I know the month and year I started the first block of my oldest UFO because I wrote the date on it with Pigma pen when it was finished - June, 1989. I'd read about Elly Sienkiewicz and her quilts in Quilters Newsletter magazine, and became fascinated with Baltimore Album Quilts. I ordered her first book, Spoken Without A Word, which she self published. It now goes for over $350 on Ebay! I bought her second book Baltimore Beauties and Beyond, Studies in Classic Album Quilt Appliqué as soon as it became available in May of that year. I started with lesson one and made every block in turn through lesson 6. As I finished each block I carefully wrote my name, the month and the year in an inconspicuous spot in the design. About the same time I got the book I learned that Elly would be teaching four days of classes in Portland, Oregon at Daisy Kingdom, so I told my husband that's what I wanted for my birthday and Mother's Day. I spent four marvelous days with Elly, and showed her the blocks I'd completed so far.
About the time I'd finished twelve blocks I started teaching quilting at Daisy Kingdom. All my classes were piecing classes so I moved away from appliqué. Over the next several years I took several more classes with Elly and started 8-10 more blocks which are still incomplete. Then I lost interest in appliqué for quite a few years until I discovered folk art and primitive designs.
I'm sure I'll finish this quilt some day - even if I do nothing but set these 12 finished blocks into a quilt. Much better, I think, would be for me to finish the blocks too. They are much more complicated, with woven baskets, three dimensional flowers and fanciful birds. I take them from the drawer now and then and note that it really wouldn't take all that much effort to finish them. I even keep them out on my cutting table for a few days. Then I carefully roll them up and tuck them back into the drawer. The time to finish them is not yet here.