Thursday, March 24, 2011

Quilt Squares

This week Connie at Whale Ears and other Wonderings is hosting the FS Weekly Blog Roundup. The theme or "optional talking point" is crafts. If you have something crafty you would like to share, or even if you don’t but do have something to say, click over and add something to the Roundup.

I don’t have much time lately for crafts. It’s not that I don’t enjoy crafting, it’s just that I am beyond busy trying to keep up with housework, laundry, cooking, and home schooling. If you have never lived in a third world country everything takes just that little bit longer.

For example: I used to complain about making lasagna, I thought it took too long. Try making it here. You have to start by making the sauce. Then, unless you are planning to pay $15 dollars a box for lasagna noodles, you make the pasta and you will need to make the ricotta cheese too. You can usually buy mozzarella, thank heavens. Then once all the parts have been made it's time to assemble it all. This is the part I used to think was pain back when I was using canned sauce, pre-shredded cheese, store bought part-skim ricotta, and no boil noodles. If you want a salad as a side you will have to wash, bleach, and then rinse all the vegetables. If you are a ranch dressing kind of person, like my kids, you will be making the ranch dressing from scratch too, assuming you can find yogurt and mayo. All in all a lasagna dinner will take about 8+ hours from start to finish, not including clean up or garlic bread. Guess how often my kids get lasagna? Yeah, they are rooting for Aunt Teri to take them to Olive Garden this summer. Since I have been to a restaurant with my kids I am thinking frozen lasagna, frozen garlic bread, bagged salad, bottled dressing, and maybe a pie from Marie Calendars.

Oops....Sorry for going off on a tangent. Back to the roundup topic: Crafting. No, not much time left for crafts lately. But wait! There is hope on the horizon. We have made the decision that Alonzo will go back to school next year. Homeschooling here is very isolating, and I don't think I am cut out for it in any case. There are no activities outside of the school for kids to participate in. We will do whatever we can to make it a more successful year for him, but how is going to go to school, that's one thing down. Secondly we have finally hired a maid. She won’t start until next month but I am hopeful she will work out, which will leave me with more time to follow my own interests.

What will I do with myself? Well, I have this pile of quilt pieces I was given after my mother-in-law passed away, more than a decade ago.

She started the quilt but never finished it. Somehow the pieces ended up at post with us. She was a great crafter. She could knit, crochet, and quilt. A triple threat. I have one of her finished quilts and I just adore it.

It seems a shame not to finish this one too. My original thought was to just finish piecing the squares, add some sashing, and be done with it. Seemed simple enough. I can do this.

I laid the peices out on one of the kids blue(ish) sheets to give you an idea of how it would look when it is finished. I don't think blue is going to be the right color for the sashing, too many blue squares.

The yellow(ish) sheet is better, but the final color needs to be darker, I think.

Then last week I clicked on a link on the sidebar of someone’s blog and ended up at Crazy Mom Quilts. A new obsession was born. Such gorgeous quilts, such gorgeous fabrics. Suddenly my plan seemed too basic, too boring, too uninspired, too easy.

Maybe I should alternate the pieced squares with solid squares.

Maybe I should pick apart all the sewing and reassemble the quilt squares so that each finished square has two patterned squares and two solid squares. Then I could add sashing, or alternate with solid squares, or something.

Maybe I should give up in the idea of squares altogether and turn them all into triangles.

I don’t know, seems like a lot of work. I like that red, it really makes the colors pop. Those would be some tiny triangles since the squares are only 3 inches a side, but I do like that look. maybe if I ever finish this quilt I can do a triangle quilt for myself.

I can’t decide what do. I am not in love with the mish-mash of colors and patterns in the pieced squares. But then again Annette pieced those squares more than a decade ago and I'm not sure I want to undo any of her stitching, it just seems wrong. What do you think? Should I leave it and continue with my original plan, or take it all apart and start over again?


Becky said...

I like how the yellow sheet makes the colors pop. There's something to be said for the very matched, artsy quilts that are so popular right now. But my kids' favorite quilt is the one that my husband's grandmother made. It is old school random piecework and they love it because they find something new every time they look at it. It matches everything and nothing but it is fun. I think both ways of doing it have their advantages. Enjoy! (We're looking forward to having the kiddos back in school next year too!)

Connie said...

I only recently joined a quilting group and am just learning this craft! I'm having fun with it so far.
I rather like the idea of keeping what your mother-in-law started, as a memorial piece. Some of her work plus some of yours. The yellowish-tan, on the teddy-bears of several pieces of the fabric, might make a good solid background color. A blue and/or red can be go around as a border (borders) maybe? Thanks for the submission! Can't wait to hear what folks have to suggest here :)

Daniela Swider said...

I've been an admirer of quilting for a long time. Don't know if I'll ever make a quilt myself but I love looking at quilts made by others. I too like the idea of using the pieces your mother-in-law started. I also like the yellow and the red. Not sure if that helps much...

Kate Husband said...

I think you should leave the pieces as she left them - don't take them apart. Two reasons - 1) if this is your first quilt, easier is perfect. I have made a couple of quilts, and I am thrilled with the simplest one I ever made - just squares. 2) you want to keep it a collaboration of you and your mother-in-law, as the kids would see it, "mom and grandma made this quilt".

Connie said...

The Weekly State Department Blog Round-up is posted, and you're on it!

If I've made any errors, or you prefer not to be included, just let me know. Thank you!

Unknown said...

I would keep the pieces she has done, since it would be part hers and part yours.I like the pieces she made with the solid blocks. I however like scrappy quilts.

Anonymous said...

I like the alternating pieced and solid blocks the best, much better than the sashing with such small blocks. While it's nice on the straight, you could alternatively place them on the diagonal, so that the look was a bit modern and fresh, but it was still a simple checkerboard to sew. I'd then surround it with the solid fabric as a wide-ish trim, you could even do two different fabrics for the solid checkers.
I'd opt for the bolder solids rather than the pastel ones, the red is nice, or a bright yellow or blue. Even a black is fun.