Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New year, new quilt

I wasn't thinking about buying fabric, I had just found the new quilt store near the Goodwill donation drop. It looked interesting - well stocked, well organized, the clerks cheerful and helpful. So I thought I'd take a look around.

And then I saw the red fabric. Now, you have to understand that I almost never use red anywhere. Don't wear it, don't decorate with it (unless it's Christmas!) and seldom put it in quilts. But this was subtle red, with a William Morris influence to the flower print, and I realized that I really liked it and should buy some for my stash.

Let's talk about that stash. There is a five foot wide closet in the third bedroom / computer room / general-messy- projects room and it's FULL. The top two shelves in the closet are filled with completed quilts and the rest contains sorted boxes of fabric, quilt kits, tools, patterns, sewing machines, batting. Let's just say that if I never bought another scrap my hobby would be well supplied for the rest of my days.

After I decided to buy some of the red fabric, the floodgates opened. It was a large-ish print so would be better used in borders and center squares of blocks. Since I like to cut borders on the straight grain without seams if possible, and since I almost always do bed-size quilts instead of wall or lap quilts, that meant at least three yards of red print fabric. I got four yards to be safe.

But would the red have companions to mesh well together? Maybe the color scheme was so different from my usual choices that my stash didn't have coordinating fabrics. I decided that I would pick up a bunch of fat quarters that pulled out the colors in the main print.

You notice that I haven't talked about pattern yet. I didn't know. That would come later. This happens often. A fabric catches my eye and I know I will do something with it, so I get it, and sure enough a project comes to mind. I don't buy many kits and almost never copy a quilt from a magazine. My taste runs to traditional patterns and color combinations. I'm not a fabric artist. It would be wonderful to be that creative, but it's just not in me. I make bed quilts, cheery and comfortable.

So, when I return home I have the quilt-in-the-making all bagged up. I should stash it in the closet and work on another project that's already started, right? Nope. In the car on the way home I had decided to make an Ohio star with sashing built into the block (see picture). So, as soon as I got home I just HAD to cut it out. Then, I just HAD to make the first row. It's an addiction, I tell you.

But after that, our horrible summer started and we were consumed with doctor visits and outpatient procedures. It didn't really stop until after Halloween, and then there were the holidays. So, the quilt had to wait until today.

And now I have a reason to complete it. My brother-in-law is moving back east from Seattle after retirement. He might also remarry - that's not set yet. But wouldn't this make a great wedding present? Wedding or housewarming gift, it's going to his new home.

The only problem is, last month I went back to the quilt shop after delivering some toys to the Toys For Tots barrel at the shopping center. There was this beautiful burnt orange print, you see, and my brother just loves orange............

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