Another UFO Takes Flight!

This is my 8th UFO Finish of 2018.  Back in August 2013, I made two hummingbirds using fused applique techniques and pattern from Kathy McNeil's Feathers are Flying workshop.
Duo of Hummingbirds

After the workshop, I returned home to create an original backdrop for my pair of hummingbirds.  First, I designed and pieced together a neutral scrappy background using a batik jellyroll.  I also prepared several flowers and leaves to create my own floral vine.  At the time, I was unsure how to put it all together and so this project turned into a UFO.

Last week, I revisited this old UFO.  First step was layering and quilting the background.  I am always amazed at how a little quilting totally transforms the pieced design!
Texture Transformation

Next up was creating my floral vine.  Back in 2013, I had a clear vision for my vine but lacked the skill set to execute it.  Over the past 5 years, I have a whole new arsenal of tools and skills that I employed to complete my design.  The leaves had been cut out from a green batik, but lacked fusible.  Elmer's school glue was lightly brushed onto the backside of each leaf to baste into place for quilting.  Large floral motifs were previously quilted onto pink felt with zig zag edge finishing.  Each flower was outline stitched into place, adding a trapunto effect given the extra layer of felt.  Free Motion Quilting was essential to complete all the background quilting and attach the vine elements using Aurifil 50 weight threads:
  • Light Stands (#2000): background quilting
  • Fuchsia (#4020): flowers and hummingbirds
  • Emerald (#2965): leaves and vine
  • Dark Sandstone (#1318): vine
  • Light Jade (#1148), Pale Pink (#2410), and Aluminum (#2615):  hummingbirds
  • Bright Turquoise (#5005): facing
Germination of My Floral Vine

While I kept the background quilting fairly minimal, more detail was stitched into each of the hummingbirds.
Hummingbird Detail

As I completing the faced edge, I was admiring how everything was coming together so beautifully.  As I was turning off the steam setting on my iron, I hit a button that caused it to spit out black/brown drops...onto my quilt!
Iron Mishap

Panic set in as I desperately tried to wash off the black spots using water and Oxyclean--all to no avail!  Luckily only the backside was impacted, with the worst of the catastrophe along the facing strip.  Later that night, I ripped off the soiled strip and replaced it with a brand new strip.
Phew!  Most of the Evidence Removed from the Crime Scene!

Aside from the ironing catestrophe, once again I am reminded that some projects simply need to percolate for a bit as you enhance your quilter's tool box of skills and techniques.  This project was well worth the extra wait to complete and greatly exceeds my original vision!!
Take Flight in a Garden Delight, Finishes 21" x 26"


  1. Hi, Mel!

    Do you need to wash the glue out or can it stay safely in your beautiful quilt?

    1. I've been using Elmer's Glue during the binding for 3+ years now and haven't experienced any issues with it--but I can't speak to the long term effects for an heirloom quilt. I use very small amounts and it is machine washable--although I rarely wash my quilts.

  2. The hummingbirds are etherial. So lovely

    1. Thanks Ann...I lucked out and brought some great fabrics that had lots of variation. I was able to fussycut the sections that best related to the hummingbird features! They were the big motivator behind finishing this I wanted to finish it as a gift for the holidays! Mission accomplished!


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