Sunday, November 12, 2017

Celebrate Catastrophe! Turn UFO's into FrankenQuilts!

Presenting my new FrankenQuilt! 
Yes, sort of like that, except in fabric!
It's stitched together from old body parts stashed in my UFO* cupboard, a freakin' scary place. Said cupboard contains 25 years worth of aesthetic outrages, piling up since I started quilting.

I normally avoid this cupboard, to preserve my sanity and self-esteem. Occasionally I squint my eyes and shove things in, slamming the door shut quickly so nothing escapes.

But the demise of my computer forced a confrontation. The computer was behaving so badly that my DH had to send it to a computer meditation retreat, where it contemplated the ways it had wronged me, and gradually repented.

Without my computer, endless hours yawned ahead. I was in the middle of several writing projects that I couldn't do on my phone. I was creatively stuck on a major quilt.  I tried, how you call it, "vacuuming the house," but that only took a half hour.

So I was forced to the cupboard. Among the better offerings was this top. (Pretend it's not quilted).
It's made up entirely of wedge-shaped pieces, cut circa 2001, when I was obsessed with Marilyn Doheney's wedge rulers. My kids were little and I made a bunch of hyperactive medallion quilts for gifts and our preschool's auctions. Here's one I donated:
The medallion includes chopped flamingos, tigers, zebras, alligators, manatees, and polka dots....
I liked that so much I made another one to keep....
When these and others like them were done, I had a thick stack of leftover wedges, like this: 
They sat on the UFO shelf for many years. Somewhat recently - maybe within the last three years - I sewed them into another medallion, 
and raw-edge zigzagged that onto a teal background fabric....(pretend this isn't quilted).... made four borders out of strip-pieced wedges and solid fabric wedges....
 ...And then restuffed this whole thing back into the cupboard....

...where I found it last week.  Also in the UFO cupboard, I also found a stack of blocks from my much-more-recent hashtag obsession. (i.e. earlier this year).
My tutorial about how to make these blocks is in this blog post.

I decided to lay my spanking new hashtag blocks around my spanking old wedge medallion.  Although the colors didn't match, I kind of liked the effect!  There weren't quite enough hashtag blocks, so I whipped up some more...

...below, a half a hashtag is better (and faster) than none....

Plus some of my original hashtag blocks were insanely boring, so I shattered them....
....and surgically enhanced  others: 

 The border quilting, as you saw in the shots above, was straight-line quilting. The corner blocks were quilted with curly loops. I quilted a sun in the middle....
...and did a whole lot of freemotion wiggling on the teal background....

I think the uneven wedges look like the stitching on Frankenstein's neck! With or without wedges, you can make a Frankenquilt too! Just follow this simple tutorial:

 1. Await a mild catastrophe that forces you away from as many electronic devices as possible. At the very least, your PC should crash. It would also help if your Kindle, cable, and cellphone goes down. However, if your electricity goes down, this won't work, unless you own a hand-crank.

2. Go to your UFO cupboard, grit your teeth, and pull stuff out. Find things that are remotely related, and sew them together. If common sense tries to stop you, explain to it that you are making a charity quilt, or an ottoman quilt, or something that honors the kooky spirit of Young Frankenstein! When it's over, you'll be exhausted but happy!

* UFO=Unfinished Objects. A more euphemistic/positive term is "Works in Process."


  1. As always, I absolutely adore your way of looking at things.

  2. That's turned out well! And thanks for the hashtag inspiration - I'm doing a series of small quilts on the theme of "gridded" and had ground to a halt, this will get me going again.

  3. If I can unstick one person, my work here is done! Thanks for your nice note, Margaret!

  4. Cathy, as always you are amazing.