Friday, January 12, 2007

The Story of a UFO.....

Grab a cup of coffee and a's Story Time!

Laura showed a stack of UFO applique blocks on her blog a day or so ago. As I studied her piles of blocks, I realized that I had one of the same UFO's! Although I knew exactly where it was in my sewing room, I hadn't really looked at it in years. I couldn't remember exactly how much work is left to do to finish it, so I dragged it out to evaluate

The center section is completely pieced together with a small inner border added.

The borders are all appliqued - they just need to be cut down to size and sewn on, and the corner swags and motifs have to be appliqued on. Even the applique pieces for the swag corners and accents is all traced on the fabric. I would call it 85-90% complete. So, what's the story?

Back in 1999 (as evidenced by the signature block), I had just become a longarm quilter and was working from home. I was strictly a piecer back then - I had tried a little bit of applique in my beginning sampler classes, but DID NOT love the process. I understood it, I appreciated it, but I called it the "A" word for seven years and absolutely had no use for it, personally.

I was visiting a quilt shop in a neighboring town quite frequently to pick up and drop off quilts for quilting. I saw the sample for this BOM and simply fell in love. The blocks are 20" and I figured the pieces were big enough that I could learn to applique enough to get it done. During this time, my troubled stepson came to live with us. To say it was an adjustment is an understatement. Our house became the Hotel of Last Resort. So, after dinner each evening, I would become a recluse in my bedroom and applique. Even though it was a difficult summer, being in that situation forced me to spend time developing my skills and was probably the turning point for me regarding applique. I don't do a whole lot of it (except right now - for a shop sample BOM), but I do like to do it and am even pretty good at it.

Why did I abandon this project? If I recall correctly, the borders need to be cut down to size. Since I was working at home at the time, I think I became intimidated about the space needed to measure and cut them accurately and I just put it aside for later. Well, it's now almost 8 YEARS later and my intimidation is long gone. I no longer LOVE the quilt, but I do respect its place in my quilting life and I will make it a goal to finish this year.

And Laura, thank you for sparking me to dig this dinosaur out of the drawer.

UPDATE (Saturday -5:00pm): The borders are sewn on. Now, all I have to do is applique the corner swags in my spare time....bwaahaaahaaa....

The pattern is "Baskets, Berries, and Leaves" - a BOM set from Jan Patek/Alma Allen.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pretty quilt, thanks for sharing its story... Now go finish it already!

12:15 PM  
Blogger Rae said...

I think the quilt is lovely, even without the setting cornners.

However I know how hard it is to go back and finish something you don't like or that was done during a troubled time of life. It remindes you of all the nagative things from that time.

But maybe by finishing it, it can put closure to those feelings rather then just putting them behind you.

12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, Susan, that is a GORGEOUS quilt!!! And I DO LOVE IT!!! Who is the pattern by?

12:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the quilt is beautiful. You should definitely finish it. It would probably take no time at all! I hope the stepson turned out all right. He should be thanked for getting you doing this quilt!

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The quilt is pretty. And what a story! You should put that on the label.

2:32 PM  
Blogger Patti said...

I'm so glad you found this. It's a stunning quilt top - even if it's not just your style any more. It really deserves to be finished.

4:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my, how awful it would have been if you had not found this quilt. It is wonderful!!!!!!!!!!

5:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's such a lovely quilt, it will be an amazing feeling to get it finished. I love finishes!

5:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beutiful quilt. Perhaps when you have worked on it now you will love it again. But our taste for colours and fabrics changes during the years so that's probably why you not fancy it so much now.
But it is really beautiful.

2:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, this is gorgeous! You owe it to yourself to finish it--and then give it away to someone who needs it, loves it, or to a charity. That way, you'll have a positive memory!

9:29 AM  
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12:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you're going to finish this quilt - it really is lovely. We want to see finished pics asap :-)

3:45 AM  
Blogger YankeeQuilter said...

What a wonderful quilt...isn't it funny what gets us to just do that last little piece/stitch.

7:52 AM  
Anonymous CJ said...

Great story, and I think the quilt is beautiful! I hope you'll share a picture of it when you complete it.

8:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha! Amy's right, go finish it already. Talk about a beautiful, beautiful quilt. Have you spread it out on a bed? Bet you'd fall in love with it that way.

3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a wonderful quilt with so much applique.. I love the look of applique, but in my own world I still call it the A word. Thanks for sharing the intersting story. Won't it feel great to get this one done??

10:43 PM  
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2:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every quilt has a story, although I don't remember most of mine. This is a great quilt, and I am glad that you are working on finishing it. I am hoping that some of my UFOs are just waiting for me to develop my skill level and comfort as well, and when I get back to them, I will be surprised at how quicklynd easily an put them together. I'm sure yours will be.

Hope things are going better with the stepson.

1:54 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Susan - Your Basket and Berries quilt is stunning! I love the colors you used, glad to see you went ahead and got the borders on, you will have it quilted in no time.

11:37 AM  

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