Sunday, July 5, 2009

There's a reason why they are UFO's

Ok, so Cheryl and Erin inspired me to pick up one of my UFO's. It started a few weeks ago when Erin posted about her grandmother's quilt, and Cheryl's been posting about scrappy quilts. I was getting bored with the quilt I was working on, and hadn't done any sewing for a while. So, why not pull out something else to work on? So, I pulled out the 30's quilt I'd been working on, and sorted, ironed, and laid it all out.

First, I have to give you the background on this quilt. My grandmother died when I was young, and when my parents were cleaning out her house, they came across a bunch of fabric. Nobody wanted this fabric, and me being the only sewer in the family, said "I'll take it". I wasn't a quilter at the time, so I had no idea what to do with this stuff. I put it in a closet for many years. Then I bought this book and it told me what I had, which was a bunch of 30's quilt blocks. I still didn't do anything with the quilt blocks for many years, until I has been quilting for 4-5 years. Then, I got the courage to try to put a quilt together from these blocks.

I took one of those "finish" classes at the LQS so I could get some direction on where to start. Now, these quilt blocks were poorly made so I had to sort out the best from the worst. I swear I spent forever trying to get these blocks squared up. The blocks were kind of busy when put next to each other, and I was afraid that if I tried to sew the blocks together, none of the points would match. This is what the blocks look like.

So, I decided that I would put some plain sqares between the blocks, thinking it would quiet them down a bit. What I didn't realize at the time was that the plain squares would also stabilize the blocks so they would be easier to sew together. I got as far as sewing the blocks into rows before it became a UFO for about a year. So, when I pulled it out to work on, you'd think it would be easy. I just had to sew the rows together (I made it on point), put the finishing triangles around the edge, and I'd be almost done. Wrong...

I remember now why it took so long to sew together in rows. I had to stop every few blocks or so and reinforce some of the seams so the blocks would not fall apart. I wasn't about to pull apart all those pinwheel blocks and completely redo them. Well, now I had to reinforce the other seams as I put it together in rows. Trying to match the blocks together as I sewed was another challenge. I swear those blocks changed in size from when I squared them up. So, I was trying to ease the blocks together. Then I came to this block. THIS IS WHY THIS IS A UFO!

There was no "easing" of this block. Should I try to sew the middle seam together so it would fit better? No, that didn't work. So I went Marie Antoinette for a minute and thought "off with its' head" It was out of here. I pulled it out and put a new block in, and I was back in business.

Whew! I got two rows sewed together this weekend. It is halfway there. Here is what I have so far.

You know, the treadmill makes a wonderful place to hold your ironed rows while waiting to be sewed together. Why not? It's not serving any other useful purpose.
So, this is why we have UFO's. Hope everyone had a good 4th!


  1. Karen: It is turning out lovely, the plain blocks do quiet the others down a lot. You will be so glad you started working on it when you see what a wonderful quilt it has turned out to be. Great job. Patricia

  2. That is turning out nicely. It looks really nice with the green plain blocks. And, I have some of my own quilts that are ufo's for a reason. Take care. Lane

  3. I have several piles of orphan blocks that may get moved towards the top of the TO-DO's after seeing your top. good job. cw

  4. I think you chose a good fabric for the solid blocks. It looks reaslly good, I think you will be proud of it. Take care.

  5. You know we are so tough on ourselves.
    Those blocks do not have to be perfect to have a perfectly lovely and lovable quilt. Now you've got some momentum going! Get it done and quilted so you can use it. I think the colors are so restful and beautiful together and you'll think of your grandma every time you look at it.

    Happy sewing

  6. That is so wonderful. I love the green you put with it, very nice indeed. You will have such a wonderful treasure when it is done and you will be so glad you went to all that work.


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