Friday, September 14, 2012

No Bad Apples, Just Misunderstood

For having started the week feeling overwhelmed, I am happy to say that I gradually found focus.  I wanted to start something new but felt discombobulated in a major way, as if my brain had kicked over the whole bucket list, scattered it like a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle and said, "Here, you figure it out."

Surveying my disaster sewing area, I saw old stuff stacked upon new.  I poked my nose into a big thrift store bag and revisited some strange 1970s looking pieces.  I looked at my stash, piled on no less than 6 surfaces, then at another bag from a recent red tag sale at Joann containing mostly Denise Schmidt yardage.

When all else fails, it helps me to pre-wash and press fabric.  Sort of a mindless thing, but that's what I needed—to quit thinking.  And sure enough, as I handled the big snarly pile of disparate items from the dryer, snipping the threads that had hog-tied the mess hostage, I started to feel better.


As it happened, while waiting for the iron to heat up, I started riffling through a box of miscellaneous stuff on a shelf and found a pattern squished down in there that I had forgotten all about.  Out of sight, out of mind.

A snail's trail quilt was on the bucket list and had been for a long time.  I liked this pattern when I saw it over at em's scrapbag over a year ago and bought it.  It was scrappy, involved a block I've wanted to try, and had alternating string-type blocks to boot.  Winner!

There is something about the challenge of an odd fabric that appeals to me.

Maybe it's that soft spot for the underdog.  Maybe it's the inherent conflict of such a piece that I want to resolve.  Ever the peacemaker.  Maybe I've seen too many movies where the nerdy wallflower mixes in with the popular kids and they both benefit.  She still retains her individuality and both factions come away with broader view—and in the process someone usually gets their comeuppance.  Justice.

Meh, who knows.

So this vintage-y apple fabric is a little bit out there.  The colors are bordering on neon red, yellow and green while something about it still says country.

I began to see other stuff that might play along.  "Might" being the operative word. This DS Quilts print, in particular, seemed amenable.

And after making these two blocks today I have a pretty good feeling it's going to work out.

14 comments:

Lori R said...

I was just sitting at the computer, working on my own blog when your new post popped up! I love your unusual fabric selections in the blocks you show. They look FRESH! Well done.

Richard Healey said...

I think they look cool. Love the different materials together.

http://richardquilts.blogspot.com/
http://www.etsy.com/shop/RichardQuilts

Elizabeth said...

P., you do amazing things with fabric. It is going to fun to watch how this quilt comes together.

xo -E

Vicki @ DottyJane said...

I think it will work! Elizabeth pretty much summed it up:)

Jen BK said...

One of my all time fav blocks...the apple one works, but I LOVE the other one. LOVE IT! Can't wait to see how it turns out (and I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who strives to sew with "underdog fabric")

Elizabeth said...

P.S. I forgot to tell you that I recently discovered that if you pre-wash fabrics on either the delicates or hand-washable cycles (I do hand-washables, but I know all machines don't have that setting) you avoid the huge hog-tied mess.

There was something else I was going to say, but I got sidetracked noticing that absolutely adorable scissor fabric! SO cute! Do you happen to know the name of it? I might see if I can find some somewhere.

Oh, now I remember what else I was going to say -- I love snail tails. This is an awesome project.

Cherie said...

Great to have a rummage through old fabrics you bought way back when. The prints actually work well together with those colours. Good luck on the rest of the blocks =D

Sara said...

I was watching a video recently on youtube that said the stitch across the width of the fabric selvedge ends. That is supposed to stop the tangles. That is if I remember that right;)

I like your thought process for the reason to use that "odd" fabric you found--very well thought out! I personally LOVE that challenge you feel when trying to figure out what the heck to do with it!

They are looking really great so far P.!

Sarah Craig said...

I love your fabric choices on these blocks - so cool!!! Whoop whoop!!

Sharon said...

Your snails look great. So funky with the unexpected print!

Cynthia L. said...

There must be something in the air! I have had a crazy week too and I also was inspired by the end of the week.

Your snails are great! You have such a wonderful gift of pulling fabric together. I wish I lived closer to you, so we could play with fabric together! I know you would inspire me!

Mom Wald said...

Working splendidly!

Thanks for the blogger help too.

Pattilou said...

I love how your fabrics work together with such zing! Really cool~

Karen said...

you were getting very deep here :) how come I adore those sappy, under dog movies so much? I am loving the snails tail so!