Studio Musings

Saturday, March 11, 2017

(Un)Finished Objects Blog Hop

Just over a month ago, I invited friends and fellow artists to join me in founding an UnFinished Objects support group, and participate in a Blog Hop Challenge. The time has come to see how everyone has done with finishing some of their UFOs.  Here's the full list of blogging participants:

Karen Williams, Baublicious (you're here)
Francie Broadie, Francie Broadie Custom Jewelry
Christine Van Dyke Altmiller, One Kiss Creations
Amy Severino, Amy Beads
Therese, Therese's Treasures
Kim Dworak, CianciBlue
Liz E, Bead Contagion
Margo Lynn Hablutzel, My World and It's Full of Books
Cynthia Machata, Antiquity Travelers
Cathi Salzarulo Kent, The Cat's Meow
Liz Hart, Treetop Life

Personally, I'd hoped to finish two of my longest-standing UFOs.  I didn't quite hit the mark, but one is complete, and the other is much farther along than it was at the start of the year. 

UFO #1:  My Orange Blossom Tea Cozy definitely held the record for my oldest UFO.  One that I'd always planned to finish.  I started the cozy for an embellishment round robin for a sewing group in my old hometown of Columbia, Missouri back in 2001, right as I prepared to move from Missouri to Seattle.  I crazy-patched the cozy, then started its travels through the group - it spent a month with each friend while I worked on their pieces.  All of the machine embroideries are their work.  I moved before the Round Robin was quite complete, and I finished the last few turns with a little help from the post office.

Before: this is where it sat for the better part of 15 years!
After the cozy returned to me, I did a fair bit of hand embroidery, but at some point I put it away.  I'd say it was out of sight, out of mind, but I'd pull it out every now and then and think 'I really ought to finish this', before putting it back away for another day.  Pulling it out for this challenge, I made sure to photograph the back side because several of my friends signed their contributions. 

I haven't done any embroidery work (except bead embroidery) in years, so this was a fun project to pick back up.  Some of my stitches were a little shaky, but I still love french knots! And here it is finished:

I continued layering the embroidery, and added sequins

And the other side
closeups of more recent stitching

I first added french knots to the feather stitch.  Then, I had a great time 'enhancing' the boquet just above it with both french knots and tiny sequins.  The machine embroidery made a fun background for further embellishments.  One of my favorite early embroideries is the away I 'completed' the orange slice stitching it's outlines into the blue fabric.  It was tempting to keep going and keep adding additional embellishments - but down that path lays a continued UFO.  

Wondering where I left off with UFO #2:  Starry Night Collar?  It's the one that's not quite done.  Truthfully, I figure I need another ten hours or so (don't ask how many hours I've already put in).  For some reason, this piece reminds me of beaded crochet - I think because of the texture.  Although my sister recently reminded me just how different beadweaving and crochet really are. 

comparing the stitching and components to my original mockup 'pattern'

combines snowflakes, random RAW and freeform beadweaving

On the plus side, I've finally figured out how I'm going to manage the clasp.  If you compare the photos above to the one from this post, you'll see just how much further along it is.

So, I didn't meet all of my goals, but I was pleased to make progress.  And it makes it quite easy to decide what to work on for the next month's UFO project! 


  1. Wow!!! I love that tea cozy!! What a sweet idea. And it looks like the starry night collar is developing beautifully! Thank you so much for hosting this hop. It was great to rifle through my UFO drawer and see all the possibilities!!!

  2. That tea cozy is amazing! I love all that stitching - it is so fun. I really love the pattern of your starry night necklace - that is going to be such a statement piece!! Thank you for hosting this hop and getting me to work on some of my large collection of UFOs!

  3. Hi Karen,
    First thank you for coming up with the idea to have a support group for UFO's we all have them. I love your Tea Cozy it is so pretty and now knowing it first started in a round robin it makes it more special full of memories.
    The Starry Night necklace is coming along beautifully looking forward to seeing the finished piece.

  4. I love the history of your tea cozy. What an amazing UF0, all that time (2001!) and all those people. You did yourself proud, it looks amazing. Congratulations!

    You have also made a tremendous amount of progress on Starry Night. I can see a huge difference. I can't wait to see it finished. I hope you can photograph it on model when the time comes to showcase it in its full glory.

    Thank you for all of your time and effort in putting the FB group and blog hop together. It's very inspiring and I think everyone is having a marvelous time :-)

  5. Thanks for organizing the group and the blog hop!

    Even though I've read your book, I have a hard time with freeform. I'm too organized sometimes. I do want to practice it more and get better at it. I think I'll give your book a read again.

  6. Congrats on finishing your tea cozy! It turned out wonderfully. And how lovely to have a great reminder of fun shared with crafty ladies in your old town. I have been having great fun doing some plain old thread embroidery lately. It really is relaxing, not having to worry about bead holes.

    Your starry night necklace is coming along nicely. Sometimes figuring out the clasp is what lands things back in the UFO drawer, so hooray to that! I will look forward to seeing it when it's finished.

    And thanks again for organizing this group. It has been a big help in inspiring me to work on projects both old and new. And it's good to know I'm not alone in my bead project wanderings.

  7. I love that cozy, it is so pretty and the colors are wonderful. You have made quite a bit of progress on the starry night necklace, I can't wait to see it when you finish, it is going to be lovely.

  8. Karen ~ I am late to the party. I apologize. Today is my first day out of bed in seven days. We'll see how long it lasts. Thank you for pulling together The UFO Hop and for encouraging us to participate. I needed the push to clean out and sort and scrap and salvage.
    I adore your tea cozy! The bits of sweet fabric and wonderful stitches and embellishments ~ it was a long time coming and it is wonderful! Sip in good health.
    Love the Starry Night Collar and how it is growing ~ the colors are calm and comfortable and the swirly flow is mesmerizing. I look forward to seeing this one when it is done. I bet you do too :-)
    Thanks Again Karen!

  9. What fun it must have been participating in the embroidery round robin. I'm sure finally getting it done was a big relief. The bead embroidered collar has definitely come a long way from its previously shared state. I can tell you put a ton of work into it. Here's hoping you can see it through to completion soon. It is very cool, and I can't wait to see its final form.