Tuesday, July 21, 2015

UFQ Assault in Progress!!

Later this week, I'll be presenting a talk Friday afternoon during the Sew & Sews Quilt Guild of Athens, Ohio's summer quilt show.  One of the ways I prepare to present a talk is to read over my notes and actively work in my studio.  This puts me in the best frame of mind.  I have a couple deadlines that needed attention.
So I began my stitching day by quilting the tabletopper I shared in my last post as a warm up for the major goal for the day.
The major goal was to get this quilt layered and start the quilting process.
Mission accomplished!!  As I pin basted it, I began to audition various quilting ideas and trace them with my finger.  They will no doubt evolve as I actually do the quilting, but I've found this to be a good starting point.

Since it's a beautiful day here, I set up to do the pinning on the front porch and imagine my delight when the mailman handed me two thick envelopes with more little bird blocks to add to my growing flock!! 
My hive in the 2015 Stash Bee are making these for me this month and I can't wait to get all them and go to work on something fun!! 
As I was adding them to the work wall, the APQ UFO Challenge 2015 chart caught my eye.  I keep it in the way so I don't forget to "meet the challenge".  I need to get it out . . . . .
. . . . . to the box!  I'd like to point out that it now closes which was not the case in January when I chose 12 projects for my list!!
It's not this one (Mississippi Mud that I'm helping my daughter finish).
It's not this one (really cool drunkard's path crib quilt). 
It's not this one (cat BOM ready to be quilted -- pretty cool backing, huh?). 
It's this one.  Pretty sure it's the oldest UFQ in the box -- 24 pieced blocks from about 1986?
There's a lump of fabric. That's good.
There's a really cool border plan though I'm not sure I'm that ambitious at this point.
Obviously since it's now the end of July, this quilt won't be "finished" but I'd be happy to get the blocks into a quilt top and organize a backing.  Then it can wait for a reason to finish it and I won't feel guilty.
One of the most important principles for a successful assault on your UFQ's is to know what you have.  That means they ALL need to be organized in one place and sorted by "stages".  I have three categories for this.
I have a shelf of tops with backings (easy to pull one out and finish it for a gift or donation) -- in fact the top I layered this morning is just that -- it's perfect for the person to whom it will go and having a "goal" (more than just a finish) will keep me focused and moving. 
I have a shelf of projects that are more than half finished and a third shelf of projects that will take more time and focus (such as the 24 blue grape basket blocks).
If I can find something quickly, I'm more likely to consider finishing it as a need arises.  I believe it's important to review my stock of UFQ's on a regular basis -- at least once a year -- so when I get a shower invitation or a call goes out for a fundraiser I want to support it's easier to answer the need by finishing a UFQ rather than starting a new project!!
So the rest of my July will be focused on these two UFQ's -- quilt the charming little basket quilt and organize the pieced blocks into a top with a backing.
Then I can play with those birds!!!
Mary Huey



  1. That is a great way to organize UFOs. One thing I do when I have a top made and the backing selected is to make the binding and keep it with the top and backing. That way I don't have to go searching for a suitable binding fabric when I have finished the quilting.

    Love the little birdie blocks. They will make a very cute quilt!

    1. Great idea, Karen -- it would save lots of stress down the road for sure!!

  2. I love your birdies so much! A great choice for the Stash Bee!

    1. Thanks, Alison -- I've made quite a few of them myself -- seems to lift my mood on overcast days!

  3. Oh, goodness. I've tried three times to comment, so I hope you won't be overwhelmed with them!!! Great work emptying your box. I love the birdies, too!

    1. Thanks for visiting and your nice compliment, Carole!

  4. I thoroughly enjoyed this post, Mary! I love how you talked of the machine quilting "evolving" because that is how it works for me. I focus on small areas at a time and let it just come one section at a time.

    Your bird quilt is so FANTASTIC! I am in love enough that I may just have to do one in a bee some time. ONe would certainly get a better variety with a bee.

    I further enjoyed reading about how you organize and "remind yourself" of all your UFOs. I am doing the same UFO challenge, I think. I have two months without finishes but I may get more than one done this month. I am only attempting to get "tops" finished for that challenge.

    Happy quilting!

  5. You have so many birds already, and the month is far from over. Our hive has been good in being punctual. I see my blocks!
    I still like the 1986 quilt. You can never go wrong with blue, right? it will be lovely to see it finished.
    I don't have suitable storage to keep UFOs together, so I started keeping a whiteboard by my sewing machine. It is helping, I think.

  6. Hello!! I adore these bird blocks and have been trying to find instructions so that I can make my own. Can you please point me to a tutorial or pattern? Thanks!

    1. You appear to be a no reply blogger, Liz so here's the answer to your question. There is a link in the post I wrote on August 18 titled Just for My Grands. Hope that helps!