UFO Challenge

I did it!  The Virginia Bound blocks are together and are a center.  I have mine in a five by five layout.  Ruby isn’t quilt her perky self but doing a little better.  (Read about her set back here if you missed it)


I am VERY happy with it so far but the next steps is what has me debating….


Here’s the quilt and how it originally was designed.  I’ve already deviated from the design by making larger….but I think I am going to deviate more.


For me, I would be very happy finishing my quilt just as it is if I hadn’t seen something I like a little better.  This border is a little chunky and overwhelming when compared to this…Virginia-Bound-Center-4

Kelli and I went to Moline on a quilt retreat with the Mississippi Valley Quilters.  There was a lady there who brought in her finished Virginia Bound Quilt.  Her name was June and she was just a wonderful lady.  Immediately Kelli and I both LOVED her version.  It has applique around the outside border.  I loved the “oxymoron” of having plaids in the middle from men’s shirts and the floral applique around the outside.

Then to quilt it, June did a big stitch.


The quilt was so soft and cuddly.

I know to finish the quilt the way I want to, I would need to finish if like June’s….applique and big stitch.  Those are both things that I don’t do…..but could I?

I’ve done a bit of applique in the past.  I haven’t loved it….I tried big stitch before and I didn’t love that either.  Can I put those thoughts aside and give it a try anyway?  The answer is maybe.  One of the reasons that I have left this UFO sit was because I wanted to make mine like June’s.  I was just so hesitant to give it a try.  UGH!  Now I have the center together…and I’m still so hesitant to try.  I’m a little afraid that this one might go back in the UFO pile.

You can find me back here next week…will I dive into the applique, put the whole project aside, or start something new?  Who knows!

23 thoughts on “UFO Challenge”

  1. Betty from Canada

    Go for it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If it’s not what you want after you do a bit unsew it and try something else.I know it will mean a lot of work but it will be worth it in the end. Hope Ruby is feeling better. Did you ever figure out what her problem is?

  2. I love the quilt center! I also prefer the appliquéd border. If needle turn isn’t your cup of tea, look up Apliquick Tools on YouTube. I love mine!

    Glad to hear Ruby is on the mend! She’s a sweet girl!

  3. I have tried all kinds of applique from the fancy Baltimore style to raggedy edges. My favorite is the fusible with a machine blanket stitch around it by Sue Nickels. Maybe you could find her book. She uses Soft Fuse which is wonderful. I am doing a big farm quilt and the bee wings and hives are appliqued and that is how I am doing it. You can use matching thread or a darker thread so the blanket stitch shows.

    Sue and her sister did the Beatles Quilt this way and it is also how her sister does her award winning applique miniature quilts.

  4. I’m stalled on my Gypsy Kisses (wider Double Wedding Ring) quilt because I can’t choose a background. sigh. Nothing looks right.

  5. Yes! I feel your pain Jo. The hardest part is deciding. Sometimes you just need to go with it and don’t look back! With me, after I decide and get going on it, it becomes so fun and I wonder why was I fussing about it so much!

  6. I agree with Ana Sweet. Try one of the fusible appliqué methods if you don’t want to do needle turn. Many leave a soft finish and can be almost undetectable. As far as Big Stitch quilting, that’s something I haven done so you can always try it and take it out if you hate it!

    I have blocks for My Blue Heaven finished but when I lay them out I hate it! It’s just a jumble of triangles! I’ve decided to use the two blocks in two separate quilts with sashing. That calms everything down and make the pattern show. They will make good charity quilts.

  7. This quilt is on my to do list too, and I’ve been saving shirt scraps for it. I need to get a few UFOs out of the way before I start it. I feel the same way as you do about the original border, and would probably do something else too. But probably not applique. I love the way it looks, but I don’t like to do it.

  8. Personally, I am with the fabric that mimics the look if at all possible. . .applique and I are not on good terms, yet. There are a couple of quilts I want to make that will require me to change my mind or dig in and just get through it.

    I laid My Blue Heaven out last night and am webbing it together. It was the first Bonnie class I got to take in Storm Lake, IA YEARS ago. . .I am using it as a reminder of how far I have progressed as a quilter in choosing colors and value AND in cutting and piecing precisely. OH boy. . .have I come a long way! :) Mine also looks like a jumble of triangles, but I think it is going to be a grad gift for next year and some college kid isn’t going to care.

  9. June and Bonnie both had the light triangles around the edge, giving a more uniform color edge for the border(s). Instead of a wide border, you could add blocks to give you the light triangle edge and use a narrow border to finish it. I only machine applique. I cut the templates out of heat resistant plastic, then use a paint brush to dab the edges of the fabric with spray starch sprayed into a bottle cap, and iron the edges down. You can pin the applique in place, or use drops of school glue to glue them down, or a temporary spray adhesive like Sullivan’s.

  10. I LOVE June’s quilt. I have done machine appliqué but those designs do look simple enough to do by hand. I did an entire quilt with big stitch. I used # 5 perle cotton as I wanted bold stitching. I would not recommend a thread that heavy but it was really quick to do. I enjoyed that it was portable, and something that I could work on while sitting with the family. I think that I am going to bigstitch more quilts.

  11. You can do it! Make the quilt like you envision it. It is “speaking” to you. Your desire to make it will overcome any obstacle. My daughter recently chose Mariner’s Compass for her college quilt. For decades I had been interested in that design but was too afraid to try. Turns out I didn’t have to be. She loves her quilt and I look at it in astonishment and think “I made that!”

  12. I always stall out at the quilting. Hand quilting (which I enjoy) takes me forever and I
    don’t do FMQ on my sewing machine so that means renting long arm machine time which is costly. I have four or five tops waiting for quilting and am almost finished two more!

  13. I prefer something different from the original border, as well. If not applique, what about a larger scale floral print? There are some prints that have columns or lengthwise stripes of flowers, rather that an allover floral design.

  14. As I read through the comments, I have to agree with Dot. She mentioned using a larger floral print that have columns or stripes of flowers. Thanks for sharing.

  15. I like June’s calmer border, too. I hadn’t noticed the applique until you pointed it out. I thought it had a checkered border and then a green border with some small dark squared mimicking the checkered border. I tried big stitch on a table runner and liked it but found myself unhappy that the stitches weren’t more precise and I had trouble making them larger than hand quilting. I would try it again. Before you decide to do the quilt, you could try it on a table runner. Thanks for all you share with us.

  16. Love the appliqué border and the big stitch is JUST right for this sort of quilt. You should go for it, you’ll love it. Don’t put it back into the UFO pile, that would be too sad.

  17. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your Virginia Bound blocks! Makes me want to start this quilt! I’m with you, I think it needs a different border (something that doesn’t take away from the blocks in the center). The applique is pretty. Have you considered trying machine applique instead of doing it by hand? I like the soothing hum of my machine as I blanket stitch around my pieces. Looking forward to seeing how you finish this one — I know it will be great! :o)

  18. I don’t do applique. I wonder about doing a very light border (structurally like the one on the pattern). Something along the lines of the En Provence border–it wouldn’t take away from the lovely string stars that way, and I think it would add to the sparkle!

  19. Thanks for the nice comments. It was a fun quilt to make. I am a little slow in commenting because my computer was in the shop!

  20. I am working on a Rocky road to Kansas and LOVE the effect of the whites you did. How did you get that? I can’t figure out the angles and direction to cut to get that look. I have the Kalieo-ruler, will that work ? MY colored blocks will be 15″. Thanks for any suggestions or directions. Betty

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