Monday, June 29, 2015

worth the wait

an old expression that - "worth the wait"

 to do with anticipation, just rewards, fulfilled longing... many reasons for it i suppose

today i have a few of my own...

saturday at 1:00 o'clock i finished sewing the final border on the christmas quilt

you can't imagine the relief i felt - what a long haul that was

i started that quilt back on march 11 - that's how long i'd been working on my last list of five things, and it took such a long time to get through

so many times, especially during the final week, my mind kept wandering to the next list... i even tempted myself a little, thinking perhaps i could begin the process of listing and choosing even though there was still a border or two 

but i didn't do it

there was a sweet feeling of truth in the wait, knowing that when i finally did sit down to do it it would be because i was free to, free to dream and plan, free to choose

one thing i'd been yearning to tinker with was a log cabin runner using both silks and cottons - no measuring, just random cuts  of random widths at even more random angles

it was the first on the list of twenty-five and the first chosen for the final five

i wrote it down as a runner but half-way through the first block i wanted it to be a bed quilt

i don't know if that's at all possible - i have plenty of the cotton fabrics, but many of the silks came in a small silk bundle from delectable mountain cloth and i have very limited amounts - we shall see

i gathered together all my bits and pieces ranging from grey to beige to deep chocolate brown, and then a little minty green

beautifully patterned silks

two are antique kimono silks from the "in the beginning" quilt shop in seattle {long since closed}
- they were bought for me by a friend from the yukon and i have been hoarding them for many, many years now, waiting for the right thing - they are absolutely perfect for this project - a light beige tweedy plaid and a deep, dark, chocolate brown with a fine gold stripe - every scrap and trimming is carefully set to the side

i'm not wasting a scrap!

the "deciding on the fabrics jumble" quickly gave way to a more orderly layout - decisions are easier made when all the choices are easily seen

chocolate and mint
{oddly enough - i do not like that flavour combination at all but lately i have been loving chocolate brown... after this combination i want to try my hand at chocolate and mauve - elegant, don't you think?}

the log cabin block is one of the first i ever did, and is still a favourite

but this business of randomly cutting and piecing with no rhyme or reason was spurred on by my latest research interest - the quilts of gee's bend

a fabulous story of women and what their quilts and quilt-making mean to them

using every precious scrap of cloth, almost all from worn out clothes, pieced together by themselves in a manner pleasing to them and then quilted as a group

when i first learned of these quilts several years ago, i wasn't much interested - i've always been a rather "precise" quilter and they were a little too "irregular" for me

but lately i'm finding myself fed up with the commercialism of quilting - the fabric manufacturer's have created an industry from that which was once borne of necessity and then a pleasant hobby

nowquilting is big business; they crank out dozens of fabric lines every month, complete with free patterns so the quilt shops can easily make kits, all packaged up with everything you need so you can easily buy it and then go home and without thinking a lot, easily make a quilt that will look exactly like hundreds of other quilts, all around the world... and next month they hope you'll be ready to do it all over again because they've cranked out yet more fabric and even more free and easy patterns... yuck

that's not what i want quilting to be for me

i've done many of my own quilt designs over the years but lately i've wanted to let go of the things i have thought to be true of quilting and explore a different way of going about it

a kind of making it up as i go kind of thing

and so i've started here, where i first began, with the log cabin block, re-visiting an old friend but learning a few new things about it as i go

the women of gee's bend didn't have fancy fabrics, nor even store-bought fabrics to make their quilts with but they made them beautiful with what they had available to them

and in that vein, i'll do the same

i'll work with what i have - silk to denote the richness their quilts have brought to the world, cotton, in reference to the beautiful, wonderful textile that has come to me through the literally back-breaking work of people around the world... cotton truly is the fabric of our lives...

i'll let the shapes come as they do, without pre-planning, nor trying to organize it in any way

i'll take my precious scraps and sew something that brings light and joy and colour and warmth to my world... i'll take my time, and i hope it will be worth waiting for


Createology said...

