Sunday, July 29, 2007

Starting a new quilt

It was the worst of summer days with both temperature and humidity index in the high 80s. Without air conditioning, how to be comfortable? Move as little as possible and have a fan aimed at you. That can be accomplished by reading -- and I did read the Sunday Times a bit more conscientiouisly and thoroughly than usual and am still puzzling over parts of the crossword puzzle. Some activity was necessary, laundry, shopping. Then is decided to make a start at the "chicken quilt" about which I have been mumbling. This is some of the fabrics I had gathered to think about using. I was not certain what kind of background patchwork I wanted to make.
Many people, often those who are truly artists, do a lot of drawing and thinking and planning and then know what they'are aiming at doing. I can't work that way. Which is a bit stupid and has been known to produce ugly results. I work spur-of-the-moment and so I decided the chickens [roosters, really] need a background that is not too distracting. Could have been black, as in the fabric they are printed on, but I chose red. A variety of reds. And then what? I wanted another color or two or three to tone down the red. So I chose several fabrics including lots of deep greens and began sewing. I'm not even going to try to describe what I'm doing beyond that much. I'm not sure it will work. But I spent a good part of the afternoon sewing squares, cutting fabric as I went along. I know how they'll be put together -- in theory, but they'll have to be laid out for me to make choices because there's a scrappy varaibility in the blocks. When I have 35 blocks together, I'll fuse the roosters on. This is the rooster fabric. They are truly grand birds!
When the rooster fabric has had fusable backing applied they will be fussy cut ... THAT is going to take a good bit of time. I have a fuzzy picture in my mind what the quilt will look like. I won't be coming back to this topic for about two months because it is going to be at least that long before I make any picture-able progress, I think.

This is not entirely a spur of the moment quilt, it's one of the mental USOs [Un-started objects] I've had in mind quite a while. Over a year ago a vender at an Empire Quilters meeting had the rooster fabric and I purchased a yard of it. I was drawn to it because the farm I grew up on had chickens but of the most utiilitarian type -- Plymouths which were white and Rhode Island Reds, which were redish brown. The former laid white eggs and were fairly sizable birds with good sized eggs; the latter had brown eggs, also at least medium size. Both were edible birds and eat them we did when the abundance of males grew to frier size or when the layers [hens] were getting old and were good for stewing. It was all very practical and they were not particularly pretty -- certainly not like those on the fabric. The first time I saw beautifully plumed chickens was in Nepal where the hens produced eggs and at least some roosters must have been eaten. They were so lovely I photographed them which caused the locals some amusement since they took their chickens for granted. So, as usual, this "chicken quilt" has personal meaning to me and I'll be especially pleased if it should turn out well. For now, who knows? I'm hoping and making choices really by the seat of my pants.

No comments :