Retreat and UFO

Every year, since I have been a member of Ocean Waves Quilt Guild, there has been a retreat in early February.  I’ve attended many of these retreats and always enjoy the time spent with so many creative, talented people. As in the past, we meet at a lovely beach front hotel in Ocean City Maryland, where we are greeted most mornings with spectacular sunrises in our ocean front rooms. 

640 Dawn's early light - Ocean City MD Sunrise

There are 9 more photo’s in this sunrise series you can see hereOcean City Sunrise photo’s

It is inspiring to wake up early at this retreat, so you don’t miss the glorious sunrise.  Breakfast is at 7:30, and we are sewing by 9 am !

I took with me many items to work on at the retreat.  Turns out, only ONE project captured most of my time and energy.  I dug out one of my oldest UFO’s and brought it along, with the intent of quilting.  Just how old is it?   You can read about it back in 2012 here –

and here

and here-

About a year ago, I came across a bit of fabric that was in the same deep red/brown tones and I tucked it into the box for backing of this project.  So, when I pulled it out to take to retreat, I just needed a bit of batting.  This project was about 44″ square.  I am happy to say I finished all the quilting during the retreat. I cut the backing and batting and pin basted in our hotel suite on Tuesday night, so I was ready to start stitching when the classroom opened on Wednesday morning.  I worked two solid days quilting this, and thought it is small, there were TONS of starts and stops, and turning constantly. I decided right away I was going to “pull up” the bobbin thread, and use my lock stitch on my Janome for my start & stops, and not burying all those threads. It’s a wall hanging and a 6 year old UFO !  (I’m not putting it in a show, so hush you quilt police)  (Oh, and by the way, I KNOW there are a few crappy HST and a few geese that lost their points in this project….they jumped out at me while quilting….hey it was before I knew what I was doing…..)

Quilted and bound


I did most of the quilting using my walking foot. The exception is in the wide border of hearts, I used a stitch that is connected hearts, and in the narrow red border I did the same stitch.  On the outer red heart border I did some wavy stitching.  I like to use these built in to the machine stitches if possible.  They make quilting a lot easier.  If you want to see close-ups of the various quilting that I did, look at the photo’s here – UFO Finish  .  (There is also a photo of the back where the techniques I used really show). 

Yesterday,  I trimmed it down to about 40″ square, as I felt the final borders were TOO wide.  I used up a bunch of left over bits of the red to make a scrappy binding, and did the Susie’s Magic Binding technique. (Some call it binding with a flange or piping) If you have never tried this method, check out the tutorial here – Susie’s Magic Binding Tutorial(Watch the video’s too…)

I used the same fabric that is in the area around the flying geese in the flange for the binding. I love that little pop of color along the edge. I added a hanging sleeve while I was doing the binding, and the last thing that needs to be finished is to hand stitch the bottom and ends of the hanging sleeve and make a label!

Since this was the “big deal” for me at the retreat, I will stop here and ask – what is the OLDEST UFO you have sitting around, and WHY didn’t you finish what you started?  

I will tell you why this went “in the box”.  We were doing a new project every week in the class and I was overwhelmed.  I also could not figure out how to “finish”.  Our instructor had scaled the pattern in Pat Sloan’s “I Can’t Believe I’m Quilting” down to just a 1 block project instead of a whole quilt, and I didn’t “know” what to do at the time.  Of course, a few years of experience were needed under my belt before I could say, enough is enough and a wall hanging is just “fine”.  🙂

More about the retreat in the next post!



10 thoughts on “Retreat and UFO

  1. Beautiful work, Mary. I don’t see any issues with your points, but when you have your nose up against the quilt while quilting it, you tend to see every little flaw. Just remember the old adage if you can’t see it from a galloping horse 50 feet away, it’s perfect. My oldest UFO is about circa 2008. I was given some partially completed blocks and the fabric to finish them. For some reason, even though I was a pretty new quilter, I thought I needed to redesign everything. I did, and got enough blocks done to make a small quilt, about half the rows sewn, and there is sits in a project box. It is on my current UFO list for my quilt guild where I am in charge of the UFO program. What a terrible example I am. Anyway, I have been so busy working on “must complete” projects, I haven’t gotten to it. Maybe in 2028….

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    • 2008 was the year I started to quilt…big blocks for church senior quilts. I’m going to take it today to a “newcomers orientation”, but not let anyone get closer than the 50 ft. Bill said to “stop” pointing out the bad points! 🙂 I blame my travel for my lack of finishing…..and all those new projects! Pat Sloan will be at one of the guilds in the area this spring, so it was an incentive to “finish” this for show & tell …but I realized just now that I will be “on a cruise” that week! Good thing….I HAD planned to show Grandma’s Kitchen then…now the pressure is off!


    • Thanks Judy. I remembered that I loved the fabrics when I got it out of the box. Hubby laughed when he saw that I dated the label 2012-2018! I read those blog posts I linked to from way back then, and realized it made me anxious to have UFO’s even then. Now, I am more relaxed about the concept, and having space helps. I would like to finish up a few more!

      Liked by 1 person

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