Thursday, September 19, 2013

I Broke a Rule...because I like my things to be Something!

When I got into this love of quilting, I set rules for myself.  I could see that other quilters tended to fall into certain habits or have similar struggles and I wanted to save myself from that.  So I made rules.  Very simple rules. 

1)  I only work on one quilt at a time.  ( I can do other sewing and creative things, but only one quilt)
2)  I don't buy fabric for a new quilt until the last quilt I worked on is complete.  Completely complete.  (I haven't done any hand quilting or hand binding yet.  If I ever do, that will be an exception because I have tendonitis issues and I wouldn't want to stress my hands out just to hurry to get to the next quilt).
3) I don't buy fabric unless it's for the quilt I am working on.  (I just found a local quilt store and I suddenly understood why quilters just buy a yard of this, a fat quarter of that.  There are amazing fabrics and I want to use them.  But I'll just have to plan a quilt around them and put it in line!)
4) I don't make a quilt unless it has a purpose.  (Lately those purposes have been gifts for family and friends.  At some point I may run out of people to gift to and I might try selling them on etsy but for now, I want it to be more personal)

I love my rules.  It helps me not spend all of my time and money on quilting (which I probably would if I didn't have rules because I come up with new quilt ideas almost every other day.  It doesn't help that I'm in math classes with graph paper so if I get a little day dreamy I can sketch out my hearts content of Half Square Triangles).  It helps me focus on one thing and have the awesome feeling of accomplishing something and be excited to move onto the next instead of looking at the list of unfinished things to be done.  

So now to the rule breaking.  I have a really good reason (said everyone who has ever broken a rule).  The GillyWhig quilt is sitting in my craft room, backing pieced and batting preshrunk and everything ready to baste for quilting.  But I reeeeeaaally want to free motion quilt it.  I have this awesome idea of clouds and swirly lines representing wind (to blow the whirlygigs).  However!...I have never done free motion quilting.  I need to practice on something.  And for some reason I'm having a hard time just taking extra fabric and batting and practicing.  I still want my practice to be Something, not just a throw away.  Is that crazy?  It sounds like it when I say it, but in my heart, I feel like it's not.  Because I'm a maker and I want my practice to still make something.  (This is me, I kept the first cable swatch I knit - using a pencil because I didn't have a cable hook or stitch holder - and I used it for the handle of a purse I made from an old ski hat around a year later.  So I think it's just part of who I am.)

I started another quilt.  And here come some more excuses.  
A-it's not a full quilt, it's only a wall hanging, probably around 2 feet square
B-it's something I'm going to love for more than one reason (and I don't like making things I don't love)
C-the piecing is a trial run for an idea I had for another larger quilt  (see?  I like my practice stuff to still be Something!)
D-all the fabric I've used for it has been scraps so far (impressive since I buy just a few inches more of what I need, typically (I'm on a budget!) and I only have scraps from 2 quilts)

These are my stacks of 1" cut squares.  Yep, they're going to be 1/2" finished.  Mini is so adorable.  I love them!  I sort of want to be surrounded by towers of 1" squares of fabric.  How can I add this into the decor???

Of course, now that I've started this quilt, I don't want to mess it up with a first attempt at free motion.  So I'm back to my old problem.  My sister said just practice on some big square that can be turned into potholders.  So something along those lines.  Maybe a cute bag or something instead, though.  Potholders never held much interest in my mind.  And I only make what I love, so a bag would work, yeah?  What are your ideas?

See you soon!
(with a look at how I'm making my illegal wall hanging!)

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