Lately I find myself creating the quilting equivalent of short stories. By that I mean small projects that take no more than a few days to design and piece, and often finish. Some are inspired by other quilts I’ve seen, some by random bits of fabric on my table or partial tops, and some by what I’ll charitably call a vision.
They are respites from more thought-out projects that I’m stuck on. Or projects that I’m afraid I’ll screw up if I push them too far. Unfortunately, the only way I seem to know if I’ve gone too far is to do just that. You know, your work gets too fussed at, too mannered. It’s hard to critique your own work, and it’s even harder to find other folks comfortable with doing that for you. But that’s a subject for another time.
These little projects allow me to be looser, to have a “what the heck” attitude. Most often I use fabric leftovers, so there’s no worry about wasting “good” fabric. Here’s a sampling of my current stories.
In my quest to conquer circles I had made up Weeks and Kerr’s pattern for large joined half circles. I was stuck for how to use the resulting blocks, and I had all those cut out half circles left. Then I saw a quilt made of appliqued half circles and decided to use that approach for “Partial Eclipse” and “Broken Circles”. The latter is a table runner – I’m making lots of them as a way to protect my cherry tables. The former awaits quilting. I think it’s time for me to try some quilted circles, or maybe just one.
Originally “Neutrality” was to be a pillow that I planned to big stitch quilt for a demo I’ll give in the fall. The idea comes from Moda Bake Shop, and is a version of the disappearing nine patch block. My block arrangement became pretty random and then I decided I really didn’t want a 20 inch pillow. I started to extend the little squares outside the big square. Then, I found some chambray I cut off old pillowcases and that got added. Chambray’s hot now, right?
I’ve shown “Boxed Up” before, but it’s now completely finished. I quilted rectangles on it using various decorative machine stitches, and then stapled it to an old canvas. Beats the heck out of binding a quilt, even a small one. It now adds a certain flavor, of what I’m not sure, to my upstairs hall.
It’s about time I get back to those book length projects I’ve been avoiding, quilter’s block be damned.