I love making quilts for other people. Indulge me for a minute. When I'm sewing or knitting the project usually already has an intended recipient. Very rarely I decide "this is for ME! It's mine, mine, all mine". When I'm working on a project for someone I think about them a lot. I wonder if they will like the colors or fabric I chose. Wonder which squares they will come to love above all others. I think about how this blanket will show up in family photos for years to come. Not staged and meant to shine, but just there keeping people warm, being a part of their memories etc.
Often my handmades are for a super special occasion. So I spend time thinking about how fun their wedding will be or what they'll name their new little baby. I'm connected to that person through the many hours I spend on these projects. I remember special memories I have with them and dream about the memories our kids will make some day. Almost like I'm sewing those memories, along with my love, right into the fabric. So when they pull it up to their ears and snuggle in for a nap, I'm there too, in spirit.
It's strange, but Ryan once told me all of the things he thinks about when he's on a 6 hour bike ride....craft time is that time for me. It's time to decompress and just "be". All that time alone in your head can be peaceful and scary! HA!
What does that have to do with this quilt? Well, for the first time since I started quilting, I'm working on a project that doesn't have a home yet. It might live here with us on our couch, or maybe it'll just vacation here for awhile until it's called into action for a gift. But that makes this quilt different. I love the personal connection I have with my projects but it's also fun to be able to share the process with you guys via Instagram, Facebook and the blog. Since almost everything is an eventual gift, I don't end up giving many sneak peaks away. Which may lead you to believe that these handmades sort of "make" themselves. You'd be wrong!
There are hours and hours behind each and every one I make. This quilt for instance, I started it on Christmas break, so just about a month ago. My usual pace isn't quite so quick but the larger blocks (3.5 inches) and the fact that I had two long weeks off over Christmas really helped keep this quilt move forward. Oh, and the fact that it's cold outside! I'll be snuggling up with this quilt as soon as it's washed and dried. One of these days I'm going to try and log the hours I spend on a project just to get some perspective. On some level it doesn't matter, as long as I'm enjoying myself, who cares how long it takes. But, the type A in me just want to have the data to analyze.
I can take zero credit for the fabric arrangement or pattern of this quilt. I copied Faith's pattern exactly as she wrote it. She did such a great job with color placement and the bright rainbow colors are hard to resist in winter. The quilt top is comprised of 558 squares all set on point which was an interesting twist for me. I worked the pattern in diagonal rows from the bottom left corner to top right. A traditional quilt would be worked top down but the rotation of the blocks made these diagonal lines easier to work with.
This quilt top is ready to be basted and quilted hopefully this weekend. I finished piecing the back last night so I'll start pinning here soon. I choose to pin baste instead of spray mostly because that is how I was taught but also because I don't like the idea of all those stinky chemicals so close to something people will snuggle up with. I know it washes out and it's perfectly safe...but the old fashioned way works just fine for me!