With every “mistake” a quilter thinks she makes, comes a “design opportunity,” whether it is running out of fabric, or a cutting or sewing mistake. Here is a story that includes all of those “design opportunities.” It started with an image of a quilt called View in Cheryl Arkinson’s book called A Month of Sundays.
The book is about using low -volume fabrics: fabrics with lots of white background and/or very muted colors. Intrigued by the concept I decided I not only wanted to try making a low volume quilt, I wanted to make that quilt – exactly that quilt with the block of very pale squares/scraps floating in the bottom right hand corner, surrounded by the softest pale pink print.
I found a yard of the perfect pale pink check in my stash. I went through my scraps and fat quarters and pulled the palest, softest low volume fabrics I had. I purchased a few fat quarters for extra variety. I was ready to start sewing. The block of squares was the easy part. I added the borders to the top and bottom of the block and then the first side….
Uh, oh…, I put the block in the top of the quilt rather than at the bottom but I’ve already added the first border…. Should I take it off? Listening to my internal “Catherine” voice I told myself “no ripping” and decided I kind of liked my version. Ok, now the final side. Measure twice, cut once…. WHAT!!??? How did that happen?!?! I know I measured the quilt correctly…. I don’t have enough fabric to cut a new border…. I suppose I could piece it and make it the right size….
At that point I took a few deep breathes, had a cup of tea and stared at my too short final border and at the small pile of extra scraps on my table….hmmmm. Those design opportunities were piling up.
In the process I quit kicking myself for cutting the final border too short. My mistake gave me an opportunity to create my own low volume quilt – based on Cheryl’s quilt – but not her’s exactly.
If you think this is a cautionary tale, it’s not. Quilting isn’t about doing everything perfect because mistakes happen. Quilting is about being creative and enjoying the process. And, by the way, I highly recommend Cheryl’s book – “View” is only one of 16 different projects in the book using low-volume fabrics – but make your own version. You can also check out her blog: http://naptimequilter.blogspot.com/