So you know the saying about the cobbler’s children going barefoot? I feel like that, only in my case, it’s the quilter’s bed going ugly. If you come across a fellow reader of this blog, you will recognize her/him by the stunned, partially blind eyes which are the result of foolishly scrolling through photos of the extraordinary (and I mean this in the worst, ugliest sense of the word) comforter on my bed.
But, that ugly comforter has perfect comfort going on, and so every fall, I sigh, close my eyes, and put it back on my bed. I mean, seriously, I even tried to shame my own self into getting something better looking. But guess what’s on my bed, although it is hidden under my summer coverlet. Shame, apparently, does not work on me, even when I put the full court press on my shame-button.
So, what’s a quilter to do?
Well, last year, I had an epiphany– which, as you quilter’s know, does not mean that a quilt is going to get made anytime in the near future. But the idea is epiphanous–and once you have a quilt idea, you could, in theory, make a quilt.
So, my epiphany was to buy lots of sweaters, full them (the technical term for turning knitted fabric into felt by tossing it into the washing machine), then cut them up and make scrap blocks. Once I had enuf blocks, it would be a simple matter to sew them together, back them with flannel, bind, and voila! A nice winter comforter that isn’t ugly!
After marinating my epiphany for a year, I am getting busy with those sweaters. And I have to tell you, I am having a BALL!!! This is way way too much fun! I am chopping up pieces, fitting them together, zigzagging the butted edges, spritzing them with water, pressing it all flat, then trimming to 10″. There’s no rhyme or reason to the blocks, they are just fun. I do have an idea for the finished piece, and I’m excited to see it to completion.
Want to see some blocks? OK then! I promise to keep you all updated as I finish up this project.
I am cutting with scissors, eyeballing sizes and shapes, because I want a free form style. The felt is so forgiving to stitch, and I love how it pulls itself back into shape with steam and heat…but it seems to keep some rakish angles and shapes!
But, voila! A little water, a little heat, and some judicious trimming, and it is pretty groovy! I like it. (Best part about this ironing? You don’t have to sing about talking horses or fish heads. And if you want to know what I’m talking about now, you’ll have to go read Rice Freeman-Zachary’s blog.)
Above are 4 different blocks so you can get an idea of where I’m going with this. I have it up on my design wall at the moment. I think I’m going to make a bars/stripes type design for the center, then surround that with these scrappy blocks, then a “solid” narrow border, then a striped outer border. That’s the plan, but we’ll see where this takes me.
The wool is surprisingly soft, and I think I’ll like sleeping under the quilt. Hmmm– I think that it can’t be called a quilt, because it doesn’t have 3 layers. Well, in any event, it’s going to be nicer than the ugly comforter.