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The Surprising State of the UFO's

In January our elected government officials give a State of the Union or a State of the State address. I did the same by writing a State of the UFO’s blog. I found that I had seven projects that were not completed. I also vowed to not start any new projects until these seven were done. Since three months have past I thought it would be a good time to evaluate my progress and reflect on what I have been doing in the the sewing room since the beginning of the year.

Last month I blogged about the final four Rows that I completed for my Row By Row 2016 quilt. Since I first bought sashing and border fabric for this quilt I changed the design so that the rows were offset rather than being all in a line as I had first envisioned. I changed the design so that the quilt would have more width and would then be more proportional to the length. As a result I needed to purchase more fabric. Luckily, JoAnn Fabrics still stocked both of the pieces that I had originally chosen so I didn’t have to pick out anything new. After cutting out those fabrics I discovered that I still didn’t have enough! After one more trip to the fabric store - never a bad thing! - I was ready to stitch the rows, sashing, and border together. All went well except for the Row that I sewed on upside down. Oops! Just another chance to bond with my seam ripper!

Before I began the quilting process I decided that the neighborhood in the countryside block needed some extra stitching as the background fabrics were loose. That could have caused some real issues with my long arm! Once I zigzagged all of the raw edges it just looked better, too.

I have also been working on the wool quilt kit that I purchased in Fullerton this past summer while on the Panama Quilt Guild’s bus trip. I have completed the appliqué on the five blocks as well as whip stitching each piece using matching embroidery floss. I also embroidered some details using the perle cotton that came with the kit. This was a great project to have while I watched the Olympics in February. The next step is to cut out fabric to make half-square triangles to form the sashing in this quilt. Since this is a fall quilt it would be really nice to have it completed by the first part of September.

In addition, I added one more row to my English Paper Piecing quilt. I started this quilt three years ago when we were remodeling our basement. Since we were moving our storage room into my old sewing room I thought that I would be without a sewing room for about six months. The EPP project was going to be perfect to fill my sewing void as it is all done by hand. Tom had other ideas on how to deal with the transition though which involved keeping my old sewing room intact until the move to the new one. I think he thought I might be easier to live with if I could still sew as usual!

I know that I said that I wouldn’t start any other quilts until all of my UFO’s were done. However, that ended up being a true New Year’s resolution as it didn’t last very long. Towards the end of January I began a scrap quilt for Fresh Start, the charity that we support through the Panama Quilt Guild. Each guild member was asked to make a twin size quilt using fabric that we had in our stash. I was able to do that - including the backing - from fabric that I had inherited from my aunt. I decided on a pattern that I had previously used to make a green, red, and white Christmas quilt. This quilt is a good stash buster and goes together quickly. My quilting club also used this pattern to make a red, white, and blue Quilt of Valor. I then checked my stash to see where I had the most fabric and what two colors would go together well. I ultimately decided on mauve and green and I loved that color combination! I stitched an all-over design on my long arm and completed the quilt with binding. I handed it off to our guild president after show-and-tell at our February meeting.

I also completed a new 32”x32” wall hanging for our guest bathroom as I repainted it and bought a new shower curtain and accessories. That room was overdue for an update and, with most projects like that, one thing lead to another so a new countertop and flooring will be following soon. I found a pattern for the wall hanging in the December 2016 edition of American Patchwork & Quilting magazine. It required paper-piecing the flying geese units and the border - a bit of a tedious process but so worth it in the end. And I loved the fabric that I was able to find. I used lots of continuous curves and ruler work in the quilting and really enjoyed that process.

So of the seven UFO’s I have made significant progress on two of them. I also constructed two quilts from start to finish - one large and one small. While I really enjoy quilting on the long arm, it is fun to sit at the sewing machine and stitch once in awhile. I have also completed twelve quilts for customers on my long arm as well as ten Quilts of Valor. I’d say it has been a productive three months!

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