Posted by: MtnWoman Silver | December 4, 2009

Quilting UFOs

In the quilting world, a UFO is not an alien spacecraft; it is an Un-Finished-Object. Most creative people have them, whether quilts, paintings, crafts, novels, or whatever. I have actually met a person  who never starts another project without finishing the one she is working on. She also had a perfectly clean sewing room and a list book permanently attached to her wrist.

I, on the other hand, do have lots of UFOs as well as a studio that looks post-tornado most of the time. Rather than start a new project before Christmas, I have decided to work on a UFO. This quilt was begun three years ago. It is a quilted wall-hanging, presently 22″ x 27″ . It started as a doodle made while watching television. I decided I would create a series of paintings and/or quilts with eyes as the focus. Over the next few days, I did drawings for 20 different projects in the series. I chose #8 as the first to work on. Here is the doodle

Windows to the Soul #8, doodle

I scanned this image into the computer and cleaned it up in Photoshop, adding color. Here is what I came up with.

Windows to the Soul #8, colored drawing

I usually begin a quilt with an enlarged drawing on paper which I pin to my design wall. I then select fabrics from my extensive stash. On this quilt, I decided to use an adhesive to attach the pieces to the background muslin. The biggest challenge was using solid colored fabrics since I love patterned fabric so much.

I cut and adhered all the design using cotton fabrics everywhere except for the eyes. For them, I used a metallic fabric. I zigzag stitched around each applique piece directly to my cotton batting. and since I wanted a clean look to the solid-colored fabrics, I did not quilt any more on the face.

Windows to the Soul #8, so far.

 Here is where I stopped on the quilt. Nothing is telling me it is finished. I have decided to add some sort of border, not necessarily the same width on all sides. I will keep you posted on my progress.

© Mountain Woman Silver and Mountain Woman Silver Speaks, 2009


  1. Wow, love those eyes, vey expressive, very piercing. She looks like someone who has things inside that would be interesting to know.

    • Thanks Arlinda. Now, if I can just get it finished and also the other 19. Ha!

  2. I love this post. It lets me see how you process your creative ideas. This particular piece incorporates two of my favorite things in your art repertoire–brightly colored fabric and the human face. Instead of windows to the soul, I was reminded of all the draped women I’ve seen and thought this brought a little bit beyond the veil. Nice post. Keep up the good work. Oh and you know very well I have lots of UFOs in my sewing room. That’s the sign of a creative mind I always say.

  3. Additional thought: How does anybody make anything and have a clean space? It always looks like a storm just blew through in my work area. I’m afraid I could never make the cover of Good Housekeeping with it.

    • When I get a moment, I will photograph my sewing area and show you what chaos looks like.

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