Friday, March 16, 2012

You've Got Mail!

Postage Stamp
One of my strongest quilting memories is from a road trip through the Hudson River Valley to visit my brother and his wife in Connecticut a few summers ago. We were driving through the mountains near Lake Placid with mom and my neice Julia in the back seat and mom was happily stitching her way through a pile of Postage Stamp blocks. She was one of the most resourceful people I know and didn't like to waste anything so she had been accumulating 2-inch blocks from remnants of quilts that she and her friends from the guild had and was randomly sewing them together.

She had laid out 2-inch blocks 5 wide by 5 high on pieces of newspaper the size of the final block and stacked them into a tin which ensured that she could stitch her way to our final destination.

I inherited a good number of those 2-inch blocks after she passed away and have been continuing the tradition, adding my scrap cuts to the selection and picking it up between projects when I don't want to think too much, often for road trips.

Border design fabrics
Despite liking the randomness of a Postage Stamp quilt I did want to have some design element to create some interest so I've incorporated two open diamond borders. With my sister Dori's help I found lovely border prints at The Workroom on Queen Street in Toronto - the pink is a Kaffe Fassett and the plum by Bernadette Wallace.

According to my calculations there will be about 5,715 pieces in this one and, after about 5 years of work I am about half finished. Here's a sketch that I'm working from - the highlighted area represents the section that is now together. I've been working on it for so long that the graph paper is fading big time!

The plum border is showing up much stronger than the pink/orange print, partly because the pink includes some chartreuse and those blocks tend to break up the line of colour, so I have started setting aside any blocks that are predominantly green and will use them in another project. It's still pretty subtle but I think as more of the top is completed the pink/orange will be more apparent.
The larger it gets the more I like it. That said, I cannot help but see the irony in the fact that I have yards and yards of fabric in my stash and I spend much of my time putting together the scrappy bits. With such a huge selection of prints it will be a great quilt to fall asleep under.
Anne spent some time with me this week as she was off for March Break and was looking for something to do with her hands so she will sew a few blocks for me and bring them back at Easter....M

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