Saturday, August 2, 2014

The UFO Solution: Baby Quilts

Way back in January, Bonnie Hunter wrote about choosing a one-word mantra and making it your focus for the year. Her word was "Finish." I decided to adopt it as my word too. But although I've managed to make progress on many projects, none of them has actually reached completion except for a few tiny things like doll clothes.

The obvious solution is to work on focus -- concentrating on one project until it's finished. Bonnie talked about the importance of focus on a Quilt Cam episode on Dec. 28, 2013, and I found it very inspiring. But this past week I realized that another solution is re-thinking the project.

While rummaging through a drawer I found 10 of these crazy "slash & shuffle" blocks. I made them at least 15 years ago using some instructions I found online. I never made more than one batch because I just didn't enjoy the method. So I just shoved them in a drawer with the vague intention of making them into place mats someday. Only . . . I never use place mats.

Last week it occurred to me that I could set them three by three with sashing and have a baby quilt. And then I'd have another quilt top on which I could practice my free-motion quilting.

They'd already had the seams pressed open, so I just repressed with steam to get everything as flat as possible. (I almost never use steam when pressing blocks for fear of distortion. But these blocks weren't anywhere near square would need major trimming to make them all the same size.)

Ten inch squares, nice and neat! The fabrics are all '30s repro prints, so I chose white sashing and pink cornerstones.

I used a sash-as-you-go method in order to stabilize the slightly bias edges. 

And I chain-pieced the blocks and sashings on my Singer 301.

It seemed like the top was done in no time! And I realized that many UnFinished Objects might well be converted to baby quilts -- especially if the blocks are unloved or I've lost my enthusiasm for the project. 

I waited a day or two to see if I wanted to add a border. I think not. I've got a killer fabric for the binding, so I think this top is done. Time to make a backing and get it on the frame.

Today  I'm linking to "Let's Make Baby Quilts" at  Michelle's Romantic Tangle.