I’ve been ignoring my 80’s quilt for a while because I felt like I couldn’t move on. I drew out the blocks for the third column, but there was this drunkard’s path block that scared the hell out of me. all those little wedges mocked me. I could have started some other blocks but leaving an empty spot to come back to irked me. I finally made myself sit down and sew it yesterday.
over easter I was able to get my hands on the original quilt that I’ve been basing my blocks on. I wasn’t lying about the green was I? I don’t know too much about the quilt, other than my mil won it in some charity raffle. it was handmade my a group of women, but I’m not sure what their group was or if they had a group name even. I know that my mil was too busy to pick it up after winning it, since it was in the middle of a work day, so she sent her mom, who was also a crafter, to receive it on her behalf. apparently they really took their time showing her every little stitch and block design. I’m imagining tom’s grandma being surround by a bunch of ladies all wanting attention on their block. the only other clue I have, and it isn’t a very good one, is the embroidered block on the top left of the picture. if tom hadn’t held the quilt upside down, it would read “bethlehem senior citizens”. not sure if they’re supposed to represent every single senior citizen in town or if someone didn’t bother to write “center” or something like that.
in my little “80’s quilt revival” I’ve had to ask myself how true to the original quilt I wanted to be. was I simply copying it to end up with a quilt that better suited my tastes or was I trying to go deeper and learn about traditional quilt construction from a group of women I’ll never get to meet. I know I’m already going to fail in that regard since I’m not hand-quilting it. I am taking inspiration from their fabric placement though. all my sketches have little notes marking which pieces were prints or solids and what the color values in each block were. but there’s something I’m just not loving, besides the hunter green, and that is appliqué. some of the blocks have center appliqué squares, that I don’t see myself replicating. right now, hexes seem very modern and it would be an interesting challenge to limit a hex design to a six inch square without relying on a “grandmother’s garden” flower. I just see myself ending up with a very messy block or a design I would constantly question. and I already question everything I do enough.
the thing about paper piecing that people ‘forget’ to mention is that if you make a mistake, you REALLY make a mistake. ripping tiny stitches off paper is not fun. especially after the fifth time you sew on the wrong line. but the results are so worth it. I’m by no means a precision cutter (or sewer!), but this block doesn’t give me away. just remember the printed side is the BACK of the block so you want to reverse things. I knew this going in, but something about the printed side hypnotizes you and makes you forget how you wanted to arrange the block.