I am in a swap for 6" strip pieced blocks, 6 for each of 2 partners. So over the weekend I made 24 blocks. That would be 12 to mail off and 12 for me with another 12 coming to me in the mail, enough for a rather small lap quilt with fairly wide borders. Then I reread the swap description and saw an added on paragraph saying to make the blocks 6-1/2" inches so they'll end up 6" when sewn together. Okay, back to the sewing room to make 12 larger size blocks and a revision of the newly formed UFO -- I'll have 36 blocks [I'll cut down the larger ones] which will make a better sized lap quilt with perhaps narrower borders. I already know it'll be double sided but haven't arrived at what I want the reverse side to look like. There's time for that.
Meanwhile in a different creative vein, I had to write a poem about myself. With strip piecing so much a part of my days here's what I came up with:
To sew string quilt blocks I dived into my bag of strips and bag of larger scraps -- remnants from quilts made years ago, some forgotten, most given away Like a pioneer woman I saved the pieces of wonderful colors, plethora of designs tiny flowers, gold geometrics chintzes, polka dots, stripes. Pioneer quilters mixed what was on hand side-by-side I sew patterns and colors in unexpected combintions -- exciting srprises, sudden revelations, old prints beside new batiks. Every strip sewn is a choice as fingers scatter forgotten and beloved bits, deliberately random, I reject or discard some. Beauty comes easily because individually the pieces were already beautiful to me.
Always I think of this kind of quilt making as metaphor for my life. When one has lived enough to be called "senior" memory is an enormous scrap bag of experience people known, loved, disliked, shunned, books read, art theatre, ballet seen, music heard, information stored. So many places on five continents visited -- I have become a melange, a nice French word that could mean patchwork quilt made of remnants. Some parts came to me through genes, through nature and nurture, through serendipity. Mostly through choice, all leading to my life of successes, failures, disappointment, happiness and sorrow, in short my own life.
I sleep under every bed-size quilt i make. I treasure every memory I have. I do not know how many quilts I have made. I could never name all the people I've known. I have not counted how many cities I've seen, (I once thought I might tabulate the World Heritage site, but haven't done that either, tho' it's doable.) My quilts are rarely planned, no two alike. Sometimes I am a careful sewer, sometimes sloppy. Sometimes my life too is unplanned, (I do not go to the grocery store with a list.) My life has been far different than could have been predicted. May whatever remains tome be as spontaneous and glad as these string quilt blocks and the quilt I am only now planning to make of them.
This strip quilt was made using drier sheet as the foundation. This quick and easy method is always fun because I can choose exactly which piece comes next but will always be surprised when I put several together and see the patterns formed.
The mid-70s are a surprise! Part of me remains in the 50s -- age, I mean, not decade of 20th century. It's a joy ride, new experiences land in my lap and I've become a better quilter, poet, writer than I expected. It's a rich life for a person never rich financially. Hey, this is what the mid-70s are like!