Precise and neat is how I was taught to sew and therefore I find it very difficult to do "random" or "messy". Your colors and fabrics are truly elegant and I love your choice to do simple log cabin and random strips. You always have such a wonderful way with words and telling a story. Summertime Bliss Dear...

Diane Kelsey said...

Such a wonderful story and journey, with the end result of a beautiful quilt. I made a scrappy quilt several years ago and struggled during the making of it, due to me wanting to control. Once finished and quilted I loved it, but it still awaits a binding. This will be my number one job for July. Thank you for the inspiration. X

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Good morning Jillayne ~ What a nice post, about this first lovely block of your new quilt. I enjoyed reading as well looking at the photos. Your choice of colors is wonderful. You have such a talent, well many actually, of putting colors together. I think the chocolate/mauve color combination will be wonderful. The fabrics looks so nice together.

Enjoy this new project ~ FlowerLady

Marj Talbot said...

I look forward to a photo of your Christmas quilt.
I like the log cabin pattern as well, but mine was done with organized colours - you are brave to tackle this one. However, it sort of resembles crazy quilting - one of my favourites. The more scrappy quilts I make, the more I like my scraps. "Waste not, want not" as my Mother would have said.
Thanks for sharing another interesting post.

Dorthe said...

Oh Jillayne, I love your telling, and am so agreeing with you, in what you say.
Quilts were done with the tiniest scraps ,and old dresses or carpets and such, back then, and became the most beautiful quilts ,one could wish for. I have ceveral books from USA about the story of many families, where gorgeous quielts were created from almost scratch .
I love what you have made ,- the colours ,the little uneven bits ,sewn together, (I don`t like too much perfectionism )
they are so beautiful in your chosen colour tones and fabrics , dear.
Hugs, Dorthe
(thank you ,I feel better, now, Jillayne, but still on medication)

Rachel said...

I'm sure it will be worth waiting for. You'll enjoy every minute of it, I'm sure!

Mosaic Magpie said...

I enjoyed reading the post and can relate to your thoughts on making a quilt just like 100 others. The random piecing takes some getting used to .... We have for years tried to be so precise and exacting. To me that equals no fun! I hope you are able to gather enough fabrics for a quilt. I have seen the Ghee's Bend exhibit and at the time thought it was much ado about some sad stained looking quilts. Then after hearing their stories and thinking about what those ladies had to work with I came to appreciate them more and more. Enjoy your journey .

Magpie's Mumblings said...

I'm with you in disliking chocolate and mint flavours, and I can't say that it would be a colour combination I would have really considered. However, now you have changed my mind. It will be such fun to follow your journey with your new quilt. Oh....and very big congrats on finishing the Christmas quilt project - pictures are coming I hope?

CelestinaMarie@SouthernDayDreams said...

Hi Jillayne, your work will be so worth the wait. I love what you have already shared. The fabrics are stunning together. I feel about painting, like you do about sewing. I don't like kits for painting projects either. They are out there but one doesn't learn the struggles with the brush to master a design or the thousands of time you have to paint something before you achieve a certain look.
Congratulations on finishing your quilt this season. You can celebrate a job well done.
Wishing you continued success!!
Hugs, CM

karen said...

wonderful post Jillayne, it illustrates perfectly your independence of thought and your personal motivation for doing what you do. The colours in this piece are stunning, I love it and look forward to watching it evolve.

Monica said...
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Monica said...

This is exactly what I told you about I meant to do with all my scraps! (possibly not so elaborated, but I'm not sure!). I LOVE that we think alike in so many ways! Not a surprise though, that's why I love conversing with you so very much. I miss youuu!!! Hope you'll come soon to my neck of the woods as I've got a lot of plans for us this time (so please stay for longer!).
What you've done so far is absolutely magnificent (love the colors and the freedom) and it's so "you". I cannot wait for you to show it in its entireity. Oh how funny, i LOVE mint and chocolate! LOL