Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Long Road

I had a plan for this quilt...and maybe that was the problem.

I got two rows into the plan and started spending more time squinting at the design wall than sewing. That's not a good sign. (I snapped one picture with my cell phone, you can find it on the @pieladyquilts Instagram feed.)

I have a particular album that I like to listen to while I am sewing. It is a compilation album from Alecia Moore (P!nk) and Dallas Green called "You + Me." Since I'm too cheap to pay for the premium Spotify service, I get to listen to a lot of other music (and commercials) in addition to that album. Spotify likes to intersperse songs from "You + Me" with interviews from Alecia and Dallas. In one of these interviews, Alecia said, "It feels so good when it's good you know when it's not." I heard that one morning, wholeheartedly agreed, and started ripping the half-done quilt top down to components.

I thought Quilt 2.0 needed more black and a different setting, so I cast the plan aside, cut into some black and started piecing. I thought a radiating setting might be fun, so I tried it. I decided to not use a ruler, so I didn't. After awhile I ran out of shot cotton in Moor (the background), so I used shot cotton in Aegean on the side and the top. There was a whole lot of "what if?" in this quilt and it felt so, so good to be carried off by the process.

In the end, I was gratified to see that I had literally made a path that spiraled out from the center. A circuitous, wandering, meandering sort of path that passed a lot of different landscapes, but a path all the same. It was doubly gratifying since I had a plan in my personal life blow up while I was making this quilt. I had a lot on my mind and so much to consider. I worked my way through both problems simultaneously and got the same answer...hold on to faith and take the long road. It all works out in the end.

I took that lesson (and a friend) out with me when it came time to photograph this quilt. Linda and I decided to try an industrial setting and set off together with a plan. Ha ha ha! I will never learn, will I? We didn't love any of the places we had in mind and ended up at a dead end near a construction site. Linda talked me into driving onto the site and talked a few confused construction workers into listening to us. Finally a hard hat poked up over the top and shouted down, "I slept under a homemade quilt my whole childhood. I've got a soft place in my heart for quilters!" He rode the motorized lift down and visited with us for a minute. His mother is an award-winning quilter (I think he said her name was Jane Moore, but the equipment was noisy and I'm not sure if I heard him correctly). His neighbor growing up was Freddy Moran. Really? Of all the construction sites in Iowa, I pick the one that has a guy that will talk all things Freddy Moran with me. How awesome is that?! We clamped the quilt on the lift with him and Linda got the pictures. I haven't stopped smiling (or chuckling) all day. I am happy that I don't have all of life's mysteries figured out. I am delighted that I can still be surprised and I am always thankful to run into fascinating people. Your son is a kind man, Jane. I am glad there are so many of us together on the long road who speak quilt.

Photo by Linda Lee.

Photo by Linda Lee.

The back.

I used natural shaping methods to "square" this quilt. It measures approximately 52" x 66." I used Aurifil #2605 (Medium Gray), Aurifil #4093 (Jade), Aurifil #2692 (Black) and Yenmet metallic thread in #7003 (Pearlessence White). I quilted this in organic, radiating lines. All prints are from Lizzy House's "Natural History" line.

I just finished reading a book called Collaborative Quilting by Gwen Marston and Freddy Moran. Coincidence? Probably not. Also a very fun book to read.

Lastly, I'd like to share the mini quilt I made for the Kaffe Fassett Mini Quilt Swap. My partner requested geometry and color. I gave her shot cotton and improv. I'll know on Monday if we're both happy.

Linking up to Finish it Friday with Crazy Mom Quilts.