star block. I took this workshop in January 2003 (I still had the receipt in the project bag!) so this a ten year UFO!
I got these 4 blocks done, and have another 3 sets chosen but the problem with this one is that I don’t like my fabric choices. I chose a rather controlled palette of hand-dyed fabrics as the base, and I thought they looked good until I saw my housemate finish hers out of an explosion of colorful batiks:
I have pulled this project out so many times over the last few years, only to put it back in the drawer because I just don’t love it. I want the quilt above, not mine! I’ve been advised to do a table runner, but I don’t like them or use them. I looked at piecing it into the back of a quilt (my usual M.O. for random bits) but instead I think I will give it away to someone who loves it more than I do, along with the pattern and extra bits.
So if you’d like to own my Star-in-a-Star UFO, please say so in the comments and I’ll pick a random winner on Monday (01.21.13)
Since the beginning of the year, I’ve pieced the tops and back for two more quilts (they await quilting, my usual stall place!) and have pulled fabric for three more. Such is the life cycle of the studio!