A TECHNIQUE DRIVEN Blog dedicated to mastery of surface design techniques. First we dye, overdye, paint, stitch, resist, tie, fold, silk screen, stamp, thermofax, batik, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, Smooch, fuse, slice, dice, AND then we set it on fire using a variety of heat tools.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

To Art Quilting and Beyond - Week 3/Part 4

OK so I told you it would be something a little spacey, right?

Well....here it is...


Or to be more specific - New uses for UFOs

We all have them. If you don't have any, please don't tell me!! It would be too painful...

I have many pieces languishing in a container hoping beyond hope to someday be an art quilt. Oh I DO have plans for them. Plans are not what I'm lacking. Time is what I'm lacking. Time to incorporate them into an art quilt as we usually think of them. How else could I give them a meaningful life other than hanging on the wall? What about another tactic? The first one was rather easy for me to "re-purpose"

Years ago I did a couple of pieces because I saw what a friend had done and I wanted to play for a bit. The challenge intrigued me. First I made a fabric interpretation of one of my favorite art pieces. I'm a HUGE fan of John Waterhouse so I chose one of his pieces titled "Destiny".  It is a painting of a woman sipping tea looking out a round window at ships in the harbor. I imagine her dreaming of places her destiny might take her.  Here is my rendition in fabric. Please keep in mind...this WAS years ago!!

Since winter is coming soon and I LOVE to curl up on the couch with a cup of tea in the afternoon and watch TV or write in my journal or do handwork AND since a dear friend gave me a VERY special teapot, I wanted to use this small piece to make a tea cozy!

First I found fabrics I wanted to use with it. The blue background is the main fabric and the red roses I wanted to use for the binding. I also chose a red floral for the inside. I quilted two pieces the size I would need in a simple meandering pattern.

I put the red binding on the UFO on three sides. I didn't do the bottom because it would be taken care of when I put the binding on the whole tea cozy. (The original piece is 9" X 9". I cut it down to 8" X 8" to be a better size for the tea cozy)

Then I measured it with the teapot and drew off the rounded corners. Hope you can see the marks.

Both quilted pieces were cut and the sews together (inside out/red sides out). I used the binding to cover the inside seams. I know it won't show but I wanted to be sure it didn't get messed up when it gets washed.

And finally I put the binding around the bottom of the tea cozy. (oh I almost forgot - I also put a small tab of the binding on the top of the cozy)

Here it is with my VERY special teapot and then over the teapot. I think it is a very appropriate and meaningful use for this particular UFO.


Just for fun I also made a coaster out of a leftover corner of one of the quilted pieces. Just zig-zagged the edges. This will be for the teapot to sit on.

Then just for fun I got out the other part of this experiment. The idea was to take the same fabrics and make an abstract piece out of them. OK...here it is....my first abstract.  Be kind.

I cut it down just a bit because I wanted to make an eyeglasses holder and it was just a smidge too long. This one also started out at 9" X 9". Then I cut curves on the top corners. Used some black fabric as a binding and voila! An eyeglasses holder like no one else has. And I get to carry my art around with me!

So next time you dig through all those UFOs...perhaps some could be given a different Destiny!

If you have done different things with your UFOs or if you have been inspired and have some ideas, please share them in the comments for this post!


  1. Wonderful tea cozy and it looks so much better tha the one I made out of an old towel!! I love reusing old UFOs. Great post

  2. Love the ideas!
    I'll add them to my 'orphan block busting' idea list. Especially the eye glass case! So often I do one single block, just to try a technique. Then I'm hard pressed to come up with a use for it. And this would give me a bevy of gifts too.
    Thanks for 'cleaning up' around my studio with your post.

  3. Such great end results and I liked the art before you made it "new"! I love the abstract. Thanks for even more inspiration!

  4. I call them Projects in Progress--Pips.

  5. The tea cosy is lovely. I especially like that it is inspired by a favorite work of art.

  6. What a great idea! Your work is lovely. So creative.

    i have taken a quilt top and made a huge bag that holds 5 quilts to be toted off to a guild meeting or a workshop full of fabric! I love that bag and pat myself on the back for using up one of my ugly UFOs!

  7. Thanks you guys! I'm glad you liked them and found them inspiring! I have more uses in my head but just not enough time right now to do them! But I'm making a list!

  8. Kelly,
    I hope you post your 'list of uses' some day soon.

  9. LOVE what you did with the "older" piece and how you turned it into something you'll enjoy even more every day!


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