In my feed reader, the blogs I visit regularly are grouped under categories. Along with the literary and personal blogs I've always read, I've got categories for Art, for Style, and for Textiles and Crafts. When I've been working too hard and doing a lot of things for other people, I've noticed that I tend to spend more time looking at these: admiring people's ingenuity and creativity, fantasizing about projects, following links to fabrics, patterns, materials. It's one of my particular forms of escapism.
Recently a friend linked to a UK quilter's site, issabellathecat, and I was immediately attracted to the bright, vibrant colors -- like Mexico! -- and no wonder, it's getting pretty grey here in Montreal! Quilting, I thought, yes, that would be just the ticket: repetitive, soothing, not too demanding on my eyes or my head. Of course, it would be fun to buy a whole bunch of new fabric, but I thought maybe I ought to pull out my quilting bin and see what was in there. I laid out a bunch of uncut fabrics that I'd collected, and considered those, and then I unfolded this partially-finished quilt top, started at least twenty-five years ago. (Like Isabella, Manon was immediately "helpful.")
It would make the most sense to just finish this nice quilt, wouldn't it? Maybe I will, and maybe I won't. I did iron it, and lay it out on the floor:
My design and color sense has changed and gotten a lot bolder since I made the first blocks, the small blue ones. The last time I worked on it, maybe ten years ago, I added the strip along one side with the larger triangles, and started to think about how to complete the top asymmetrically. There's plenty of fabric to do it, it's just a question of whether I really want to, since these colors and this type of design aren't quite what I had in mind, although I still like them a lot. Or it could quite quickly become a large crib quilt for a new baby, rather than growing enough to fit our own bed.
The green fabric was an old dress of mine from the 1970s; the bodice is still in the bag with the quilt pieces, while the skirt has been cut up. Funny, all the associations and places this quilt top brought back: the art/sewing room in my old house; the small but special fabric store in Norwich, Vermont where I used to shop; the place I bought my first rotary cutter; the wall hanging I made from a similar triangular design, using some of these same blue fabrics, after my grandfather died. I thought about how much I used to sew, and how little I do now, but it wasn't with regret, just noting the fact. Life moves along and our priorities change, as well as how we allot our time. Twenty-five years ago, I had lots of time in which I sewed and knitted and grew my own food; now I live in a city, do different things with the same basic desires; our patterns have changed. That's fine. But it's also good to check back and notice why I had the urge to do something like this. Maybe I need to slow down, work on something repetitive and calming, without a deadline, something that's just for our home, for keeping warm, for the nest that we need as winter approaches. And maybe what I need to do is to buy some bright colors and make something completely different! It's actually OK, I've learned, not to finish certain things, but just listen to them.
(later: someone seems to be claiming it, wouldn't you say?)