UFO Resurrected and Repurposed

A bit of wisdom I’ve gleaned over the years of listening to people talking about UFOs is that they don’t have to be finished according to the original intent. Still, it has taken a while to act on that knowledge.

The original was a design class with Jean Wells, a workshop that I thoroughly enjoyed. She brought a heap of 2 1/2 inch strips, had us pick three, discussed some color theory, then had us pick one more. Then gave varying instructions for different assemblies.

I ended up with this

1 nine

My main objection was that we used each of the four colors in equal amounts, and in my selecting, red had been an accent color. My second objection was that the final directions created a recognizable result. It was too formulaic for me.  In fact in the following years at quilt shows I could spot work of others who must have taken the same class–almost always confirmed by the quilters’ statements.

Because of the colors I had thought “Volcano” and set them aside while my subconscious could work on it. Then the insight about it being okay to change goals for the pieces.

I’m in a design group that had an assignment. I’m in a guild that has a small quilt raffle as part of its annual quilt show. Maybe  one project from these pieces could serve both functions.

I set aside the four pieces with smaller pieced centers and worked with the others.

The design group had studied Hilma af Klint and the assignment was to do something relating to what we had seen and discussed. I was intrigued by painting No. 16 in Group 1, Primordial Chaos. It is the one with the blue background, four groups down in the article at the above link. The group talked a lot about her spiritual symbolism, and I remember that the ovals at the overlapping circles of the elongated spiral had a significance (alas I have forgotten what they signified). The shape intrigued me. I took a large piece of paper and drew an enlarged spiral then cropped it in various ways, chose one and selected the lines to use. I can’t show that stage because I didn’t take a photo before I cut the paper up to make templates.

I thought I wanted all the lines to be made from strips of gathered fabric and looked at the squares I had planned to use. Diagonal cuts produced five like this

1 three

The other two had tails attached and gathering stitches applied. I could immediately see that five lines of gathers would be too much, so shifted plan to two with three narrow strips. I ended with this top

1 finished top

Knowing that the edges would be irregular after I stitched the curves, I’d started with an oversized piece of fabric. My starting goal was 8 x 11, but I liked longer as I worked with it. Width will be about 8 inches when trimmed.

Because the overlaps had been significant in af Klimt’s symbolism  I showed it in three ways: The ruched pieces form a segment of one, the brown and peach narrow strips show a whole, and the quilting inside that space forms many more.

1 quilting

Plan A for the quilting was red in one direction and yellow in the other; however, I didn’t like it after I had stitched it, so added the partner row of yellow.

Tomorrow I’ll finish it.

Linking up with the last Free Motion By the River Linky Party--Head on over to see the last performance. And with the Clever Chameleon Colour and Inspiration Tuesday.

ETA: Linking also with Needle and Thread Thursday. I thought I’d have a finish and blog and link that, but not quite . . .



Filed under quilting

7 responses to “UFO Resurrected and Repurposed

  1. Good work repurposing those blocks. I can see why they would be useful in a workshop context, but they weren’t very inspirational on their own after the fact. But you did it!

  2. mlmcspadden

    Yeah for repurposing the old UFO! I really like the ruched/gathered elements in the mini. Gonna have to think about doing that in future improv stuff myself.

  3. I really love that dense curved quilting in the final photo! Neat piece so far 🙂

  4. I really enjoy that colour combination, even though it’s not one I’d ever pick for myself. The textural elements really do add a lot, too.

  5. I’m a big fan of little strips, and they add a lot to this piece!

  6. Wow, there is a lot of texture and movement in this piece. So much more interesting than where your original squares were at. Thanks for the reminder that UFOs can be repurposed, and for sharing your process – fascinating post.

  7. So interesting to read your process and see the inspiration that led you to that execution. That is a wonderfully abstract art piece.

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