Sunday, August 19, 2012

Pondering The Blocks!

In my antique wanderings the other day, I found some treasures that left me wondering about what will happen to MY UFOs 100 years from now.

I think quilters have always had UFOs…whether they be tops, or blocks that are not yet set together, or even blocks that are just basted and prepped, but the applique has not yet begun.

Why these projects get waylaid we all can guess, because it happens to ALL of us.

Sometimes we lose interest.

Sometimes something with a deadline ((A baby quilt, a marriage gift, a healing quilt, etc)) sneak in and things go onto the back burner never to see the light of day again!

I found the most awesome blocks….and I wondered about their makers!

This picture is of a prepped applique block that is completely cut out of VELVET and basted to a muslin foundation. No stitching has begun yet ---I’m not sure how they appliqued velvet, but in my mind I’m seeing this done with a close buttonhole stitch…it doesn’t look like she’s left room for needle-turning under a seam allowance to applique.

The velvet was still so soft to the touch!

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Here is the whole block!

I love those bright green velvet grapes or berries that are falling out the right side of the pot! WHY did she not finish this?

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This is the second velvet block.

Look at that awesome basket! It’s all basted and ready to go!

I do love the mystery, even if the mystery is never solved. Who was this quilter? We will never know because the price said “two unfinished quilt blocks” and that was IT.

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More Blocks!

Along with the velvet beauties was a stack of “Pennsylvania Dutch” applique blocks in a set. There were 10 of them in the set. I was awestruck as I turned the block over to look at the miniscule stitching of the applique. This was one skilled needlewoman!

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There were duplicates of blocks, not all 10 are different. The tan fabric is the same in all. I don’t know if it was once green, or if this is the original color. I couldn’t see any crocking or bleeding and these blocks have not been washed I don’t think.

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I loved this one! I loved the fact that I could see where her red from under the tulips shadows through the light pink on top of it…it makes it look shaded! Of course, the blue/cheddar ones scream at me too.

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OH! Be still my heart!!!

A heart wreath with berries! Is this not gorgeous? So the question arises again ---what happened in these quilter’s lives that their beautiful handwork never became a finished quilt?

We’ll never know ---but it makes me want to finish MORE of the ones I’ve started so someone doesn’t have to sit and speculate on MY UFOs!

It poured last night, and it’s still raining outside now. I don’t know if the drive to the mountains is on for today or not.

And for those asking about a heads up on QuiltCam, or doing it at a set time ---I’m sorry, but my life doesn’t work “on-demand” like that. I honestly don’t know when my day’s work will be done so I have time to sit at the machine, or do I know how long I’ll be able to sit at the machine.

I love doing it ---but it has to work on my schedule if it is going to happen at all. I can’t say that “QuiltCam will be on at 7pm eastern time zone” That just doesn’t work with my life at all. Thank you for understanding that!


  1. Oh my gosh, what a treat to wake up to these. Makes me want to make some of those. Then I'll set aside the current projects if I do that. But what's another UFO? hee...

  2. Your wise words were just the motivation I needed to finish my WIPs....with maybe a small project after each finish as a reward. ;) Those are beautiful blocks. It makes me want to get pencil and paper out to design some of my own.....For after I've finished a WIP of course! Heeheee!

  3. Debra Lamb9:51 AM EDT

    OMGish.. you have the best shops in your are, would love to see the last set of blocks actually finished, they are so beautiful! Not sure I could have walked out without them.

  4. Just when I have been thinking I need to get some things finished! I wonder why something always comes up that is moved to front and center??

    Bet you never thought this webcam was going to be such a hit, huh Bonnie.....be sure to keep your family abreast of the popularity!!!!

    Have a great day....gonna try and get a back pieced so the quilt can get quilted. I thought as I was sewing last night, I really should get over pieced backs and maybe I'd have time for more front piecing!! Oh. Well. I just love the detail on the back of the quilt as well!!

  5. Anonymous9:54 AM EDT

    think i'll go work on something i've got started!

