Eye on the Machine: A UFO Birthday Party

This is the view from my sewing chair today (or it will be as soon as I can get my computer work done!):

Dresden Plate Drama

I’ve decided to try to just keep quilting on this quilt until it’s finally done, and maybe have it done in time for it’s 11th birthday, sometime in January! Yes, it’s a UFO that really is THAT old. I started this quilt in January, 1996, which I think (hope??) makes it the oldest UFO in my collection. It’s a queen size quilt from a pattern in McCalls Quilting magazine called Dresden Plate Drama and it is quite dramatic! I used my favorite fabric ever, a wonderful holiday print with roses in burgundies and pinks, green leaves, tiny purple-ish pine cones and metallic gold highlights. I bought a whopping 18 yards of that print, and used 13 yards for this quilt! I also bought 5 yards of the same print on a black background which is stunning as well.

So, why has this quilt been a UFO for so long? Well, it was a labor of love from the start, because every petal on each Dresden Plate had to be cut by hand with the same motif as all the rest of the petals for that plate to get the kaleidoscopic effect. Think Stack’n’Whack the old-fashioned way. Then of course, the Plates had to be hand appliquéd to the background. Even after I got the whole thing put together some years ago (not sure how many, but most likely pre-millennium) I thought I would hand quilt it, since it is such a fabulous quilt, and I really thought hand quilting was the only way to do it justice. I think I got one block quilted, and then it languished in my studio for another few years because hand quilting isn’t exactly my favorite thing to do.

At some point in the last couple of years, I decided that my machine quilting skills were certainly good enough to quilt this quilt the way it should be quilted, so I ripped out the little bit of hand quilting, and started to machine quilt. Other quilts got in the way of course, so it’s still here. I’ve no idea what I’ll do with it when I get it done, but I really need to get it done! And when it gets done, I’ll need to break out the champagne, and firmly restrain myself from putting crystals on it (though it would be pretty cool)!

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