Monday, February 5, 2007

My oldest UFO - going on 18 years old now

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.

20 comments:

Anne said...

I'm sure you'll finish these and make a quilt with them someday, when you are ready. They are too beautiful to be left in the drawer forever!

quiltpixie said...

when the birds sing to you, and the flowers call to be picked, you'll finish them. Until then, know there's nothing wrong with enjoying the process... even if its many years long :-)

Carol said...

Beautiful blocks...I think that's a project for when you retire :) and you have all the time in the world.

The Calico Cat said...

Ahhhh, my heart sings the same song.... At least you have 12 blocks completed... I have 11 & counting... Still.

So where are the partially completed ones?

Libby said...

They are beautiful blocks - they'll make their way into a quilt . . . someday *s*

jpquilter said...

I was making some of these same blocks at the same time! That is how I learned to applique with a group of friends using Elly's patterns and instructions. Your blocks are beautiful. Thanks for the walk down memory lane.
Juliann

Gail said...

I have some BAQ blocks done, and I really enjoyed the applique- just don't think I will ever do all 25 for a quilt. I've been thinking of how I want to handle the ones that I have into a quilt, perhaps around a larger medallion.....one day. Yours are gorgeous! Especially like your fabrics, they are more adventuresome then mine-but there wasn't alot available in the store ,then.

Darlene - Dazed Quilter said...

If nothing else you can pull them out and enjoy them. One day, I'm sure you'll put them into a beautiful quilt. Thanks for sharing, Patti.

Leslie said...

I've also been inspired by 'Life-work' quilts and have started a few. Now I sew almost nothing but scrap quilts that requires little mental effort. I know it's a reflection of the season of life I'm in. When things calm down, work doesn't sap my strength and I have time to breath... I know I'll get those applique' blocks out again. "To everything there is a season." :D

Suze said...

One day the time will come. Until then you can enjoy looking at the blocks from time to time. Thank you for sharing them with us.

Laura said...

Oh patti you must finish it is is gorgeous!

Samantha said...

I hope you do finish it- it's lovely!!

Patty said...

That is beautiful Patti, Its really a masterpiece in the making.
I hope you do finish it, what a heirloom for future generations.
I think I have a UFO about that old, only problem, not sure where it is : )

paula, the quilter said...

Oh Patti, those are just lovely.

May Britt said...

You have to finish this beautiful quilts. It would be a masterpiece of a quilt. I have all of Elly's books, and have tried some blocks, but never done a quilt like this. But several of my friends here in Elverum has.

Karen said...

Oh, Patti, they're pretty.

Nadine said...

WOW, Patti ! It's gorgeous ! This is really a work of art, and it should deserve to enter a show, or a competition ! It's a masterpiece, really ! You HAVE TO finish it, dear !

Big hugs & smiles (again!)
NADINE.

Lily said...

Patti that is amazing work. You will finish it one day!

YankeeQuilter said...

Your blocks are beautiful! I have a similar box with 14 blocks. I used a "muddy" red in them and now it doesn't sing to me. Some day....
Sio

julieQ said...

Gosh, these are so very pretty...Love them! You do great work!