Monday, December 9, 2013

Not a quilt


I don’t think this is going to become a quilt any time soon.  Here’s a quick quilt story for you:  when I was young in the 1970’s, crafting was abundant and my mom was always making stuff.  I wanted to make stuff too, so I went into my closet in the middle of the night with a pair of scissors and cut up all my clothes.  You know, as you do.  I spent a whole summer with a paper grocery bag full of 6” squares next to my lawn chair, earnestly toiling and stitching.  The resulting hand-pieced quilt top (never actually quilted, I’m sorry to report) was sloppy and, while tender in its innocence, pretty unappealing.  Over the years, there was some learning--visiting Grandma and getting schooled in how to make quilts the right way--and then some informed unlearning--the happy discovery of Gee’s Bend and the aesthetic of Denyse Schmidt.  I found out there are all kinds of ways to sew fabric together, and they are all good.  But here’s where I am right now:  I’m having a hard time with wonkiness.

I was way, way inspired by a pattern photo, hoo boy!  I went straight to the stash and cut up all my clothes.   By the way, the cutting up part?  Seriously fun.  I attacked this pile of scraps with vigor and zeal, and reduced it to a heap of strips in every angle, and then dove in.


Two things now—first, the pattern [there are so many inspiring patterns in this book, by the way, and I will probably attempt and fail several more of them] is great.  Incidentally, it also provides instructions for making this quilt “perfect”, if that’s how you roll, and that’s totally how I would roll now if the fabric weren’t already all cut up.  But that was not my plan going in.  No, I was going to fly by the seat of my pants, fling this thing together in a mad burst of creativity, threads a-flying.  No pinning, no measuring.  Out the window, rules!  See ya! 


Also, I am aware that I have taken the degree of “wonkiness” a good deal further than perhaps the designer intended, and let me say here, too, that a finished wonky-block quilt made by somebody else is a thing of beauty indeed and I admire it and wish I could go there, but right now, I can’t.  I seem to have gotten to the point where I like it when the seams are straight and all the corners line up and things are orderly.  I mentioned this to a friend who knows me well, and she gasped.  Well, you have to let yourself evolve, right? 


So, I folded these three blocks up neatly and rolled all the every-angled strips into a fussy and organized jelly-roll sort of thing and with pinkies in the air tucked it all very tidily into a bag to await the day I am once again prepared to let my freak flag fly.  Meanwhile, I guess I am into measuring things now, which is so weird it’s like I don’t recognize myself.