2011 ufo wrap up

1. Hawaiian quiltThis quilt I have been working on FOREVER.  I am very frustrated with it.  On the other hand it is potentially nearly done because it has the binding nearly on.  I still feel like it needs to be quilted more. Updated December 2011:  Although this is technically a finished piece, I don’t feel like it is done.  Does that make any sense?

2. Blue Knitted scarf Again, I have been working on this forever.  I think I can declare it finished as soon as it reaches around my neck. Completed in June!

3. Valentine quilt This is kind of a cheat.  I was planning to finish this anyway, with a tentative finish date in April. Completed in April!

4. Dark angel quilt I just began this last week, so although unfinished, it isn’t something I have just been leaving alone.

Update December, 2011 : Again, although technically finished, I feel like it is not done, but very close.

5. Graduation scrap-book  Yes, my boy needs a scrapbook at his graduation party.  I have started it but it has a long way to go. Completed May 31!

6. Green, black and red, corduroy quilt  This I have had half done for DOUBLE forever. I began this quilt in 1997.  This a true ufo. Update 2/2/11: Completed!

Corn, Water and Wood, 61″x76″, fabric, thread, January 2011

7. Cardinal cross stitch I have worked on this for two years, but it substantially done. Update: Done in summer!

8. green t-shirt I just cut this at Christmas time. completed 6/28/11!

9. denim dress remake I have barely started this.  I just cut off the collar. I have a very vague idea of what to do with it. Update: I accidentally gave this to good will.  Since it is gone, I call it done.

10. These next three I am very nervous about putting on.  I have worked on them for a long time and they are hand sewing.  I am nervous I won’t finish them.  The first one is the Jewel Encrusted Pony. Update: Completed!

11. g cross stitch This is a top-secret project that I have worked on for six years.  It is a gift so I don’t dare give more information.  Hopefully, the person will someday receive it. Update: unfortunately this one will have to go on my 2012 list.

12. grandmother’s flowers quilt Again I have worked on this project on and off for four years. Maybe longer. Update: Again this one will have to go on 2012’s list.

So this is my final update for 2011.  I loved doing this project and have already started on my 2012 list.  It felt a little like college with self-directed deadlines not completely under my control, but with a lot of cheerleaders.  I definitely made progress.  I got seven projects done completely done and three more on track.

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Silk crazy quilt wrap up

Here are the final pictures of the silk crazy quilt. I first thought of calling it Blood War Horse of Jewel-encrusted Opulence and Power.  This makes sense only in my own mind.  Mostly because I see a red horse in the middle.    If you can see it, too, let me know and I will feel slightly less crazy. I take heart in the fact that artists can name their pieces anything they want. However, that name seems extraordinarily violent so I went with Jewel-Encrusted Scarlet Pony of Opulence and Power.  It makes much more sense.

Anyway, overall this quilt was a success.  I think the color scheme worked out fabulously.   It has a bohemian chic feeling that I really like. I love the back.

Successes:

The color scheme.  I love the jewel tone, 1980s density of color in this quilt.  The peach is a color I never ever, ever use.  Except now I did, thanks to Steve.  It is almost shockingly colorful.

The back insert.  This is a testament to my online quilt surfing.  I am seeing many quilts now that are putting an extra block in the back.  The grey backing fabric I used was a remnant from a long, long time ago.  Someone I worked with before my older son was born had given me a huge amount of fabric.  So when I say a long time ago, I mean I have had that fabric since 1993 or 1992.  Someone had written on it in grease pen.  I cut that segment out and added these blocks. I planned to use those extra blocks as a frame on the front of the quilt, but found them too busy on the front. Even though this was a save, I do like this idea.  I have been piecing my backs for a while now with multiple colors of fabric, because when I get to the fabric store I see so many choices I like.  Seth’s quilt is a great example of this. I always have extra blocks from the front so from now on, I probably will include some of those in the back.

Straightness.  Although the inner borders are not perfectly straight, the quilt as a whole is pretty decently straight.  I used some tips Deanna gave me of measuring the borders which helped, as well as, carefully truing each border after I sewed it on.

