UFOs Part II – Swaps

More boxes gone through – more UFOs unearthed.  The ones I’m disclosing this time are sets of finished blocks that the block elves haven’t gotten set into quilt tops while they were hidden in boxes and bags.  Darn elves, anyways. Many of these date back to pre-Expat days, when I still lived in Canada.

When I was just beginning quilting, I discovered online quilt groups – Yahoo groups. What wonderful communities – I was instantly in touch with like-minded women from all over Canada, and in some cases the US and other countries as well.  The group “Canadianquiltswappers” was my downfall when it came to accumulating UFOs. It also found me one of my best friends, Lorraine, who, we discovered, only lived a 2 hour drive away.  Two hours might sound like a long way for some of you, but in the Canadian prairies, it’s just around the corner.

Canadianquiltswappers sponsored a monthly block lotto.  You made up to three blocks,  the pattern and colour chosen by the winner of the previous month.  I won the first time I entered – a lovely set of Log Cabin blocks, and then soon after I received a set of Contrary Wife blocks.  I made these into a quilt that I gave my daughter Lisa (see, they didn’t ALL turn into UFOs). This is an old photo, but I do want to prove I finished at least one.Alas, the 18 lovely Christmas blocks are still waiting – although I’m sure that this happened just before I moved to Kuwait…. what chance did I have???  Added in this photo are two orphan blocks and two sets of small swap blocks from Kuwait (27 in all).  I would like to find a way to incorporate all of these in one quilt.

And then there were the themed swaps of Canadianquiltersonline.  I have stashed a set of  Underground Railroad blocks, and 12 monochromatic blocks, which I haven’t taken a photo of.

And then there is the Block of the Month that L2Q – LearningToQuilt – sponsored – a garden quilt by Debbie Mumm.  I finished 3 blocks, and then the pressures of the Kuwait Quilt group with an exhibition coming up took over, and I never quite made it back. that was a really multi-national group – it was great, and I regret that I have lost touch with it.  For a while, we had 4 members living in Grande Prairie, and I made some good friends. I met the son of one of the Nova Scotia quilters – he stayed with us for three months, and is one of my “other” sons. Conway was giving oilfield work a try, but the salt water of the Atlantic was in his veins, and he is back fishing and loving it.

As I mentioned before, I wanted to learn to do needle-turn applique, and quickly realized that my fledgling skills would not stretch to doing the Twilight Garden blocks by Jeanne Rae Quilts.  I desperately wanted to learn the technique, so I did them in fabrics that couldn’t unravel – batiks.  They turned out really well, I think – but blocks they remained, as I didn’t want to set them in a 3 X 4 grid of sashing. And here they sit.

Before we left Canada to live in Kuwait, Lorraine and I went fabric shopping together in Fort St. John.  We found a lovely fabric that we both loved – so we bought what was left and shared it.  When I was leaving, we decided to use this shared fabric in a set of swapped basket blocks.  We did 6 each so we have 12 blocks ………

The one with the black dog comes with a memory.  When David was away on weekends for work, I would pack up my sewing machine, fabrics and Puddles, our old black lab, and head up to Lorraine’s for the weekend to sew. Puddles would sleep under the dining room table while we sewed and chatted. One time, while Lorraine was at the counter trimming blocks, her sewing machine mysteriously began stitching.  I stared at it – not sure if Husqvarna’s had some automatic stitching feature.  No they don’t – Puddles had rolled over onto the foot pedal

I’m hoping that by publicly confessing all of these wonderful unfinished projects, I will make finishing them a priority.  I guess it’s the first step in a 12 step program for quilters.

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10 Responses to UFOs Part II – Swaps

  1. Oh dear – I can only LAUGH when I see your UFOs. I am in the same boat. The question is where to start!!! Good luck – I have found that FOCUS FOCUS FOCUS is the key to getting these done. Pick one – put the rest away. Then work on it and before you know it – you will be done!!!!

  2. candy says:

    The sisterhood of “UFO-ers”! We all have them. I go through the closet sometimes and find things I’ve completely forgotten about. I’ve been using some of them for free motion quilting practice. I do love the blocks you made into a quilt.

  3. Cecilia says:

    Those blocks certainly deserve to be made into quilts ! it would be a shame not to!
    I am doing exactly the same, UFO exterminating, but I haven’t got as many as yours 🙂

    • Yes, they do deserve to be made into quilts. I was rushed off my feet with new projects in Kuwait, but definitely not here, unless I find them myself – and there are a few….. I must admit.

  4. Brenda Fritzler says:

    Your UFOs look so much more attractive than mine!

  5. Brenda – that’s just because they are mine – you are tired of yours and mine are new to you.

  6. Sally Acomb says:

    I have been concentrating on my PhD (projects half done) sounds better than UFOs. Still have about 7 left. Dear Jane is one I would love to finish will take some time. Good luck to you, you have some neat blocks.

  7. I love that, Sally. i have a hand pieced Dear Jane on the go – haven’t mentioned that one yet, have I. i think I’ll be dead before I can finish all of my PhDs.

  8. Lorraine Babuick says:

    oh how I wish you were close again. I also have tons of blocks made up and ready to go into quilts. I miss our weekends sewing and Puddles of course. Remember how he was jealous if Llyle played with one of the babies and not him. I miss him keeping my toes warm under the table.
    Heading to the Buick Creek retreat on Wednesday for 5 days. Taking a few sets of blocks with me to work on and hopefully get made into tops. Going to GP today to have my machie serviced before the retreat. It is not sounding very good.I use it a couple hours a day so it need some love.

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