We do have a basic routine in our household. Both husband and live-in son work Monday to Friday, leaving home around 8am and getting back for dinner around 6pm. But the routine is ‘subject to change’ and today is feeling particularly strange with both men out of the house at 7am and not due back to gone 9pm. The only item in today’s rectangle of the calendar is a grocery delivery. That means there’s a lot of time for sewing … 🙂
Just as well, because you will not be surprised to read that I have several projects on the go… I have to be a tease and not disclose the project on the design wall as it is a gift but other projects spread around the sewing room include two requiring binding, the litter of foundation paper piecing (practicing for the Chocolatier BOM workshop next Tuesday) and the flimsy patchwork top which is my working example for the Beginners Class (lesson 2 on Saturday) – sorry I don’t yet have a photo of this project.
What I’ve been itching to share is one of those ‘pop up’ projects that wasn’t really on the schedule but just kinda happened. I bought the fabrics when we were on holiday in July.
A roll of twenty 2½” strips and a 2m length of background fabric. I stroked the fabrics while sat in the Derbyshire cottage and sketched out a quilt top design – aiming to use every inch of the strips.
Two weeks ago I took the design and the fabrics to the monthly sewing day at Brown Candover. I followed my scruffy sketch and put together most of the top in just one day 🙂 At home in the evening I realised I’d made a bit of a boo-boo: I’d cut the strips using the finished length of the pieces, failing to add the seam allowances! The quilt is slightly narrower than it would have been and I had to fiddle the spacing of the ‘dot-dash’ rows at the top and bottom of the quilt but otherwise no problems emerged from the not-so deliberate mistake. Whew!
Once the quilt top was up on the design wall I started to doubt the colour combinations. Mainly worried that other people might not like it (my Mum’s reaction was a little muted!). I looked around for personal reassurance and found what I needed in our little garden.
Temperatures are dipping at night now and hours of daylight have dropped off noticeably but many flowering plants are hanging on. I found bright summer pinks glowing against yellowing leaves, deep shadows and rich golds. I’ve named my quilt ‘Changing Seasons’ to hi-light it’s colour palette which, I feel, reflects the move from Summer into Autumn.
Discovering those colours in my garden enabled me to fall properly in love with this quilt. I was struck by the feelings I was experiencing as I worked on it, coming to the conclusion I’m enjoying the whole process of putting it together and being able to relish the unusual colour combinations because I’ve stopped fearing what anyone else thinks of it! I spend a lot of my creative time designing and making things that I hope other people will like – purchase even. Don’t get me wrong, that’s great: I get to practice skills; and face fresh challenges. Conversely though, making things to please other people can restrict opportunities to try fresh techniques and lead to much self doubt and discouragement.
Determined ‘Changing Seasons’ would not become another unfinished project I’ve kept it ticking over – purchasing the backing fabric, cobbling together a piece of wadding and pinning the quilt sandwich. I pondered a while over the quilting, eventually deciding to go with the seasons theme. I marked a large semi-circle (drawing around a tea tray!) on each of the four sides of the quilt – four seasons. I echoed those semi-circles using a walking foot with line guide attached. The semi-circles radiate out and overlap the semi-circles from the adjacent side of the quilt – seasons merging.
I stopped echoing before the semicircles started to overlap in the centre of the quilt – to prevent winter overlapping summer or autumn overlapping spring (I was really getting into the theme by then and those overlaps just wouldn’t have been ‘right’!). Actually that’s as far as the theme stretched in my quilting. The remaining designs were far more influenced by the limitations of my skills than my creative juices! I filled the centre with concentric echos of the strange shape created by the advancing semi-circles and filled the four outer half-moon shapes with a free-motion quilting design that looks like ripples of water (I guess water, in all it’s guises, is common to the four seasons – in temperate climes at least?).
I’m endeavoring to be very organised re. labeling my quilts. I made the label for Changing Seasons before I put together the quilt sandwich, using a zigzag stitch to attach it to the backing fabric. I like to do this for two reasons: 1. the label becomes an integral part of the quilt; 2. attaching the label doesn’t become the ‘can I be bothered?’ stumbling block right on the finishing line. 😀
Linking with Myra for Finished or not Friday – she is sharing her latest quilt design. And linking with Beth – who has been quilting like crazy to get through feeling overwhelmed – for Main Crush Monday as I’m definitely crushing on this quilt!
Hope you are finding joy in your creativity 🙂