100 Quilts

Christmas Star Quilt

I was ready for a new Christmas Quilt. So one day in October, when I had twenty minutes free of grading, I thought about what I wanted, and really really thought I could get it done by December 1st. So I cut out a bunch of patches, and sewed up this square.

Then the grading kicked in, Christmas fol-de-rol arrived and the patches still sat on the cutting mat.
This whole time I’ve had this patch up on the pin wall, and have thought, well. No.

Here I spent all this money on this fabric and I hate the quilt. I remember evaluating dresses I was making in high school, hating them all, thinking why did I waste my time on this? And then I remember my mother saying to me that you can’t judge the success or failure of a sewn outfit until you get the hem in. Of course, she’s right. She’s my mother. So obviously I can’t judge a quilt by one block.

Another factor in the design was my push-back against one-patch quilts–simple designs I see all over the web on my blogs. Quilts used to be about the grid and the geometric-ness of it, if I can make up that word. Then the art quilt hit, and people left the grid behind and certainly the quilt world is better for it. I love many of them.

And the current craze of one-patch or simple designs I think is a result of the large-scale design on a piece of fabric–a design that would just not look good cut up into teensy squares/triangles/rectangles and then sewn back together.

But when I glance at a bed, while I like the large-scale prints and the simple designs, I still long to see something more traditional and perhaps more elaborate, a secondary design that might percolate up from the first blocks placed together. So I got out my trusty-dusty quilt block book, which is simply pages of flannel interspersed with paper. It allows me to plan out a block in a portable form.

Four blocks done. I like how it’s coming along. I no longer believe it will be done quickly–it takes some planning and sewing time–but I think I’ll have it done by this Christmas. Maybe.