Tag Archives: UFO

2016-32 Snowball Star


This queen sized quilt is one that I made out from someone else’s UFO.  One day last fall, I received an email offering a partially made quilt top and coordinating fabric.  An unknown quilter had gifted it to Judy, who was moving to a new home and purging her sewing area.  Judy needed to pass this along.  This was the photo.

Judy's UFO Gift

Judy’s UFO Gift

The photo intrigued me.  Confident that I could finish assembling the quilt, put on some borders and then quilt it,  I gladly accepted the UFO.  I like a challenge.  However, when it arrived, I saw it in a different light.  The photo does not show the intensity of the chrome yellow fabric.  When I put it up on my design wall to consider how I would finish it, I found the yellow and red fought for dominance in the quilt.  Every time I walked by, I shuddered.  It bothered me so much that I ended up taking it all apart.  I used the extra fabric to make more red and white singleton blocks with a polka dot center.  I made a few half snowball blocks to extend the points out into the negative space beyond the center.  Then I added a red check inner border and a red polka dot outer border to finish the top.

Before I quilted it, I noticed a dirt smudge on one of the snowball blocks.  I decided to spot wash it before I quilted it.  It came clean and I hung it to dry.  The next day when I mounted it on the longarm, I noticed that the colour from the red check fabric had bled into the white fabric.  After a quick internet search on what to do when excess dye runs, I ran to the grocery store to buy Dawn detergent.  I filled the bathtub with lukewarm water, added half a cup of Dawn and then laid out the top to soak in the soapy mixture for three hours.  I was a tad stressed as I saw the water turn a lovely shade of pink.  Apparently, there is something about the Dawn detergent that makes the colour suspend in the water and not in the fabric.  I followed the recommendations for draining and rinsing.  It came out perfectly with no bleeding visible.  Just to be on the safe side, I repeated the whole procedure, but I did not need to do so.  No more dye came out.  I’m glad to know this trick.  It will come in handy again, I am sure!

With that ordeal over, I quilted it with a lush feather edge to edge design that sets it off nicely.   The binding is a tonal red fabric that visually contains those polka dots!   I’m pleased with the final outcome of this quilt.

This quilt won Grand Champion, Machine Quilting at the 2016 Wellesley Fall Fair. It now goes into my stash of wedding gift quilts for some future bride and groom to select.

I have a plan underway for what to do with the leftover yellow and red nine patch blocks.  It involves a bottle of brown dye!  I am certain that most people with not recognize them as having been part of the original UFO.








2015-25 Zodiac Stack and Whack

Stack and WhackThis Stack and Whack quilt was made from a UFO I purchased at the Mississippi Valley Quilters Guild show in Davenport, Iowa.  The guild had a great show and a wonderful sale area.  I spent too much money there!

This package contained the stack and whack pieces cut out, the navy background pieces and enough of the Zodiac themed yardage for the borders and binding.  I added the setting triangle fabric from my stash and bought the wheat coloured inner border to coordinate.   This was the first quilt I assembled on my new featherweight machine.  It was very pleasant to piece this – a project I did in small snippets of time during a small quilting class with advanced level children.  When they did not need me, I just stitched away on my project and they stitched away on theirs.  It was very companionable and gave me something to do rather than stand over them when they were fully capable of sewing on their own.

Once the top was pieced, I quilted it with a design called Just Stars, which enhanced the Astrological theme of the fabric and echoed the stars of the setting triangles.  The thread is a gold Omni by Superior Threads.

The finished quilt was given to Adam and Meg as a wedding quilt.  Adam is a neighbour at our cottage who played in the forest, swam, boated, skiied and eventually partied every summer with our two children.  He is the first of the very tight knit group of seven cottage kids to get married.  He chose a lovely life partner and we were happy for them both.


2013-10: Bandana Stars

Bandana StarsTwo decades or so ago, I bought a partial bolt of pillow panels from at the garage sale of a woman who owned a country decorating store.  After ten years of wondering what I would ever do with them, I opted to make coordinating Ohio Star blocks.   The finished blocks sat in a drawer for another five years or more.  As part of my ongoing efforts to clean up my UFO cupboards, I assembled the blocks into this top.  I debated putting borders on it, but finally decided to leave it as a large throw quilt at 76″ by 76″.    Because the squares look similar to neck kerchiefs,  I have named it Bandana Stars.

Recently, I bought a digital quilting design called Barbra’s Feathers from One Song Needle Arts and decided to try it out on this quilt.  This quilt is not a treasure and definitely does not deserve custom quilting, but that is what it got!  All of the blocks were ditched with MonoPoly.  The quilting is done with a tan colored cotton wrapped Poly Core.  The bobbin thread is Bottom Line by Superior.  The binding was applied to the back and stitched on the front with a tiny applique stitch that is almost invisible.  Looks great!  Here is a photo of the quilting detail:


2012-26: Blue Block Orphans

Blue OrphansThis quilt is a compilation of the orphan blocks of about 8 people.  The only thing these blocks had in common was the color blue.  I pulled all of these blocks out of the many that have been donated to our guild outreach committee and put them on the design wall to play with.

DSC00351At one point, this is what the design wall looked like.  Even though I really liked that cute little house block, it did not belong here.  Not enough blue! Once I  had a general layout with the desired blocks, I started assembling and adding coping strips of a blue flowered fabric that gave me the spacers need to make it all fit.

The quilt finished at 40″ x 45″ and I really like the look of it!  I think what appeals to me is the challenge of making something nice out of found fabrics and blocks. It was donated to Victim Services, since they prefer to have small quilts.

2012-24: Hidden Wells Orphan

Hidden Wells QuiltThis orphan block quilt was made with some Hidden Wells blocks that were brought to my front door by guild member Beverley, who was cleaning out her house in preparation for a move.  The blocks were already assembled, so I simply joined the rows, added the inner and outer borders and then machine quilted and machine bound it.

If you look at the bottom row, you can see that the pattern does not fit exactly.  Perhaps this is why these blocks ended up as Orphan blocks?  Hidden Wells can be a tricky pattern!

The finished quilt was completed within 4 hours.  It has already been donated to Victim Services.  Hopefully it will comfort someone in need.

2012-14: Candle Mat


This simple candle mat was made from a block given to me from my friend Jacqueline.  I quilted it with a walking foot on a domestic machine using MonoPoly thread.  The binding is straight grain applied to the back and top stitched on the front.

The finished mat was donated to the silent auction table at the Rosseau Fall Fair, where it raised some money to help with fair operating costs.

2012-1: Loon Country Placemats

Our cousin Stephany, an avid birder, bought this fabric in April 2001 with the plan to have them made into place mats and a table runner.  Ten years later,  still in original yardage format, I convinced her to let me quilt  and bind them for her.    She told me the quilt store where she found the fabric, Village Fabrics and Crafts in Paradise, Michigan near where she lives, specializes in nature fabrics and is a real treat to visit.  The loon print is by Timeless Treasures.  The backing and binding fabric is Natures Glory by Moda.

The binding matches the backing, making the place mats reversible too.

The quilting is a dense freehand that resembles water ripples .  The thread is a light blue poly with a dark Bottom Line thread in the bobbin.  I made a point to avoid the heads of the loons, so the design is not obstructed.  The placemats look good and I am pleased with how they turned out.  The set of 8 placemats measure 13″ by 18″ each.

Goal Progress:  This is the first project of the year.  Even though I do not have my quilting goals set yet for 2012, I do know that fulfilling commitments will be high on the list.   So finishing these placemats gives me a headstart on goal completion for 2012 and buys me a little pondering time as I figure out which of my own quilting projects are the highest priority.