For Anything Goes Mondays over at Stitch by Stitch, I thought I’d share the potential boondoggle project I’m re-starting work on for Sew Bittersweet Designs’ and Fiber of All Sorts’ Lovely Year of Finishes. Lord willing, and if the planets align, this will be my “finish” for April. (My March “finish” is done. I will be shamelessly posting a gratuitous, self-congratulatory blog about that at the end of the month.)

I called it a boondoggle, but actually it’s a QIBO (Quilt I Blew Off) from many years ago when I was a young and reckless quilter – a free spirit unfettered by sound thinking and the constraints of planning, measuring, and squaring blocks. It was a wild and crazy time. It was also a ridiculously expensive and monumentally frustrating time. (Hence the sabbatical.)

Here’s how this QIBO got put into the Current Project Queue:

I decided to venture into the abyss that is the bottom of my linen closet and pull out the containers that hold all my QIBOs. These are quilts I started over the years and bailed on for a myriad of reasons.

Now I know that a lot of women have stacks of QIBOs (I think the PC name for them is UFOs) because they just can’t stay focused with all the new fabrics coming out. That was only a small part of my problem. And while I do get somewhat lured into distraction by the new fabrics coming out, I have the situation completely under control.  (Have you seen Riley Blake’s Avignon??)


Avignon by Emily Taylor

How about Riley Blake’s Gracie Girl??

Riley Blake's Gracie Girl by

Riley Blake’s Gracie Girl by Kassidy and Lori Holt

Oh the places I could go.

But, like I said, I have things under control because I have medication that keeps me from coming completely unhinged by the dreaded FADD (Fabric Attention Deficit Disorder).

The struggle is real, but so is the cure.

The struggle is real, but so is the cure.

So, since I can’t really blame all my QIBOs on FADD, I have to confess to the real crux of my problem back then: I had a habit of taking a simple quilt and turning it into the equivalent of a Doctoral thesis.

Wall hanging? No way. That’s for sissy’s. I’m gonna turn that bad boy into a king-size quilt.  Baby quilt? Seriously? A baby needs a full-size quilt at least.  And because I’m self-taught and clueless, why not turn that 40 x 40 appliqued wall hanging into a 90 x 90 mural-sized masterpiece for the dining room wall?

You see the problem, right? BTW, the above mentioned projects really exist…just not in finished form.

So, enter the first QIBO chosen for completion.

This lovely idea from Leslie Beck’s Decorated Porch

You can see my writing in the margin. Probably says, "Make this thing six times bigger than author ever intended."

You can see my writing in the margin. Probably says, “Make this thing six times bigger than author ever intended.”

…got this far…


Look to the tune of, “I can see for miles and miles and miles…

Seems innocent enough, right? Even looks like progress.

Wait for it.

CSI:QIBO, Episode One

CSI:QIBO – Episode One

Yea, not sure what is going on here. It looks like a crime scene.

Then there is this:

Only about 50 more blocks than necessary

Only about 40 more blocks than necessary

A plethora of partial blocks. Why? I don’t even know. It appears that I was just sewing away with reckless abandon. In my defense I was homeschooling full-time, so I probably just lost count. You know, it’s hard to stay focused on quilting when you are teaching your kids rocket science and the finer points of neurosurgery.

Oh, who am I kidding – this is just plain manic-phase sewing.

A plan? Nope.

Cogent thought in my head? Does it look like it?

I haven’t investigated it thoroughly, but I’m fairly certain I was on my way to turning a manageable quilt into something the size of one of those ginormous flags you see waving over car lots. Because that’s what beginning quilters do, right?

The embarrassing thing is, there are plenty more psychotic episodes unfinished little gems in my linen closet just like this one.

Truth be told, I’m not in love with this quilt anymore. It’s really not my style. And I don’t relish having to square up this mountain of blocks. (Because I’m preeettty sure I didn’t square anything back then.) But, in the spirit of finishing what I start, I’m going to give this QIBO one more whirl.

All I need is a plan, a little patience…and a chocolate fountain…

Just what the doctor ordered.

Just what the doctor ordered.

Happy Day!