Friday, October 30, 2015

Burning Desire

Someone once told me to make sure that my burning desire was the light at the end of the tunnel. 

And so I spent 4 hours cutting scraps. I discovered how hard it was to find what I needed for the holiday Twister, and my next project (blues for the Diamond Dash). Some of these fabric scraps in my stash have odd pieces cut out of them, so cutting them down even more, and into larger squares or rectangles helps with storage. Of course, now they need to be put in the same size squares container. Organization is a process that never ends.

When I first started quilting, it was to embroider 50 state birds and flowers x2. Yes, x2. I thought I would make each of my Sons a full quilt using the kind of embroidered squares my maternal Grandmother made each of her Grandchildren. She gave me her patterns and I bought white fabric, lots of embroidery floss and a hoop. It took me a week to make each square. I figured I could have the squares done in a couple of years, and because my Sons were still living at home, I thought it would be easy-breezy. 

Didn't happen that way. By the time I was actually getting close to done, they had both married and had children of their own. And Gramma Lizzy had passed. These squares came with me across the country. I re-calculated what it would take to do SEVEN smaller quilts so that each of the Grands could get one. If I added five more squares, each small quilt got 15 blocks (3x5 =15). And making five more California blocks would put one on each small quilt and bring my total squares to what was needed.

However, when I first did this, I knew nothing about fabric. And when the embroidery was done, every shop owner I spoke with let me know that it wouldn't work as a functioning quilt. Except one. She drew out the pattern I needed to use, and I started making tops and backs to them. Jake's is the last. First I put together red sashing and then had that awful bleed-experience with another quilt, so ripped this one out even though the red fabrics were pre-washed. I did not want to take the chance that this young man's quilt would turn pink! And the project sat. I re-purposed all the reds. And it sat. UFO.

The other day I went back to her store and bought blues shown above, pre-washed and cut them to size. Today I started piecing it. Now that I have had more experience, I can see what other quilters were saying. The fabric might not hold together, so I think I will top stitch around each square. It might even make sense to reinforce the whites with something. I wish I had done these differently, but they have to be fine the way they are. I'll put sleeves on all the backs so they can be hung, and at this point, am in no hurry to finish them. The goal for 2016 is to get them all reinforced and basted. That's it. I will be happy to get them to that stage.