Now that I’ve got my puppet fix in, it’s time to get back to quilting. But with so many projects in the works, how am I to choose which to go back to?
It’s no lie that I like quick and easy projects, and they work great for needing to make a quilt in a hurry for a charity event or quick gift or for the couches where the dog and cats like to sleep. However, I recently read a blog post from Mary over at The Tulip Patch (http://tulip-patch.blogspot.com) that summed up both why I like those projects but also the more complicated ones that might take years to complete: challenging and unexpected.
After reviewing my quilts, it became apparent that this was definitely the case. The Framed 9-Patch quilt I did based off of a Moda Bake Shop tutorial by Rosyln Mirrington (http://www.modabakeshop.com/2009/10/sweet-menagerie-nine-patch-quilt.html) was a huge challenge dealing with so many small two inch squares. Let’s just say that I learned about chain piecing on one of the borders and haven’t stopped using this method since. I also learned how to do more with less and (eeek!) using math. Since I was using a Scrap Bag and yardage instead of two Jelly Rolls, there was a lot more cutting involved. I think I used up just about every bit of scraps I could, even taking the last half to inch sized ends and selvages to sew together for the outer border squares. It’s unique, adds character and demonstrates the frugality of my nature, especially since I did this entire quilt for twenty five dollars, including batting, backing and binding. I did so by using a bag of Warm and Natural cotton batting I got for five dollars, the muslin was only a dollar for four yards I scored years ago, half a yard of an orange fabric from a previous project I paid two dollars for, so one dollar for that, and two three dollar spools of cotton thread I bought at fifty percent off, making my grand total including the fifteen dollar scrap bag at twenty five dollars. By comparison, That 70s Quilt I’m working on right now has probably cost me over one hundred dollars in fabric just for the top alone. Of course, this was all spread out over the course of a year and a half of purchases made with birthday or cake order money. Still, it shows that my frugal personality will splurge if it is fabric I really, really like, such as the Alexander Henry In the Kitchen line.
The challenge and unexpected may also explain why I started (and plan to finish) the Desperate Housewife’s Quilt Jane over at Want it, Need it, Quilt (http://quiltjane.blogspot.com) has been doing. She’s come up with fifty amazing blocks and has been posting a new one each week. I’m way behind on my block making, but believe me, I will be making every single one of these blocks for a completed quilt. They are all so fascinating and are great technique building exercises that can be taken and used for a multitude of other projects. I decided to do the unexpected and make each block using only batiks with black and white for contrasts when needed. So far I am in love with the results.
But this isn’t to say that I will be abandoning the practice of using Charm squares for simple quilts or a jelly roll to do a simple strip quilt, it just means that I will be focusing more on making heirloom quilts. While they will take much longer to produce, they will mean much more when they’re completed. Maybe that would explain why I am so hesitant to start quilts I’ve had the fabric to do for so long… I want to be proud of the results, not just that I finished a project.