What Inspires You to Focus and Finish a Quilt?

by Nicole

Allow me to introduce Sun Rays, my improvisational curved quilt!


For a year and a half, I’ve had this quilt as an Unfinished Object or UFO, waiting for me to figure out the kind of quilting it needed. It took the 2016 Finish-A-Long to inspire me to get it done.

Related: Finishing Along Goals

Related: Getting My Curve On

After setting the goal of finishing it, it waited for a few weeks until I figured out how to quilt it and made it a priority to get it done.

Inside the wedges shapes, I quilted wavy lines, alternating in direction with each wedge. I used monofilament, or invisible, thread so that the thread would blend with the different colored wedges.


I filled the negative space with echo quilting. The lines are spaced 1/4″ apart.


Related: Want an Easy and Effective Quilting Design?

I was stumped for which fabric to use for the binding. I debated between going the subtle route by using  the same fabric as the background, a scrappy binding of the same fabrics as the wedges, or a black and white stripe.


I went with the black and white stripes. I love how it contrasts with the white background and the wedges.

So in the end, it took having a deadline and public accountability to inspire me to turn this UFO into a FO.

What inspires you to focus and finish your UFOs?

Nicole Neblett signoff Modern Quilting blog




2016 FAL





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Jess @ Quilty Habit February 23, 2016 - 8:19 am

Nicole, I love the quilting you did on the improv curves. It’s gorgeous! Congrats on a lovely finish!

Nicole February 23, 2016 - 8:35 am

Thanks, Jess! The quilting stumped me for a while. So glad I finally figured it out!

Katy(LethargicLass) February 23, 2016 - 8:57 am

for me it is the same, deadline and accountability… on top of the finish-along my guild has UFO challenges that really help!

Nicole February 23, 2016 - 11:36 am

Deadlines and accountability work, don’t they?!? I’m curious about the UFO challenges your guild has. Do tell me more, please!

Debbie February 23, 2016 - 9:43 am

This turned out beautifully!! I love it even more after I read its name – perfect! And I love the binding choice. Overall a beautiful quilt – congrats on getting that wip done! Can I share your post on our FAL fb page?

Nicole February 23, 2016 - 11:36 am

Thanks, Debbie! It feels like a major accomplishment. Of course, you can share on FB! Thank you for considering me.

Debbie February 23, 2016 - 9:52 am

p.s. I was able to post on fb via the icons below your post!

Nicole February 23, 2016 - 11:37 am

Debbie, you are very resourceful! You know I always say yes to you anyway!

Meredithe February 23, 2016 - 9:51 pm

Wow Nicole! This looks amazing. The quilting is so detailed. Love the binding.

Nicole February 23, 2016 - 10:59 pm

Thanks, Meredithe! I’m so happy with how it turned out!

Shasta February 29, 2016 - 9:13 am

Congratulations on a beautiful finish! The binding is wonderful. I think this quilt needed time so you could come up with that wonderful quilting design.

Nicole February 29, 2016 - 3:42 pm

Thanks, Shasta! Yes, so true! Sometimes it takes a while of letting a project sit for the next step to be clear.

Elaine February 29, 2016 - 2:13 pm

Lovely !
What size is it?

Nicole February 29, 2016 - 10:29 pm

Thanks, Elaine! It’s about 45″ by 45″ – it should make a nice wall hanging.

Izzy March 5, 2016 - 10:34 am

Your quilt is just stunning Nicole! I love the colours and your quilting is perfect. I’m typically a start to finish quilter so I’m often inspired to finish something so I can get started on something else. But having a deadline and listing the WIPs on my FAL list sure has helped too! 🙂

Nicole March 6, 2016 - 11:02 am

Thanks, Izzy! I used to be a start-to-finish quilter. Someday I’ll get back to that!

Lynn March 9, 2016 - 10:33 am

Nicole, this is gorgeous! I love the design and those beautiful colors! Your quilting compliments it perfectly. Sometimes great ideas just need to percolate! I love doing improv piecing, I definitely need to give improv curves a try.

Nicole March 13, 2016 - 11:31 pm

Thanks, Lynn! You are so right about the need to percolate! Sometimes that’s all it takes is time. Yes, give improv curves a try. I think they look more intimidating than they actually are!

Staci April 5, 2016 - 8:36 am

Love the movement in this quilt! Just wonderful in every way. Pinned it to my Gorgeous Quilt Board!

Nicole April 8, 2016 - 11:18 am

Thanks, Staci! I’m honored for the quilt to make it onto your board!

Stacey April 5, 2016 - 9:25 am

This is fantastic as always!! I love the design and your quilting is amazing. I like having lists and goals to keep me accountable, which is why I like the Finish-A-Long! Thank you so much for participating in the Finish-A-Long, on behalf of the 2016 hosts!

Nicole April 8, 2016 - 11:17 am

Thanks, Stacey! The Finish-A-Long is a great motivator for me!

Lindielee August 12, 2016 - 1:15 pm

What inspires me to finish a quilt often is the fact that I can just start a new one! LOL! Often my quilts are for gifts so I want to get those out and into the hands of people. Also, dwindling down mountains of scraps, script and yardage is freeing.

Nicole August 29, 2016 - 8:33 pm

I hear you Lindielee! Unfortunately, I don’t wait to finish one before I start another! Thanks for stopping by.

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