I enjoy collecting antique quilts and making reproductions of them both big and small. I've made a few baskets and I'd like to make more. I dabble in knitting and would love to learn rug hooking, but it's hard to find time to do it all. I work in higher education and I love my job. However, I do spend a lot of time dreaming about quilts.
Forgive me if I get a little introspective here. I was puttering in my sewing room (aka my corner of the laundry room) a couple of days ago. I took a small finished top off the "design flannel" and was rearranging some pieces that have been hanging up there for ages to make way for a new project when I spied a little rectangle of red fabric I've been saving for more than 10 years. It's from a BOM I bought when I really had no confidence to make my own color choices and live with them. Since the puttering included cutting pieces for more hand pieced houses I thought I would finally use that little bit of fabric. How special it was going to be to finally include it in something. Then, when I went to put the house together last night I realized I cut the darn thing backwards!
This started me thinking. What was so special about this little scrap? I like it a lot, couldn't get any more of it and it was the essence of the color sense I admired very much in my LQS owner. I used to rely heavily on her choices but using this fabric made me realize I am now making my own choices. If you aren't there yet then I encourage you to mimic those you admire but choose projects where you feel comfortable experimenting with some choices of your own and one day you will realize you have some quilting confidence.
Second, how did that fabric spend over 10 years stuck to the wall? It was literally right in front of my face and I no longer noticed it. I need to step back and reassess what I have and USE IT. I have a lot of fabric and plan on getting more (lots more). But, if I love it enough to buy it and live with it then surely I can make quilts with it. I spent some time today fishing around in my fabrics just to see what inspiration I could get from them.
Finally, it is now making me compromise on the house project. I was following the little pattern faithfully so I figured the backwards piece was trash and tossed it. Then, this morning it hit me...make one of the houses face a different way. Duh! So I fished my little roof out of the trash bag and it will go into my house quilt. Those will be the neighbors who thumb their noses at the home owners association rules.
That's a lot of thinking about one measley little piece of fabric. But, you are quilters and you can understand. There is something about the color, pattern and potential in cloth that inspires us, warms us and makes us smile. We just can't resist it. It even calls our name from the trash can.
Thanks to all of you who took the time to comment about my red basket project. The overwhelming favorite was the on point setting with the red alternate squares. The top is finished and it is ready for hand quilting. I will be donating this as a raffle for the Quilts in the Barn breast canceer fundraiser this coming fall. This is my small way of remembering and honoring my late mother-in-law, Barbara, who passed away four years ago this month from breast cancer.
We have a new neighbor in the "Building Houses from Scraps" project. I finished block #2 and #3 is well on its way to completion. I will be checking that template a little closer from now on so no other pieces come out backwards.