Monday, May 26, 2008

Pearl's Stars

This is my latest finished quilt. Titled Pearl's Stars because I finished it for my friend Pearl Yee Wong. Pearl works with me at the MSU Museum and is a great photographer. When I decided to start blogging I knew I wanted good images of my quilts and made a trade with Pearl. If she would photograph my quilts, I would make her one. She agreed. The results of both our efforts are on the left; my quiltmaking and her photography.

I finished the top in the late 1980s. I drafted many of the traditional star patterns myself and included many stars from my favorite contemporary quilt block maker, Judy Martin. These blocks were found in her Ultimate Quilt Block Book. I'm also a big fan of pieced borders, so I added some 4 1/4" squares on point. The top was not lying as flat as I like so I put it away (for 20 years!) When I approached Pearl about my project, I showed her this top and she said she liked it; so I made a few alterations so it would lie flat and machine quilted it for her.

Like many quiltmakers, I have an abundance of UFO's (un-finished objects). And it's not enough that I have ones that I've started myself, but I've bought tops and blocks on eBay and at yard sales. For the last two years I've been trying to finish these up. Some projects I still like and others just need to be put out of their artistic misery, but the practical side of me just can't do that yet.

Finishing another quilter's work whether it is an anonymous person or a close friend is a noble act. Quilters' Hall of Famer, Mary Schafer finished an amazing amount of work by her best pen pal Betty Harriman. You can see the fruits of this labor at the
Great Lakes Quilt Center
website. She also finished many tops and made quilts from vintage blocks from anonymous makers. The Sunbonnet Sues in Canoes are a local Lansing, MI group who finished quilts made by their friend Gail Hill. When Gail passed away from breast cancer, they finished some of her projects for her sons.

Hope springs eternal and I'm planning on sharing more finished UFO's in the coming blogs. I'd love to hear from you about your UFO's. Pearl's interest in the star top was the motivation I needed to complete it. If you're stalled and need encouragement, or if there's some problems that you don't know how to fix, share it here and we can move another quilt to the finished project, ready for show and tell pile.