Monday, January 24, 2011

Why I Have 27 UFOs

Two or three years ago, I counted how many UFOs (Unfinished Objects) I had in my quilting room. I found 27. About 6 months ago, when I counted again, I still had about 27. The number doesn't seem to change, despite the fact that these are not the exact same 27 projects. This past weekend, I made the mistake of opening the ironing board cabinet. This is the place where bits and pieces that aren't even real projects go to hide. These are mostly orphan blocks leftover from quilts I finished years ago. They don't even count as UFOs, because their project was finished.

But when I see them, can I leave them be? Of course not. With just a few borders, they make great neonatal quilts that I can practice machine quilting on. So now, I have 5 more UFOs.

I've been machine quilting, so I actually just finished the 4 projects shown below. And I am working on the binding of one more quilt, so I will then officially still have 27 UFOs. Maybe there is some sort of universal conservation law behind this.

This is a small wallhanging. It is based on a Fibonacci spiral, but I cheated on the last quarter of the spiral so it wouldn't get too big. The blocks were leftover from another project.

Two more neonatal quilts made from leftover blocks or ones I tried making and decided I didn't want to make a quilt from.

I call this my Monkey Bars quilt. It is made from rectangles I swapped with a couple of quilty friends. I tried a bamboo-cotton blend for batting, and it shed a lot of fibers from the edges during the quilting process and when I pulled the quilt out of the dryer after the first wash it had little batting pills all over it. The batting is very thin and drapey.

This is the back of the Monkey Bars quilt. I hate buying large cuts of fabric (I like to maximize the variety in my stash), so I piece most backings from fabric I already have. That way, the quilt is reversible and I don't have to make an extra trip to the fabric store to get a backing for a specific quilt.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

January Book Club

The January Book Club pick for Nene Reads is Old Man's War, by John Scalzi:

"Boldly going where no old person has gone before, to seek out new life and new civilizations and exterminate them."

This was my pick, because I thought it was fun, readable, and had some interesting ideas. It's about a 75-year old man who joins the Colonial Defense Force so he can get a new body and become young again. It's less idealistic and peaceful than Star Trek, and probably more realistic. In it, humanity takes pre-emptive strikes to a whole new level.

I hosted book club this time, which means cleaning the house and rearranging the furniture, borrowing chairs from the neighbors and preparing a spread of snacks. And quite a few of my neighbors are Foodies, so a bag of chips and a jar of salsa just isn't going to do it. We had pasta salad, nuts, 3 cheeses with crackers, fresh veggies with yogurt dip and hummus, peanut butter cookies, blackberry cobbler, spinach-feta puffs (photo above), and apple-raisin pastry with brie (photo below). Oh, and yummy lentil soup that my friend Patty made. This was my first adventure with puff pastry. I should have probably taken a picture of what the braided pastry looked like when it got out of the oven, but I didn't. So this is a process photo mid-way through the braiding process.

It turned out fine. But I'm tired.