This is the quilt where I learned to appreciate applique. And, it's last year's Cmas quilt. This post has some close up pictures of the blocks. My mentor made one of these from a kit and she loaned me the patterns and I did my best to recreate her work, right down to the quilting her longarmer did. My mentor helped me pick fabrics and loaned me her quilt to take pics of each block before she hung it. It was very fun and took a big chunk of last year.
I can't just sew. I have to think while I'm doing it. And, the more stressed I feel outside of my sewing space, the more time I spend thinking about while I'm sewing. Soooo, I had to come up with a formula for the string pieced blocks. I can't do random. I wish I could, but random just never looks right. My formula for these is
2 narrow dark strings,
2 strings with white background,
2 ugly fabrics that I thought I'd never get rid of,
1 or 2 that lean in a yellow/gold direction and
two hst's from my bag of hst's and they can meet one of the criteria above.
Fill in with a couple of my lovely tone on tone strings left over from previous quilting projects and I'm done.
Well, half done. I'm working 5 blocks at a time instead of the 2 that Bonnie suggested and timed myself this morning (remember that my mind must keep working). It took an hour to half finish 5 blocks, so about 2 hours to complete 5 blocks. When I break it down, I've certainly made a lot of blocks for other quilts that took longer than that. It makes it sound so much more "do-able".
And, in case you're wondering where that wonderful bag of neutral hst's came from, well, this quilt left me with a lot of them. While that neutral background looks like one fabric, it's actually made up of a bunch of tone on tone prints that were very close in value. I also had some others in there left from other projects...way more than the 120 required for these 60 string blocks...especially since some of them are big enough to cut in half.
I don't know why I'm so drawn to my quilting. I can say that it gives me a peace that I don't fully understand. It's taught me that everything doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful. I've learned that I can do anything I'm willing to practice and that if I have patience, rewards do come. It's given me a place away from the hustle and bustle; a place to retreat and to hide and to lick my wounds and to prepare for what's coming.
Everyone should have a hobby or a gift or a something that gives them this much pleasure.