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Monday, August 08, 2005

Eureka!!


Things here have gotten interesting!! My 15 yr old son Jeff has a friend who just graduated highschool. Cullen is the son of a single parent mother, and his mother just relocated (I think there is a boyfriend involved, and that is why Cullen was reluctant to go too..not sure yet) out of town. Cullen has a steady job here and wants to go into the military, so needs a temporary place to stay until he gets his ducks in a row. So...I now have an adoptee son added to the household! Cooking for 4 isn't any harder than cooking for 3, and he is a great kid and I'm glad to have him here. So is Jeff. I think he has missed having his big brother around since Jason moved out a few years ago. (Jason is 21, will be 22 in nov..)

My friend had an extra twin matress, so the massage table came down in what WAS the office/massage therapy room, and Cullen can have that room for as long as he needs it.

The Eureka part of this post is.......here I was knocking my head feeling like I couldn't get interested in another project, where did my steam go, etc? Guess what I discovered? It shouldn't be much of a revelation, but......I had been trimming and cutting scraps down, and there was this little pile of leftovers that weren't long enough to be strings, weren't big enough to be strips or squares, and I couldn't chuck them. Still, I'm talking SMALLER than 6" long and some really narrow stuff here. So....I cut some 4" foundation papers from the deli papers I use for string piecing, and I started piecing string blocks with them. They are so cute and will finish at only 3.5". I remembered a pic of an antique quilt that I had seen and tried using a comon fabric for down the center of the block. It doesn't have to be EXACTLY centered, and it looks more charming if it IS a bit off....but still, I think the pink that I chose is either a) too narrow, or b)too light? Any comments? I really didn't want to go BLACK or RED..it seems like red is a neutral in lots of my quilts as it is :)

So what was the Eureka lightbulb? I loved piecing on these because the pieces were already cut and I could do LIBERATED things with them....letting things be wonky. The problem with my mitre boxes blocks? I had to pull stash and cut 1.5" strips from YARDAGE! ACKKK! 4 strips for every two blocks....unfold, cut, refold, put away, pull new....matching fabrics and trying to get variety? Now I know why I love my scrap bins so much...it's all there, I just need to sit and sew! So what will happen to the mitre box blocks? I think I'll still keep them on a back burner. I'll cut strips for them from other things I am cutting, like when I am cutting bindings or borders etc...or trimmings from backings...I'll have a mitrebox strip bin and pretty soon I CAN just sit and sew without having to pull 4 pieces of yardage and cut for every 2 blocks. I think being a scrap quilter has spoiled me! I can sit and sew instantly if I am working with bits and snips.

I read a quote from another quilter that rings so true to me, and it IS a moment of realization. Jamie Wallen wrote:
"I came into quilting from a fine art background and the age-old curse of forgetting what you already know kicked in and held me prisoner for a minute (OK months). Then I remembered the rule I've always lived by, "If the train doesn't stop at your station, well then it's not your train."

I think alot of us want to quilt like "so and so" and try so hard to go in avenues that are just not our train!

Really arty abstract quilts are not my train. Baltimore applique is stunningly beautiful, but is not my train either. All are so beautiful to look at, but that isn't the music my instrument plays. Oh, how I love two fabric quilts....I love the blue and white, and the red and white....gorgeous...could I piece one? Kicking and screaming maybe! (maybe not!) I've got to have alot of different fabrics and colors and textures going in my fabrics (size and scale of print, geometrics, stripes) to keep my mind from going numb with boredom.

So the moral of the story is, if you find yourself stuck in a rut and can't find out WHY you can't get excited about that next project....maybe it just wasn't your train! Never fear, there'll be another one along in a bit that might just be perfect for you....I hope you enjoy the ride!

Bonnie

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4 comments:

Finn said...

Bonnie, I think the pink looks good. Squinting, I see the distinct pink "box", and being narrow it's not overwhelming. It seems ok to me.Gentle and friendly. On the other hand,
have you considered yellows? I saw a neat string quilt in the Smithsonian quilts that had the center string yellow, and it really was striking.
If you haven't checked out string quilts(and more links to them) at the Smithsonian, I highly recommend it.

Tonya R said...

Maybe some variety in the pinks? Different pink fabrics and/or different widths, maybe use some angle cuts? It's looking great and cheery as is. Love the train analogy.

Cathi said...

The whole train thing... Nicely said, Bonnie...

Sharon said...

Funny, Bonnie - I was just watching Gee's Bend quilters on PBS last night, and they called this particular setting "rooftop". Never having heard it called that, I was interested in hearing why - when you lay on your back, and look up at an old roof interior, you see it joined like these 4 blocks are. How about some black or dark strings to make it pop?