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Unfinished Object to Finished Quilt

Today I’m the next stop on the UFOvember blog hop! Bobbie Gentili of Geeky Bobbin is hosting the 2nd annual UFOvember to help quilters and crafters resume, rework or rehome their UFOs – or UnFinished Objects.

I was super excited and honored that Bobbie asked me to join the fun for #ufovember2021 because I love Bobbie’s mission and I definitely need to take stock of my UFOs.

For my turn, I selected a UFO to rework. I have about an even split of UFOs where half are patterns, so I know what the next steps are, and half are just me playing with fabric and not knowing for sure what to do next.

I designed a small burst-like FPP block in the summer of 2020. I wanted to use Libs Elliott’s new Phosphor fabric, which has a great denim-like texture, for this block. There are 12 colors in the original Phosphor, so I made 12 blocks.

Originally, I envisioned placing four blocks at 45 degree angles so that I could create a diamond shape with the bursts facing out. I wanted to place three of these diamond shapes stacked on top of each other in one column and piece the entire rest of the quilt with solid black fabric. So essentially an almost entire quilt made of black fabric with one strip of diamonds about a third of the way in from the right. There was going to be lots of interesting math and likely y-seams to this plan. And then, I just stopped. Probably because of all the interesting math and y-seams!

When I picked up the project again this month, the one thing I didn’t want to do was just place all the blocks next to each other. I love non-repeated block based quilts when I have the opportunity to play and design quilts. Basically, I didn’t want to lay them out in a grid and call it good.

So what did I do? Laid it out in a grid and called it good! For good reason though! When I laid out the blocks in varying patterns, nothing was quite right. In my mind, I wanted this to be a throw quilt. So I keep stretching out the design ideas to accommodate that. Then I placed the burst blocks next to each other.

When I designed the block, I intentionally made sure nothing was equal-sized. If the bursts were to ever touch, I didn’t want everything to line up perfectly. So when I did line up all 12 blocks in a 4 x 3 grid, I loved how organic it felt to see the colorful bursts touch but not line up. I really liked the way the overall design was taking shape!

As I studied the layout, I knew it needed some type of border to help add a resting place for the eye. I took a photo of the blocks and then I used my phone’s default editing options to color and play. **This is the most important tip I can share with you about reworking a quilt design when you have physical blocks made.** You can take one photo or twenty and use the tools at your fingertips to see what works for you.

Here are several images I created by taking my one photo of the blocks and trying out different border options.

As you can see, I first thought about adding a small colorful border in fabrics that matched each block. I also tried out the thick black border. And then I combined the two ideas – adding a small thin colorful matching border and then a thick black border. I knew this was it!

To finish the quilt, I pulled out almost a dozen colors of 50 wt Aurifil thread and just started adding organic vertical lines. Most are spaced about 1/8” to ¼” apart. 

I used an Art Theory print from Alison Glass for the binding. I am so pleased with the final result!!

Quilt Blogger Contributors to #UFOvember2021 are listed below. I hope you have time to check out all the amazing tips and inspiration from these makers!

  • November 1 - The Geeky Bobbin -
  • November 2 - Strawberry Creek Quilts -
  • November 3 - Katie Mae Quilts -
  • November 4 - Pretty Piney Quilts -
  • November 5 - Mary Go Round Quilts -
  • November 6 - Exhausted Octopus -
  • November 7 - Just Get It Done Quilts -
  • November 8 - By Hilary Jordan -
  • November 9 - Sew Hooked on Treasures -
  • November 10 - Sunflower Stitcheries and Quilting -
  • November 11 - Blue Heron Quilting -
  • November 12 - Carrington Creates -
  • November 13 - Sarah Goer Quilts -
  • November 14 - Better Done Quilts -
  • November 15 - Ashli Montgomery | Virginia'dele Smith -
  • November 16 - Puppy Girl Designs -
  • November 17 - Lovingly, Lissa -
  • November 18 - Art East Quilting Co -
  • November 19 - rjbosscher -
  • November 20 - Love to Color My World -
  • November 21 - LynsAvenue -
  • November 22 - Quiltfox Design -
  • November 23 - Maeberry Square -
  • November 24 - Karen Bolan Designs -
  • November 25 - Tina1802 -
  • November 26 - Lazy Cozy Quilts -
  • November 27 - True Blue Quilts -
  • November 28 - The Scrappy Camper -
  • November 29 - Sarah Ruiz Quilts -
  • November 30 - Lyric Art -
  • Comments

    1. I love how this quilt turned out! What a fantastic layout for those blocks. I love UFOvember; I get such wonderful ideas.


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