While working on a quilt all this week I was concerned I wasn’t getting enough exercise. Sitting at a table drawing a pattern, leaning over the fabric with a rotary cutter slicing the fabric according to the design, and hunching over the sewing machine for hours pushing and guiding the fabric under the needle to produce a quilt doesn’t leave much time for taking a walk.
Once I begin a project, nothing gets in the way of my focus. I have been known to go without food at times. I get so involved in what I’m doing, I simply don’t notice I’m hungry.
I made the prudent decision to place the ironing board downstairs in the kitchen, and kept the sewing machine up in my bedroom. I would then have to sew a little, then run downstairs to iron it… run back up and sew some more, and skip downstairs to press what I have done. Keeping the blood moving and my heart pumping… that’s the name of the game.
My current project is a mini quilt for a challenge held by two fabric manufacturers… Dear Stella and Timeless Treasures. The rules are simple… Sew a 20” by 20” quilt using ONLY their fabrics, no solids, and interpret what Modern Traditions mean to you.
The challenge as it turns out, was not the making of the quilt per se, but finding the right combination of fabrics to use. Although I have piles and piles of fabric purchased over the years… none bear the selvage imprint of Dear Stella. Giddy at the thought of having a reason to purchase fabric, I trot off to the store. No online shopping for me. Years ago I made a pledge to myself to shop in Independently owned stores whenever possible. Brick and mortar quilt shops are all privately owned… YIPPIE!
It took an ENTIRE day to search out and purchase my fabric. In one day I drove back and forth between 2 local quilt stores… scouting out possible choices, before actually purchasing the fabric. One store had the focal fabric… while the other store had the coordinating styles. It was certainly a great learning opportunity for me. I was physically and mentally exhausted by the end of the day.
Usually I choose fabric based on color and design. Not once have I taken notice of the mill OR the designer. This time I found myself looking first at the end of the bolt seeking out all that read Dear Stella or Timeless Treasures… THEN I looked at the color and design.
Also a little backwards… I normally design the quilt first, THEN pull fabric from my stash and purchase what’s missing that will pull the whole quilt together. This time however, I gathered the fabric first, THEN designed the quilt… which was problematic.
Just because a quilt design is in my head, doesn’t mean my hands will make my vision. As is true with all art work and creative pursuits… the project goes in a direction it wants… I am just the means to the end. The fabric I purchased as the main ‘focal’… ended up being cut into unrecognizable shapes and used as accents. Oh well… that’s just the way it goes some times.
The quilt is almost finished. I’m stumped on the last part. I need to devise a way to make the accent feathers ‘hold their own’ and POP. So far everything I have tried didn’t thrill me. Back to the drawing board! I’m sure an idea will appear while I’m in the shower tomorrow.
Picture to be posted next week, once it is submitted to the Challenge website.
UPDATE… Photo of completed Dream Catcher Mini-Quilt: