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I Cheated on my UFO’s and I’m So HAPPY I’ll Share My Bliss With a Giveaway!

Now I don’t advocate this strategy as the ideal UFO-busting solution—it’s too expensive by a long shot. It’s just that sometimes paying a sewer to finish a quilt top is the most burden-relieving, freeing, liberating, fantastic, wonderful decision a time-crunched quilter can make.

Aaaah, the joy of outsourcing my quilting troubles . . . bliss!

Several posts ago, I faced my UFO demons and decided to prioritize my unfinished quilts. There was a particularly beastly one in the bunch. Naturally, it was my only quilt-to-be that had wedding-present potential for my newly engaged nephew and his fiancé. The problem was that nearly 100 Y-seams separated me from finishing it as a wedding quilt. Yes, I’ll repeat:  ONE-hundred Y-seams!

What possessed me? Ah, that would be Laura Nownes (my dear blogging sister) and one of her Empty Spools workshops. Some time back, I had signed on to make Diamond Jubilee, a popular From Me to You pattern she developed with Diana McClun.

Turns out that all those piles of striped parallelograms I’d cut and sewn madly at the beginning of the workshop also could be arranged into giant sparkly stars. That was merely the beginning; we also added a secondary pattern. By the night of the walkabout, when the students and teachers visit all the classrooms, I had a stellar queen-sized quilt pinned to a clashing bright orange sheet. Utter madness!

A constellation of stars pinned into submission.

Once home, the project overwhelmed me; in fact, my scary star quilt didn’t even make my UFO list until the engagement was announced earlier this year. Could I? Noh-uh! Not with a job, a family, a blog, and piles of other things. Then, I wondered:  what about outsourcing?  Could I afford to subsidize a Y-seam extravaganza? Could I even find a willing sewer?

Things were grim after two refusals, but then I encountered an intrepid novice quilter with a mentor to guide her. Okay . . . luckiest break ever:  I scored Diana McClun’s protégée Ashleigh Jones. Not only was Ashleigh willing to take on such a daunting chore, she had the pattern’s co-designer for expert input.

I scrimped and saved so I could pay my tab when the quilt was finished. The result? The best quilt-outsourcing decision ever:  Ashleigh did a fantastic job (better even than I could have managed). The edges of the quilt were perfectly aligned plus, and probably the hardest part of the sewing task, the quilt top lay flat—not a poof in that galaxy of stars.  And as for the newlyweds?  Looks like I scored there as well.  Phew!

A neon image of "Starz-a-palooza" . . . an epic and insane quilt! Yes, I outsourced the machine quilting (ala Deb McPartland). Hey, I did the binding though--a very fashion-forward faced variation with striped corner triangles.

The fabulous fabrics for the quilt's backing, binding, and setting triangles.

Guess what?  Laura’s giving me five patterns for a giveaway this week. Here’s your winning strategy for this drawing:  leave a comment describing a crazy thing you’ve done to finish a project. I’ll draw 5 random names from those brave enough to tell a tale. You’ve got a week to spill the beans (that’s Friday, November 4) and I’ll announce the winners on my next scheduled post, Friday, November 11.  Specify your pattern choice:  Diamond Jubilee, Diamond Jubilee II, (neither has Y-seams) or Tumbling Stars (the Y-seam variation) in your comment.

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