Friday, 27 June 2008

an embarrassing parade of UFOs

Dear Lene,

I'm so thrilled that your Piney/Peony project is making you happy! I sent Family Ties and Legacy to you because they were two books that inspired me, relatively early in my quiltmaking. I think prior to that I had mostly machine pieced, but those books made me into a hand piecer. I still reread Legacy from time to time.

Unfortunately, you've kind of opened a can of worms here. In the neverending push to reorganize the sewing room, I started a pile of unfinished projects from Family Ties to show you. Most of these were made quite a while ago (really sadly, I've misplace my oldest quilt project notebook for the time being and can't give you exact dates for when these were all made. Definitely the 90s, though.)

So, in no particular order, and with some commentary ...

A single Princess Feather block. Which should really be used as the center of a medallion. (Some day!)

A single Eastern Star block. Hand pieced.

Aha! Evidence of a finished project. These are two leftover blocks from a twin sized quilt that I made and gave away. I don't have a digital picture of the finished quilt (nor a scanner to scan the one picture I do have) but this block isn't actually in the book. If you look on page 167 of Legacy, there's a photo of a pile of blocks. I drafted this based on one of them. It's a great pattern and made a gorgeous quilt (all 30s repros, as I remember it). If I do find the notebook I'll post the pattern's cutting instructions to you (if you're interested). [Come to think of it, I can just redraft the pattern, even if I can't find the notebook for a while.]

Five Snowball blocks (I'm starting to sing "The Twelve Days of Christmas in my head about now!). Unfortunately, there is no more of the background fabric to be found in my stash. I think I could make a cute baby quilt with these, even without making more blocks. They remind me of soccer balls, somehow.

Four Butterflies. Again (and alas) no more of the background fabric to be found. Another baby quilt, perhaps?

"Bluebirds in Easy Applique". The original in the book was done in wools with buttonhole stitching. This background fabric I do have a bit more of. (Has that helped me to finish it? Not exactly...)

Ahh... *almost* finished! The "Full Blown Tulip" quilt is baby sized. Just needs more quilting....

One lone Dutch Tulip block. I don't think I ever intended to keep going with these colors, but I do adore a curved pieced tulip. Another one for the lifetime list of quilts I want to make.

Grecian Star, another single block. It's a big one, 17". Now, maybe I shouldn't admit this, but I have a pile of them pieced, in another set of fabrics. I just didn't get around to photographing them. (Another day, maybe.)

A single "Trees in the Park" block.

Whew. There's actually more, but I started to get a little overwhelmed by the enormity of it all.

Now, to be honest, I don't consider a single block a UFO, not really anyway. Sometimes it's more like a swatch, a trying out of the pattern to see if I like it. I've discovered they can be used up efficiently by setting a block on point and then adding borders - even a single 12" block makes a great little medallion quilt that way. Now, have I done that with any of these? Umm.... no. But I could, someday. Or that's what I keep telling myself.

I'm afraid that now that I've shown (even just a glimpse) into what I've got that's still in pieces here, you're going to get worried about me and the Tulip quilt that I'm working on. I have to admit, I've been slacking off. I haven't worked on it much this week, with the excuse that I was too busy cleaning and reorganizing in the sewing room.

But really, I do finish quilts sometimes. Hopefully soon I can show you a few. I'm working on getting bindings on two of them right now.



pacalaga said...

aren't the blocks in the top you showed the same as the Grecian star? Or am I looking at them wrong. (How many of those did you make? :-)

Sew Create It - Jane said...

I wouldn't say it's an embarrassing parade of UFO's but rather a parade of beautiful work. Some of those blocks are very challenging and from where I'm sitting you've done a great job.

Marie N. said...

The blue birds are wonderful! I love them!

beadlizard said...

This reminds me of my beadwork stash, which is scaaaaary.

I like the leftover retro blocks. My mind wants to play with the fabric colors and prints. I had better get back to work instead!

You are a temptress.

Anonymous said...

I would also think that a single 12" block would make a good cushion cover. Some of those are lovely. And that snowball one reminds me of soccer balls, too.

quinn said...

you have a wonderful eye for color!

michellew said...

Now I'm not feeling so bad about my 'quilt in progress' for the last two years that I haven't touched except to dust around in the last year and half! You're absolutely right--they aren't unfinished objects. They are works in progress or swatches. I understand completely. It's the action of piecing, or quilting, or knitting, that matters, right?

Beautiful work--I too especially like the repro blocks. That quilt must have been stunning.

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

I love all of them! I put UFOs in new projects all the time. I just repurpose them! The birds are my favorite.

Diane said...

Your blocks are all spectacular. Have you ever considered combining them into one quilt? Those with the light backgrounds might go together nicely, interspersed with pieced blocks or sashings to accomodate for different sizes. Historically, quilters worked up sample blocks in order to keep a record of favorite patterns (guess they couldn't find a notebook either). I'm working on a "pattern quilt" that I blogged about here: I really enjoy your blog!

Patti said...

When I first tackled my UFO's I discovered that I had many single blocks. About that time Pat Sloan published directions for an easy drawstring bag on her yahoo groups list. I got the wild idea of using the single blocks to make drawstring bags. They were fun and very fast to make, and I loved how they turned out. They make great laundry bags to tuck in one's suitcase, or bags for carrying a towel and sunscreen to the beach. I bet you could turn yours into something like that very easily.

Beth said...

Cassie, I am so impressed with your blocks. It is great to see someone take on really challenging blocks like your Grecian Star. So much of what you see today is the really simple stuff. You are an inspiration! I think you enjoy the process of making the blocks, and once that is done you want to move on to another challenge. Keep up the good work!