About living a creative life in a small commuity approximately 300 kilometres above the Arctic Circle

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The joy of creating your own stuff

From time to time, especially when I have an access of self confidence, I design my own stuff. Do you remember Star among Stars and Liberty Flowers? The two quilts just popped up inside my head and even if I didn't knew all the details at once, I knew what exactly to do at every stage of the quiltmaking.

For the project I'm working on right now, there's a totally different story. I started the advent table runner almost two years ago. I got an idea about purple and black. I thought I had it figured out, cutting fabric, piecing half square triangles(HST) together and planning the fabric placement. I finished the piecing, took a look at it and thought: what was I thinking????

Some of the blacks weren't black enough, they looked like they belonged with the purple ones. Because of that, some of the purple ones was too dark compared to the blacks, so the overall design was interrupted. I was really eager to work on it then, but the certainty of the need of doing the frog stich (rip rip rip) killed my enthusiasm for that particular project and it was put to rest.

After I started to work on my UFO's earlier this summer, this work has been lying in my backhead, begging and nagging to be finished. So I decided to give it a try again. I picked out the squares that were too bright, too dark, didn't fit in and replaced them. Some of the squares I took out twice, because when I changed one of the fabrics in a HST, after pieced together with the others, the other half didn't look right either. Finally I got a placement that I'm kind of satisfied with. Some squares bother me still, but I've decided to let it go.

Choosing the quilting pattern hasn't been easy either. I knew from the start what I wanted in the black areas, but what to do with the purple ones? I would love to say that I can draw, but that would be a lie, so I have to rely on premade shapes. I tried out at least three diffent designs before I decided to go with my cookie cutters. I picked out a tree and an angel. After outline stiching two angels and a tree, I wasn't satisfied, so during last night I decided to remove the angels and put trees there also. I also decided to use a small star in the border. That seems too little so I have to come up with one more clever idea before I feel that this table runner has fulfilled its potential.

Why do I spend so much time on that tablerunner? I could have worked on another of my UFO's where everything is figured out and all I have to do is follow the description someone else made to make a quilter's life simpler.I could have bought myself at least three decent table runners for the cost of fabrics, thread, batting, backing etc and spent the spare time on the couch with a book. I could have discarded it and forgotten it. But sometimes, the satisfaction of finishing a project and knowing that you've created something unique, weighs up the extra time, money and thinking that particular project took. "I made this by myself, from start to finish. No one has ever made this before me." There is no better self confidence booster than that.



Hedgehog said...

I love the 'frog stitch' - rip, rip, rip. Made me smile! Can't wait to see the runner when you're finished!

Patti said...

What a great observation. Please show us a picture of the completely finished table runner!

Elizabeth said...

I am looking forward to seeing a photo of the finished runner.

I can relate to sticking at a challenge that nearly does me in, when I could be quickly knocking out other projects.


Jodie said...


I love Star among Stars, can we see a close up?