I've had this quilt hanging on my design wall for a few weeks now, while I pondered it. I pondered if I liked the binding, the only print I had left of the four I used. I pondered whether I wanted to write a pattern. I wondered if I should have made it bigger. I made it quickly, only taking about a week from start to finish, and then for some reason I wasn't ready to photograph it. I just needed to let it sit.
This is actually one of my favourite quilts that I've made this year. I love its use of 4 shapes (2" hexagons, 2" squares, 2" 6 point diamonds, and 2" triangles), each with a corresponding colour. I love the limited palette, the not-quite-solids that are very definitely a specific colour, but still have the depth and texture and interest that pattern brings. I love the fussy cutting of that old Chicopee stripe I'd been saving for something like this.
But when I stitched up the last shape, quilted it with black perle cotton, and bound it in that busy stripe, I started to feel uneasy. Why was that?
Today has been a very successful list-shrinker for me. A whole day of sun, a line full of washing, and I found myself in the mood for tackling my sewing room, which is very quickly becoming more like an archeological dig. Piles of debri cover every surface, including my long buried sewing machine. I started folding and tidying fabric, emptying old project boxes (I always keep a quilt on the go together in a box, and the left over fabric and templates usually stay there for weeks afterwards), putting away scissors and rulers and other notions. I discovered a forgotten mini-quilt top that I basted, quilted and finished in a flash. Yes! And then I remembered this quilt. There's nothing like a little success to make you brave something you've been avoiding.
I had thought that my main uneasiness about it was the binding. I wondered if it was too busy, to buzzy. But after auditioning a bunch of other prints, I realised I liked it just fine. If I had had more of that wonderful burnt orange, maybe I would have used that, but I didn't. And of what I had in my stash, this was the best choice.
So I took both mini quilts out into the warm sun to photograph. I enjoyed the rest-time quiet around my house. I found colourful, shady spots, like the side of this old shipping container, and I tried to remember why I'd taken so long to show you this quilt.
And then I remembered that quiet, stern voice. The one of pressure and expectation. All the shoulds started to bubble up within me. The ones that think they know best when it comes to business strategy and planning, but have no idea about creativity and expression and colour just for the sake of it.
There were all kinds of good reasons to make this quilt. I used shapes from my Shape Family Pack, it's an interesting mix of shapes that would work well for a kit, it would be a useful tutorial to have on my blog. But really, when it came down to it, I just made it for fun! No notes about fabric yardage, not enough progress shots, not even a clear idea of how I put it together. I just added pretty, covered papers one at a time, until it grew to a point where I was ready to stop. No strategy, no planning. Just making and cups of tea, and movies by the fire.
And that's why I felt uneasy. And I didn't realise it until today, with the sun shining and the mess clearing. Sometimes it takes a day like this to bring those old, habitual feelings out into the light to see them for what they are.
When I think about what I really want from this new business, and what I want to offer you, it's inspiration. I want to make the things that spark my interest. Quilts that are fun, that try new things, or re-imagine old ideas. Sometimes there'll be new patterns, or kits, or tutorials, and sometimes there'll just be a picture and a story and a willingness to answer any questions if you'd like to make your own. Thinking about it that way makes me so excited to be here! And eager to finish my next quilt!