Re-Homing your Quilt Projects

When I signed up for this UFOvember, I was assigned the topic of re-homing. Well, since this is about UFOs, it is probably meant to be about re-homing those blocks that for some reason just sit there, staring back at you when you open a box to see just what is inside. But my story is about re-homing a quilt.

There are people who are interested in quilts, who just “get” them, and those who don’t. Working in a research lab, you are surrounded by intense people, who live and breathe science. Not many of them have the time or inclination to throw themselves into a time-consuming creative endeavour outside of science. So there were not many people who saw what I was up to outside the lab. One person who was interested, and loved what I was doing, approached me and asked if I would make her a quilt. I know from previous ventures that this can be a dangerous thing to do.. I much preferred selling someone something that was already made so there would be no surprises. She persisted. We talked about colours (bright), style (simple) and I researched patterns. I found a pattern online that was simple, and bright, and got the OK to proceed. I ordered the fabric, and got to work. I sent occasional photos to update my progress. All good. When it was all pieced, and ready to go to the quilter, I took a shot of it on my bed so she could see the final size and get an idea of what it would look like on her bed. Silence. One week of silence from someone who worked just down the hall from me. I was getting seriously nervous. Finally she came to visit, and told me she had changed her mind. My mind was racing.. she didn’t like it? But she had OKed the fabric, the pattern, the early photos! Maybe she was in a money crunch and couldn’t afford it? I asked if she would mind telling me why. “I’d rather not say.” was the reply. Things got frosty after that. The completed quilt sat in my house, and made me sad whenever I looked at it.

This is the quilt, which is the one I took with me to Black Creek Pioneer Village when I was pitching the idea of Quilts at the Creek. It was a big hit- the quilt and the show!

A year or two later, a girl that I had hired straight from school had a personal tragedy. This person was so bright, full of energy and enthusiasm, and became a real friend, despite a 30-year age gap. We later travelled to China together: almost 3 weeks sharing everything from a room to food to travel adventures solidified our friendship. When her 27 year-old brother died while completing a half-marathon she was devastated. When she returned to work I re-homed this bright, happy quilt to her. I like to picture her physically wrapping herself in a quilt given by someone who cares, and hope it helped her through the worst of times. The quilt had found its rightful home.

Here are the other blogs discussing this same topic… check them out!

November 25 – Jill Therriault – https://stitchinginheels.blogspot.com
November 26 – Cristina De Miranda – http://shipsandviolins.com
November 27 – Kate Starcher – http://katiemaequilts.com/blog
November 28 – Valerie Prideaux – https://www.cozyfunkycool.com/
November 29 – Kim Mastromartino – https://www.schooloflinedesign.com
November 30 – Natalia Knowlton – http://NerdyQuiltersBlog.blogspot.com

Re-working your UFOs

Re-working your UFOs is the topic of the week for UFOvember. Check out these bloggers who are tackling this problem. There just might be something there to stir you into action!

November 18 – Stacey H – http://twoterriersstudio.net
November 19 – Cinzia White – https://cinziawhite.com
November 20 – Laura Piland – https://www.sliceofpiquilts.com
November 21 – Rachel M – http://thebarefootcrafter.com
November 22 – Kathryn LeBlanc – http://www.dragonflysquiltshop.com
November 23 – Judit Hajdu – http://www.quiltfox-design.com
November 24 – Lyra McCabe – https://quiltingmccabe.wordpress.com/

Here is my re-work story: We invited Sherri Hisey of Border Creek Station Pattern Company to design a quilt for us, which would be presented as a mystery challenge. We sat on my back deck sipping wine and discussing what kind of blocks and designs we liked. We would publish a set of instructions each month over the winter, and display the quilts at the 2015 Quilts at the Creek show. Sherri worked her magic and sent us the pattern. So yes, we knew what it would look like. No mystery for us… this didn’t stop it from being a challenge for me though!

My modus operandi for quilt making is to play with colour until I am happy. As I made the blocks month to month I was not happy. My original choices were not playing well together, so I made more blocks, and more blocks and more blocks!

