Sunday, November 09, 2008

Scrap quilts

It's embarrassing to admit I was ever so naive as to actually think those gorgeous scrap quilts in magazines and booke were the result of a quilter just dumping her scape bag out and setting to work sewing -- or cutting strips, squares or triangles. I've tried that and I find it satisfying as I use up scraps and ultimately seriously disppointing because the results are always more chaotic than I like. This is on my mind because I recently unearthed a bunch of square-in-square squares plus strips I'd cut to sew between them. Then I remembered it became a UFO because the squares were a chaotic mess and I also had started to hate the dusty rose stripping fabric.

This was brought more to mind when closet cleaning. I came upon the similar quilt I made after putting away the UFO -- not SOOO very different but much more thought out, more consistent. The top photo is the planned one -- all center squares are 2x2 and all are plains; the strips around them were from the scrap bag but carefully chosen; I'd decided on a dark/light rhythm and that was reversed with the fabrics I chose for the outside strips, one a light pink reads-as pattern and the other a deep eggplant. So this quilt has consistent pattern and the center squares are different colors which I find adds spice. I like this quilt but now, living with it for three or four weeks, I'm starting to think it's a little static. What a fickle eye I have. But one learns by actually thinking about things and asking oneself how it "feels" because individual taste arises from individual temperament
This is the former UFO, very higgley-piggley fabrics and widths of the strips and the inside squares and only consistent because that dusty rose that I still don't like much puts a kind of damper on all the chaos. I'm beginning to think I like the greater feeling of spontaneity here although I don't like some specific blocks. The UFO got lightly quilted yesterday and today will be bound and finished. It is only lap size. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it, probably give it away eventually.

I suppose if I were a different temperament I would take art and design classes and work at this color/pattern understanding in some structured way with teachers who know the accepted theories. But I've got a do-it-yourself attitude and actually am having fun looking at and comparing my own work and stumbling impulses. Also this is decidely a hobby, my ego isn't bound up in the results. I don't expect to be judged by the artfulness or quality of my quilts; it's pure fun -- but learning and improving is also fun. I wish children were taught that and did not have to become my age to feel it's truth in their very bones. [By the way, these photos can be clicked for enlarged view]

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