UFO Status Report, End of November 2012

November 28, 2012 at 12:00 pm Leave a comment

First of all, I finished a UFO!

Cassandra's Purse, November 2012

Cassandra’s Purse, November 2012

I wouldn’t previously have called a project I hadn’t even touched shears to fabric for a UFO, but I’ve been reading Leah Day’s blog lately and she defines any project that you’ve kitted up as a WIP/UFO. While this nearly infinitely expands my UFO list (and I am not comfortable with that) I will take it as a fair description for this particular project.

Remember when I made my sister Sian’s Star Wars purse?

Sian's Star Wars Purse, July 2010

Sian’s Star Wars Purse, July 2010

Even in that blog post from two years ago, I had mentioned that my sister Cassandra had also requested a purse from that pattern (Huntington Hobo by Pink Sand Beach Designs.) However, her birthday is November 15, and two years ago I was preparing for a much bigger project in November than making a purse:  namely, the birth of Ronan. The main reason I hadn’t even started it in advance of her birthday, though, was the fact that Cassandra is… particular. It’s not that she doesn’t like handmade things, it’s just that she needs to be a bit more of a collaborator or at least a consultant on the project if she is going to be happy with the final product. (Of course, that means I’m less likely to make stuff for her than for some of my less particular relatives and friends, but so be it.) So rather than trying to use some of my precious pre-baby quilting time to make her something I wasn’t convinced she’d be thrilled with, I got her something else for her birthday and brought along a selection of fabrics for the purse that she could choose among. She liked the primary fabric I had chosen very much, as she had specified turquoise and purple and I had found a gorgeous sari-inspired print in those exact colors, but she made some different selections for the accents (corner patches, handle, pockets) and I dutifully noted them all down. Then the pattern and stack of fabric were unceremoniously shoved into the closet for two years.

All fabrics placed per instructions

All fabrics placed per instructions

This became my Hurricane Sandy project. We were fortunate enough not to lose power at home, but I was unexpectedly off work for two days, so I started the purse. Fortunately, I had made very clear notes to myself in 2010 as to what went where fabric-wise, and the directions in the pattern were as thorough as I remembered:  even with a two-year gap since I’d made the last one, this one did seem to go together more smoothly as if I really had learned something the first time. I was very pleased with the result, and more importantly, so was Cassandra:

A satisfied recipient!

A satisfied recipient!

The second UFO to warrant mention in this post was supposed to be a quick quilt, and it has not worked out that way. In 2006 or 2007, Diane and I spent a fun weekend in my backyard dyeing fabric. The project left me with a fat quarter bag full of gorgeous, one-of-a-kind fabrics that I was frankly terrified to cut. In an attempt to get over myself, I shortly thereafter started making 4″ finished size Broken Dishes blocks using the fuchsia-to-purple 6-step gradation we had dyed both a regular white muslin and a stipply white-on-white print. I decided to use triangle papers to further ease construction, and I had made 24 blocks of each step of the first three steps of the gradation before putting the project aside for what I’m sure was a good reason at the time. I didn’t pull it out to work on again until this summer’s mini home retreat, when I wasn’t quite ready to start the challenge quilt but wanted some simple piecing to do.

That’s when I found out that I was inexplicably missing two half-square triangle squares from Step 3, and that I hadn’t cut the fabric for Step 5. Oh well, that’s what happens when you put a project aside for multiple years. It occurred to me that this was in its essence the makings of a pink quilt, and since Alyssa was having a second daughter in October, I would have a good motivation to finish this otherwise stalled UFO. After finishing the challenge quilt, I picked this project back up, thinking it would be relatively simple to put together. But I ran into weird difficulties. First of all, despite all my careful work with the triangle papers, the blocks were still inconsistent in size; the 4.5″ squares of white Kona cotton I used as alternating squares showed me that most effectively. Second, although the gradation is very plainly obvious in the finished top and when comparing large pieces of the fabric, I had to be extremely vigilant in keeping the blocks organized because individual blocks from adjacent steps became virtually identical to one another if, for example, they fell off the design wall onto the studio floor (like that would ever happen.) And third, I had gotten 5/6 of the way through assembling the top when I discovered that I had made the solid, but not the stipply white-on-white, blocks from Step 6, so I had to stop my momentum and go back to piecing before I could continue. Since I didn’t feel like figuring out where I’d put the leftover triangle papers, I just used my Easy Angle ruler. And wouldn’t you know it? Those six blocks were more square and truer to size than any other blocks in the whole quilt. Lesson learned, that in my hands, for some reason, the Easy Angle technique, cut biases and all, is more accurate than using triangle papers.

The top that will soon be Evelyn's Quilt

The top that will soon be Evelyn’s Quilt

But after all that, I do have a very pretty quilt top to show for it, and a sense of accomplishment that I killed two quilting birds with one stone by turning a UFO into a baby quilt. I’d get a real sense of accomplishment if I got to peel the label off the UFO box, but unfortunately, I only used half the blocks for this top:  I still have 72, 4″ Broken Dishes blocks in search of another quilt. Then again, I myself am having a baby girl in March, so I don’t think they’ll be searching for long. And at least now they really are all finished and nicely sorted into labeled baggies, from whence hopefully none of them will decide to re-sort themselves or vanish while in the box. We’ll see…


Entry filed under: UFOs. Tags: , , .

Eastern PA Shop Hop 2012 Finished! Evelyn’s Quilt

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