Monday, April 13, 2015

Mysteries of Transformation

While I worked all day on the mystery quilt, I brought it home yet to be finished. There are many mysteries in life, including the one that seems to take place for women when they get tired and extend themselves. We start out with such positive energy and enthusiasm.

I witnessed the hard work everyone was doing, and could see how the project wore on us all. We wanted to see the magick manifest in the quilts we were constructing. Where there was silence on the first day, by the end of the second day, for myself at least, I started to feel the pull of home and my obligations there. I started to feel a sort of frustration at not having this quilt top be finished.

I took some work-in-progress photos. There are many steps to this particular pattern that took a lot of time. My guess is that once these prep steps are done, it will go together quickly. Here are a few photos I took of some of the work stations. Some of us brought fabrics from our stash, some bought all the material needed.

The blocks consist of a dark combination that is a version of the friendship star block. We were urged to make one block at  time in case we wanted to shift the colors around. Scrap quilting should be more intuitive rather than over-thinking it.

As the blocks get assembled, the lights in them will form a secondary star block. None of us reached that stage in our construction. The easy goal was to finish one block before going home again. I did not get there with mine.

This photo below shows the construction layout one participant was using for her 30 blocks so that she could be sure the colors were evenly distributed. I came home to do this, yet chose to do it block by block, pinning lights and darks together. Its a scrappy quilt, so there is no right or wrong way to construct it, yet randomness does take planning.

While the actual event is over, the project is yet to be completed. I've got all pages to the pattern. One of the women discovered that if she took the time to sew another seam, she could create a HST from what might end up as scraps. While it takes more time, I decided to go that route as well, and drew the additional stitching line on those squares. They will make up another border for a project planned for 2016, and will make a great addition to that quilt.

While I was in the store, I bought a couple of FQ's to work on another swap-bot project called the "Butterfly Spirit Guide". This 6" pattern is called "Butterflies on Parade" and is what I am using for a Mug Rug. I chose the Lilac-Bordered Copper Butterfly to send my partner information about. I'll finish the MR with the copper fabric as a binding. The green is on the back too.

The Butterfly affirmation says," I recognize my true beauty within. I value & cherish all that I am. I have the power to transform my life to experience true joy."

It seems to me that quilting is not just making one project. When there are scraps left over that go into one's stash, a quilter has to make choices regarding their use, which means either going into yet another quilt she makes, or giving them up to someone else to use. Even with this Mystery Quilt, those HSTs being created will be used in that panel quilt I plan for 2016. But, in the mean time, they have to be stored with a note-to-self for their designation.

A topic that always seems to come up when I attend such groups is the discussion of stash and our end-of-life plans. Who will want the scraps? Who will finish the unfinished quilt projects? Are we clear about the next steps to the unfinished work for ourselves? Every project that goes back into the closet takes time to review its status when it comes back out.

Sometimes a quilter returns to a project only to realize she no longer has interest in finishing it. Then what? All good questions. And all topics that only come up during the last hour or so. How very much like life.