Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My oldest UFO

At Christmas 1995, before I ever quilted anything or even sewed anything more than a loose button, I used a gift certificate to buy the kit for this:

It was a kit for a Hawaiian quilt pillow (and yes, I liked blue back then too!).  It included the background fabric, the pre-cut applique shape, batting, backing, and fabrics for a pillow back and for binding.  Oh, and one short instruction sheet that I now know leaves a lot to be desired.

Traditional Hawaiian quilts have a single large, symmetric and often complex appliqued piece on a plain background, and they are densely echo quilted.  If you've never seen any look at this site for examples.  It has step by step photos showing how a gorgeous Hawaiian quilt was created.

This quilt is small (the top is about18 inches square) as well as simple, with mostly broad curves and few Vs, yet I worked for months, a tiny bit at a time and still didn't finish.  We moved in August 1996, I discovered cross-stitch and crocheted snowflakes for the Christmas tree and the Hawaiian pillow-that-wasn't found a home in the bottom of the craft chest because let's face it, I'd never get it done

Fast forward to last week.   I needed some handwork to do while sitting waiting while the kids had their swimming lessons. In desperation I dug to the bottom of the chest and pulled out my old nemesis.  I was surprised to see that it was almost 2/3 finished. I was even more surprised to find that after avoiding applique like the plague, because it was so frustrating and time consuming, I finished that last third in three mornings by the pool.  Hmm, I seem to have acquired more skill with a needle in the last 14 or so years.  The last third wasn't only much faster than the previous two, it is also much smoother.  Maybe applique won't ever be my favourite quilt to make, but perhaps I won't run the other way anymore :).

I still have to sandwich and quilt this little piece, but it will wait until I've finished quilting my daughter's quilt.  The quilting is the fun part anyway, so I'm considering this almost off the UFO list.  Maybe I need two lists...".UFO" and "Almost not"...


  1. Maybe you have acquired more patience. It looks lovely and will make a lovely quilt.

  2. Seeing the progress we have made over the years with our skill is always a boost to the quilting self esteem;)
    Happy Quilting!!

  3. Good work on the "almost" finish! It is very pretty and I can't wait to see it finished.

  4. I wish that an unfinished project like this lived at the bottom of my sewing bin! Lucky you. Can't wait to see how you finish it.


  5. Very nice! I think you should start another small applique and keep it in a bag, ready to go with you for such occasions! ---"Love"

  6. Every thing old is new again. Glad to see that it was revived. Ann :-)

  7. I saw a show a few years back about Hawaiian quilts on HGTV. It was really interesting. Yours will be stiking. Connie204

  8. Beautiful!! Applique isn't my favorite either, but you really did a nice job! :)


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