Creativity: Finish What You Started

I haven’t finished quite a few things…I think every artist/craftsperson knows what a UFO is. I seem to have been piling them up, for various reasons. One reason is having to pack things away to make room for visitors (giving rise to the cry “I need a bigger studio!!!”), and another may possibly be that I like starting new things best.

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This piece, which I am again working on, is “Women’s Work Is Never Done”, and the top is a patchwork of unfinished knitting and crochet. My volunteer job at the local Salvos Store involves emptying bags of donations and sorting the contents. Sometimes I find a bag of yarn, and sometimes that bag may contain a sleeve, or an unfinished front, a piece of waistband, useless but often beautifully made. Of course, I made a collection of them, until I had enough to make this quilt.IMG_7875 (Large)


I had it all laid out on the floor for a while, stitching all the sections together while standing on my head (slight exaggeration…). Then it was packed away to make room, and stayed packed away all summer. Now that the days and nights are cooler, all that wooliness is much more attractive. I have not attempted to hide the stitching, and I’ve incorporated some raw edges into the design, too. As it is pieced crazy-fashion, I am adding some surface decoration as I go, and will do more. IMG_7876 (Large)

The uncut threads will become tassels, and I did a grub rose in the corner of a piece of baby jacket (feather and fan stitch – one of my favourites). My next task is to stitch the knitted quilt top onto a backing of vintage woolen blanket. If it ends up on a bed, it will be seriously warm and toasty, if heavy. It’s lovely to walk on, too. I’m thinking of stitching front to back with kantha-style running stitches. I haven’t tried it yet, so I’m not sure how it will work, or if it is logistically possible, but it would hold the layers together beautifully, I think, and help unify the pieces.

My mother’s paternal grandmother made “Waggas’ before I was born, using recycled fabrics and feed bags, and my late friend rose told me about sleeping under an incredibly heavy Wagga when she was a young woman. It was made from entire, outgrown, handknitted jumpers roughly sewn in layers for utility not beauty. then there is the Victorian crazy patchwork, made from odd scraps, and Indian Kantha with their lovely texture. All of these ideas are going into my quilt, which, despite it’s title, I certainly aim to finish.