Sunday, January 04, 2009

The Unhappy Pile makes itself into a Happy Pile

Well, I have been sewing up a storm, but since it gets dark right after lunch, I have no pictures for you. I have finished four tops since I last posted. I think I got my mojo back.

It all started when I read the knitters review post about the Happy pile and the Unhappy pile. The gist of it was if a ball of yarn made you happy when you saw it, it stayed. If it made you unhappy, it left. What was odd was that as I sorted all the fabric and re- folded, I noticed something. The unhappy pile all had similar characteristics. they were: large scale print of something no floral, such a turtles of children; brown or beige undertones; Asian inspired prints; gold accents. Oddly, I really like how a lot of it looked, but kept thinking I didn't want to cut it up, because I have an aversion to slicing through the middle of a child, or a turtle, even if it is just a picture on fabric. It seems..wrong. ( Yes, I do have a rich inner life, why do you ask?) Gold accented fabric feels weird to iron. Odd, but off putting. and brown....well, I hate it. I hate muddy colors. All of my premade parts for my quilt parts department are made in bright colors. The browns always seemed to suffer, and to be a buzz kill for the rest of the colors next to each other.

When all the difficult fabrics were piled by each other, they looked much better. They were with their family, and it brought out the best in them. Something to remember. OK, so what to do? Well, duh, start cutting things up. Enter Bonnie's wonderful book. I made a Chinese Coins quilt, and had the proportions of the blocks based on 10 1/2 inch blocks, because that leaves nothing left but the selvage edge, and baby, that fabric is gone.

So, the next thing was to make the back out of 10 1/2 inch squares, and call it a day. Suddenly it got stressful. The squares were imperfectly cut, because that is just how I do things. If I am starting your IV or hanging your med, it will be perfect. If I am listening to Melissa Ethridge loudly in the Sewing Cave and happily cutting things up, it will not be perfect. My seams will be in the neighbor hoood of 1/4 inch, but honestly if I could concentrate continuosely for hours at a time , well, I'd be some doppelganger of me, because I get three, four minutes at a time. If I am relaxing and enjoying thinking about all the theings my bummble bee brain thinks of while aI am running my machine, well, then, that quarter inch thing is just not going to make me sweat. So I'm sewing a long, and I have this big old nine patch unit that is thirty inches by thirty inches, and it seams boring and my seams don't match, but not in a fun free way, in a tight twisty way, and I think, hmmm. what went wrong?

Oh, right, I like improvisational quilting. Ok, what next? So, thanks to this blog, I start making massive disappearing nine patches, and suddenly all is right with the world. I find a way to put in some larger scale prints that are kid prints, and the back I am making for Chinese Coins turns into the front of some donation quilts.

Tommorow, the kids go back to school. I will take some pictures for you.


Magpie Sue said...

I'm looking forward to seeing the pictures! And what a good way to consider the stash - happy vs unhappy. That perspective might make it easier for me to lose or use some of the stuff that's been around far too long.

Lazy Gal Tonya said...

love the happy/unhappy fabric theory of sorting. and I'm with ya on the even when I try the things just don't come out right so it's good thing I love the wonky.

AlisonH said...

Cool! I can't wait to see!

By the way, I wanted you to know: with health stuff going on chez spindyeknit, your soft fuzzy purple and blue shawl has been on my shoulders constantly, and will be the first thing I pack if they make me go to the hospital (though I think I won't have to.) It makes me think of how thrilled you were when we saw each other each time we did. It comforts me. Thank you.

belinda said...

OK...we'll be waiting for that photo!!!