I was thinking this morning as I was sewing on the itty bitty spool blocks how much my sewing style has changed over the years; in large part to Bonnie Hunter and her organizational suggestions as well as my penchant for not throwing little pieces of fabric away.
In my mind I was comparing sewing to driving.
When I was young I drove my car fast. I loved the feel of moving through traffic and getting where I was going. When I started sewing back in the last century I was always hurrying to get the blocks done so I could put the quilt together and move onto the next one. I hand quilted in those days and I did enjoy the slow process of that. I made many tops in my first few years and like other hobbies, I was inundated with my productivity. Purchasing the longarm was a means to an end. It was a new job to move onto when the weaving job was no longer an option and it kept me from being buried alive under pieced tops.
I liked making quilts with big blocks. They could be simple or intricate, but big was always my end result. The bigger the block the less it took to make a quilt. It didn’t take any less fabric, just less blocks. It’s a mental thing for me. It is like the mental thing of getting half done with the pantograph quilting. After the half way point it seems I zoom along to finish the quilt. Up to the half way point it is like wading through mud. I feel like I’m never going to get done.
I find I have slowed down while driving. I don’t speed. I look around at the scenery and enjoy seeing the things out the window. I even feel sorry for the people who are rushing past me trying to get to work and I’m in their way.
The tops I make now are more intricate. The pieces I use are small and it takes many to sew together to make a block. I even like using narrower strips and find using 2” strips and 1 ½”” strips more to my liking. I would never have thought when I made those big blocks years ago that I would find the same kind of joy piecing blocks from small pieces of fabric and not feeling like I was going too slow getting the process finished.
Now it seems I get to the edges and don’t want to put the borders on. Quilt tops languish for months while I decide what to do for a border. I do get them done. I feel guilty when several are waiting for borders and I will take a weekend to do that tedious job. I find my fun this day building blocks. Lots and lots of blocks!
The pattern I’m working on as a main project is called Spoolin’ Around and is one of Bonnie’s patterns from her book More Adventures with Leaders and Enders. I had printed out the instructions when she had offered it as a challenge on her blog.
The last project sits in a stack of sewn rows and sewn sashes waiting for me to pin them together tonight when I sit and watch tv after my day is done.
The spools are just cute. I love these, but realize the futility of thinking I am actually using up fabric. There is no obvious dent in the tub of strips.