Tuesday, January 24, 2012

UFO Tutorial - day 1

I have a box full of random, un-used, leftover, odd-sized, ugly, new and old blocks.  Some of them I have already improved.
 And a couple have even become small quilts.  This one was snapped up as soon as I finished it and is now hanging in a young teenager's bedroom.

So how do you turn an ugly duckling into a swan?

These six blocks were in a bag of vintage blocks I bought, sight unseen, at a flea market years ago; they have been in my trunk for ages.  As I look at them now I know I would never have bought them if I had seen them. I don't know what the pattern is called but they are clearly swastikas to me. I estimate that they were made in the 1940's, but some of the fabrics look like 1910-20 vintage, as well.

I decided that cutting these individually would be too much work, so I sewed them together and will cut them as though they were a whole top.  They are hand-pieced and I was happy to see that they were not all the same size and that a lot of the seams were 1/8".  This is true of many old blocks; who came up with the "you must have a 1/4" seam" idea?? 

As I cut this thing up and re-sew it, you will be along with me to see what works and what doesn't because I never know in advance what I will be doing.  I'll take pictures as I go along and will be happy to answer questions.  It may not turn out to be a masterpiece but for sure, it will be better than THIS!
Stay tuned.


  1. I think it will be fun to "see" what you do with this piece in "real" time. I'm still working on the center portion (9 blocks) of the quilt top I chose to work with this month. I'm hoping to get inspired to do more cutting and piecing.

  2. How fun to be able to watch your progress with these uglies. I don't have anything quite as dreadful but I have a stack of assorted log cabin configurations from some online class I took eons ago. They are dreary and the light side is just some pale fabric that clearly needs some surface design treatment, so I am excited to see how this piece is transformed

  3. What a great way to do a tutorial! And you have my interest. That is some serious ugly.

  4. I thought I had to finish those ugly UFOs just as they had been started. I love the idea of cutting them up and piecing them with strips of some other, totally different, fabrics. I hope I can come up with some winners, as you have.

  5. Now I am looking at the box of old quilts a whole other way! Love this idea. S

  6. I love what you did with the first blocks and can't wait to see what you do with these vintage blocks. Glad you are doing a tutorial!


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