A Lost UFO Found

To finish off my 2015 finishes I’ve wrapped up a small paper pieced quilt I began at least five years ago at a workshop led by Shirley Stutz. I suspect her name will mean little to quilters outside Ohio as Shirley has no website or blog, and lives in rural Ohio. She’s of a certain age, and has stopped traveling. If you’re a fan of lone star quilts you may know her book, “Easy & Elegant Lone Star Quilts.”

However, Shirley’s approach to quilting is not exactly traditional. She wades into the drafting part of quilting with gusto and has innovative ways to use fabric. A past post I wrote about her shows some of her work.  Here’s more of her work shown at a 2005 meeting of the Ohio Longarm Quilters.  Note that Shirley can turn out contemporary and traditional quilts, and loves those little details.





But, back to that workshop on Shirley’s Wonder Star. With the help of freezer paper, Pattern Ease, an add a quarter inch ruler, and an iron; I completed my star wedges at the workshop. At home I used PaintStiks to add gold, bronze, and brown circles to my outer pink border, sewed the wedges together, tried and failed to figure out how to finish my star, put it in a drawer, and forgot about it.

Other UFOs and WIPs were piled on top of it. Some of those have been finished, but I never got to the bottom of the drawer until a month ago. With a guilty start, I realized I had been committing the sin of UFO rationalization – out of sight, out of mind. This little project had never been entered on my to-be-completed list.

I jumped on this excuse to procrastinate other, newer, projects. Rather than cut fabric up to turn the hexagon into a square or rectangle, I appliqued the hexagon onto the marbled background fabric, and then cut out the background fabric from behind it to lessen bulk. After I quilted it with a walking foot I couched gold metallic yarn around the hexagon’s edges. I’m sure this solution wouldn’t have occurred to me back then, but I suspect Shirley would have approved of it.

Shirleys Star

Shirley's Star detail




Filed under Completed Projects

19 responses to “A Lost UFO Found

  1. I love how you quilted it, with the triangles wider at the borders and smaller going into the star, pointing in. I think I would have done echo quilting around the perimeter of the star and that would look so predictable — your way adds another direction and layer of interest. I also love the dots on the thin pink border. Always so much to notice in your quilts. (contented sigh)

  2. It is wonderful. It always feels good to find and finish a long left behind piece. Isn’t it fun to be digging in a drawer or container and be surprised by what we forgot we started! (Sometimes mine go right back into it). I love the special details you added.

  3. Just wow. The combination of methods is awesome. I love how adding time to the process made this finish so much better, deeper, richer, and the couching is a great touch.

  4. I’m in the process of writing a post about my first foray into paper piecing–needless to say, it doesn’t look anything like your fabulous star! But I quite like the idea behind paper piecing . . .

    • I found early on in my quilting career that paper piecing was the only way I could achieve matching points. Then I discovered freezer paper piecing where you don’t sew the paper in (and don’t have to tear it out.) It’s a bit less precise than the sewn in method, but less hassle. I’ll look forward to seeing your finished paper pieced work.

      • I’m not actually sure I will finish the paper piecing I started, at least not quilting it. It’s a little Santa wall hanging and it’s not really my style but it was the focus of the workshop I took. But you’ll see it in its stages, if I ever get my act together and finish the post. I’m intrigued by the freezer paper method . . .

      • Either you’ll have a new decoration for this Xmas or be way ahead of the curve for the next one with your wall hanging. The freezer paper piecing method works only on designs that can start at one side and finish at another. It won’t work for designs that radiate from a center.

  5. This worked well. I think setting hexagons into square backgrounds is a challenge, not just technically, though that too. Appliqueing it down took care of the technical part and allowed you to focus on the aesthetics. The painted circles add shimmer and are a good repeat of the circularity of the inner star.

    Right now I’m working on a Ricky TIms kaleidoscope. (It creates a 12-pointed star.) I don’t love everything about the process but I’m trying to soak up enough of the thinking to keep it filed for future use. It uses freezer paper templates and 1/4″ additions, probably with a little less demand for precision than yours. But I haven’t begun to assemble it yet, so I’ll find out soon!

    • I’ll await news on your kaleidoscope progress. Is it for a specific person or do you just want the aggravation of precise piecing? I always find it humbling how little sixteenth of an inch errors add up, and with 12 points I can see the potential for lots of adding up.

  6. Judy

    Your color choices and straight stitch quilting really enhance this ‘forgotten’ piece. Love it!

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