Here is my final version of the quilt.. the pattern is still available: Click to access the_full_pioneer_spirit.pdf

Well, because of all my waffling about colour choices, I ended up with a kazillion spare half-square triangles blocks. They were a lighter, brighter selection of blocks, and I used most of them to make this quilt for the 2016 Quilts at the Creek show. A successful re-working of those blocks!

Resuming: Moving those UFOs along

You abandoned those projects for a reason- too boring, didn’t like it, too hard, not enough time. The excuses are endless. Check out the bloggers below to see how they got inspired to resume one (or more!) of their projects:

November 7 – Sarah Ruiz – http://sarahruiz.com
November 8 – Teresa Weaver – https://yoursewingfriend.com/blogs/sewing-friend-news
November 9 – Karen Brown – https://www.justgetitdonequilts.com/blog
November 10 – Bobbi Bridgeman – https://snowydaysquilting.com
November 11 – Raylee Bielenberg – http://www.sunflowerstitcheries.com
November 12 – Althea Gyde – https://www.blueheronquilting.shop/blog
November 13 – Kenzy Hogan – http://sewingcorals.blogspot.com
November 14 – Leanne Parsons – https://www.devotedquilter.com
November 15 – Jessica Caldwell – https://www.desertbloomquilting.com

Hopefully you will be find inspiration here.. it is amazing how guilty you can feel about an unfinished project, and how great you feel when you do actually get back to it. Even just moving it further along in the process can be a big relief.

Here is my resumed work: I purchased this as a quilt kit earlier this year.. my 3 year old granddaughter LOVES horses and rainbows, and this would be great on her big bed. The finished quilt measures 60 x 60″, and is designed by Violet Craft.. I decided it would be a Christmas gift, and got started. Paper piecing is not my favourite thing- how do I always cut the fabric too small??- and during the Covid lockdown I got distracted with other, simpler tasks like making masks, and making my favourite kinds of quilt. That is a simple design, with lots of playing with colour. In fact I made so many tumbler quilts I have a 45 minute Zoom presentation on the subject.

Suddenly Christmas doesn’t seem so far away, and I still have 1/3 of the pieces to paper piece, then I need to put it all together and get it to the quilter, and finally the binding, all in about 6 weeks. Gulp! Wish me luck!!

UFO Inventories

Joanne Kerton of Canuck Quilter Designs (see her on Instagram) shows us some of her UFO inventory and why those pieces became UFOs. She has a lot of almost-done quilts. Maybe she needs a long-arm quilting friend to just get them done. But wait, who am I to talk?

Sue Griffiths of Duck Creek Mountain Quilting has some pretty awesome pieces in her UFO list. I especially love her William Morris applique piece, near the bottom of her blog post.

Two more bloggers will be tackling the topic of UFO inventories. so I will post about them soon. Meanwhile, here is my experience with creating that inventory.


I know the first rule for UFOs is to take an inventory. First, I started with just a list.. I think you can see how this went for me. Not well.

I am a person who loves to find the best way to organize things… So I bought a new binder, made a template page to use for my UFOs, and started.. see photo below. You will quickly realize that I had quite a bit of time devoted to this already.

So I started going through all the places I store fabric and projects — past present and future. I found so many wonderful fabrics that I started to add them as “unfinished” projects. These were so tempting I wanted to jump right in- I had to stop myself! Meanwhile I had found 20 UFOs so far, with no end in sight. This was taking way too long- I could have finished a project with the time I had spent here! Looking back at this book I had created, done in 2016, I see I have finished seven of these projects. One I packed up and donated to Value Village in frustration (paper-pieced, with too many intersections with too much paper). Hopefully some quilter stumbled on it and thought she had died and gone to heaven.