Lessons learned

Silk.  I think it will be a long time before I use silk for a quilt again.  It was beautiful to work with and a very sensuous experience to sew and touch, but a pain to make straight.  I have no idea how to clean this quilt.  I ended up cheating a little bit when I used the peach and dark purple.  They are not actually silk, rather polyester.  The fuchsia border is silk.  That border is also iridescent.  Anyway, just the little bit of fabric for the borders was 20 dollars.  Fortunately, I had most of the rest of the fabric so I could pop for it.  However, I don’t think my budget could cover more silk.

I am learning a lot about myself from the ufo challenge.  I am learning that I can get a lot of work done when I have a deadline.  I found out that I can successfully finish a project that I was confused about or had lost interest in.

back of silk quilt

 

Here it is the back of the silk quilt before I assembled it.  I love the back of unfinished quilts.  All those seams carefully pressed.  As you can see, I never quite get all my seams going the same way.  I like the ant trail of hand stitches that show up on the back. I did crazy quilt foundation piecing on this quilt.   I especially like how unfinished foundation pieced quilts look from the back. It’s like a secret part of the quilt only known the quilter and, if paper pieced, often ripped out before assembly.  In this quilt, I cut up a worn sheet to use as a stabilizer.  The quilt was really worn- to the point of being sheer -so it had almost no effect on the hand. However, together the silk and the sheet became more manageable to sew, less slippery and more likely to match up. 

February ufo done

In spite of everything, I did get this finished this weekend.  I laid in bed and hand quilted while being very sick.  I would quilt a little then watch a long movie on Showtime (we had a free weekend of Showtime).  I’m still sick but slowly moving to the vertical world.  I will write more when I feel better and do a more complete wrap up.

friday night sew in-finished quilt top

I finished the top!  Yesterday, my husband and I went to Joanne’s and found this fabric. The bonus of having a husband who is an artist is getting out-of-the-box color advice. I knew I would be using orange in this quilt, but I never would have picked this peach color.  I think I would have used a rustier color, but  I love the way the peach makes the quilt glow. I had the intention of adding a frame of pieced squares, but I just liked the fabric I bought so much I went with it.  I was able to get the top completely sewn last night.  Hopefully, today or tomorrow I will get the quilt basted.  I think I am on track to have it done for February, my second ufo done for 2011.

silk quilt ufo 10, problems and solutions

 

Thanks to Deanna for noticing that the quilt has an Amish palette, I’ ve overcome my initial confusion about the palette of the quilt.  I’ve also overdyed the most obnoxious colors. I didn’t get as big of color change as I would have liked.  I think there must be a special technique for dying silk with Procion colors that I have forgotten, because I got intense colors in college.  However, even though I wasn’t able to radically change the color, I was able to tone them down to an acceptable range.

I began this quilt as a crazy quilt.  I was sewing small bits of silk on a base of a worn sheet. Now, to speed things along I have been making some squares all one fabric.  The nature of silk makes me want to stabilize these squares, to increase the possibility of ending up with a quilt that is rectangular. I still want to have the great drape that silk has.  I’m thinking in the interest of speed of picking up some fusible interfacing to put on the back of the solid squares. Sewtropolis  sells a fusible muslin that would not really affect the drape. Part of me is resisting doing this.  I love the way the back of the quilt looks with the worn, nearly sheer sheet parts and hand stitching.  Yet I also know that I will add backing and batting to the quilt so besides my own knowlegde and any photos, there will be little evidence of this extra work in the finished quilt.

The second question is the white thread.  I happen to have some large spools of very thick thread.  If I don’t have any thread that I am saving to use for basting, I always use that thread because it is too thick to use in my sewing machine.  I can use it for my serger but I don’t serge very much and I have a ton of it.  When I was initially working on these blocks, I liked the way each block was outlined with the white thread.  Now as I start to think of the quilt as whole, when I put the blocks together I think the white basting thread will be distracting.  So if any shows outside the seam allowance I will have to pick it out.  I am switching to darker thread so if a little shows I won’t have to remove it.

ufo number 10: the silk quilt

My number 10 is the silk quilt.  It is made from several silk blouses I had from the 1980-1990s.  They are washed silk and they are all in jewel tones. 

I know why I stopped working on them.  The color is the first problem. My husband says they look like a flag. Also, I have completed only eight.  Eight blocks completed is very far from a quilt. Sigh.

