Thursday, May 15, 2014

Mystery Blocks

Learning to say "no" is a lifelong experience that seems to start when we are in our terrible-twos. Most of the time, its not something others like to hear from us. And now, after a lifetime of struggling with that word, I am learning how to say "yes" and "that's for me". Thing is, I want to make sure that something is for me before I get too engaged.

My local quilting friend and I joined what I thought was going to be a block of the month online. As I read the directions (again), it seemed to me that the author was offering these blocks free once a week (if she had time for it), and then was putting them into what would be her third book. So I emailed her to ask how many blocks she planned to offer. Her reply was "100 +". She continued to write that she was going to join the 6" blocks into a 12" square, join them all with sashing and make a queen size quilt. The pattern comes in both sizes.

I really didn't get the answer I was looking for that would tell me how many blocks were coming, and how often. It seems like she would release them according to her schedule. It was a sort of 'no' from her that I needed to respect. After all, these blocks are free online for an introductory period, AND the instructions are clear for construction. Color choices and placement of those colors are left to the quilter.

I'm glad I made this as a test block for a different quilt I am making. It turned out nice, and gives me a chance to see how I will use the black & whites with color in it.

I've decided that, yes, this quilt is for me, and I will make every pattern in either the 6" or the 12" and let it evolve as another Mystery quilt for myself. I decided that I would alternate the sizes with each new block pattern the designer releases. This one (named Old Maid's Puzzle) I will make as a 6" in the B&W/Color. I have a certain amount of control in the color selection and the size of the block, yet knowing that I don't know what is coming makes it a mystery and makes me smile.

I know that saying "no" to the things I do not want in my life is vital. It makes me goofy-grin remembering how adamant I have been when I used that word. Now, I can whisper it, and still express the power of my choice that echos in my eyes, my body posture and my smile. Or maybe because I have gray hair. 

Saying "that's for me" almost feels selfish, and maybe its time and ok for me to finally BE selfish or self-focused. And why not? I love the feel of quilts over my lap that I finish for others. Its about time that I make one for myself...and this is it. This will be the mystery unfolded with each block, not knowing how they will turn out.