January 8, 2012

On Finishing

Project 52.1

This year I'm completing projects. First up: a quilt for an old friend. I'd already made her one, but she pointed out that it needs washed once in a while. a quilt -- primary colors with a red binding --a few years ago, but she wanted a second one.

She was hoping for colors like rust, brown, aubergine, orange, gold:  the vibrancy of falling leaves. Those colors remind me of every boring antique quilt I've ever seen, and I can't stand the thought of working with them. I found a substitute:  turquoise and tangerine.  That combination developed from the first fabric I chose for her, the birdhouses you see above.

This is the only fabric that appears twice in the quilt. That's because Mary has a number of vintage birdhouses ornamenting her lawn / garden in South Carolina.  Here's a photo from the summer of 2011:

Every decision about the quilt emerged from the birdhouse fabric.  It allowed for turquoise, which allowed the peace sign fabric, which freed me to use any other color I wanted. The Jetson-looking tangerine blobs convinced me to make the entire quilt from 18" squares. I like those blobs very well and didn't want them lost.
I hand-quilted the piece with orange thread, and this afternoon I finished hand-sewing vintage binding onto it.  I was then going to write my name, the date, the location (information all quilters are encouraged to include), but once I started writing I couldn't stop until I'd gone around 2.5 times.

Then I traced around my left hand, because I love the shape of hands and also because Mary Flowers once told me she would recognize my hand if we were separated by fifty years and all she saw was one finger.  (Do you know what I call that?  I call that enduring friendship. And thus we have The Enduring Friendship Big Block Quilt.)
What did I notice in forcing Project 1 through to completion (and, trust me, it was a forced completion; yesterday I came up with a new idea; I had to remind myself I was determined to complete one project a week in 2012 and I was rapidly running out of week)?
I noticed 
--that I like the look of handwriting around the inside borders of a quilt backed with white muslin.
--that I might enjoy making a quilt in which my words, in various colors, become the pattern.  That idea is a bit nerve-wracking; what would happen if after investing ten or twenty hours in writing I added something I didn't want to keep in the finished quilt?
--that sometimes I worry needlessly about silly things that are resolved once I get on with the project.

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