Friday, March 28, 2008

Time Capsule - Broken Dishes


I'm not sure what I was looking for, but this is what I found. It was in a small rubbermaid container, under a stack of containers, under some binders, not in my sewing room. I had completely forgotten about this project, which must have taken some willpower. It is so thoroughly hideous, it's hard to believe it's mine. Believe it. It's mine.

When I joined our local guild in the late 80's, one of the "fun" things we did was host a 5" square exchange. Each month we'd bring in a stack of squares and swap with other quilters for an equal number of their squares. The goal was for each of us to eventually have enough different fabrics for a charm quilt. Dare I say it? Most of the fabrics were anything but charming. According to my notes (on the lip paper) I was planning to make a twin-sized quilt out of these. ugh.

(I do think the above surfer block is pretty cute. Six of those fabrics were mine, I'd made clothing out of each piece in either the late 70's or early 80's.)

Apparently I started this "quilt" after I'd taken my first quilting class. In that class, we were told that true quilters did everything by hand, including piecing. Our teacher frowned upon those who were so low as to resort to machine piecing.

Since I wanted to be a GOOD quilter (I'd already been a bad self-taught quilter for 5 years), I soaked up everything taught by those more knowledgeable than I.

After 25 years, I can truly say that sometimes a gut instinct is better than a score of opinions passed along by others. Done correctly, machine piecing can be as much or MORE satisfying than doing it by hand.

Don't ask me why, but I had 20 minutes to kill this morning so I sewed together these already cut triangles, then squared the block with my ruler and rotary cutter.

I pulled out the rest of the "charming" fabrics from the box, and pressed them. The ones that melted (synthetic fibers - hiss!) and the ones that had stinky dye when hit with heat all went into the garbage.

There are enough left to assemble into a baby quilt for charity. But do it by hand? I think NOT!!! My machine is my bestest sewing buddy, and if it were not for machine-piecing, I'd have more than two of these hand-pieced nightmare projects in my UFO pile.

You caught that, huh? Yes, there is a second hand-pieced UFO in another box. But it's going to stay in that box for at least another day.

Today is the day to liberate this box. I need it for something else. :)

Happy quilting to you, and if you feel like using your machine? Forget the quilt snobs. JUST DO IT!!! :)

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