Sunday, January 8, 2012

Apparently, it is time

Once Upon a Time, a quilt-worthy friend told me that she was doing a "Sweet Star Wars" nursery for her as-yet unborn child. This sounded completely awesome! Clearly, I had no choice but to make a star wars quilt to go in that amazing, gender-neutral nursery that she was building, but I quickly discovered one major hangup in that plan: They don't really make any Star Wars cottons. Yes, you can scour eBay for old bedsheets and curtains, or make a quilt in Star Wars-appropriate colors that isn't really Star Wars specific; but when I get really excited about something, "compromise" becomes a foreign word to me.

"No biggie," I thought, "I have seen lots of applique projects have liked, I will simply learn applique and MAKE my own Star Wars Fabric." Which seemed very straightforward and simple at the time. How hard could it be? I found some art I liked online, and bought the fabric and figured I was already halfway there. Then reality set in: I don't know the first thing about applique! I'd overheard conversations that used words like "Wonder Under" at my local quilt store, and the idea of using an iron-on backing to layer fabric isn't exactly rocket science; but my mom calls applique "the A word" for reasons I cannot ignore, and understanding the theory isn't exactly the same as doing it in practice.

Enter the procrastination phase. I got some books from the library and read them, so I think I know MORE of what I will be doing, but that just reminded me that applique isn't just "iron more fabric on top" but also "fold under" and/or "blanket stitch it somewhere near where the raw edges are." Historically, my ability to stitch following a line has left a little something to be desired (it's a method I was forced to abandon while quilting the princess quit, for example) so um, yeah.

But time marches on, and when I saw my friend at Christmas, I was reminded that her "little sith" is coming in March, whether I magically absorb applique through osmosis or not. So when I got back from the visit, I dragged my fabric out, and said "Ok, this is it: no more procrastination."

I have spent hours upon hours simply backing and cutting fabric (heaven forbid I start with a SIMPLE applique project... the time to do that would have been about six months ago), and assembled a total of one block for my quilt, minus stitching. But the process as I have it down now is messy and requires a lot of space. So when I had a spare hour tonight, I said, MAYBE it was OK to work on a piecing project... what exactly did I have going again?

What I have going is my Christmas Traditions Quilt. It's another learning experience, and I had just finished paper piecing the individual blocks when I shelved it to work on A's quilt. So, I brought it out again and did the required assembly. Then I looked at the magazine, to see what was my next step. Here are my blocks.

Here is the magazine picture.

Yup, next step in BOTH my quilts is to learn applique. I can be thickheaded sometimes, but now even I'm convinced the universe is telling me something.

1 comment:

  1. YEP...I would have to admit that "thick-headed" has been used to describe me. And, rebellious...AND one who tries to re-invent the wheel rather than follow directions!
    ---have I learned after 59 years? uh, prob not. =(

    Applique isn't too hard, with the machine. I'm not so good at hand applique.

    Best wishes for those great/cool projects on your drawing board. =)