Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Block by Block

I think that confusion can be a cop-out. Usually I know exactly what it takes for me to do something. I know that I have to practice what I learn whether its pounding a nail in straight, teaching a class on feminist theory, or putting together a quilt. For me, the state of confusion has more to do with being tired or stressed, resisting the project or not having the clarity regarding my next steps.

Sometimes it means sitting down with the books or in the case of quilting, the pattern, and practicing. Thing is, I am not a person to practice on something and then throw it away. I want to learn and have my studies & projects be meaningful.

Along with making all those green holiday quilts this year, I am working on a few small things including: 

  • 12" Christmas Block Swap 
  • 12" Quilt Block & Swap 
  • 12" & 6" B&W Scrappy Block Quilt 
  • 12" Christmas Bed Runner. 
My local quilting friend & I joined a couple of BOM groups that turned out to be a bust, and then found a Quilting Bee on Facebook that has been offering two block pattern tutorials each month. The tutorials are the most clear of anything we have worked with thus far. It has become a rich experience that will help me maximize the work on all four of my activities as listed above. Usually on a regular quilt, the block pattern is repeated at least 12 times so a person does get the practice.

The most recent tutorial pattern is gorgeous. I finished this last night, & it goes to my August partner in the Quilt Block & Swap group. Its made from 2.5" strips I found in my stash to make it work. I realized that I could make & remake this pattern using different fabrics for each. 

That black with yellow reminded me that these fabrics would work with my B&W project. I cut out the black fabric with daisies on it, used a couple more from the scraps bag. The blocks will be quite different. 

Then, I pulled out the holiday fabric scraps, planning to match & cut for my Bed Runner. Plans for this project are for 12 blocks -- 2 wide & 6 across, with sashing & borders for the queen size bed.

Like anything that gets built, its best to have a plan or a blueprint. I think that my progress is marked with a solid plan, so that I know what I need, how much time is required, and even what my resources are. These practice pieces help me learn, help reduce the fogginess that exists in my mind, and give me the skills to push myself onward.

There is nothing confusing about this art when I keep repeating the positive actions block by block. Most quilts are made by repeating the blocks and joining them to make another overall pattern. I know that with every new fabric combination I make, something is to be learned, something is to be gained. Its not that I plan to compare blocks, and say that one is better. Its that I SEE what differences there are in the choices I make. It becomes a pattern to success.