Friday, January 29, 2010

Mrs. Sew and Sew

My local quilt shop is having a pajama party this weekend. Several women are gathering, projects and snacks in tow, to work on a quilt project from 6:00 Saturday until noon on Sunday. I'm not able to attend the party, but it inspired me to have a little party of my own. A party of one, so to speak. Our weekend schedule allows for some extra sewing time, so I've been looking forward all week to burning a little midnight oil the next few nights.

Part of my 2010 resolutions involved making intentional time to be creative, AND finishing up some of the many works in progress around here. So, I dug around in the quilt closet and came out with a shoebox from a verrrrrry long time ago. I purchased this quilt kit at a quilt show in 1999 with the intention of making a twin sized quilt for Hannah's bed. The pattern is a flower basket made with scraps of pastel colors. I rotary cut the entire quilt more than a decade ago, but then never got around to making it. I decided to start with this project since it was already cut (which is a lot of work!), and because it was one of the more expensive projects in the closet (I need to feel like the money wasn't wasted after all!), AND because Hannah has mentioned several times per year for eleven years running that her quilt never got made (live-in accountability!).

Well, once I got all the pieces out and started working with the fabric, I didn't love it anymore. In fact, I didn't even like it. Fabric is funny that way. It is very fashion oriented and trends really do change quickly. The fabrics in this kit are very calico and country looking and to me they felt outdated and old fashioned. But, they were cut and ready to go! What I do love is the background fabric, which is a tender little floral. So, I decided to go ahead and work on it, hoping that it would grow on me, and realizing that the beauty of a scrappy look is mixing and matching fabrics from different ages and stages in the fabric fashion timeline.

My goodness, just look at that horrible tie dye fabric. Ick. What made me choose it to begin with? Honestly, it looks just as bad in a quilt block as it does on its own!

SO, the bottom line is that making time to quilt is less fun when you're working with fabrics that don't inspire you. But this little basket quilt became a mission. I'm determined to get this silly thing done, and without spending a lot of money to do it! No sense buying replacement fabrics when these are already cut.

THEN....I was reading my daily quilt blogs and I fell madly and deeply in love with a baby quilt that was nothing but fun and frolic. The photo I saw was made out of a Snippets charm pack, which is a fabric pattern from a few years ago. LOVED the fabrics, but knew they would be long gone from quilt shelves in this area.

SO, back to baskets. Lots and lots of (country, calico) baskets. This pattern is a boogie. A boogie and a half. It isn't difficult, but it is tedious, and the finished square is rather small, so you work hard for a tiny pay-off!

I stopped by the quilt shop on Wednesday to pick up some pink thread for the never ending baskets, and guess what I found on the shelf?!?!?!? A Snippets charm pack!!! Left over from ages ago! And for only $8! Clearly, this was meant to be!

SO, we interrupt this basket quilting weekend to bring some fun and frolic. Here's a sneak peek....

Oh, it's so adorable I can hardly stand it! A total blast to work on!

BUT, I will never, ever, ever, EVER live it down if I end this weekend with an unfinished basket quilt AND yet another started project. So now, the pressure is on. In order to justify my little Snippets love affair, I've got to make tracks with this basket quilt. Yes, it's the drama of the quilted baskets.

Yesterday I finally sat down to sew in the late afternoon. My Snippets top was (joyfully!!) completed, and I desperately wanted something smashing to use for the backing. I can't stick to my original plan to use basic muslin. I'm sorry. I just can't. The quilt is too adorable and begs for something precious for a big finish. So, I loaded up my kids to drag them to the quilt shop. (I knew it was wrong.....I knew it, I knew it, I knew it.) Turns out, the skies were dark as midnight and we weren't two minutes from the driveway when lightning and thunder surrounded us. I turned around, like I knew I should, and decided to take it as a sign that what I really needed to work on last night were MORE BASKETS.

After the kids went to bed, I stayed up late and fiddled with the baskets. Let me just say this is the quilt that will never end. I kept messing with the lay out and deciding I needed more blocks, then some more, then finally just seven more. I figured I may as well use up the fabric I have because I doubt I'll ever pull it out again in the future. Tempting as it is to just make a lap quilt (or a table runner!) and call it a day, I'm determined to see this thing through, and do it right.

BY the early morning hours, I am proud to say, I finally headed to bed, fully satisfied that I had enough baskets sewn and setting triangles cut to make an honest to goodness basket quilt.

So, my project for today is to assemble the top and (hopefully!) get it layered. Since I need more pink thread, I'm planning a trip to the quilt shop, where I hope to find the perfect backing for the Snippet quilt. In a perfect world, on the clearance table. Where perfect fabric almost never lives. :)
SO I'm headed in to the weekend fully prepared. The boys and I have plans for fun things we want to do together, and I have a couple of late night dates with some hideous tie dye baskets and a little snippet of wonderful.

And on a totally unrelated note, this adorable lion tamer is right in the big, fat middle of it all.

Whew! That was the loooooong version of the basket quilt story. Sorry!


Anonymous said...

Just because we're in New Mexico doesn't mean we aren't keeping tabs on ya'll. you should have seen dad's face when he read you're starting ANOTHER quilt! haha! i'm just glad my baby quilt is getting closer to being finished. ;) I'm also thankful you're enjoying a quiet weekend. Please let Mrs. B and mrs. P that everyone is doing great. looking forward to seeing you Sunday! Luv ya!
Hannah & Buzzard

Dandelion Quilts said...

I love basket quilts ....they seem to be "hot" again. AND I love pinwheels, this looks so cheerful!