July 16, 2011

So far in July--and today's a very important day!

The UFO challenge number drawn for July was #2, but since my #2 was already finished in May, I decided to work a bit on  #12--Sunshine and Shadows.   It’s pastel and seemed appropriate for a hot summer day.  I originally started it sometime in the 80’s with the grand plan that it would hang on one of the large empty walls in my (then) new house.  It was the third quilt I’d started.  (The second quilt I started is also still a UFO, and my first one fell apart on its first washing, but that’s another story.) 

A couple of babies got in the way and this wasn’t finished.   Which seems to be my pattern—I just don’t finish things, although I do move them forward periodically.  It’s a talent to get things close to finished, but not across the finish line isn’t it?

I do have doubts about whether this should even be finished.   I used whatever fabric I found in the stores back then, not knowing what I was doing, and some is very lightweight.  When I learned a bit more about quilting, I went back and made more blocks, trying to match the feel and colors of it, and replacing the crummiest fabrics, but I didn’t replace everything.  And then, there is the issue of accuracy.  When I started this, it was before the days of rotary cutters (at least in my world), and so these were made with templates, and these templates don’t look real accurate to me--several have even been distorted by an iron--whoops!

At some point in the past 25+ years, realizing that the blocks varied significantly in size, I squared them up rather harshly, and stitched some of them together.  Needless to say, there’s a bit of variety in the size of the strips, which really is OK--perhaps even better since it disguises how poorly these were sewn, but they are definitely not as originally intended.   (The small corner triangles were supposed to be the same size and the strips were the same width, in theory at least!)  But the blocks are the same size--now!

At least half the blocks originally made for this have been set to the side—and will be tossed—their quality just doesn’t justify any more time being spent on them.  The ones remaining that I’d actually stitched together aren’t that much better—I’m guessing they were made of the more substantial strips, or maybe I liked their colors better, or maybe I just had enough to make the size I’d decided on (who knows).  I’d also cut a bunch of squares and started making half square triangles for the border.

So, this week, I stitched the borders together, and attached them.

Then I started to cut cream borders to go outside them, but found I was short--about 8 inches, unless I wanted to piece them.   I'd apparently pilfered a bit sometime in the past 25 years.

So then I "decided" that the quilt borders needed a bit of pizazz, and started playing around with the corners like so...

And, now this top is finished, the backing has been pieced and it's all been ironed and packed up to be taken for quilting--and I forgot to take a photo!  Guess you'll have to see the finished quilt whenever UFO #12 is drawn! 

And most importantly, today is my beautiful dd's birthday!

Happy Happy Birthday honey!  Wish we could be together today, but since not, we'll celebrate as soon as you're home!  Love you!

PS.  Tessa says Happy B-day too!


LynCC said...

Gorgeous pic of your daughter. And the pastel quilt looks very nice for a high-summer project. Kudos to you for turning a long-term UFO into a winner. :D

I also have several UFOs that were started 15-19 years ago and then sidelined by very young children - but that's as it should be. I've decided it's kinda fun rediscovering those projects and creatively finishing them.

liz said...

I can totally relate to your first few quilts. I think we all have a similar history. Good thing quilting is so addictive or there would be many who never travelled further down the road to discover future delights. I like the way you have pizzazed up the border. Shows a whole lot of experience gained from the beginning to the end of this project. PS your daughter is gorgeous!