Monday, September 14, 2009

Piecing, traditional style

What is a traditional quilt? That's a question that comes up now and again on the list. I don't have a hard and fast definition myself, but I know what it feels like to make one: tedious, at least for me.

As part of my ongoing project to make a quilt from my greatgrandmother's block, I made sixteen (only 16, and felt I was persecuting myself) churn dash blocks from my hand-dyed fabric, only to decide that another color combination would have been better. Cutting and sewing 128 rectangles, 128 triangles, and 16 center squares is repetitive enough to make me want to wash windows for relaxation (ha), and now that I'm facing going through the whole process again in order to improve on the color choice, I have special appreciation for the quilt makers of more than a century ago, when it was all done by hand.

So what is a traditional quilt? As soon as I start feeling as if I'm a machine, doing the same thing over and over again, I know I am making a traditional pieced quilt, even if the end result is nothing like my grandmother would have devised.

As to what I will do with these, I'm not sure, but I'm thinking: handbags.

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