  6. I've only manage to catch one webcam but thoroughly enjoyed it. Understand about not setting a time for the webcam, I likely wouldn't be available to watch at a specific time. LOL but I'll occasionally catch them. Enjoy your day

  7. What a cool post...and it made me want to finish my UFOs, too! Mostly because no one is enjoying them in their unfinished state!

    If it ever works into your crazy schedule, us early birds would enjoy a weekend afternoon quiltcam! I've been catching just a little on my phone while laying in bed. Unfortunately, you aren't boring enough to put me to sleep so I have to turn you off and read :-)

    Have a great day, whatever it may bring!

  8. I would love to finish those velvet applique blocks! I wonder if there were more blocks at one point. For some reason, its always more fun for me to finish other people's UFO's than mine.

  9. I"m feeling the pressure. I guess I'd better get going on my UFO'S!
    I really don't want to leave anything unfinished. I'm also wondering what to do about my finished quilts...if I should be giving more away.

  10. Good morning Bonnie! You're so much fun, and we so appreciate all that you share with us. You take us places we've never been and show us things at antique stores that we would never have found! And the webcam is like having a surprise dessert before dinner ... Thank you for including us as you do so often...if I was trying to sew, and people kept interrupting me...it would drive me nuts! Thanks again Bonnie!

  11. Love following your shopping /antiquing travels. You could create quite an amazing "Shop Hop" list from just your favorites. I haven't seen anything like this near me... But maybe I need to look better

  12. Anonymous10:32 AM EDT

    Just had a wild idea! Maybe we should start labeling our UFOs. Of course, we don't know it's a UFO while we're working on it. So the only option is to make the label first, and keep it with the project. Maybe I'll start doing this. Maybe.

  13. So dd you buy those fabulous appliqué blocks that were so beautifully done?

  14. Anonymous11:17 AM EDT

    Makes me think...I know I will not finish everything. Why not put a note in the project as I set it aside to explain why.

  15. Well, for better or worse .. I have only ONE UFO. It's an Elenor Burns Lone Star. One of the colors is just wrong, wrong ,wrong. I would pull it out today but then I would have to set aside my Blue Ridge Beauty - which started as a L & E but with Quilt Cam time I decided to move it to the forefront. Now there are 400 + purple and neutral twosies. Can't put those little babies off to the side - I feel like I've made so much progress on them.

    Guess the Lone Star will sit for a little while longer!

  16. Please don't apologize for sharing your sewing time with us on your terms! I love the surprise of logging in and finding you on screen, and you have pushed me to do more sewing this week even you are not there. 15 minutes really can turn into an hour or more so easily. Thanks again for sharing all you do - now I'm off to inventory my UFOs.

  17. Thank you for sharing these wonderful UFO's. I inherited my mothers UFO's, large stash and quilting tools. My daughter and I are enjoying them and I am amazed at how much the material would cost us today. I discovered some UFO's that she inherited from relatives and wish I knew who had completed the blocks. We are going to frame some of them and others may be made into lap quilts. I caught the web cam last night and really enjoyed it. I totally understand you not wanting to schedule the time. I am amazed that you are scheduling classes 3 years out. Thanks for sharing your quilting adventures with us and have a great trip to Bali.

  18. My late mother-in-law who I never met left behind an unfinished hand-appliqué baby quilt. It was pre-quilted white fabric with either iron on pictures or pre-printed on fabric. I guessed it was started in early 80s for one of my step-children. I pulled it out and finished it for my step-daughter for her first-born, the fort great-grandchild of Ms. Sallie's. My step-daughter cherishes it and I expect it to be an heirloom for years to come and feel honored to have been a part of it. -Venessa

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  20. Got to ask, Bonnie...did you buy the blocks? Do you have plans to finish them? Love the quiltcam and you talking to the camera as if you can see me there. -Gayle
    This is comment removed...just wanted to add email address.

