I learned a lot about my own creative process in making this quilt -- and there are a few moments that stand out in my memory, making me particularly attached to this quilt.
I began this project because (a) our sofa is very drab, and needed something bright and cheerful, (b) I was intrigued by the process of making a string quilt with paper foundations, and (c) I had a lot of orange in my stash!
Making the blocks was a blast, at least at first. It was great fun to play with and juxtapose the range of orange shades, from pale apricot to deep reddish hues, and exciting to start putting the blocks together.
What I learned: I almost always hit a wall, where I lose touch with some of the playfulness and creative spontaneity that I love, and get mired in worry and self-doubt. Yup, it has happened time and again, and now I am just learning both to accept the fact that I worry -- I always worry -- about the quality of my workmanship at some point in the process, but also to trust that I will work through it. (In this case, I worried about the quilting -- which I have grown to love!) Just knowing this about myself-as-quilter has helped me to take my moments of doubt and worry a little less seriously! Seen in a positive light, my tendency towards self-criticism pushes me to recognize and try to solve problems.
Okay, enough of that. Onwards.
First some more shots of the quilt itself, including Penelope Cat's final inspection:
Fond memory #1:
My 17 year old son had two friends over one Saturday night, and the boys willingly, cheerfully, enthusiastically helped me to tear all the paper foundations off the assembled quilt top. I had used whatever scrap paper was available -- so we were tearing away drafts of my lecture notes, scans of drawings by my daughters (ages 2 and 14), print-outs of electronic receipts -- basically, the paper residue of my winter semester. It was fun, it was cathartic, and it was completely unexpected. The boys seemed really intrigued by the whole quilt-making enterprise (at which my son seemed amused and baffled!). I will always remember that.
Fond memory #2:
Our recently adopted and domesticated former-alley-cat Ramone loves this quilt. He sleeps on it every day (he's making up for lost time, after what I imagine was a kittenhood of light sleeping and constant alertness to potential dangers out there on the streets). Here he is, looking quite relaxed and very Halloween-y:
Awwwwww!!!! It's nice to know that my work is making one little fellow very happy!
I am really intrigued by the variations on this basic construction principle, and have been drooling over String Quilt Revival by Virginia Baker and Barbara Sanders. Now that I have satisfied my fascination with orange (at least temporarily), I think there's a red -- a very, very red -- string quilt in my future.
If you haven't explored the Quilt Festival, do so! It is great fun.
Thanks again for visiting, and I would love to hear about the colours that inspire you!