My king-sized maple leaf quilt is finally ready to sandwich. This means I am only a few steps from being done. Granted, actually quilting it is going to take a while, but the finish line is in sight. So what do I do? What anyone would do. Start three new quilts!
It began innocently enough. I was trying to get into a quilting frame of mind, so I watched a few videos by Karen Brown of Just Get It Done Quilts . One in particular, about using up challenging fabrics, got my attention. She used a stack-and-whack method using large-print fabrics. Quick to make, this quilt is great for picnics and other dirty jobs you wouldn’t use an heirloom for.
I’ve always been drawn to bold prints yet find them hard to use, so I was excited to have a project for them. I’m calling this my car quilt, something that can ride around in the trunk of the car and be used whenever you need it without worrying about ruining it. I happily pulled a bunch of large and difficult prints from my stash, most of which I have never cut into, and got sewing.
As soon as the blocks were done, I realized I needed sashing. They are just too wild and crazy to stitch together into a single top (even though that’s what Karen does). I auditioned a bunch of fabrics and realized that I needed a solid, something my stash lacks, but I couldn’t get to the store right away. While I was waiting, I watched some more videos and began piecing the leftover fabric from the blocks into a backing.
This lead me to The Last Homely House (TLLH) and Terry Rowland. I got excited about a “use up your scraps” project that both these women were doing, a scrappy square-in-a-square that is relaxed and easy to make. So relaxed and easy that I couldn’t resist pulling out my scraps and making some.
But I was also interested in TLHH’s English paper piecing (EPP) videos. I love hand-sewing and was intrigued by the little hexagons she was making. When I finally got to the quilt store to buy my sashing fabric, I also bought a little bag of pre-cut paper hexagons so I could start my own experimental EPP quilt.
In case it isn’t obvious, I love starting projects. Picking the fabrics and envisioning the final product is fun. So is the initial construction of the blocks. There’s something intensely satisfying in joining fabrics together with thread, seeing raw materials take on a new form and life. But do I really need to be making new quilts when I have so many unfinished ones?
One of my excuses for making the car quilt right now is that I can practice my machine quilting on it. I’ve been reluctant to sandwich the maple leaf quilt because I know my quilting skill are rusty. I want it to look really nice, so I need to warm-up on another quilt before I tackle that one.
The other two projects I can’t really justify, except that they are letting me use up lots of bits and pieces I’ve been holding on to. I have no end plan for either of them. I’m just making blocks and waiting to see what happens. Fortunately, I’m okay with that. It’s easy to get hung up on everything having a purpose, but sometimes (as my sister so eloquently put it) “you just gotta make things.”
At the moment, making things means quilting. I’m trying to make sure I use this enthusiastic energy to get these new projects as far down the road as I can. I’m trying not to start anything else even though I’m thinking it would be fun to paper piece a bed-sized postage stamp quilt using scraps from my stash. I’d like to actually finish something before I add another project to the list.
I’m also considering the idea that maybe I should stay away from YouTube. 😉
Have you ever started something new when you were trying to finish an existing project?