Today I’ve started the physical work of making four new quilts for my upcoming exhibition.
I begin with the colour idea and select from my scrap pieces baskets. I love those baskets- sometimes it seems I work more from them than from my big pieces of fabric. No matter how much I take out, they always seem to fill up again. A kind of quilter’s cornucopia. I think they began life as CD storage.
You can see the brown/black scraps basket on the ground in the foreground of the pinboard photo.
I’ve pinned the pieces to a big sheet of Styrofoam. One column for each quilt, graduating from light to dark so I can keep track of how much I have of each. I’ll compose each one separately, but at this stage it’s helpful to see the ingredients in relation to each other.
Can you guess the inspiration behind my four selections of fabrics?
I’m house sitting (you saw it on the Plan!). Working away from the studio requires a bit of thinking ahead. I pack all of the usual sewing tools- and some Projects. While I’m here I’m going to make the Baby Quilt top. Assuming that doesn’t take all my time, I also brought the Basket of Bundles so i can make something else too.
This basket is close to being my favourite thing. It’s full of bits of fabric, none very large, all collected at random. I group them in delicious combinations and roll them up until it’s their turn to be sewn. Any bundle can be raided for the perfect fabric for the current quilt. Any fabric can be rejected and put back in the basket to be added to a later combo. Bundles are taken apart and recombined.
This seems completely unplanned; from the perspective of each quilt sewn, it is. However, from the perspective of creating a steady stream of interesting unique quilts, this fun process is the best plan I can imagine.
a newly-met colleague shares information, a story, a laugh, encouragement a former workmate gets in touch just to catch up a brother calls a former boss continues to mentor and challenge a whole cheer squad of crafty folks challenge and critique a stranger offers kindly help a business associate opens their home, shares their passion an accidental travel companion enlivens a dull journey an old acquaintance supports my cause @[anyone] shares advice a family invite me to be part of raising their children … and many more
Late in 2010, my friend Veronicah was the recipient of 17 – count ’em 17 – banana boxes of mixed fabrics from a deceased estate. After much sorting and appropriate donation, she made up a box each for some quilting buddies. Sharing the love!
I’m a lucky possessor of one of these Boxes of Abundance. It holds a fairly random mixture of approximately shirt-weight cottonish fabrics from (I think) the middle 1980’s. Not exactly what I would normally choose to work with.
My – self-imposed – challenge is using it to make quilts for my big patchwork group’s community quilt donation programme. This has been far more enjoyable than expected.
Free fabric is much easier to cut!
Funny combinations work when they have to
I’m not doing it alone – all the other people who have passed this fabric along are sharing in the eventual gift