"In your Easter bonnet,
with all the frills upon it..."
Over several days last week I had a marathon of sorts. I had some donated fabric I really wanted to use up, and get out of my studio. It might not have been my pick of fabrics, but that's a little bit of the fun involved. Working outside your comfort zone is always a good challenge!
It's not a firm process, but more of an add and subtract method. I know many quilters plan their quilts in detail, but this is more my style. I grab a stack of fabrics that relate, but may or may not 'go together.' Cut into squares. Pick a design layout from many possibilities I keep updating in my little green books, and work it. It can take anywhere from an hour to 3 depending on the size or complexity.
This is center of the first design, and if you take your hands and close off the outer bands--think how an artist frames a scene, you'll see the start. I think the beginning is the hardest because it looks nothing like the end. It's a good place to use color you have a limited supply of, and in this case I had only 4 lavender squares. Easy solution. I also had a lot of the floral fabric so I opted to do a double row around. It made a splashy impact whether or not this floral is your favorite.
And then I just kept testing. I laid up an idea on one side, and compared it to the other. The yellow gingham at the top row just wasn't working at all so I pulled both down to lay up another row of blue. And that's pretty much how it works with trial and error. It involves a lot of stepping back to look from a distance, and is easier here at home where I have more room.
It's always easiest to work with the leftovers from the first design, and that's what I did here. I also added another strong print--the purple, and a brilliant red solid. 52.5" square.
So this one is really out of my color scheme, but the fabric was there. I start from the inside building outward. It's a fair bit bigger as you can figure the size by counting each 4" square finishes at 3.5". This will be 66.5" square.
There were pieces and parts covering one of my tables. Some were already connected when I trimmed them from pieced backings so I continued to piece in long strips. We improv piece modern quilts so why not charity quilts?
Bright & Cheery Improv
Still using up those leftover backings, I pieced another top. There is a part of me that says the comforter or quilt we're sending into desperate situations doesn't have to be intricately pieced. A brightly pieced center can be the focal point sandwiched in darker yardage. This seems to be a case for remarking how need outweighs beauty and perfection. Warmth, washability, and durability are more important. And maybe a handwritten tag attached to the back. A heart, a poem, or just something to say someone in the world cares about their needs. It's a way for one human being to feel connected to another, and that's the whole enchilada folks! It's enough.
Working Toward Better Balance
I remember the days when I thought someone giving me fabric to work with would be great, but I've found it can also be a burden of sorts. I feel obligated to use it, and find I'm not doing anything but. It's caused me to reconsider how I'm spending my time, and brings a word to mind that many of you have kindly offered. BALANCE. While I feel really good about the work I've been doing, my creative self has been neglected a bit. I'll finish everything I've started this year by the end of the month, but by May 1st I hope to change my focus just a bit.
Do you have any new plans for spring?
Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's go sew.