Wednesday, May 9, 2012

wonderful quilty distraction

I've been working on some quilts lately.  A couple weeks ago I was working obsessively on them, at the expense of every other area of my life.  Then I reached a point where I could no longer ignore the house, the laundry, or the mounting onesie orders.  So the quilts went on a short break.  But now I'm caught up on onesies, and the house isn't a super disaster right now, just a regular disaster, so the quilts are coming back out.  I consciously made this decision because I need a distraction for the next couple of days.  See, Nate has an interview tomorrow.  For a job near Chicago.  So at this point there is a slight chance that we could be moving back. We've been down this road before and been disappointed by the outcome, so I'm trying hard not to get worked up.  I'm trying not to even think about it at all because 1. so much excitement I can hardly keep from jumping up and down and squealing and 2. tons of anxiety about the logistics of moving, especially packing up this huge house and moving to a much smaller one.  Also 3. no point in feeling excited or nervous until the thing actually happens.  Which is hasn't yet.  So.  That is my life at the moment.  Trying not to think about the thing I've been hoping for/dreaming of for six years now.  Quilts to the rescue!

I have had plans to make these story quilts for several years now.  I've been slowly collecting and cutting novelty fabrics into squares.  Six months ago I bought enough backing fabric to construct three of these bad boys, two for friends and one for us.  And I finally cut into that fabric a couple weeks ago.  One thing I will say for myself is that even if it takes a super long time, I do usually follow through on a plan.  What does your workspace look like when you quilt and also sell onesies?  Something like this.  A big fat mess.

The pattern is from this book.  The idea is to use the paths (the straight lines) to move to the pictures (cut from all the novelty prints) and tell a story as you go.  You can tell a new story every time, because you take a different path or interpret a picture in a new way.  I fell in love with this idea.  It's right in my wheelhouse as far as believing that childhood is a time for simple pleasures and creative play.  It's entirely possible that nobody will use these quilts as intended.  My own boys might only use theirs as a way to keep warm while playing video games (cringe).  But I like that these quilts could possibly spark a child's imagination, and I'm going to cling to that even if it is a delusion.

So I have one completely pieced (the top is all sewn together), and the other is nearly pieced.  Then I just have to make the quilt sandwiches (easier said than done, as I'll have to actually sweep and mop the floor so I have a clean place to lay them out), and start quilting!  I bought myself a walking foot to make the quilting easier.  I'm going with simple straight line quilting, no free motion experimentation this time around.

I had tons of fun shopping for the fabric for these quilts.  The background fabrics were fun to pick out but the novelty prints were ridiculously fun.  Too fun.  Do you guys know how many adorable novelty prints are out there?  A LOT.  Fabrics that I would probably never be drawn to for another project were perfectly suited to these story quilts.  I had a hard time stopping.  In fact I still haven't stopped, even though I have more than enough for these three quilts, and many more after that.  I'm hoping to make one for my nieces and nephews (one per family), and probably some other friends too.  Hopefully I'll be showing you a finished project pretty soon.  In the meantime, here are some of my favorite story squares.  They are so cute.  I mean, a raccoon building a brick wall.  COME ON.

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