I belong to this Quilt Club that is a part of my guild.
No, it’s not like Fight Club. Not really. It began as a History Club and we discussed different historical eras and their quilts and different groups and their quilts until I think finally we were all discussed out. So, we changed the name to from History Club to Quilt Club so we could do lots of things – not just historical issues. Susan Pierce is our leader and one of the events she plans for us each year is a Mystery Quilt. She picks out some blocks for us to make. Each different set of blocks has a theme. This year it was Patriotic/Election-Related/Presidential blocks. There were six blocks total and she gave them to us in two different sizes (6-inch and 12-inch) and from there it’s ours to do with what we want.
I love projects like this. It allows me so much creativity. Since there was a patriotic theme, it was suggested that we do them in red, white, and blue. However, since my last Mystery Quilt with these folks used those colors, I didn’t want to use them again. Hence, my Mystery Quilt began to meld with the goals I had set out for myself in my Year of Fearless Quilting. Remember one of those goals was to use a color way that I had never used before and definitely wouldn’t be my first choice in the quilt store. With that in mind, I picked Connecting Threads Firenze line.
These were the six blocks that Susan gave use – one a month, for six months.
Those of you who know me can readily recognize that while I am more than comfortable with small blocks, these definitely were not colors I have used before in any quilt.
So now that I have them made, I pondered what to do. This is where your creativity can run wild. Instead of feeling limited with the number of blocks, my mind was all over the place with what I wanted to make. I am one of those quilters who happens to love Electronic Quilt, so I began to play with layouts until I came up with this rough draft.
While not all my blocks were going to be the same, now I had a good idea how many additional ones I would need to make – 10. Since the blocks that Susan gave us were older blocks, I began looking through Barbara Brackman’s Block Base and my Farmer’s Wife Quilt books to see what I could find. I wanted blocks that would echo the lines and patterns of the blocks that I had made with the original six blocks, but not were not quite the same. And I expanded my color palate with additional Firenze pieces. These are the blocks I came up with:
I began to frame them with my focus fabric…
It was at this point that Sam began to take particular interest in this project – more so than his usual sitting stance of sitting on my sewing machine so I will stop and pet him. It’s as if he knew he was going to take center stage in this project…and maybe he will.
If I could wish anything on quilter’s it’s this: Don’t be afraid to do your own thing with what you are given. Quilting is a lot like life. We go day-by-day with the ordinariness of it. We get up. Go to work. Come home. Take care of the house and the kids and the yard and the laundry. Life is compounded with ordinariness.
It’s what you do with the ordinariness that makes it a life.
Same with quilts. Don’t be intimidated if you’re handed a bunch of blocks you don’t know what to do with. Don’t be worried about following a pattern right down to every period in the instructions. Let your creativity come out to play and try new things. Make it your own. In every quilt you make, go out of your way to change something – no matter how small – in order to make it yours. I promise you the Quilt Police won’t arrest you.
And you’ll have a wonderful time unleashing that creative part of you.
Until next week, Quilt Fearlessly.
Love and Stitches,
Sherri and Sam