Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dispatch From the Land of Unfinished Projects

How's everybody doing? Getting ready for your holiday, Christmas, Festivus, etc. celebrations? Things here have been busy. I was recently inspired by this post:

Pleasant View Schoolhouse: Getting Started on a Scrap Quilt

And determined that maybe I let myself get too sucked into the perfection of quilting. If my seams don't match up I'm not worthy enough to quilt. If my layout sucks, I shouldn't have wasted my time. I had it in my head that any sewing or quilting I did must be perfect or I was doing nothing but wasting my time and money. So I read Anna's post and decided that some random scrap piecing was in order. I had been agonising for a while over the layout and colors for my oldest son's quilt. He likes green, he's loud and a true wild child. Over the last year or two I had been gathering the random green fat quarter, a bit of green yardage and then pulled some yellows and blues and an orange or two from the stash because all green seemed a little sad to me. I thought my wild child needed a kick of color outside of green. I took my time, tried to be as exact in my cutting as possible, at least as accurate as someone linearly like myself can hope to be.

I then sat around for a week or two trying to figure out how to match up squares and rows and what fabrics worked and what didn't and then banged my head on the table and screamed to the empty house, "It's a flippin' scrap quilt, don't think, sew, don't think, sew". And that's exactly what I did.

(if only my yard were ever as green as this quilt)

I took this picture this morning in the yard, a cloudy overcast 6:48a.m. shot, and I do believe some neighbors were peaking out their blinds wondering what the heck I was doing. I'm the weird, quirky, odd neighbor and I'm okay with that.

Here's another picture. I randomly sewed two squares together, then stacked them up in a pile, then I determined how many pairs of squares I'd need per row for a twin sized quilt, the number was 14 and then I started just sewing my pairs together. Once or twice I stopped and changed up a square or two but I didn't really think too hard about it. The top was going to be what it was going to be and I didn't want to plan it. I wanted a joyful, happy, scrappy mess--this means that no matter how I laid out the colors it would be a success, as long as it had the happy gene, the smile factor.

Last night when the spousal unit arrived home from a long day at work he saw the quilt top on the back of the couch and a huge smile spread across his face, "If the oldest son doesn't want it, I do". That right there is success.

This is the top stretched out on DS#1's bed, OMG, that room is a dark and scary place. But the top fits the bed and will be perfect when I add a border. I had been worried and so had the oldest son that this quilt had a girlie feel to it. I kept saying groovy, not girlie, GROOVY I tell ya.

The two fabrics above are the ones he finds most offensive, particularly the one on the bottom. I had yardage of that, whoops! The top fabric, yeah I knew it was girlie. I get it, but it sure made me happy to cut it up into those four inch squares. It's the one fabric that is me in the quilt, so I left it. We have named this quilt, The Girlie Man.

Next up is a quilt for the middle son which will be a mix of old jeans, plaid shorts, some cut up button down striped shirts, maybe some osnaburg fabric and a few blue prints thrown in. I plan to make it similar to this quilt:

Pleasant View Schoolhouse: Another Scrap Quilt: Someone Stop Me!

I like the 3x6 retangles a lot. It may end up being a hot mess trying to use denim but I'm going to try. Worse case scenario, I'll need to swap out the denim for some dark blue solid fabric.

Then a scrappy quilt with blue as the dominate color for DS #3.

If you have been wanting to try piecing but decided it's above your skill level or too fussy, or too hard, I beg you to just jump in and let go. The quilt doesn't have to be fancy, use stashed fabrics, try to do it right but don't fret if seams don't match up exactly or if there's a bit of puckering. I loved this project so much. I took my time cutting, I pinned it to death just before sewing, and I still got puckering, I still didn't sew perfectly straight but I tried, I tried so hard and that's all that matters. My biggest obsession was trying to keep matching fabrics from popping up next to each other. It was impossible, to let go of that control, to just jump in and sew strips of squares together and see what turned up where, it was fun and liberating.

This quilt couldn't be more basic:

4 inch squares

14 to a row

21 or 23 rows of squares

That's it.

From the Cross Stitch Pile:

Progress on La D Da's In the Garden. This is taking forever! I'm finally down to a bit of filling in and the border. Maybe I'll have this finished by the weekend.


Ana's World said...

Happy Christmas! Love the quilt! Good job! Was worried you hadn't posted since November. HA HA! Glad you are well!

Chocolates4Breakfast (TerriBoog) said...

Great job on the quilt and the A&E! Love them both - the green in the quilt is such a happy color!

Siobhan said...

WOOHOO!!! I'm so glad to see a post from you. CONGRATULATIONS on the finish! The quilt looks great. Tell the eldest son that it's always good to keep in touch with his feminine side. ;) Your A&E looks great, too. I think this is on my Crazy January list. I keep rewriting it, but I think it's going to be a definite since I've had the linen for a few years now. I'm cheering you on towards the finish line!

Anna van Schurman said...

Great job. I love it. And the name is awesome.

Katrina said...

Love the quilt!!!! Can't wait to see the next one :-). Hope you get Adam and Eve done soon.

Michelle said...

Love love love the quilt - it is fabulous. And isn't it funny how stuck in our heads we get when all we really need to do is "don't think, just sew". We are are own worst enemies when it comes to thinking we're not good enough. Love the quilt - it's wonderful!!!