One of the many unfinished quilts I found when I took stock of the projects in my studio in 2014 was The Fish Quilt*. Inspired by a luscious fish print fabric, I selected fabrics to co-ordinate with its colors and made blocks using the traditional pattern Ocean Waves. I love the complex interplay of shape and color in the Ocean Waves block, especially when you put a bunch of them together, but I quickly discovered that they are a bear to piece.
See all those little triangles? To look just right, the points need to come together perfectly. This is where the
agony pain challenge is. In my mind, it’s the most difficult sewing out there.
My original plan was to make a quilt with 24 blocks in it. When I found this UFO**, I only had 14 blocks done. I knew how long it takes to piece just one of these blocks and I was unhappy to realize I was only halfway there.
So I employed the second strategy on my “What to do with my unfinished projects” list and went with a simpler plan. I decided a smaller quilt of 12 blocks would look just as nice as a big one of 24. So what if the quilt didn’t match anything in my living room? It was going to be the best sofa throw ever. In order to use all the blocks I had made, I decided to use the extras for pillow covers.
Once I put the top together, I knew I’d done the right thing. It’s not as big as I’d planned, but the illusion of motion I expect from an Ocean Waves quilt is there. I’ve finished the pillow covers, and I even experimented with the quilting on them, trying different patterns I might use for the quilt itself.
Having the pillows out on the sofa where I see them every day makes me smile. I thought that being reminded that there’s a quilt that needs my attention might be annoying, but it isn’t. Instead, I’m eager to get to my sewing room, and looking forward to the day when the throw joins the pillows on our sofa.
*”The Fish Quilt” is just the working title. I’ll probably call it something else when I put a label on it. Like “Be Amazed By The Pain-In-The-Ass Piecing, People!”
**UFO: in the quilting world, this stands for “Un-Finished Object”. The kinder term is WIP “Work in Progress”, but I’m geeky and love that it sounds like I have spaceships in my studio.