I love Bank Holidays because I don’t feel so guilty about spending a chunk of time in my workroom. I started off today making a quilt for a new baby, but it went horribly wrong when I rather overestimated my ability to machine quilt it. I decided to cut my losses and just work on something I wanted to do, so I turned to a project which I have had on the go for a little while: a very liberated and scrappy log cabin quilt. This is the same idea as the emergency project we have in my small quilting group, the Saint Andrews Quilters, where we have a bag of one inch strips which we pick at random to make up the blocks. I stopped with four ‘logs’ on each side, but I am terrible at doing this neatly and always going in the same direction.
I wanted to do something using printed commercial fabric. I started quilting because I loved cloth so much – and this was the seventies when there were some ‘challenging’ prints. So, the afternoon spent chopping the fabric up and then sewing it together again was a real treat for me.
I once heard a professional quilter say that if you want a scrap quilt you have to use scraps. So, I include a lot of fabric I really don’t like but which I seem somehow to have acquired and mix it in with the good stuff. These blocks really are better the scrappier they are. So I put in some very old-fashioned-looking peach fabric and some skull and crossbones, as well as a ditsy pink flower print. I bought some orange on beige fabric for the quilt, which is not in the spirit of it, but I knew that it would be a sparkle fabric and I think it is. Given that my stash is almost all blue, I wonder why there is so little of that colour in the blocks so far.
The other surprise was that I spend most of my time at work challenging the idea that rational processes are always the best way to organise, but I found myself trying all sorts of things to develop a quick way of doing the blocks. In the end, I just started to stitch complete blocks, one at a time, just for the fun of seeing the finished pieces emerge.
So, I had a lovely time, and in about fifteen years no doubt I shall have a lovely bathmat size quilt.