You can tell I am not excited about the quilt.  However, there are several things I like about it.  First, I like the silk.  I have never made a silk quilt and I love to touch these things.  I used some of my very sheer worn sheet for backing and they are completely hand sewn.  I love the contrasting basting around the edge.  They are completely soft and have a beautiful drape.

I’m thinking about dying them.  I have some doubts about dying something that is partially completed.  I believe I will paint them with dye. I’m concerned that they may fray with all of the rinsing.  I’m also not sure what color to use. 

So a lot of problems.  It should be an interesting ride as I work through these challenges. I am excited to see what will emerge, especially after seeing what happened with last month’s ufo.  I really pushed myself, and I’m quite pleased of what I achieved.

2011 ufo challenge

I found this 2010 UFO Challenge by Patchwork Times. I love the idea of tying up loose strings, but I have a lot of anxiety.  Will I finish all these projects?  Will I finish any of these projects?  Some of these projects are not quilts, so I hope that Patchwork Times doesn’t mind my stretching their idea a little bit.

I will give it a shot.  What is a ufo?  An unfinished object.  I have several.  Some I have been working on for years and I don’t know if I can finish in 2011.  I don’t know whether to list them or not.  Some I already plan to finish. But here goes…

1. Hawaiian quiltThis quilt I have been working on FOREVER.  I am very frustrated with it.  On the other hand it is potentially nearly done because it has the binding nearly on.  I still feel like it needs to be quilted more.

2. Blue Knitted scarf Again, I have been working on this forever.  I think I can declare it finished as soon as it reaches around my neck.

3. Valentine quilt  This is kind of a cheat.  I was planning to finish this anyway, with a tentative finish date in April.

4. Dark angel quilt I just began this last week, so although unfinished, it isn’t something I have just been leaving alone.

5. Graduation scrap-book  Yes, my boy needs a scrapbook at his graduation party.  I have started it but it has a long way to go.

6. Green, black and red, corduroy quilt  This I have had half done for DOUBLE forever. I began this quilt in 1997.  This a true ufo.

Update 2/2/11: Completed!

7. Cardinal cross stitch I have worked on this for two years, but it substantially done.

8. green t-shirt I just cut this at Christmas time.

9. denim dress remake  I have barely started this.  I just cut off the collar. I have a very vague idea of what to do with it.

10. silk quilt  These next three I am very nervous about putting on.  I have worked on them for a long time and they are hand sewing.  I am nervous I won’t finish them.

11. g cross stitch This is a top-secret project that I have worked on for six years.  It is a gift so I don’t dare give more information.  Hopefully, the person will someday receive it.

12. grandmother’s flowers quilt  Again I have worked on this project on and off for four years. Maybe longer.

I will see how it goes.

more silk squares

I’m going to check out the new sewing shop in my neighborhood.  It suddenly appeared just 10 blocks from here on Diamond Lake Road and Nicollet.  I will let you know how much I like it.  I’m sure I will: a fabric store within walking distance.

I am dyeing some clothes today.  I am dyeing them brown.  I hope some of them end up in my color palette.

pictures

I began working on this quilt yesterday.  It is made from several silk garments that I had, but didn’t want to wear.  The fabric is really flimsy and delicate, so I sewed it to this old sheet.  I love this old sheet.  It was from S’s grandmother and we used it until it ripped.  Then I used the old depression strategy of cutting it down the middle and resewing it together, but outside edges as center.  Still the fabric was too thin so I combined it with another sheet to make large patchwork sheet.  My husband didn’t like sleeping on the seams, and honestly it really was still too sheer to use so finally I bought some sheets.  (yes, I am cheap).  The fabric is still lovely because it is so well worn.  Here’s a picture of the back, and I like this as much as the front.
Then I used that same fabric to make this tiny quilt card.  It is called Winter Sunset.  I used that sheet again and a curtain that had shredded after slowly being faded unevenly by the sun.  All of the other fabric on this card is from the curtain so you can really see the changes from the fading.  Actually it is very gradual, and beautiful.  It reminds me of a quilt I wanted to make a long time ago called Purple Rain, that never quite came together.
Published in: on November 27, 2009 at 7:15 am  Leave a Comment