How can you be creative if you haven't the energy to feel excited about much of anything? This was a long winter filled with too many snow days, too many sick days, and a lack of enthusiasm on my part. To welcome the spring, I had parathyroid surgery and I spent the last two weeks (my spring break from school) recovering from the surgery. With just enough energy to stare at HGTV with Katie, I was grateful for the quilting project I started months ago. Happily resting under one completed quilt, I had my new quilt stretched in a large wooden hoop on my lap with my book light, my needles, my thread, my scissors, and my vanishing purple pen all within reach.
This quilt started with a class that taught a technique for making "One Block Wonders". My local quilt shop had one on display with Vincent van Gogh's "Starry Night" as the fabric and I loved the look of it. The colors and brushstrokes of the painting were very recognizable, but the quilt was so much more interesting looking with a modern geometric spin to the design. I could not wait to create the same thing for myself. Of course, as luck would have it, they did not have the van Gogh fabric in stock and I spent a good hour or more trying to select another fabric for my design. Not experienced in this technique, I took the girls' advice in the shop to just go with colors I liked and not worry about the actual print. By the time you cut the triangles and arrange them in a repeat pattern within a hexagon design, you lose all definition of the original fabric design.
As what usually happens with my projects, I veered off on another creative idea midstream and made another trip to the shop to spend more money. This time, I bought a cream colored fabric with a subtle leaf design. I cut triangles out of that fabric and separated my hexagons with the cream fabric. I loved the look. It was a lot more traditional than the more inventive "One Block Wonders" designs, but I am new to quilting and traditional designs still get me excited. On yet another trip, I picked out fabric for my border and backing and I happily stitched it all together.
Piecing together a quilt top is one thing, but what I admire about most quilts is the intricate design sewn into the layers of the quilt. Yes, these can be done on a machine and my quilt shop even has a long arm for machine stitching perfect little repeat designs. But after sewing the binding of my first quilt by hand, I realized that hand sewing is my favorite part of my new obsession with quilts. I want my projects to look handmade, down to the needlework of the quilted design, and this leaf quilt that did not quite become a "one block wonder" was the perfect project to experiment on.