  21. Anonymous11:58 AM EDT

    My mother-in-law (who grew up in Harbinger, NC and retired in Elizabeth City) was a talented seamstress and quilter and I was proud to inherit a few of her UFO's when she passed away. She was very special to me, so I completed a log cabin top she had pieced and I treasure it still. I also completed the blocks for a reversible quilt and gave it to her daughter. A 12-inch appliquéd block has been framed and hangs in my sewing room. I "try" to finish one project before starting another to keep my UFO's to a minimum....it doesn't always happen!
    I'm so loving your quilt cam and will miss it when you are in Bali. Have a restful and wonderful time!
    Elaine in MA

  22. I've pondered the many questions about what happens to the UFO's and quilts we leave behind many times. I inherited some UFO's from my mother too and one she collected from an older ladies she knew from Church. I like the idea of labeling our UFO's. I try to write down in my UFO BOOK, that I made, the stats and name of the pattern with the pattern source and inspiration for making each quilt. Too many Quilts are left, forgotten, in Antique Malls for us to wonder who created them. It makes me sad. They are remembered for just a moment because you post them so we can see them here. I don't think Labeling was even a thought when these quilters were so busy stitching.

  23. Here's what will happen if you set a time. "oh no. That's when I watch Tinkering With Cars and I'll never be able to watch both. My life will be ruined. You spoilsport! Boo Hoo Hooo."

    Remember the woman who got upset with a mystery quilt? I wonder if she's on medication now.

    Whatever you do is sweet surprise for us.

  24. ps. How about Scrappy for the turtle?

  25. Missed you again!! AARRGGHH!! Our internet (and it is just ours) has been erratic all week - and I'm not a happy camper! Not your fault, of course, but I wish I could watch - you are so FUN!! Have you thought of recording your "episodes" as YouTube thingys? Not that I would know how - but it would/could give the rest of us a way to join in on the FUN - ;))

    And I LOVE those UFO blocks - makes me want/need to document my UFOs better. I already have a list of the dates started - pattern source, etc. Now I want/need to add the WHY. Just what WAS the name of that "squirrel" or "shiny object" that distracted me from this particular project - ;))

  26. All this talk of UFOs! Gives me the kick in the tukus I need to get back to working on Andrew's airplanes. I think I just have two things going right now....the airplanes and a big string quilt. The strings have no rhyme or reason to them....just trying to use up those strings. Want to have it just for the family room for whoever needs to snuggle. Truth be told, I'd like to have 6 in the family room.....one for each of us! :^)

  27. Oooh... I really love that basket!

  28. I would have had a hrd time walking away from the last set. Love the shading too, as that is nature and i love little whimsical aspects of old quilts, where they are not perfect. So much so, that i think the Amish "humility blocks" are something i am going to do more often.
    Im glad you are just doing the quiltcam when it works for you....lest, it becomes work. Then, it wont be fun and lasting. People just dont think sometimes. Having a blog is a lot of work. Then, when you sew, work, have a family,etc. Dont know how you do all you do. I suspect a lot of famous quilters probably have "help". More than they'd like to admit. Keep on doing what you are doing, but no stress. We will take ya when we can have a mi ute of your time.

  29. Cindy B.3:08 PM EDT

    Hi Bonnie!

    Did you buy these blocks? I live in NC and if you didn't would love to know where you saw them!

    1. Cindy B.3:10 PM EDT

      oops e-mail is cmbeers14@hotmail.com if you would rather message me!

    2. Cindy, i came back over to ask same thing! Cant stop thinking bout the red n tan, last set. You go girl! Ive got tons of unfinished to keep me busy. Bonnie, you could /are stimulate economy at antique shops! Lol

  30. So many women died so young during the time that these blocks were made. So I am wondering if a lot of the unfinished things might not have been a woman who died in Childbirth back then. Her things may have been kept for the children but never finished by said children.

  31. You have WILLPOWER! I don't know if I could have walked away from those PA Dutch blocks! I think they may have jumped into my car and come on home with me! LOL

  32. You're right, seeing UFOs from others makes you want to work on your own. I have a goal to work on 1 UFO each week. I need to finish it, or a just carry it to the next week. But we have to finish to make or stories complete.

  33. Sometimes I fear someone will open a closet and see I am not as "altogether" as I appear on the outside. Sewing mends my heart, Bonnie.


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