Saturday, December 13, 2014

Finding the Complement

We are not all the same. We have not all started from the same place, nor do we have the same skills and interests. Our life task seems to be to stay within ourselves and not measure our successes against another. We need to know ourselves and quilt our own quilts, or do our own thing.

As I build this Kaleidoscope quilt, I've made a few trips back into the fabric store to lay out what I had and find the next border. The store is simply eye candy for a quilter with colors arranged on the shelves for easy selection. I usually pull a half dozen fabrics to make my choice. I look closely. I step back almost to across the room to see what I like.

Because I chose to make a twin size quilt, I changed so much of the pattern and have had to adapt in interesting ways. And because I selected a very interesting design for the work, using it for the border in a way that is usually seen did not work.

What I selected for my second border reminds me of the handmade Florence (Italian) marbled paper. The colors of this fabric seemed to blend and support the middle of the quilt. In order to make the odd size seem less odd, I cut the long sides 8.5" wide and the top/bottoms 2.5" wide. Each will lose half an inch in the piecing. The layout is already stunning. 

This is not the way most quilts are made. I know that I have to be happy with it, and have some sort of internal designer at work. After looking at numerous pictures of this quilt pattern finished by others, I could see what might work and what simply was not going to please my eye. I came to the store with three options I wanted to try out and settled on the third option which was to get a coordinating fabric for this second border. I also selected more of the background fabric to make up the third border and think I am satisfied.

Changing the pattern has brought me more work. This focus fabric brought me more work. Yet, I know that as it evolves, it is becoming a work of art. 

Is this what happens to a child who has been given the freedom to walk her own path? As a quilt-maker, each of my pieces is almost like a child I am birthing. They are unique and require a unique kind of attention from concept to the point of cutting the strings and sending them off into the world and another person's arms. What happens to them is dependent upon the reception they get in a new environment. Thing is, like any parent or quilt-maker, once the child leaves home, there is little we can really do to change what happens next.