Thursday, December 31, 2015

My Oldest UFO

Started Jan. 1, 1986, finished Dec. 29, 2015. Just made it under the wire for less than 30 years! Of course I wasn't working on it most of that time. I remember clearly the New Year's Day that I started cutting the pieces for this - I was home in Wasco, and Mom and Dad were in Pasadena to see the Rose Bowl parade. I watched the parade on TV, and traced and cut out patches at a card table. Yes, this predates rotary cutters, and I made templates out of plastic, traced around them and cut the fabric with scissors. How the quilting world has changed! I was influenced by a class taken with Roberta Horton, who had made it her mission to expand quilting beyond the little calicoes that made up most quilts at the time. We did little exercises to see how mixing in larger prints, stripes and plaids (some cut off-grain!) made blocks more interesting. It seems so obvious now, but was eye-opening then. And it wasn't done just in the name of being more artsy or wonky; Roberta had researched antique scrap quilts and observed how making do with what they had led to more visually intriguing quilts.

I used some small prints, of course, but also larger prints, woodblocks, novelty fabrics, stripes, plaids and checks. 

This is mostly hand-quilted, mainly outlining the patches, plus a few diagonals, and straight lines in the sashing. When I got it out last winter to see what was needed to finish it, there were 2 blocks left to quilt, most of the sashing, plus the border. The border was too intimidating, so I gave myself permission to machine quilt that if I would just finish hand-quilting the rest. I got those 2 blocks and some sashing done then before putting it away again until this December. 

The backing is the same printed plaid as the sashing, but in a brushed cotton version. That, plus the polyester batting and the minimal hand quilting, make it very soft and cozy. 


  1. You have made me feel a little bit better about my 15 year old WIP! LOL.

  2. Way to go-finishing up an old WIP!

  3. Great finish, and a great feeling to have your old UFO completed! I'm sure you will get lots of pleasure out of using it, and looking through your fabric choices from so long ago.

    I've got some oldies hanging about too. Why don't we just get them finished, I wonder?

    Congratulations, it is a lovey, cozy looking quilt.