Posts filed under Work in Progress

UFO Challenge

The Challenge

Every year my guild hosts a UFO challenge. UFO stands for UnFinished Object. It refers to all of those projects that we started, but have somehow fallen aside as our priorities shifted.

I declared two projects for my guild’s UFO challenge this year. But it really got me thinking. As I started making a mental list of my projects, I realized that I have so many UFOs. It seems that despite my best intentions, I’m much better at starting projects than finishing them. Or else they’re multiplying in the closet when I’m not looking.

Can you relate? If so, this challenge is for you. I invite you to join me in tackling those UFOs. Think about what you would like to have accomplished four months from now. It’s up to you if you want to finish your projects, or just move them along a bit. There’s a link-up at the bottom of this post so we can all see what you’ll be working on. At the end, we’ll have another link-up to celebrate our accomplishments.

Personally, I’m planning to complete four UFOs in the next four months (gulp). I could certainly use your encouragement along the way!

My Commitment

Clover Table Runner

I started this table runner ages ago because my hubby really likes St. Patrick’s day. Then I stalled because it’s not really my taste. But this is the year! This one is my top priority because I want to be able to enjoy it this March. All I need to do to finish the top is stitch around the applique.

I have four fat quarters to make the back, and the binding is already prepared. I have an idea how I want to quilt it, so I should be able to knock this one out pretty quick.

Wonky Nine-Patch

This is another quilt that I started ages ago. Christmas of 2013 to be exact. It languished because my original plan really didn’t work and I wasn’t sure what I should do with the pieces. Last February I pulled it out and came up with a solution. I finished the blocks, but that’s as far as I got. Now it’s time to finish this quilt.

Fall into a Quilt Along

Fall into a Quilt Along was the most recent quilt along by Partners in Design. It ran last year, and I really love how my top came together. (Psst - another quilt along is in the works. We’ll be announcing the theme and schedule this Tuesday, February 26.)

Since wrapping up the quilt along, I’ve been working on the back of my quilt. I’m trying to use up as many scraps as possible, so it’s really taking a long time! I want to finish this so I can quilt it. I’m pretty slow at hand binding, so I’m ok with just getting through the quilting on this one for now.

Guild Name Tag

Even though this is objectively the smallest and easiest of my UFOs, it’s the one I’m the most nervous about. I’ve been putting it off for years because I can’t figure out what to do with it. People will see me wearing it at guild every month, so it feels like a big commitment.

We all have the same embroidered base for our name tags. I just need to write my name on it and figure out how to finish it. I welcome your suggestions!

Your Turn

Are you feeling motivated? I hope you’ll join me in this challenge. Remember, it’s completely up to you how many UFOs you want to work on and how much you want to do (whether that’s finishing them, or just getting to the next step). I can’t wait to see your projects!

How to Participate

Link up below with some UFOs you would like to tackle. Then take a moment to spread the love. Visit some of the others linking up and leave a comment to encourage them.

Come back June 24-30 for another link-up to share how it went.

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Posted on February 18, 2019 and filed under Quilting, Work in Progress.

Luminary

Luminary quilt by Jamie Swanson for Alison Glass with Island Batik Blue Moon fabric

A few weeks ago, the Gallatin Quilt Guild had their annual retreat. Each year, we have a retreat quilt that participants can choose to make. This year’s quilt is Luminary by Jamie Swanson for Alison Glass. I decided to make mine with a layer cake of Blue Moon by Island Batik.

The quilt uses an organized improv technique. The first step was to cut all of my fabric into various width strips. It was really fun to get a good look at all of the fabrics as I cut them into strips. That one layer cake turned into quite the pile of fabric!

From there, I randomly sewed the fabrics into strip sets. I ended up with 49 strip sets. I’m not sure how many diamonds that will make, but I’m thinking I’ll end up with something bigger than the original pattern.

Once everything was sewn into strips, I started subcutting them. These smaller pieces will get shuffled and sewn back together to make the diamonds in the quilt. I only got about 1/4 of the way through this step at retreat, but I had a blast. I’m excited to keep working on this quilt.

My friend Jennae is the one that chose this year’s quilt. She actually finished hers at retreat! Isn’t it amazing? I really love the way it turned out. I never would have thought to use the blue background, but it really makes the quilt sing. Looking back at this picture makes me want to get a move on with my own quilt!

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EPP Hexies

For me, English paper piecing has been a journey of trial and error - mostly error. I originally fell in love with the idea of English paper piecing about four years ago. I started a project with scrappy greens and neutrals, and I sewed on it every chance I got. I was planning to make a nice, big quilt for the bed.

As the project grew, it became increasingly obvious that there wasn't enough contrast in my fabrics. The design was getting lost! I was disappointed, but I knew I wouldn't be happy with it if I kept going. It was time to try something else.

Once I decided to scrap my original project, it was back to the drawing board. After the first experience, I thought I would rather have less fabrics and fantastic contrast than a bunch of fabrics and risk repeating my mistake. I also decided that with how long English paper piecing takes, I would be better off starting with something at least a little bit smaller.

I opened up EQ7 and spent quite a bit of time playing with different ideas. This is what I eventually landed on. It will be about 45" by 50" finished, and will be a wall hanging. It uses just two fabrics, which keeps things simpler and allows the design to shine.

Once I had a design, I headed to the local quilt shop. I found lovely purple and grey fabrics that would be perfect, then I looked for thread. Even with all of the values in my original project, I never had any trouble with the thread showing between the hexagons. With that in mind, I thought I would be fine with a single thread color for this project, too. I chose a grey thread with a value somewhere between the two fabrics and headed home.

When I started to sew, I quickly saw that the thread was visible between the purple hexagons. I told myself it wouldn't be that noticeable when standing back from the wall hanging, and I thought anything darker would show even worse between the grey hexies. I forged ahead. Unfortunately, the more I progressed, the less I liked what I was making, and my project ground to a virtual halt.

The last time I pulled it out, I decided to try adding a purple hexagon with purple thread (it's the purple hexie on the top left). It looked so much better! I debated for a while between continuing with my newfound wisdom and starting over. I eventually decided that I would be putting way too many hours into this to be unhappy with the center. It was time for take 3.

By the time I had the center 7 hexies together, I was grudgingly happy that I had started over. It looks way better without thread showing in the seams. Now I use a thread that matches whichever hexagon I am currently adding. This ensures that it never contrasts with either fabric. Even when looking up close, the thread isn't noticeable between the hexagons.

Now I'm so glad I started over. I was concerned about my wasted effort, but I've made more progress on this version in the last month than I did in two years on the old one. I'm absolutely thrilled with how this is coming together. I finally have a hexagon project that I'm excited about finishing.

What about you? Do you have a handwork project you enjoy? Was it smooth sailing out the gate, or did you have a rocky start like me? I would love to hear about it! If you leave your email address when you comment, I will be sure to respond to you personally.

I'm linking up with Wednesday Wait Loss and Midweek Makers.

Posted on May 16, 2017 and filed under Quilting, Work in Progress.