Thursday, January 20, 2011

Creature from the Black Abyss...

Or, the very Old UFO>

Back before there was Moda or precuts, back before whole lines of co-ordinated fabrics were popular, back before there was hundreds of companies producing quilting fabric....okay, we're not heading to the dinosaur age, just 1999,  when you went to buy fabric, at least where I lived, you were just happy that it was 100% cotton and was pretty!  So, you bought what caught your eye and hoped when you got it home, it would work with at least some of what you already had.  The quilts I started or made during that time look nothing like the quilts I make today.  Today, when I plan to head out to buy fabric, I already have a fabric line in mind...sometimes KT or thimbleberries, sometimes civil war repros...you get the picture.  Back to the 1999 fabric...

Last night, as I was digging thru a basket I keep beside my chair, waaayyy down at the bottom, I found this.
 The Creature from the Black Abyss....
 
I started this paper-pieced Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt in 1999.  12 years ago!!!  I had made 57 flower blocks over a one year period......then stopped.  Then, it sat and sat and sat for abut 3 years.  At this point, I picked it up again and decided I would start to join them together with the "pathway"  color.  Oh, I was so naive.....the wonderful fun I had making the flower blocks suddenly became a pain!  I never dreamt that the joining process would not be nearly as fun LOL!  I put together about 5 blocks and threw it back into the basket.  This, I decided, was a project to work on a little at a time.  Fast Forward another 3 years....someone brings a completed Grandmother's flower Garden quilt to guild and I get all inspired again, run home, dig it out and add 4 more blocks and throw it back in the basket.  I am determined ...now, I think, this will be my "heart and soul" quilt and become an heirloom...everyone needs one of those, right? So what if it takes me 60 years to complete it! LOL  again,,,I was so naive!   Over the next few years, the quilt blocks, which were still so pretty to me, were picked up, admired, returned to said basket, thought very little about...I think I pulled it out 1 more time and made a guilty attempt; then, this time, really aggressively THREW it back into the basket LOL!  Stupid thing! I was saying to myself.  


Last night, holding this quilt creature from the black abyss in my fists, I thought "What are you doing Shelley?!!" 
       Misha says, "I don't know what you were thinking either Mummy!"

If you hate this process so much, why are you torturing yourself to keep it and continually trying to convince yourself to stick it out and finish the sucker!  Sucker is a good word because everytime I worked on it, it sucked me dry! and, the last thing I need is more dry skin to enhance my wrinkles!  So, big decision time....no sentimentality allowed....be strong.....what to do with it?   Pass it on to another quilter?  Set it on fire and dance around the thing as it burns chanting "die!,die!" LOL!  The thing is, I really had enjoyed making the flowers and still thought them pretty..so, I dig out my ripper and spend two hours ripping off the pathways, unjoining the blocks from each other.  AND, IT FELT GOOD!!!
       Free!!! We're free at last!
   Seriously, how could you not like this block!

So, now my blocks are all "free" again and I have decided to try an easier route.  I think I will machine applique them to background squares, then piece the squares into a cheater Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt....it won't be the authentic thing but hey, what the heck!

I will do a couple of blocks and if this process does not make me happy ......well, then, I guess an intervention will be required because I just don't know how I will be able to part with those blocks! LOL!  Does anyone know if there's a "Clean Sweep" available for quilter's!  LOL!  Happy Stitching!        

16 comments:

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Enjoy your lovely flowers :-)

WoolenSails said...

They are beautiful blocks and wonderful fabrics.
I like to sew hexagons, but I do a bit at a time and sew the blocks to each other as I go, makes it easier than doing it all at once.

Debbie

Kaaren said...

I started one about two years ago, inspired by an antique one I bought on one of my travel teaching sojourns to Ohio. I made 69 flowers using the English paper piecing method as well and I think I have three rows joined using the connecting "pathway" technique as well. I haven't touched it in over a year but I'm not going to give up on it...at least that's my intention. Maybe once we're finally settled I'll pull it out and start to enjoy it again.

Have you started to hunker down for the predicted snow storm yet, Shelley? It's supposed to arrive here late tomorrow morning.

Quilt Hollow said...

Oh girl....boy do I hear you on this one! I bought a bunch of older hexagon flower patches YEARS ago....I don't even want to mess with them nor do I like them near as much as yours! This isn't the first time I've heard of a quilter changing up the plan a bit...great idea!

Andrea R said...

OMG I'm sure I have a box of pieces all cut out from the same pattern, also with 1990's fabrics! :D

IF i find them again, I am sending them your way. :D

Quilter Kathy said...

I popped over from Darlene's (QUilting Daze) blog...what an interesting post to read! This quilt has really had a long road. I wonder what will happen next?!?

Deb said...

Those are such great blocks, I'm glad that they weren't shoved back in the basket forever. It doesn't matter how you put them together, it's going to make a gorgeous quilt.

Michelle said...

I still buy fabric like that, but I'm usually in thrift stores and not quilt shops. It works for me! :-)

Your flowers are gorgeous -- I'm glad you found a way to make them work for you.

Brenda said...

Love your flower blocks and your creativity in coming up for another plan for these blocks.I have thought about making some of these.

Heather said...

You go girl. No quilt police, so do as you wish. The flowers do look lovely.

Riel Nason said...

LOL!!!!! You just go for it and do what you want! I make hexies sometimes (during the hour drive to Mardens, wink) but I have no illusions of the one massive flower garden quilt. There was one at the KV show and it had over 3000 hexagons!!!! Ack! I like your applique idea. That is likely what will happen to mine someday. R

Darlene said...

Oh my goodness I can definitely relate. LOL

I love, love, love making the flowers and spent many evenings making lots of flowers. Then I started adding the path and hated every minute - ick, ick, ick!!! Every now and then I pull it out and then put it away again. I've thought about doing exactly what you're doing.

Good luck!

Michele said...

I like the new look for your blocks......sometimes projects just call for a change in the plan :)

Barb said...

They are lovely, I'm glad you found way to use them that works for you. You are so right about not torturing ourselves, lol.

Heartsdesire said...

What a waste it would have been to get rid of those beautiful hexie blocks. I think you made the right choice in appliqueing them to the background squares. Now you will have a fabulous quilt in no time.

Shasta said...

They are pretty blocks, and it sounds like you have a great plan. Keep it up!