I started a new quilt this week. It took me a long time to figure out the fabrics. The pattern is going together quickly (hooray!). Color scheme is much more subtle than my usual project. I’m using navy blue, tan, cream, gray, and medium blue batiks. Much MUCH quieter than my usual color selections. A quilting friend saw the project yeserday and noticed, saying “these are very different colors compared to your usual choices”. It is hard not to add some bright color but I am trying something new and hope it will yield a subtle, tranquil quilt.
Here are the 4-piece blocks. This will be 65″ x 65″ – sort of a lap quilt.
Blocks are 15.5″ square.
In this photo, on the right, I’m experimenting with borders. The outer border is a lovely brown with “ginko leaf scroll” in gray. I’ve saved this fabric for awhile, waiting for the right project. The second border is a solid light gray. A quilting friend here, Judi, recommended I add a skinny 3rd border which will be the cloudy gray batik or, more likely, the dark brown you can see in the 3rd position. I do not have any navy blue in my stash large enough to create a border. Living in Ecuador has its joys and tribulations: read further.
“Mud Slide” is the name I’ve given to the pattern I found in a downloadable magazine I subscribe to, Quilter’s World. ( Spring 2014, Fat Quarter Slide pattern)
Plentiful quilting agazines are impossible to get in English here in Ecuador so a wonderful solution is a downloadable pattern or magazine. I often find free patterns in back issues of Quilter’s World, which are included in the cost of a yearly subscription, making the magazine very affordable.
Brief Pause: A HUGE special thank you to a friend, Patti H., who brought back a huge, generous chunk of fabric in her suitcase, after visiting the US last month. That chunk included all of the half yards of blues/brown/cream/gray shown here. There are very few 100% quilting cottons in Cuenca, Ecuador where we live. So I am constantly buying online and bringing fabrics from the US. Also my daughter, Tenley, is the receiver of a huge amount of fabric before my visits back to the US each year. So, I want to shout out a BIG appreciation for Patti’s willingness to pack this substantial 14 yards of fabric in her luggage. That included 9 yards of fabric to be used as backing for the king size quilt/bedspread I am also slowly completing for my own use. And to Tenley for being my US fabric warehouse throughout the year.
2014 is a year of making quilts for use in my own home. I have 8 quilts hanging in various rooms and more on beds. Next year, I expect to make some quilts to sell. Last year, I made a lot of quilts for other people. It all balances out over time.
So how is all of this a metaphor for life? Quilting represents so many things to so many people. It is a hobby, a livlihood, a nuisance, a joy, a repository of future hopes, a way to show love, a creative outlet and also challenge, and a place where people can get stuck but then work their way out of the puzzle. Also, here is the special bonus: recent studies show the act of quilting – the math, the selection of tools, fabrics, patterns – all of it, the coordinating of colors, the piecing and stitching, all help keep a person’s memory sharp as years roll by. Even better for memory enhancement, in one study, than chess and bridge!
Life rolls from one season to another, days marching past as we pursue whatever things are filling up our lives. Life just happens. We can plan and dream and create and explain. All the while, life is marching past us. It seems terribly important to do what you can to make your life moments reflect what is most important to you.
For your life, dare to dream, dare to try something new this week. Dare to be moral and ethical and care for the environment as you live each day of this new season. Dare to be passionate about the earth and appreciate what you have today.
Have a terrific week!