Sunday, January 31, 2010

Quilts Are Like Potato Chips

"Betcha can't eat just one!"

That was what they used to say about potato chips when I was a kid. Now that I'm an adult, my quilts are like potato chips. I love quilting, and I can never work on just one project at a time.

As I wrote previously, earlier this month I started Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt, Carolina Christmas. And I decided that I would really focus on it. I would be disciplined. I would get it done!

So there I was, merrily cutting out 2.5 inch strips from one of my neutral fat quarters. But when I got near the end of that piece of fabric, it was too narrow for another strip, yet too wide to be tossed into the string box. Then I remembered that Bonnie's Bricks and Stepping Stones uses 2 inch neutral strips. It's supposed to be a very quick to make quilt. And Fillius needs a quilt, poor thing. So I cut a 2 incher. And after that it just made sense to cut a few 2 inch strips from every neutral I was using for Carolina Christmas.

But sometimes that last bit of a fabric would be a bit too narrow even for a 2 inch strip. So I'd cut a 1.5 inch strip and set it aside. But what to do with them? Ah! Bonnie's Chunky Churn Dash pattern calls for 1.5 inch neutral strips. It also uses 2.5 inch neutrals squares which I'm already cutting for Carolina Christmas. My goodness! This quilt would practically cut itself out without my noticing.

Before I knew it, I was pulling colored scraps out of my bins for the strips and squares and bricks I needed for these two other quilts. The chunky Churn Dash blocks finish at 6 inches, so you really can use up rather small scraps for them. And the bricks in Bricks and Stepping Stones finish at 3 inches by 6 inches, making them perfect for large prints which I often find difficult to use because they don't "read" as any one color.

So that's how I've come to be cutting (and sewing) three quilts at once. I love working this way because I'm process (rather than project) oriented. That is, I love the process of quilt making so much that it almost doesn't matter whether I actually finish the project. I also like the variety of working on more than one quilt at a time. Whether I feel like cutting, piecing, quilting, or binding, there's always a step at hand to suit my mood. (And as soon as I choose a pattern for my dino quilt, I'll have four going at once.)

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