12 June, 2013

I think I went a little overboard

Have you ever heard of a quilt called “1600”? It is a quick quilt you make out of 2 ½ inch strips of fabric. First you sew them into a long strip, end to end. Then you fold the long strip (which is supposed to be 1600 inches long, thus the name) right sides together, and you sew a seam. You end up with a strip that is 800 inches long and 4 ½ inches wide. You fold that strip, right sides together, and seam. You keep repeating this process until you come up with a quilt that is about 46 inches x 54 inches. Or something like that.

Well, I started this a while back, at the West River retreat. The problem is that I think I may have used more than one jelly roll. My long strip was about half a mile long. I’ve been sewing that first seam for three days. Obviously not 72 hours, but I’ve definitely been sewing one seam for about an hour and a half over three days and I still have a huge pile of strip to go. Last night I stretched it out around the room and doubled up, it’s 1.5 times the length of our great room still to go. It’s crazy!
Sewing table. Chaos! Large stack of already seamed strip.

Strip going off sewing table and headed across room

It stretches all the way across the room and starts back!

So, I wonder what the finished size will be? All quilts are good quilts, so I don’t really care what size it is, but I think I am going to call my quilt 3200!
Last night at quilt guild our speaker was Karen Kay Buckley. She’s famous in the quilt world for her amazing applique quilts/patterns. Her talk was about borders and it was surprisingly good. “Borders,” you think, “how boring is that going to be?” No, it was interesting, and funny, and she made a lot of good points about how to do borders well, and how to make sure the border makes the quilt better rather than just being slapped on to make the quilt bigger. (Full disclosure: I often just whack great big borders on to beef a quilt up to the size I want.) She had two suitcases full of quilts to show-and-tell to accompany her talk, and her work is beautiful. Her huge applique quilts (which have been on the covers of a lot of magazines) have what I would call an art nouveau thing going on.  They use lots of swooping vines and stylized flowers and stems that have an art nouveau flavor.
After guild meeting I was inspired to work more on my huge strip quilt, but after 30 minutes of sewing that one seam my back hurt and I was tired. I pulled out Singer from the Sea, a book by one of my favorite authors, Sheri S. Tepper, and had a comfort read until I was relaxed enough to go to sleep. Lately I’ve been having terrible trouble getting to sleep, my anxiety level shoots up as soon as I lie down and I think about all the things in the world and my life that are not ideal. Of course in the middle of the day when I should be alert and chipper, I am half dead and could fall asleep leaning against a wall. I’m like one of those babies with day-night reversal.

1 comment:

  1. I have one word for you. Audiobooks. This is immediately followed by many words. Get yourself some audiobooks to listen to while you fall asleep at night. The Audible app for a smart phone even has a time so that you don't have to wake up to switch it off. Even browns up fall asleep better with a bedtime story...