Work in Progress: From the Depths of the UFO Cabinet

Wheel WIP by Nadine Ruggles

I had an idea the other day that sent me digging through my UFO stash. Years ago, and I mean a LOT of years, I made a bunch of Jacket Jazz jackets. Remember those from the books by Judy Murrah?? I started making those in 1993 I think! I still have the jackets I made, except maybe one or two that I sold instead of keeping for myself. I LOVED making them, and I even taught a bunch of other folks to make them when we were stationed in Stuttgart, Germany. Heck, these jackets were my transition from sewing clothing and evening wear like this:

Vogue 2386
The Lady Di dress, Vogue 2386, 1989

to making quilts like this:

Butterfly Houses by Nadine Ruggles

(Yes, I really made that dress years ago, but in black since I was afraid white would look like a wedding dress and Lady Di had already done the blue–so fun to wear!!)

I’m irritated and dismayed to realize that in a strange fit of organization at some point, I not only got rid of that dress pattern, but I also gave away or sold all of the Jacket Jazz books. Sure, patchwork clothing isn’t really my thing anymore (and I already have a dozen jackets anyway, so why make another), but the fabric manipulation techniques and fun patchwork patterns in those books were great reference materials. And no, I don’t have anywhere to wear a dress like that anymore but you never know, that could change and I might want to make it again! And for the record, I do still have the black version that I made years ago. I think it took 20 yards of chiffon and I know it was a bear to make, and I just can’t imagine parting with it.

Note to self: Stop getting rid of things!! Just stop. If ITMan can keep the 30+ year old bag of golf clubs that he hasn’t actually used in 25 years, you can keep anything you want for any reason, or absolutely no reason at all. The attic doesn’t care how much stuff you put up there; it’s huge and welcomes all boxes, bins and baggage. Ahem.

Anyway, back to the UFO cabinet and the Jacket Jazz thing. At some point back then, I think around the time I made that quilt up there, I made a jacket with this on the back:

Medallion jacket back by Nadine Ruggles
Medallion jacket back

and it was soooo fun that I immediately wanted to do another. I tossed some fabrics together, made a strip set, cut all the pieces with a nine degree wedge ruler, and promptly decided I didn’t like it for a jacket. It also wasn’t anything that was going to go in my house at that time, so all the pieces got buried with the other UFOs. I’ve just figured out that that was probably sometime in 2001 or 2002. 😯 I’ve moved this UFO to a new living space THREE TIMES since I started it! I’ve actually thought about making something out of the pieces before, but they always get buried again.

But then I had this idea you see, and I put the pieces together a bit differently and made this:

Wheel WIP by Nadine Ruggles
Wheel–since I have no idea what it wants to be just yet

OMG…I’m in LOVE. I have no idea where it will end up, but I LOVE the beginning. I know, you guys are probably going “Okaaaayyy…” right about now, because maybe you’re not seeing the big deal and/or the potential, but pictures never do look as good as the real thing! 😉 Even better on the cutting table with some background fabric:

Wheel WIP by Nadine Ruggles
Wheel on the cutting table

That’s some Galaxy Pearl Essence Dots from E.E. Schenck that I only bought a yard of (of course). As I said on Twitter, I feel like my quilting journey is more of a dash between fabric crises. I’m constantly wanting more of some fabric that I usually can’t get more of, so then I have to get really creative to make things work. As soon as our latest weird winter weather is gone, I’m going to have to head back to the quilt shop to see if they have any more of this Pearl Essence fabric, because it’s totally perfect for whatever this is going to be.

The fabric is a cool white with iridescent printed dots which is super awesome with the cool colors in the patchwork. It’s reminiscent of a cold, grey, snowy day with just a tiny bit of sun to give everything a subtle sheen. I can see some quilting on it in rayon variegated threads–probably some Rainbows from Superior Threads–to add a little more sheen. Oh, and beads… and crystals… maybe even Inchies… yeah… It’s almost giving off that same “fabulously formal yet floaty and fun” vibe that the dress has, or maybe that’s just my imagination running away or perhaps being affected by the aforementioned weird weather… 😉

Okay, that’s it from the studio today because I’m lucky to still be able to use my computer at all with the power flickering every few minutes here–What’s happening in your world?

Work In Progress Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Linking up with Freshly Pieced today. If you found your way here from over there, welcome! For regular readers, if you’d like to see lots more inspiring WIP Wednesday projects, visit Freshly Pieced!

4 thoughts on “Work in Progress: From the Depths of the UFO Cabinet

    1. Hiya Amanda! I think it will eventually be a quilt, though not sure of size or layout. I suppose I could make pillows…hmmm…

      Thanks for stopping in! 🙂


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