In August last year I started reading Organizing Solutions for Every Quilter by Carolyn Woods and began a campaign to sort through my cupboards, drawers, bookshelves – every nook and cranny of my studio – and organize, finish up, or move on….
This past week I donated two boxes of books, a couple of bags of fabric and 4 quilt tops to the White Elephant Sale. One of those quilt tops went home with Catherine, but it’s at her house now, not mine! All that stirring up of my studio helped me (re)discover a few stashes of fabric and/or projects that I had tucked away and forgotten.
After I finished two vintage/reproduction 9 patch quilts (seen in Scraps of Summer), I pulled out a bag of 4-patches and squares that I had found at the Depot of Creative Reuse years ago.
I had been drawn to the homey look of the blocks, mostly made from shirtings – long before shirting quilts became popular – and various plaids and prints from the 40’s and 50’s. But the blocks and squares were very wonky. That fact, and the notion that I would need to make many, many more of those tiny blocks to have enough even for a small quilt kept me paralyzed.
When I pulled out the unfinished project this time though, I told myself I had to either use the blocks or give them away. No more petting and admiring….
Without really thinking I put a few of the 4-patches next to each other on my design board. I realized I liked how they looked as 16-patches.
So I started sewing the 4-patches into larger units – and yes, I’ll admit it – I even took a few of the really wonky ones apart and fixed them. I sorted through my scraps and stash for other vintage scraps and shirting that fit the look of the original squares. Even though I was still working with small squares – 2 1/4″ – the finished block was 7″ and that seemed doable.
I sashed the blocks with a grey chambry and quilted it in 2″ diagonal lines.
Almost by magic, the dreaded project became fun and best of all – finished.
This process of sorting, moving on or finishing has made me think about what I am interested in finishing or doing, what I realistically have time to do and, more importantly, if a lanquishing project is still worth my time and effort. This one was and I’m so glad that I finished it.
Next -what to do with these four vintage clowns ?