Quilts for Sale

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Crowded at the Orphanage

Quilting at church was last week Tuesday. Since then I've been working off and on with their scraps. I brought home the leftovers from the string blocks we made and combined those strings with the leftovers from the odd width log cabin blocks I just made and other odd bits. I was thinking next we might work on some crumb quilts but I don't think we have enough crumbs for that. That led me to digging to see what else we might work on next. I pulled out the pile of orphan blocks. It had grown since I last sorted through them.  I put 9 different quilt kits of blocks together. I also bagged up more string blocks I made with sashing fabric for a total of 12 new kits.

                  This is my favorite collection of blocks. These are 12".


And this one with 9" blocks. Most kits needed a few more blocks to round it out to a workable number so I took smaller blocks and will have to add frames or something to make them work. It is a good opportunity to add a bit more of the right color to tie the blocks together.With a bit of luck, sashing, cornerstones and borders can do that too.

Of all the blocks donated to us, it is rare that I trash a block. I did that with just one block this time. It was not just that it was so poorly made AND ugly, but it also used real sleazy fabric. It just wasn't a keeper. Then sometimes when I have a block that doesn't work out I cut it into pieces for crumb quilts. 

And that brings me back to the topic of willy-nilly quilting. As a rule, I just cut up the blocks that don't lie flat or  square. It really doesn't matter to me if the points are missing. In my own quilts, I strive for perfect points. I don't find it difficult and that is what I was taught 30 years ago and for every reason you can think of in  between. On the other hand, I know there is a number of quilters that rather enjoy quilts that break the rules. They are even encouraged to do so by the likes of Gwen Marston and her books, Liberated Quiltmaking and Liberated Quiltmaking II.
Believe it or not, there aren't any quilt police. You might think otherwise if you overhear a conversation about the workmanship of a quilt. Some people don't understand that quilting isn't the same thing to everyone. Some find pure joy in combining fabrics at random in a willy-nilly, carefree fashion without regard to any rules.After all, quilting should be fun, relaxing and stress-free.  Others are uncomfortable at the thought of quilting with such wild abandon and consider the work sloppy or lazy. When I first started teaching quilting, I had to learn that we all quilt for different reasons and there are lots of reasons to take a class. I also  learned that quilts don't have to be perfect. I'm glad I know how to make a quilt near perfect and know when and how to work nilly-willy. Sew, what about you? How do you feel about quilts with attitude? Is it okay to "miss the points" deliberately, or not?  I think they are fun, I sure have a hard time doing it deliberately though. Just thinking about all those scraps and the wonky wild quilts they could make.


lightpc said...

Fabulous commentary! No quilt police? Whew, that in itself is liberating!

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

I have a very hard time missing the points. Although it does happen with my quilts, I try to make the points match. I'm not much for wild abandon. I like order, even if it is simple order ;-)