Sunday, June 06, 2010

The Second Oldest UFO in my Sewing Room

The oldest UFO in my sewing room is the first quilt I ever made. It was a sampler, and I almost finished it. It was completely hand quilted. I stopped with about two blocks yet to be quilted, and started another quilt just like it, for my Mom for Christmas! Hers got finished, and then I was off and running with another quilt class. 20 years later, I've not finished that quilt!

But I will! It's just a wall hanging, and I want to hand it in my office!

Anyway, the class I went charging off to, after finishing Mom's quilt, was one I took in Texas. It was the very first time I had left the girls alone for an extended period of time. I packed up my sewing stuff, eye'd the sky a bit anxiously as it was not looking pretty, and after going over all the instructions for the girls to follow while I was away, I climbed in the VW van and headed out across the prairie to the little town where my class was.

The sky got worse. Then it got kind of an eerie green. I knew what that meant, so I was looking around for tornados as I drove. The wind and rain picked up and suddenly I was in a hail storm so severe I just KNEW the VW van was going to have sustained damage. I could hear Michael wailing in the background of my mind, over the wind and rain! He loves that car. It wasn't our old decrepit VW, it was the new red/white Vanagan that he adored (and adores still - it has a place of honor in the garage, all these years later!)

I made it to the little quilt store, only to be met by the teachers rushing out to my car, saying, "your daughters are on the phone!"

This was before the days of cell phones, and I hurried into the store with my stuff and stood there dripping, and listened as Karen and Laurie informed me that they were getting a terrific storm now.... The hail was scaring them, and they knew what greenish skies meant, and they were apparently hiding in the bathroom saying "Our Fathers". And calling on the phone they had stretched into the bathroom with them!

As most storms do in Texas, this one passed quickly. I was able to stay and take my class; the girls had a great day building confidence taking care of themselves and our dog. Somehow after the class, the quilt got put away... weeks passed... I never got back to it.

We moved to California, and I just didn't have time for much sewing.... I was running my business and doing the Mom thing, and my sewing consisted of making costumes, prom dresses, and sewing on buttons!

Eventually, I had the good fortune to take a class from Janet - about zipped bags. But she talked about quilting and the class was in a quilt shop.... About two years later, I started seriously trying to quilt again... Karene and I signed up for Janet's class at Leah's and there's been no stopping us since!! During that class we met Yvette and Ellen and Jenny and so many wonderful quilters!

But still, this project remained buried in the chaos that is my sewing room.

Until last week! I was cleaning out yet another bin of fabrics, and I found it.

I wasn't even sure what it was at first.

Strips of fabric, some random triangles....

Then I found a square....

And the "pattern", such as it was! But no template, except for the one drawn on the typed page.

And I immediately sat down to try to see if I could pick up where I left off. After squaring up the few blocks I had completed in class, I was able to figure out what I had been doing.

And I'm making progress on this UFO!! It is called "Prairie Spools" and I think it will be a GREAT addition to the crisis center quilts!! (If I have enough fabric!) I'm going to just keep sewing until I get about 120 blocks. The squares are 6.5 inches, so a set of four is a 12 inch block. 120 blocks will give me a decent twin top, if I put 6 inch borders on it. If I've grossly misjudged how many squares I can make, I for sure will end up with enough for a crib quilt or a toddler bed quilt. So it will get used!!



Yvette said...

Great story! I never heard the extended version.

Jacque said...

Loved reading the story - love your UFO, too! Prarie Spools is such a fun pattern, and looks great all scrappy!
Your blocks look wonderful! You will have to show us the finished top.

Karene said...

Brings back memories of how you "enabled" me into this wonderful hobby, which in turn lead us to meet our wonderful "quilting family". Love you all !