Sunday, May 27, 2012

What Summer already?

This is the finished version of my previous post. It is so lively and looks like the crosses are dancing.  And who knew when I bought the bolt end of the red flower fabric that it would be just enough to complete this quilt. It explains why keeping a stash is important. I bought this several years ago and it was the perfect answer for this quilt.
My latest quilt started out like this.  I was considering using blank
alternating squares, but when I got a more complete mock up
the light square overwhelmed the blocks.  I even bought a
more fabric in hopes of making it work, but it didn't. .
And this is how it ended up.  Lots of wonky energy.   It reminds me of a carpet with fringe  on the ends.   It turned out that red was what I needed.  I also figured out how to make wonky 9 patches or whatever number of squares you want without having to cut them to size.  They are sewn to size and required no trimming.  The top and bottom borders were cut a little longer that needed but required little trimming.  I love wonky, but not having to cut everything to fit. 
These are a couple of the blocks patterns from the 30's that I cataloged at MSU Museum.  I just love the diagrams. Each of the pieces of the block pattern that are supposed to be prints has a different calico pattern carefully drawn in it.  Since this was pre computer you couldn't just fill in the blank with patterns made in your computer.   Each one is separately drawn based on the prints of the times. They are from my favorite pattern service, Needlecrafts (also known as OCS..Old Chelsea Station).which is the post office you sent your order too.  When I was a kid I can remember their ads in craft magazines, mainly for crocheting, knitting and clothing patterns.  I never ordered from them, but was intrigued by the range of patterns types the offered..

This brings me to why I haven't blogged in so long.  I got stuck.  The old patterns, especially from my favorite pattern service, OCS, were calling my name. When the blocks were put together like a tile floor or wall....side by side. Then they were often unexciting and I couldn't imagine making 20 to 30 of the same block. The blocks also have pieces that are unsual and can't always be cut with my rotary cutter. This would mean making templates for the block pattern.  Now I can see why so many quilters use patterns that are easily rotary cut and many of the old patterns are neglected.

 I love my improv, wonky style too.  What to do...go to the past and make those charming old block patterns or go forward with my own style.  I got stuck and I couldn't make up my mind.  I talked with some friends who have quilted as long as I have and they have the same problem.  It was good to know others wrestle with this.  In the end there is not single resolution.  I will make some of these old blocks and someday put them in "sampler" quilts.  Some of these old block patterns will be a launching pad for something new.  I will combine both old and new.  I just needed to accept that it is OK to do a little of both.  Has this every happened to you? You just couldn't move past a certain point and couldn't start any projects because of it.  


  1. I love your quilts. I too am trying to step out of my box. I also like the way you have used your scraps. You are an inspiration.

  2. I love both of your new projects! I'll call the second one "magic carpet." Red always seems to work. I think you're right about there being no single solution about what to make. Obviously, women of the past had much more patience, time, pride or something that we don't have anymore. I just make what I feel like making. Sometimes it's traditional, other times not. After all, this is about having fun. Right?

  3. Love the red with those wonky blocks.........ZING!!!! Those old block patterns are words to describe....neat and old!!!
    You are an inspiration.......and keep inspiring yourself and others...thanks for the update.

  4. Delightful quilts! Love your special touches.

  5. Glad you've rejoined the bloggers --- you sort of skipped past Spring. Isn't it amazing how the red pops those nine patches and they just got lost in the blue? --- great example. Makes me want to do something with nine patches.

  6. love the dancing crosses - lovely mix of colors and movement. I have certainly gotten stuck - so many options and not knowing which one to choose so i end up not making any of them. Just a thought on the magic carpet ride quilt - have you looked at it without the two side borders? it would seem airier, more likely to float away. no matter what, it's a fun quilt.