Blog Hop Schedule

November 1 – Bobbie Gentili – http://geekybobbin.com
November 2 – Becca Fenstermaker – https://prettypiney.com/blog
November 3 – Joanne Kerton – https://canuckquilter.com
November 4 – Sue Griffiths – https://www.duckcreekmountainquilting.com
November 5 – Ashli Montgomery – http://www.meandcoach.com
November 6 – Anne Boundy – https://saidwithlove.com.au
November 7 – Sarah Ruiz – http://sarahruiz.com
November 8 – Teresa Weaver – https://yoursewingfriend.com/blogs/sewing-friend-news
November 9 – Karen Brown – https://www.justgetitdonequilts.com/blog
November 10 – Bobbi Bridgeman – https://snowydaysquilting.com
November 11 – Raylee Bielenberg – http://www.sunflowerstitcheries.com
November 12 – Althea Gyde – https://www.blueheronquilting.shop/blog
November 13 – Kenzy Hogan – http://sewingcorals.blogspot.com
November 14 – Leanne Parsons – https://www.devotedquilter.com
November 15 – Jessica Caldwell – https://www.desertbloomquilting.com
November 16 – Laureen Smith – http://www.tourmalinethymequilts.com
November 17 – Karen Kehl – https://betterdonequilts.com/blog
November 18 – Stacey H – http://twoterriersstudio.net
November 19 – Cinzia White – https://cinziawhite.com
November 20 – Laura Piland – https://www.sliceofpiquilts.com
November 21 – Rachel M – http://thebarefootcrafter.com
November 22 – Kathryn LeBlanc – http://www.dragonflysquiltshop.com
November 23 – Judit Hajdu – http://www.quiltfox-design.com
November 24 – Lyra McCabe – https://quiltingmccabe.wordpress.com/
November 25 – Jill Therriault – https://stitchinginheels.blogspot.com
November 26 – Cristina De Miranda – http://shipsandviolins.com
November 27 – Kate Starcher – http://katiemaequilts.com/blog
November 28 – Valerie Prideaux – https://www.cozyfunkycool.com/
November 29 – Kim Mastromartino – https://www.schooloflinedesign.com
November 30 – Natalia Knowlton – http://NerdyQuiltersBlog.blogspot.com

 

UFOs and Shopping

I have signed up to participate in Bobbi’s (theGeekyBobbin) UFOvember blog hop. Anyone who quilts will have UFOs in their house.. so what do other quilters do with them? There are lots of useful topics here.. from doing an inventory on your UFOs, getting back to them, re-working them, and when none of those help.. re-homing them! Follow along and see!

Day 1 is GeekyBobbin herself: See what she has to say on her blog link and check out her Instagram feed link.

Day 2 is Becca Fenstermaker of Pretty Piney Quilts: see what she has to say on her post titled I Wish I Knew How to Quilt You, and check out her instagram feed. She shares her ideas for creating a pdf that has a flow chart for your quilts, and is like a mini project planner. I’m not sure I am ready to bring all my UFOs into the daylight yet- but this might help!


SHOPPING

So.. here we are talking about UFOs.. using your stash, finishing projects and all those other socially responsible things. BUT sometimes you just crave something new. To help with that UFO you are working on? To dream about a NEW project (that will NEVER become a UFO!)? Online shopping takes you only so far. I live in Toronto, and am desperate to look at new stuff. What quilt shops are open here to indulge this desire?

Len’s Mills  Len’s Mills has lots of fabric, mostly older, but you are likely to find SOMETHING you like. Fabric is not shown on their website, so you can’t check their stock out first.  Located just west of Dufferin, north of Lawrence, at 66 Orfus Road. Lots of parking.

Eweknit. Eweknit is located near the Ossington subway, so a good location if taking the TTC. They specialize in yarn, but do have an interesting fabric selection. Sadly they seem to be stocking less and less of regular quilting fabric, but if you like modern fabrics, check it out. If you look online before going, you will see their website is not up-to-date. Most of the fabrics I looked at were Out Of Stock. Sigh! Address: 832 Bloor St. West, Toronto. Street parking on side streets if you are lucky.

Country Clothesline. Country Clothesline is a lovely little shop in a more residential part of town. The fabric selection is good, both online and in person. And Sylvia is such a sweetie, it is a pleasure to stop and chat about life, Covid and new fabrics. They are located in the east end of Toronto, at  471 Cosburn Avenue, between Greenwood and Coxwell Ave.  Some parking available. 

These are the shops I have found.. if you know of any others add it in the comments below.