As soon as I saw Anna Maria Horner's Skipping Stones and Mod Corsage, I thought of this. Actually, I thought of something with many more blocks, but this afternoon, with the rain pouring down, and the kids each engaged, I sat down to give this quilt my attention, to have my own little play time.
We're getting ready to launch our Paper Piecing business, and we're so, so close! But you know that feeling when you're moving house and there's just odds and ends left, and no right box to fit them in? That's how this week has felt. Each job that I could do that would get us closer across the line, was waiting on something else to arrive, or be finished. And so instead of flitting between one half job and the next, and not really feeling like I was accomplishing anything, I decided to take the weekend to do some machine stitching, and let the jobs pile up a bit so I could attack them with more certainty on Monday.
I sewed these ladies to the 12.5" squares behind them, and then sewed them together so that the flowers I added to their hair could overflow into the next block. I just love these lacey ladies, cut using a template in EQ7. This fabric brings up all kinds of nostalgia for me. Brooches. British Queen Stamps. Lace curtains. I have about a million other quilts in my head yet to make from them. Then I cut and arranged flowers and leaves. This is my favourite part. The playful, I'm not working, but I'm creating part. The part where I go, Holy Moly, this is actually working! And better that I imagined. There's nothing quite like that giddy feeling! Then I used ordinary glue stick to hold the collage pieces in place, and took the patchwork over to my machine.
Using an open foot, I free-motion stitched all around each little collage. On second thoughts, I wonder if it would have been best to do this after I made the quilt sandwich, so I was quilting it at the same time. When it came to quilting I felt stuck because I didn't want to detract from the other stitching.
My stitching is a little messy, sometimes bunching the flower beneath it. But when you're making for you, it's almost half the fun. I say almost because it's still frustrating, but also very liberating when that voice in you head can say, "There's no way I'm unpicking that!"
And then when I held it up and stood back, I felt so clearly that it was finished. My plan had been to do 4-blocks at a time and then stitch them together into a bigger quilt. But I so enjoyed this as a mini, I didn't want to risk losing that by making more. And so I quilted along the seams, figuring that would be enough to hold it together if it was just going to hang on my wall, and bound it with Free Spirit Designer Essential Solid in Oriental Blue, the exact tealy blue that's scattered throughout the flowers.
I pinned it to my design wall. I haven't been using it much these days, and then came out to announce my finish, but instead was confronted with the creative play my two year old was engaged with, allowing me to sew. A dark, sparkly, powdery mess covered her face and hair and hands, the carpet and the quilts in her bedroom. She had found my makeup...