* It's striking me that when I make it quilt, it starts to tell me a story. And then as I'm making it, I build another story in the making. Quilt Log is for those stories.
You know I've been working on this quilt for ages--Quilt Redemption, I've been calling it. It's not been a complicated project, really. But it's taken me a real chunk of time to pull it off and declare it finished.
First I thought I'd make it a repair mission. The original quilt top (my great grandmother's) was dotted with little holes--like a band of mice had lunch with it once or twice. And I started my work tackling those holes.
One little orange polyester square was like a sweet post-it from my Granny. It was snuck in. My favorite color. My favorite fabric. Orange with a little white fleck, and so I used a few cotton scraps in orange and white to repair the many small holes that dotted it. I handstitched them in all in place, and they ultimately became little orange stars on the otherwise blue and gray and red and green feel of the top.
But I stalled out. Somehow the busyness of the pattern made me want to take breaks. And while the intricacy of the little squares was an impressive thing she pulled off, it sort of gave me hives. Like I needed to go out for air.
Mostly, I just couldn't finish it. It sat and waited for me for quite a while. I let it give me some space. Tried a handful of times to go back in and stay at my original repair vision, but there was no talking my feet into it.
And because I firmly believe that stuck projects always tell the truth, I finally stopped and paid attention.
It struck me that unless I came up with a bigger vision, I'd likely never complete anything with it. And really I ddin't need to come up with a thing--the quilt told me straight out what it wanted to do.
And once I saw what it needed for me to hang out with it, it was sort of a cinchy project. It had been the small vision that was holding me up.
I cut it into strips, scrambled the pattern and put some white between it so that I could see those squares--they were so lost crammed in that original pattern all together.
It was just then a matter of sewing lots and lots of straight lines and letting myself make the back as simply as I wanted to.
I'm interested in the way that the thought "but that's not a complicated enough idea" enters my head and crosses its arms at me sometimes. I'll feel a stiffness of spirit as I work, and there it will be, standing just close enough for me to wonder what's nearby and I'll hear that little voice, "that's not all that complicated--what you're doing."
It takes a little mental work to send that crabby thought away and let myself walk toward a vision that lets the project be what it wants to be, even if that vision doesn't wow.