Tuesday, August 5, 2014

12 Days. My UFO

My second Log Cabin was one that was started in 2008. I had taken a class to make the first one, and then went shopping for fabric on my own without guidance from my Instructor. I found one that had the 12 Days on it. You know, "Partridge in a Pear Tree", "2 Turtle Doves", "3 French Hens" and so on. I didn't really match fabrics to that fabric, but instead, selected holiday reds and some greens. The 12 Days were fussy cut and the quilt layout makes them directional.

At the time I didn't know about color values for light, medium and dark, and so purchased holiday fabrics I liked and just started cutting and piecing. I had no vision for the whole look of it once it was completed. I had no vision at all. Its primarily a red quilt. While I love red, sometimes a bit of it goes a long way. Now, its a quilt that shouts, "What were you thinking???!!"

The traditional light on one side and dark on the other were lost on this quilt. I thought I was making one side red and one side green, but I didn't hold to that and red filters in on both sides. If a person sees a log cabin quilt with the lights and darks, the tradition of it holds. Lights represent the good times and darks represent the challenges. I guess this quilt has more good times if red represents that part, and less challenges if green represents that aspect. What I learned from the metaphor in it is that we actually need challenges so that there is balance and value in what we become.

We need to find our center cores, and ensure that those things we surround ourselves with make sense and coordinate with who we are. No matter what we present on the outside, it is our core that really matters.

I've pulled this quilt out every once in awhile to do more hand work on it, and just finished that part last night. The sides need trimming and a binding needs to be added. I put on a gold fabric for a border in hopes to tone it down, and now I need to take it into a shop to match everything and buy another fabric that will work.

I hated to call this quilt a UFO, but it really has been that. It was heavily basted and so really held together well over the years. My hand quilting stitches changed too. In my quilting world, when a quilt becomes a UFO (Un Finished Object) its because of operator-error. Its not really a WIP (work in progress) because its put away or almost hidden from my own sight.

There are things like that in life too, sort of an attic of the soul. My Grandparents had the best attics, and of course were off limits to us. In their attics, they stored all sorts of magical things like old furniture, old paintings and artifacts, old clothing, old photos and even gifts someone gave them they never used. The idea of an attic was to store things that still had value but for some reason didn't fit into their lives at the time. For me, for my cousins and siblings, getting into the attic was the best of adventures for make believe, for dress up and for play time.

Not so much for quilting UFO's. Every time I opened the storage bin where this "12 Days" quilt rested, I would look at it and get angry at myself for not finishing it, for buying the fabrics that I could see were not working, for not finishing it. Oh I said that. And that is the thing about attics and UFO's, or about addictions, and things that hold us back from our creativity...we hide them from sight, from our own sight. We pretend all sorts of things, but its not play. Its drudgery to take out a UFO and work on it, to let it become a WIP instead.

I am not sure I have any sort of sense of accomplishment with it yet. However, finishing the hand quilting on it is just that; an accomplishment.