Oldest UFO

The quilted date

fun quilted date

And if I was marking quilting in 1980, I’d have started the applique in 1978 or 79.It was 2/3 quilted when we downsized and the quilting frame had to go.  I must not have known about quilting hoops. I lost all interest in all aspects of quilting for about 20 years.  The 7 year old had become 27 and of course had no interest in a juvenile quilt. (For the record, she got an adult queen sized quilt.)

You may remember a previous mention of this quilt around Christmas when I made toys to go with its companion for my grandson–his mother’s quilt had long been finished and had become his. One of her friends saw and admired it and asked to have me make one. She was happy to take the unfinished one and didn’t mind if I finished quilting by machine.

The transition is apparent but not awful.

Fun hand to machine

And besides, it is a playmat, not an heirloom.

Note the high contrast binding. It also contrasts on the back. In machine binding I have never been too successful at keeping the stitching either in the ditch or like top stitching on the back.  I concentrated on that stitch placement more than on filling the binding and it worked pretty well.

Now we all know that a date stitched into a quilt holds a lot of weight, and this one is misleading. So just in case it ends up in a quilt historian’s hands, I updated the notation–not that they wouldn’t figure out there had been a gap, but so they would know how big the gap. Aren’t barns usually dated somewhere?

fun machine date

So just inside the barn door is a second date.

When marking the quilt, long ago, I thought it would be fun for the girls to draw on it and quilt the lines. I asked them to draw themselves.

fun draw self

And write their names and draw anything else they wanted.

fun sun moon

Besides the sun and moon, she also drew one of our cats, but I didn’t get a photo of the cat.

So, finished after almost 40 years.

Fun Farm full

fun house

The new owner will make the toys for this one.

This isn’t a contest or anything, but inquiring minds want to know: has anyone taken longer than 38 years to pull out a UFO and finish it?

Linking with TGIFF (link in sidebar) and Finish it Up Friday (link supplied Friday evening).

ETA This quilt was backed the old way, with a sheet. I had no problems–don’t remember why it is no longer a favored option.

8/22/17 ETA Linking with Tuesday Archives–button in sidebar–for yellow. Oops, no linky. Make that 9/5/17 linking because there is a zipper attaching the side of the house to the backing so the dolls can be put to bed or given diner.



Filed under quilting

15 responses to “Oldest UFO

  1. My mother’s last UFO is the main reason I started quilting. I’ve gotten it out many times and put it back in the box for a variety of reasons — missing pattern (I thought), polyester fabrics, mix of hand and machine piecing. It’s still in the box; my mother died in 1979.

  2. I’ve got my earliest quilt, now 30ish years old. I didn’t know how to quilt AT ALL when I made it, and got discouraged with the quilting process, so it’s not as fully quilted as it should be. So far, it’s held up pretty well, but I look at it fair bit and wonder… It’d probably look a whole lot better if it eventually got round to it.

  3. Cher

    how exciting to have this done and on to who will use it and love it!

  4. Last week I talked about my oldest unfinished quilt, in it’s finally finished state. 🙂 But it was only 15 years or so from start to finish. But it was a special finish for me.

  5. Wow! Now that is an old UFO! You should receive like the UFO Completion of the Year Award or something for that! 🙂

  6. Sue

    That is a very cool finish, Clare. I applaud you for getting it done! I don’t know if it counts, but I am currently re-habbing an old quilt I made in the early 70s as a young bride. However, my oldest UFO was not started by me. It is a twin-size hand-pieced top that was about 3/4 quilted, also by hand, by my Great Aunt Vi, who I never knew, since she died in 1939, 11 years before I was born. My grandmother (her sister) inherited it, packed it up in an equally old suitcase with the quilting patterns, some needles and extra spools of yellow thread. She passed it to my cousin, who has now passed it on to me. It is in excellent condition, and I aim to finish it, but am a hand-quilting novice, so it might be awhile. What’s left to do is a whole lot of background 1/2″ spaced cross-hatch filling.

  7. I think it is utterly charming. My longest gap was 27 years to complete a rag doll.

  8. I too have several UFOs waiting to be finished. It will be my summer project.
    Your quilt is lovely!!! Just perfect!

  9. dezertsuz

    It’s adorable! I’m so glad it’s finished and will be loved to death by someone.

  10. Give yourself a hearty pat on the back – finished at last! And looking pretty good too, just right for a new home and a new owner.

  11. That’s a great story…a finish is a finish, no matter how long it takes!

  12. Well, this was a fun blast from the past, and I like the quilt! I still back with sheets occasionally. I suspect they’ve fallen from favor because we now have wide backing available.

  13. What a fun project! I love seeing the quilting that was drawn by your kids. Congratulations on getting it done. I know how heavy the weight of an old WIP can be. My oldest WIP is a quilt I started in 2004. I have a quilt that was made for me circa 1977-78 with that same yellow fabric you used in your background. Mine has large lions (I think) on it. 🙂 Thank you for linking up with me for TGIFF.

  14. Wow, congratulations on finally completing this project! It’s a darling quilt, and now has a very special story to go with it. Lucky child who receives it. 🙂

  15. Claire, this is the most adorable quilt. So many clever additions to it…like that zipper!! I also love the gingham yellow!!!

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