Gosh, I've been having the best time in the studio this week. Before tackling the cleaning of the work table, I rummaged around my various stashes for a suitable backing for the Sea and Sand quilt. And look what I found lurking in my batiks! I needed at least a yard and a half of a full 44 inch wide fabric (to keep from having to seam two pieces together) and by some miracle, I had purchased 2 yards of this. I'd noted the price and where I'd bought it on the selvage - $6.98 a yard at a quilt shop here in my little town, one that was a favorite because they carried not only contemporary fabrics, but also beads and yarns. Unfortunately, it went out of business a few years after I discovered it. But their beautiful fabrics live on in my stash!
Next up - clearing off that work table. I quickly realized I did not have to get everything off it. About a third still has its piles mostly untouched, but the rest has been put away or at least moved out of the way into the closet. Going through what was there was a bit like an archeological dig, some bits puzzling (what in the heck project is this from?) some surprising (this is from last year, or maybe older?), some memory jogging (oh yeah, I left this out because I thought I could . . .). Lastly, the hunt for an appropriate batting in the proper size. It's been so long since I've had to check my supply of anything save Thermore that I wasn't sure I had what I needed. In fact, I must have stocked up during a sale because I have several untouched queen or king size batts, several "craft" or "crib" sizes and lots of partials - all in a variety of fiber combinations. I always hate cutting a chunk out of a big batt - just the logistics of it; it's actually very cost effective to buy the biggest batt rather than buying smaller sizes to come closest to the exact size you need. Look at this - I had a piece of Hobbs 80/20 that was just (and I DO mean just) the right width and not too much extra in the length. Everything got smoothed into place without a hitch, and I was ready to start pinning.
And it was a little past lunchtime so I meant to take a break. But that empty design wall and the pieces for the next quilt beckoned. Oh, just put up the sashing strips (which I'd kept in order - probably makes no difference but I thought maybe the pattern across the fabric might be discernible if I did). Oh, and what if I place rectangles between two sashings, just to get a feel for how the colors might be arranged. Then it was, I think I need to put them up in each row across where they will fall to get a better idea. And by then, I couldn't pull myself away until all the rectangles were in place. Look at my bright beautiful quilt top! Because my fabrics and colors are so different from the ones in the pattern I'm following, mine has a very different feel but I am loving it. (And so what if lunch was REALLY late that day.)
That picture is a bit deceptive though. I didn't bother to put up those tiny 1 x 2-1/2 inch pieces that act as sashing or spacers between the top and bottom of each rectangle. They go in no particular order and I have them stacked and ready to go so I can do a bit of chain stitching when I start sewing the top together. Here I've placed a few so you can get an idea of how they will slightly change the look. Oooo, I am excited! (Can you tell I'm feeling better?)
Excited too about Sea and Sand being on the verge of ready to quilt. As you can see in the top photo, pins are in and ready to be closed, then I'll hand baste around the edge of the top. I may do some marking of the quilting, but I'll be doing some stabilizing stitching in the ditch first - thread all picked out. However, something tells me that this second quilt might just get sewn together first.
Oh, and here's the ponder, a 1982 quotation from the ever irreverent but often spot on comedian George Carlin. Kinda fits my mood these days and certainly mirrors my feelings about the world we've been living in where it is all about tying your worth to how much you can produce in the shortest amount of time at the most profit. Taking a breather is not lost time.
It’s the American view that everything has to keep climbing: productivity, profits, even comedy. No time for reflection. No time to contract before another expansion. No time to grow up. No time to fuck up. No time to learn from your mistakes. But that notion goes against nature, which is cyclical. And I hope I’m now beginning a new cycle of energy and creativity.