Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Be careful what you look for

It isn't as bad as it was, but the closet in my sewing room has certain Pandora's box-like properties.

Recently, I was looking for something, I don't remember what (nor do I remember if I found it), when I unearthed several long-forgotten UFOs. Ancient UFOs.

This first one dates back to when I first was getting interested in quilting -- more than twenty years ago! I was always fond of vintage and ethnic clothing, so when I first started quilting I was intrigued by Seminole patchwork. I loved the tiny, intricate motifs that were achieved through fairly simple methods. My first attempts at Seminole patchwork were done with scissors not a rotary cutter (!). This is when I bought my first really good sewing tool: my Gingher shears. But soon I learned of the rotary cutter and cutting mat and off I went on an experiment with tiny strip piecing. I planned to make a skirt, I have yards of pink, white & black baby rickrack to go with it. But as I am now too old and too fat to wear a skirt like this, I think I will make a long, narrow wall hanging with it. It really reminds of my roots and how I came to patchwork and quilting -- too valuable to not finish.

UFO one

Another piece I found is not quite as old, but only by about 5 or so years. I began this one back in the days when I was working at a quilt shop. This was when Mary Engelbreit was really popular, though the design was not hers but taken from a vintage embroidery that has hung on my walls for decades. It is stiff with the fusible webbing I used (I hope the newer versions are not so stiff) and stalled out when it got to border and details that required hand work. I planned another border with a scrolling vine with leaves and lots of yo-yos and buttons as details around the house. I still think it is cute and that it has possibilities.

UFO two

little houses

The last piece is not so old -- only about 5 or 6 years. I don't remember what prompted this one, other than using the vintage fabric that is the vase that holds the flowers. While patchwork and piecing are my natural home, I sometimes venture into applique and was experimenting with a folk art style. With this one, rather than a fusible web, I used a fusible interfacing on the applique pieces, then loosely zig-zagged them onto the background. I always thought this would fit nicely on the guest room door. Perhaps I should try to finish it.

UFO three


MariQuilts said...

Oh dear, you just reminded me of my own pandora's box. It's so wonderful to see some of your history. I keep planning to share some of mine but haven't got there yet. You just took me through memory lane in a flash.

Thanks for really make me wish we could swap memories over coffee.....

Love the seminole work!!!

Rachaeldaisy said...

I love each and everyone of those projects. I love that you're always exploring and trying new things and these surprises from your cupboard really demonstrate that. Please finish them and hang them around your house for everyone to see!