Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Like Swimming Through Molasses

That's how slow progress has been on UFO #5.
Turning Leaves from Quiltmaker, September/October 2002 
The top is finished and it looks a lot better than I thought it would. I really wish I'd taken a photo of the layout before piecing it though. I'm seeing too many dark blocks in the upper half. Definitely not taking it apart to move them around at this point!

The reason this became a UFO was because I felt the colors of the leaves were all too different. However, the outer border fabric seems to pull all the colors in the blocks together. When I look at that fabric though, it reminds me of Zebras which reminds me of grasslands and a safari. I'm thinking of naming this quilt "Serengeti Oaks".

Can you believe I spent two days piecing this backing? I've never gone this crazy with backing but I didn't want to buy more yardage so I started piecing whatever Batiks I had together. Unfortunately, I mismeasured a few times and I had to add filler strips an inch wide. Piecing this took a lot longer than I thought it would but I did use up more of my fabric.

Now I'm looking for a machine quilter and its taking longer than I expected too. Eventually, it will all come together and the quilt will be finished. I'm just so ready to be done with it.

I've also been working on this UFO which I hope to have finished in July. At this point, I'm just doing some big stitch quilting in the octagons using orange Perle Cotton. I plan to embellish all the blocks with hand embroidery and am seriously thinking of adding a border. I just can't get used to it without a border.

Do you see the bird to the left of the initial "M"? I've decided that block has got to go because the bird just looks too different from the other blocks. He also looks like he's going to peck on my initial! I'm still thinking about what would be the easiest way to remove the bird block and add a new block. All the blocks are hand pieced and I may applique the new block in place.

Yesterday, I thought I'd take a break from Serengeti Oaks and thinking about the bird block so I started piecing our quilt guild's latest BOM block. I think I made a mistake at every step. For me, making a mistake is the best way to learn better technique. Time to go into my sewing room, turn on some music, maybe have some M&M therapy and try again!

Until next time when I hope to show you my bound Pumpkin Peel quilt,


  1. I like the bird! It goes with the butterfly.

  2. Love the Serengeti Oaks and love how you pieced your backing. Thanks for the inspiration, I was wondering what to do with the back of my nephew's wedding quilt and now I know I'll piece it. And, I would leave the bird. I agree with CindyD, it goes with the butterfly, and I also like quirky!

  3. How about you give that bird something to carry in his beak? A spray of leaves, or a cherry? Then he won't looks like he's going for your initial. He's too lovely to cover up.

  4. Pieced backing does take a long time, but worth it if you're trying to use up some yardage.:) Funny how taking a picture of our quilts can bring into sharp focus something we never really see with the naked eye! Your quilt looks great though and congrats on getting it this far along! Love the second quilt--so springy and fun!

  5. These are just beautiful and I love them both! Wonderful job!!! You will have to let us know 'how' you find a good long arm quilter….mine really went south with my most recent quilt top and I'm not sure what to do now - it really turned out awful. I've got a couple of appliqué tops that I hope to finish by the end of the year and I really would like them to be thoughtfully quilted, if that makes sense.

  6. I just wanted to say that I saw your quilt in Lancaster and it was stunning!!! gorgeous work.

  7. So nice to see your snowball quilt again, I think that's why I first starting following your blog. I also love the bird and I think you should keep it.

  8. I like how you used all those batiks to make the quilt back. I'm "over" batiks in my quilts, so I would be doing the same. Sure like that hexagon quilt, and it would look fabulous without a border! Just put on a black and white - dot, check, or strip - binding, and it will finish beautifully. However, from reading your posts over these years, I know you aren't happy unless perfection is achieved, so you will likely be taking out and replacing the bird, and be adding a border. (sigh) :-) !

  9. Can I vote for keeping the bird too!?? All your projects are coming along beautifully!