Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Whatcha Gonna Do Now?

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Years ago, a friend and I took the roundabout way home from downtown at 2:00 a.m. We just kept walking along and talking. Suddenly, a 10-foot chain link fence appeared before us (as obstacles do when one has been immersed in conversation and cheap tap beer). Our destination was within view on the other side of the fence.

What to do?

My friend, being a compact, agile fellow, scampered up and over the fence in about 10 seconds flat. Me? Not so much. First, I had to shuck the wood-soled Swedish clogs I was wearing and pitch them over. Then I climbed up in my sock feet. Once at the top of the fence, I made the executive decision to jump down.

Not the smartest move.

My buddy did the sensible thing when he saw me heading toward the ground. He got the hell out of the way.

Fortunately, the only thing injured was my pride.

While I mulled the next action on the Climbing Lanterns quilt, I decided to launch into a different project.

Why not use the group of yellow and black coordinating print fabrics I bought at W@lmart a year ago?

Why not make a bento box quilt?

Why not wing it without a pattern?

Why not ignore pesky things like color and value?

Why not ignore scale while we're at it too?

First, the fabric. It's 100% cotton, but thin, like it was probably meant for a summer blouse. Did I think about that when I bought it? Not for a second. Nope, not even a blip on the radar. I have since used some fine quality quilting fabric and, well, I am learning there is a difference.

Why not forge ahead anyway?

In the interest of full disclosure, there are some decent fabrics here. The orange flowered print is okay, as is the black and purple print. The white print is the best quality; it's Alexander Henry.

I liked each of these blocks individually as I sewed them, before I cut them into fourths. But then when I rearranged them, bento box style...


They do not play well together.

What to do?

I think the sensible thing would be to just let the project free fall. In fact, I am kind of looking forward to using this "fail" for free motion quilting practice.

You know, drive all over it and leave tracks.


  1. I don't know P, I kind of like it. :-) The black and yellow are really striking. Maybe the orange piece sent it over the top?

    Thanks for the song too. :-)

  2. Well, I really like it. I think it looks balanced, with just enough contrast. And I'm not just saying that. When I saw the little lavender flowers I wasn't expecting to like it, but I do.

  3. I have mixed feelings on it, but I like the colors (especially the little lavender flowers, but then I'm partial to anything in the purple family).

  4. I like it a lot. Not sure what you see that is discordant. But then I like pink and purple flowers together in the garden.

  5. It kind of grows on you with time. At first glance it looked pretty busy, but the longer I looked the more I liked it, it's almost hypnotic...

    But then again, this is the kid who begged and beeged his mother to let him paint his room with tiny black and white zebra stripes, as a teenager, so maybe I'm not the one to be asking.


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