22 August 2010

In which I have over-committed myself

Have you ever done that? You get grand ideas, and then suddenly you realize that you have too many quilts and not enough time? Here's how it all went down...

My mom loves autumn. And I truly mean she loves it. Her guest bathroom is outfitted in autumn colors, and has a sign saying "Welcome, Autumn!" We have 4 poster frames on the walls in the living and dining rooms that are full of autumn leaves (2 collage-style leaves everywhere, one in a grid, and another collage style but with space between the leaves). She loves it. It's her favorite season. Then I discovered the maple leaf block, and I knew I wanted to make a quilt with that block for her. An artsy-type quilt, though - a patchwork tree on one side, grass at the bottom, and a ton of leaves falling helter-skelter through the air and on the ground. Thus Christmas present quilt 1 was firmly planted in my mind.

I also wanted to make a quilt for my mother-in-law. She didn't really have a favorite season per se, but she is a very traditional woman. Maybe a four-seasons quilt would work? Of course it would! The fall window pane would be easy - a few extra maple leaf blocks and a couple of pumpkins and I would be golden! And there were a few snowflake batik fabrics on super clearance at Hancock's of Paducah that would be perfect for a winter window pane! Spring is easy - she's a Texan, and is in love with bluebonnets, but then again, who wouldn't be if you were surrounded by those flowers every spring? I've only seen them in real life once, and they blew my mind...field after field full of bluebonnets, brilliantly blue-purple, and people stopping on the side of the highway to get pictures with them. And summer...a stylized sun with sun rays would work perfectly. Another quilt to get done by Christmas...oh dear...

My grandfather (Pop-Pop) just made a huge move. He moved from Florida, where he'd been living since I was 4 or 5, back to Ohio and into assisted living in my parents' town. He's having a hard time adjusting, even though my parents visit him at least once or twice a day. He's not spending much time with the other people living there, just sitting with them at mealtime. My grandmother quilted when I was a girl, and I have 2 small quilts she made me back then. How cool would it be for me to give my grandfather a quilt? It would be like affirming that he's in the right place, giving him back (maybe) a little bit of memory of my grandmother. His memory's fine, but it would be cool in a "families don't change that much" sort of way. And what better to have the subject of the quilt be but to somehow have it reflect his love of flying? Pop-Pop was a B-52 mechanic in Italy during WWII, and after he came back from the war, he got his private pilots' license. It's one of the few things he'll talk about for more than a terse conversation (he talks to my parents, but he's never been very talkative with us grandkids, even if we are adults now) - how beautiful the ground is when you're flying above it, how you can have a true moment with God when it's just you, Him, and an airplane. But how to capture that in a quilt? A disappearing nine-patch, of course! In varying shades of green and brown, it would be perfect. I might even add in a few squares of blue to be lakes...who knows. Randomly placing the blocks so that there is no pattern would make them look very similar to how fields look from the air. So now I've got three quilts to get done by Christmas...

That isn't to say that I don't already have quilts to finish. I'm halfway done quilting a Quitls for Kids quilt, which will take at least two days plus a few hours to quilt and bind, and I'm halfway done hand-quilting a baby quilt for a friend. Plus there's the queen-sized comforter I've been hand-quilting for my husband and I's bed...but I think he's accepted that it won't get done by Christmas this year. He's excited that I'll be making these quilts, but I'm doubting whether I'll get them all done. The four-seasons quilt and Pop-Pop's quilt need to be done early enough to get them shipped to their respective homes for Christmas, and hopefully my mom's too, but she may be coming out here between Christmas and New Year's sometime, so maybe it could get done a bit later. I don't know...

I promise to share pictures of the actual design process and sewing progress of these quilts as soon as I'm moved into my house and start sewing again. But hey - part of the process is thinking up what you want to do for the quilt, so in my mind, this is step one in the process of making a quilt. I'm moving into my house on Monday, and the internet will be turned on at some point next week, so if I don't post until late next week, I'm sorry. I'll be back as soon as I can!

Do you ever do this to yourself? Over commit yourself? If so, how do you deal with it? How should I deal with it?


  1. I know what you mean. I have great intentions a lot of times but then my real life gets in the way. I quit thinking of Christmas as the quilt giving time and just plod along with my sewing. There are birthdays, mother's day, and just "I made this because I love you" day too.

    I'm with your Mom .... I love fall and that quilt for her sounds amazing! Enjoy all your sewing and don't get hung up on December 25th.

  2. Good to know I'm not the only one, BaileyGirl! I may have to make "Christmas" a bit flexible for my deadlines.

    I can't wait to see my mom's quilt either...I'm excited for all of them!


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