Monday, September 14, 2009

Six-Year Old UFO

Why did this not very big quilt take six years to make? Here is the history, as I remember it, though some steps may have been forgotten.

1. About six years ago I was visiting on Cape Cod and went to the wonderful Heartbeat Quilt store and when there found a fabric in black and white, just printing which was taken from the writing of a gentleman farmer who kept fowl. He wrote about how he fed them and cared for them. I bought a remnant piece, less than a yard but it contained the whole quote and partial repeats. I said to myself I would use it in some quilt featuring chickens. I put it away.

2. Possibly two years later a vendor at an Empire Quilt Guild meeting had a beautiful fabric with roosters -- gorgeous creatures with metallic print in their multicolored plumage. I thought ah, this is it!

3. But I didn't know what to do with it so I put it aside.

4. One day, possibly three years after the first purchase, I decided to put the rooster in the fabric on a red background with a bi-colored kind of picture frame. I pulled out reds and then prints in deep greens and some blueish greens and cut them out, decided to sew about 35 squares which I did. Then I got out the rooster fabric and ironed fusing on the back. Then I put it away because I didn't want to take the time to fancy cut all those roosters just then.

5. Maybe a year later I decided to do the fancy cutting. I did one or two roosters, which took so long I put it away and told myself I would do it on bus trips. I didn't.

6. Eventually I moved here in April and made a pile of my UFOs. were several

7.Then I made a baby quilt for Cori to give someone and asked her to fancy cut the roosters since she says she's often bored at her job with nothing to do. I told her there was no rush since this had been going on a long, long time. But she did it very quickly.

8. Now I have a design wall so I pinned roosters to squares and put them on the wall. After a few days I wasn't satisfied so I turned half on point and liked it better. There is a picture of the two arrangements on an earlier post here. That meant the roosters had to be positioned differently on the square. I was glad I hadn't fused them yet. I was finishing other UFOs.

9. After a few weeks I fused the roosters and put them all up on point, rearranging a few times so specific roosters weren't clustered together. I finished another UFO.

10. As I looked at them, I felt they looked crowded, so I though about putting some red stripping between the squares. I dug through my stash and found a red with a pattern of partly metallic wheat heads. I cut it into 2 inch strips and began sewing them together. I was making a block quilt by then for a charity and divided my time -- more time going to the charity quilt.

11. About half way through sewing the roosters together I began to have serious fears that I wouldn't have enough of the red/wheat fabric -- I hadn't measured and done all the arithmetic to be sure. Slowly I forged ahead. By the finish I had a strip 2 inches wide and less than 20 inches long left over -- only.

12. That was about a month ago. Then I had to add the edge and corner triangles as I put the rows of blocks together. That took longer than I expected. Then finding a border fabric for the written part on the back that started the whole project was another stash search. Then of course, it had to be quilted.

13.When I had done the squares, I still wanted to outline quilt the roosters to make them pop out. That was very time consuming for they are complex beasts.

14. Finally last week-end I finished that, searched my stash again for something to use as a bias binding. I found an unlikely and so ugly I can't remember why I purchased the stuff, green print. It actually works fine as binding since the pattern disappears.

15.I added the last rooster on red square to the back to write on as a label. And viola!! After six years or so, it is finished and it fits on my table perfectly as a table cloth. I love seeing it there. PHEEW!! Some quilts are a long work in progress.


Quiltdivajulie said...

Letting it evolve over time certainly paid off!

Helen Conway said...

well worth the wait!

Ladydy5 aka: Diane Yates said...

You are too funny June!