Digging out from under…literally

This headline comes from the fact that we’re getting our first really significant weather here in New Hampshire today as I write this. My desk faces two front windows in the room, and it could be Alaska out there for the snow flying past me all day…although Fairbanks is partly sunny today, with a high of -7.  No thanks, I like February is New England.

Like many quilters at this time of year, I looked around my studio at the beginning of January – and pretty much wondered what happened.  Where did all these bags, boxes, bins, etc come from? More importantly, how am I ever going to get it back into the closet so I can shut the door and pretend they aren’t there.  The quick answer is…I’m not.

I became aware of the All People Quilt UFO Challenge on Facebook early in January (or maybe late in December…it’s all a blur), and I was intrigued. The premise of the challenge is that you select 12 UFOs from your stash (if you’re in this challenge, it’s a given), and then list them out in a linear fashion.  At the beginning of the month,  the people at APQ post which number UFO you’re going to be working on that month.

It’s a fun, encouraging group, and we’re clicking right along as of mid-February now.  Here’s a picture of my ‘List’…some are older, some need a gentle nudge – but all of these will get done. 


It’s humbling to list all the projects out there…and I know as I opened bins and bags, I did locate several projects that I forgot about originally.  I have enough for several lists (would you believe 3?), but for now, I’m concentrating on just the one pager.

When I filled out my sheet (which is, by the way, completely on the honor system!), I knew that January was going to be #6, and so I plugged Island Star into that. I had a deadline of mid-January, so I knew that I wasn’t going to be working on anything else anyway.

The second column of the sheet (which might be hard to read) is labeled Status Before…it’s hard to measure your progress if you don’t know where you begin. For me, it was hard to miss that a lot of this group starts out as Needs Quilting.  Wow – talk about  a lightbulb moment…I’m very tentative with my machine quilting skills.

I use January as goal setting time for the business, and for the creative side of things, I am designating 2017 as my year to improve my technical skills. I do have all the tools I need to become a better technician…I just need to overcome some roadblocks. Every path starts with a single step, right?

Ugly Fabric Challenge, Flimsy done Jan 2017

I actually finished the January piece in the middle of January for the blog hop, and I found I actually did get into a rhythm with the sewing. I was missing something to just piece – I randomly picked up my Ugly Fabric quilt, named because you use your ugliest fabric as a foundation to piece on.  By the end of January, I had pieced that one into a more contemporary flimsy than the original I had laid out, and it’s waiting to be scheduled with the longarm rental location. I have hours banked with them.  So I have finished two quilts, and I’m now working on my February.

Hunters Star Runner – February 2017

My February pull was #8 – on my list, it’s called the Hunters Star Table runner. It can also be called the project from hell, and I really was uninspired by what I had done with the blocks.  That’s totally fine – some of these are several years old, and my tastes have taken a more modern bent. The pitfall of letting a project sit dormant for so long is that you lose track of the pieces, you forget where you were, you lost the instructions for the tool.  Another reason to bust the UFOs.

I’ll be continuing this theme throughout the year, and if you follow my on instagram at @patchworkpearl, you’ll get to see more of the fun with this project.

Til next week…




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